TALK BACK: Readers weigh in on race issue
The issue of race has raised its head in the media yet again.
This time the race debate was triggered by comments made by historian Trevor Marshall who charged that the work permit system was being manipulated to reserve jobs for white foreigners.
He charged that “elite whites” were being allowed to come into Barbados to take up top positions under the guise that employers could find no suitable candidates here to fill the positions.
Some readers joined the debate and shared their views.
Niel Harper: “There is definitely a lot of truth to Trevor Marshall’s observation. I have witnessed this first hand working for an international bank here in Barbados.
All the black executives were fired and replaced by white foreigners; with some of the said individuals commencing their tenure before they had even obtained a work permit (and some of them working as many as 18 months with no work permit).
Many of the senior management positions were also filled by foreigners, and were never created with Bajans in mind. I also see numerous work permit applications in the newspaper where the jobs can be easily filled by Bajans, but have already been reserved for someone overseas.
Many organizations post applications in the newspaper, knowing full well that it is just for show and have no intention of hiring a Bajan to fill the post; it’s just a game of smoke and mirrors. . . .
“However, there is also the case where Bajans simply do not have the skills and experience to fill certain high-level jobs. Sad to say, but we have educated masses of people who are ill-prepared to compete in a global job market, and have no demonstrable value to attract large corporations.”
Remy Johnson: “What a load of rubbish! Are we so desperate to cover up what’s really going on in Barbados that we have to make up this kind of rubbish and start a race war? Do not let these people fool you, do not let us go further down the road of Jamaica and split white Bajans from black Bajans.”
Rawle Spooner: “In all reality, Barbados has a predominately black population and leadership of the country is also black but let’s not kid ourselves the small minority rules because that’s just the way it is and they have the economic power to boot.”
Angela Sandra Paul: “When I see those jobs being advertised I always say there are people in Barbados to do those jobs, yet they are allowed to bring people into Barbados to fill those positions. Maybe someone can explain it to me . . . . I don’t understand it.”
Princess Tiny Neferua: “The historian is a tad bit too late with this discovery. This [foolishness] has been going on in Bim forever and it will continue to as long as the white owners think that only imported white people are good enough to run their business in their absence and that the blacks/locals only want to steal from them.”
• Carol Martindale is THE NATION’s Online Editor.