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Modern-day slavery for dummies

Richard Hoad

Modern-day slavery for dummies

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It came to pass that a certain Bridgetown character, vagrant and thief by profession was pushing a wheelbarrow along the Pierhead area.
Knowing the character’s aversion to work, an officer searched the wheelbarrow’s contents but found only wood shavings, rags and general sweepings. He let him go.
This was repeated time and again. The policeman’s searches revealed no contraband and he became convinced that the character was indeed dumping stuff for Mannings as he claimed. Until a colleague passed in a van and advised:
“Keep yuh eyes open, constable, Mannings missing 12 new wheelbarrows!”
This story came to mind as I watched Doug Hoyte and a reverend discussing slavery, reparations and the like on Mornin’ Barbados.
Throughout history people have done bad things to other people. Black slavery is considered the worst. If its history is taught in a way which instills positive attitudes to rise above the slavery experience and make sure it never happens again, praise the Lord.
If, however, it fosters hostility towards today’s white people, including tourists, and results in many young black Bajan males resolving not to work for any “massa”, be he black or white, employers will have little choice but to employ Guyanese instead.
That is not my call. My concern is that no sooner have Doug and Kimberley left the studio than we see a much more insidious, all-embracing modern slavery in full bloom.
I refer to the unlimited advertising of products on TV and the Internet, the method used by today’s white capitalist slave-masters to dictate how our people should look, dress, smell, style their hair, nails, private parts . . .
Take the “abs” scene. Products coming out one after the other, each claiming to be the only way to perfect abs. Order now.
But who wants a woman with ripped abs? Paint a face on a balloon, tie it to a jucking board and you could get just as much sexual satisfaction sleeping with it.
And so it is with any number of products. Cellphones, tablets, computers, cars, you name it. Many Bajans today “can’t” survive in a car without air-conditioning, which reportedly adds eight to ten per cent to their fuel cost.
We are lured deeper into debt and irreversibly under the control of the foreign white capitalists in every sphere. I spent last Monday afternoon with a female professor from a California university.
And learned how big companies are taking full control of our food supply until farmers worldwide may have no choice but to buy their seeds, fertilizers and chemicals.
“That is slavery!” exclaimed Paul “The Surfer” Bourne who was there. Slavery indeed and scary. So, Doug, beware of concentrating on the stuff of past slavery while missing the wheelbarrows which are carting away our freedoms.
This brings me to some questions by letter-writer Frank Harris. Frankie first wants to know why I (and the laws of Barbados) seem to have no problem with lesbians. To be honest, I read somewhere a declaration: “I am a lesbian. I love women. Love to touch them, hold them, nibble them . . . I think they’re the greatest. I fantasize about them all day, dream of them at night”. If indeed this is an accurate description, I would have to confess to being a lesbian too.
Secondly, Frank questions my categorizing the present homo agenda as bullying. In every society, certain activities are considered acceptable, others moderately distasteful, some utterly revolting. The male homosexual activity, like a man eating a dog, is so considered by most and this is backed up by our laws and religious beliefs.
When white Europeans and Americans tie aid to the acceptance of homosexuality, it is not equivalent to your giving a beggar money “provided he doesn’t spend it on drugs”. Instead, it is equivalent to telling Muslim countries they must serve pork in their restaurants, something forbidden by their religion and preference.
Tony Best was recently reporting how white American churches support gay marriage, black African and Caribbean churches are against. But since the black churches are poor and need support, they will be overruled.
In short, Frankie, the white Europeans and Americans feel their intellect is superior so poorer black countries must bow to their way of thinking, or suffer. That is bullying.
If you have a problem with the “why”, leave it out.
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email porkhoad