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MAVIS BECKLES: Different strokes…


MAVIS BECKLES: Different strokes…

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THERE ARE SOME things in life dat I doan get involved in at all, no matter what. I doan let things like politics, colour or the race thing, tuh name a few, faze me because I doan think it is worth getting all worked up ovah.

Then again, duh ain’t nutten I could change anyway, despite how I feel. But tuh be honest wid ya, as far as the race thing is concerned, duh got a few things dat have always puzzled me.

Now, I come along all my life and see black and white people in Barbados, not suh much Indians  till now but how come ya doan evah see white people or Indian people involved in certain professions in Barbados? I mean duh got Bajan Indians, Bajan whites, Bajan blacks and soon from now duh gine got bajan Chinese and all. Look, from the way how the world opening up and how things going ’bout here, wid all the different looking and talking people who coming in and establishing duhselves, who knows?

This is what I mean here. When ya ask li’l children what they would like tuh be when they grow up, they does tell you a policeman, a doctor, a nurse or even a fireman and it doan only be black children saying these things. From nursery, kindergartens tuh reception and even the children in primary schools does sometimes do professionals day and they does be dressed up in all sorts o’ different uniforms. But then evahbody does grow up and ya doan see one white policeman, nurse nor a fireman. Of course, ya might see a white Bajan doctor but not the rest.

This come back tuh me the other day when a police squad car pass me and I see two police officers in it, one was white and the other was black. The white one was driving and the two o’ dem was deep in conversation. I had tuh look twice tuh make sure I was seeing right. Tuh be honest, I had mixed emotions: I thought it was great,  I was happy and also a li’l offset by it because it is something dat ya doan see at all.

But come tuh think of it though, I come along and see a black and white society, black people and white people going tuh school, working and living wid one another but after school ya doan see the balance when it comes tuh certain professions. Yes, of course ya does see white farmers, white CEOs, white business owners, white doctors and white nurses in their offices, white lawyers and dem sort o’ people so but nevah a policeman or fireman or nurse. Dat is something else.

I mean, the money might be small and dat is understandable but you cahn tell me dat not one Indian or white body doan have a desire tuh serve duh country as a fire man or a police officer. Of course, we know dat ya would nevah evah see a white maid or even a cleaner; it is something dat just ain’t gine happen ’bout here. All o’ this is a reflection of our past, the plantocracy.

I could remember when I was growing up duh had a white bus driver who used tuh work the Deacons road and Black Rock route but dat was about it. Since him I never see another white person in any job like dat evah again.

I ain’t mean tuh knock nuh white people because my grandparents did the Farnums and the Chandlers, very very white wid the blue and hazel eyes tuh boot, so I ain’t prejudice But it does just make me think dat in this li’l island duh only got Blacks in certain professions.

One o’ my daughters went tuh Foundation School, and at dat time duh had real nuff white children there. She is in her 40s now and the other night I was talking tuh her about this same thing and she was saying dat it was nevah a issue at school but nowadays duh got a whole lot o’ private schools where people does send duh children tuh instead o’ the Government secondary schools.

Look at the sports Ya doan evah see nuh white people in football, basketball, in athletics or even cricket. Of course, the older ones does play fuh clubs like Wanderers and Pickwick so but dat is as far as it gets. It is really something else, hear? Not a soul cahn tell me dat some white children doan have dreams of becoming something other than working in duh family stores or businesses. Wha’ nothing ain’t wrong wid these professions. People all ovah the world does do dem.

Well anyway, I think it is great dat we have one white police officer, He is very brave. I hope dat it cause others tuh join the force too. It will bridge the so-called gap dat some people would like tuh create and bring balance tuh this society.

• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in the The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.