TALK BACK: Illegal Bajans, tour pullout the talking points
Besides ongoing concerns about Ebola and chikungunya, there were two issues which stimulated much discussion among online readers last week.
The first was the revelation by Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of National Security Gary Griffith that more than 7 000 Barbadians were living there illegally.
Here’s what readers had to say:
• Carl Harper: The manner in which Barbadians spoke of the “Guyanese invasion” of Barbados over the years would have led anyone to believe that Bajans do not “hide out” in other people’s countries in pursuit of a “better life”. So often we think of ourselves being so “special” and “God’s gift to the world” that these numerical disclosures are necessary to give us a reality check for our insular and ethnocentric mouthings.
• Olutoye Waldron: Suddenly people are questioning CARICOM integration. When the Guyanese were being rounded up like cattle and repatriated, no one thought of CARICOM then. Truth is, Barbadians migrating to Trinidad (and other parts of the region) is nothing new. An 1891 census for Trinidad recorded that in a population of 208 000, there were 33 000 immigrants from the British West Indies, nearly 14 000 of whom were from Barbados.
• Jacqueline Marshall-Balloch: This is the sort of thing that causes division among our peoples and brings to the fore the pettiness inside some of us. It’s not us and them. It’s not Trinis versus Bajans. It’s about Caribbean people. We are all mixed anyway.
• Terry Clarke: I am a Barbadian and we have this attitude that we must live peaceably in everybody’s country, but are very insecure when it comes to opening our doors to other non-nationals. Now the same Guyanese skilled workers whom we’ve deported are asking us to come and live, work and enjoy some of their substance in their homeland. Imagine that.
• Suzanne B-Small: Bajans live illegally all over the world and we must therefore stop this prejudice we have against people living here. Two hundred and eighty thousand persons, half of whom are minors and elderly people, can’t have a successful global economy. We need people who will create demand, open businesses . . . which will create jobs. We think they’ll take away jobs but it’s the opposite.
The second hot topic was the news that the West Indies tour of India had been called off and the players would return home amidst a simmering pay dispute.
• John Herbert: Sad, sad, sad. The more things change, the more they remain the same. New board, new captain, new coach or no coach . . . same results!
• Anthony Daniel: A really sad and regrettable situation, but pray tell me, who among us would be prepared to take a more than 50 per cent salary cut?
• Pedro Osbourne: This is such an embarrassment for West Indies cricket.
• Jason White: Disgraceful. Very unfair to India who invested time and resources to host our players. WICB should be fined or suffer some form of penalty by the ICC.