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I do not want my grandchildren to grow up in Barbados, the country we love as home, feeling insecure, or for that matter, as psychologically tormented as Professor Sir Hilary Beckles or many of the other well-educated Barbadians who are missing that one thread that allows them to feel liberated mentally and psychologically from the scars of enslaved ancestors.
Sir Hilary, a friend of mine, as a historian would know that Africans and, more pointedly, black people, were not the first people to be enslaved. In white societies people have moved beyond their enslaved ancestors.
Australians and New Zealanders have moved beyond the history of their foreparents who were shipped from England as convicts and dregs of the English slums. Many Bajan Whites share that same history.
The removal of Nelson’s statue from Trafalgar Square, Bridgetown, will not address the insecurity that many black Barbadians live with. I support leaving Nelson’s statue where it is.
I wrote the following poem over 30 years ago. It is taken from Poetic Imprints where there are other poems dealing with black identity.
Let the truth
That Lord Nelson
And even less
When black brothers
Being a product
Of his time,
Out of ten
Enlightened maturity separates
So let Nelson’s statue be.
But next to
And overshadowing him
The king of Ashanti.
Last week, in sharing ideas with Anthony Gabby Carter on what Independence means, I wrote him this: Unfortunately, no politician or leading voice from the mainstream has grasped and promoted a strong ethos for discussion on asserting ourselves as sharing, both black and white, a common intelligent philosophy that eradicates the baggage of past injustices, and more importantly, creates a level playing field for opportunities of wealth and the dignity and confidence it brings. We still have to embellish the baton that Errol Barrow presented.
In further response to Sir Hilary’s remarks in the DAILY NATION of Tuesday, December 5, 2017, I am urging him to return the “Sir” where it came from and tell the Government that the conferring of knighthoods is a shackle to be dissolved from Barbados.
– ANDREW BYNOE