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Friday, June 08, 2007

I am not one of those Bajans who are proud to hear Barbados being referred to as Little England.I am sorry, but it is the truth.I know statements like that would be shocking to most Barbadians who are infinitely proud to think of England as their homeland or motherland as they like to call it.It says a lot about our identity seeing that Barbados is over 90% African.

When Rastafari came to Barbados sometime in the 1970's it was like a breath of fresh air to me.At least it brought aspects of our culture that we needed to the fore even though as you could well imagine it was horrifying to the majority of Bajans,who actually believed that it was a sign that we were in the last days.

I think even more amazing was the discrimination in the workplace where once you were Rastafai it was certain that no one would employ you.As a matter of fact it is only within the last few years that dreadlocks could be worn in the work place.People have really short memories but there was rampant discrimination to Rastafari.

Have you ever heard of Nelson Mandela? I am sure you have.He is one of the greatest and most spiritual men to walk the face of the earth. It was suggested that one of our national parks,Farley Hill,be renamed after Nelson Mandela.It caused such a hue and cry.A local businessman called Charles Othneil Williams even promised to donate land so that Farley Hill would remain as it is and the donated land could be used .......I suspect that if it were to be renamed The Horatio Nelson National Park after the old English racist admiral they would have been deafening applause.

Don't get me wrong,I am proud to be a Bajan,just as I am proud to be African,just as I am proud to be a citizen of this earth for the time of my human existence,recognizing that we are all one and each one equal to the other.Just as I am proud of the Hindu religion which belongs to us all.

What I am not proud of is a country built on separation, economic disenfranchisement,and perpetual myths believed to be true.

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