Nation e-Edition

Treatment of Marshall unfair

By – WILLIAM SKINNER

| Fri, August 09, 2013 - 12:01 AM

Treatment of Marshall unfair ()

Mr Trevor Marshall, outstanding and refreshingly outspoken historian, can expect fire and brimstone to be his staple diet in the coming weeks.

As expected, Marshall is being nailed to the cross and the tetanus-loaded spikes are being driven into his hands and feet by the self-appointed guardians of our society for simply asking questions that are similar to those found in articles and papers emanating from the social sciences department at the University of the West Indies and elsewhere: Why are Indo-Barbadians and other ethnic minorities not getting the same level of consideration for Senate appointments as Whites? Why have white Barbadians apparently decided not to enter elective politics?

Marshall has spent over four decades making us take a very honest look at ourselves. He is one of the few intellectuals/academics I admire because he uses his vast knowledge to engender national discourse on issues that make us uncomfortable.

He was one of the first historians to critically analyze National Hero Sir Grantley Adams. Sir Grantley was black. He was critical of the selection of National Heroes, who are mainly black and include outstanding citizens such as Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Frank Walcott. How come he can publicly express himself about such prominent Blacks but cannot express himself about Whites without being deemed a racist and a threat to the tourist industry and economic development?

Outside of being an outstanding historian, he has made a tremendous contribution to such areas as education, culture, and political awareness. He was involved in the progressive Manjak project of the 1970s. He was recently recognized as one of the ten most outstanding teachers at the tertiary level. Additionally, he was instrumental in developing cultural activity in his hometown St John and has given much of his time in writing and speaking about our folklore and similar topics.

Of course, these contributions and achievements do not place him above criticism, but at least I can state that he is one of the very few intellectuals in our country who are not looking for political, social or professional endorsement from the so-called power brokers in our society. His place in post-Independence Barbados and Caribbean development has been earned by speaking truth to power.   

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