Here is NEWS that was mailed to my readers on Jul 29, 1999:-
Jul 29, 1999 THANK you all for the MASSIVE response to the DIALECT survey..... I have been unable to personally reply to the comments on the survey form... there were just too many coming in... I instructed the computer to sort them based on YES or NO to the dialect question.... the result is in favor of DIALECT.... I hope I can go back and read each one personally... but you precious people now number in the THOUSANDS and I am overwhelmed. I have read several hundred email messages which were sent to me personally... and replied to some of them.. I wish I could personally reply to all you wonderful people. I pour out my soul below: Does anyone have the authority to speak for the masses ?? can the "masses" have a "spokesman" ?? If a person tries to ascertain "mass" opinion and give utterance to same... is he/she "speaking for the masses" ????? ponder these profound questions.... Jovan had to consider them recently.... please read on... I run a BAJAN website... under the theme "Uniting BAJANS around the world". I choose our DIALECT as the language of communication... is it too much to ask outsiders to read it (when I provide the extremely simple keys to its interpretation right on the website) ????? True I have INTERNATIONAL exposure... but only someone interested in Barbados is going to try to read our local news... lets encourage them to learn our dialect.... dont we try to learn a little French.... if we are planning to go to France. The point is not whether Bajans can or cannot communicate in standard English... that is not the issue.. I regard our dialect as a UNITING feature of our Bajan culture... many academics, historians and writers regard it in the same light.... as Jovan has said, it came into being as a result of blending African sounds and sentence structure with English. the REAL issue is, certain BAJAN persons are ASHAMED of our dialect because they are ashamed of their past... or else, they DESPISE the dialect because they come from that certain class that considers itself better than the rest. Most white Bajans and some black Bajans are against inter-racial marriage.... yet a significant portion of the Bajan population is mulatto... and they are still called blacks because of the discriminating factor, the determining factor, which is the "hair" of their head... and is this not a RACIST behaviour ??? I have a white skin... and I KNOW what whites get on with... their condescending attitude to blacks.. their abhorrence of Africa and anything African.. their believed superiority... their paternalistic mentality.. the racial jokes... while giving lip-service to a hatred of slavery, they bewail the fact that servants are getting so scarce... and long for a return to the "good-ole days" when blacks "knew their place"... The white spokesmen can write... trying to wiggle their way out of it.. trying to fool blacks that it is not so.... but you see, my friends, I KNOW... I have heard it with my own ears, from one white to another, on numerous occasions in a multitude of settings... when no blacks are around.... time and time again. It is these whites and the blacks (who despise blacks and have adopted the "white" mentality) that will have a "problem" with DIALECT. SPECIFICALLY the use of it when portraying Barbados on the Internet... because this is not the Barbados they want to portray... this is not "their" Barbados. Have you seen the publication "BYGONE BARBADOS" ?.... it sells like hot-cakes in the tourist shops... WHY ? It carefully glosses over and skirts around the plight of BYGONE BLACK BARBADOS.... while painting a glowing picture of BYGONE WHITE BARBADOS... and this book was published RECENTLY... in 1998. Consider too, Professor Hillary Beckles... a man maligned beyond degree by whites (and some blacks too!).. for no other reason than the fact that he is EXPOSING and CONFRONTING the issues of black economic disparity and racist practices in corporate Barbados... and also tearing down the myths written by EUROCENTRIC RACIST historians, in the name of history. Elombe Mottley... hated for the same reason. Loud-mouth "do nothingers"... "fringe" elements trying to stir up strife.. according to C.O.Williams. Within the last few months, white individual come up to me and ask me... "If I really think that any black person gives a damn about me" Other whites have suggested to me... "harping" about racial matters... I am doing a lot of HARM to Barbados' GOOD race relations. Many people assume that I am black by the way I write... I was told that it was only white people that would assume this... black people know damn well that I am white... are are amused by it... so they said. In speech, accent, behaviour, thought patterns and just about everything else... I am indistinguishable from my darker-skinned companions... but my "hair" brands me as "white" But be careful when talking to me... thinking I am white... is a BIG mistake. Here is something that just came in the EUR report today: GET REAL - Mark Riley: The Woodstock Double Standard The original Woodstock Music and Arts Fair (that's what it was called) marked a turning point in the culture of the times. Nearly a half million people came together to hear some of the finest music groups of the time in relative peace and harmony. That's what most people thought would happen at this year's 30th anniversary concert held last weekend in Rome, New York. For most of the festival, that's what went on. Just before its end, the Mayor of Rome and the promoters of the event were giving each other high-fives. They should have waited. The concert ended in a four hour orgy of rioting and looting. Several hundred people participated, while thousands stood and watched. Damage estimates may take awhile to calculate, but one thing was clear by the time the looting stopped: There continues to be a double standard when law enforcement and politicians deal with white and black audiences. Despite the fact that so many people went off in Woodstock, there were only seven arrests. This, despite the fact that one newspaper here in New York managed to get a picture of young people looting an Ace Hardware tractor-trailer. Compare this mild mannered response to what happens when black young people gather for events like Freaknik or the Black College Reunion. Thousands of law abiding black young people end up being treated like common criminals. In one instance a hotel made guests attending a black event wear wristbands, and refused to let any black person without one on the premises. In the case of the recent Million Youth March held in New York, police stormed the stage when the event ran just a couple of minutes past it's end time. The reason for the double standard is clear. Treat white kids at a concert like black kids and the uproar in the white community would shake the foundations of this country. Unfortunately, there is no political, social, or financial consequence for treating black kids like dogs. All this points to the need for black young people to be a lot more discriminating when it comes to holding their gatherings. If governments in cities where these events are held try to abrogate their rights, these places should be boycotted not just by the youth, but by their parents, siblings, and friends as well. Our youth deserve respect until they act in a manner that doesn't warrant it. In Woodstock, most of those who acted like fools got away with it.