Report racist abuse to police
WHILST I ADVOCATE an uncompromising attitude of zero tolerance towards any expression of racism in general, and of anti-black or anti-African racism in particular, I would like to advise my fellow Barbadian citizens not to respond to racial abuse by retaliating with racial abuse of their own. As they say, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Rather, the correct “Bajan response” to being the target of racial abuse by a tourist (or a local for that matter) is to simply have recourse to the laws of Barbados. You see, Section 33 of the Public Order Act, Chapter 68A of the Laws of Barbados, deals with racial abuse and racial abusers as follows:
“33. (1) A person is guilty of an offence if . . . (b) he uses in any public
TO THE EDITOR
place . . . words which are threatening, abusive or insulting, being . . . words intended, or which may reasonably be interpreted as likely, to stir up or to be capable of stirring up hatred against any section of the public in Barbados distinguished by colour, race or creed.
(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine of $2 500 or to imprisonment for 12 months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
So, the next time some tourist or local calls you the “N” word, don’t feel that you need to hurl ugly abuse of your own. Rather, simply make your way to the nearest police station, lay your complaint and insist that the offender be arrested, charged and placed before the law courts.
I would also like to remind the officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force that, in light of Barbados’ truly horrific historical experience of anti-black racism and discrimination, any complaint of racial abuse that is made to the police by a citizen of this country should be taken very seriously and acted upon. – DAVID COMISSIONG