Submitted by Heather Cole
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs Chapter 24:10.
Politics is not for the faint hearted. With it comes constant criticism which is good for the soul. One can learn from it and be a better person or be sharper and clearer in pursuit of one’s goals. Even amidst the negativity in the comments to the below posting that I made in response to the timing of the Article “The Gorilla and the Boy” by Jeff Cumberbatch on Sunday June 5, 2016, I have learnt a lot.
Heather June 5, 2016 at 7:49 AM #
@ Jeff, this is a strange article to write at this time. Were you in Barbados for the past week? Did you read the news on BU or the traditional media? Is this a part of the deflection? With so much going on and you chose to write about something that has no effect on Barbados?
It provided me with a reason to join the call for Freedom of Information Legislation and another perspective from which to examine the 1816 Rebellion in Barbados.
My quest is to provide information to the people of Barbados to enable them to make better decisions for their social, economic and political wellbeing. For all we know, if information was available that Emancipation was not granted there may not have been a rebellion in 1816. That rebellion occurred because the slaves thought that the Local Legislature was withholding their freedom. If information was available that the police had not taken Clement Payne into custody, the 1937 Riots may have occurred on another day. The preservation of the status quo is done through a lack of new information and the freedom to speak out. If there was freedom of information and freedom of speech, there would be no need for a Barbados Underground where almost everyone hides behind a fictitious name. In my opinion, the traditional press comes up lacking time and time again on content to politically educate the people, a void that I know I can help to fill.
If a section of the population believes that only their views are correct and balanced, it does not mean that they are right. At one point in our recent history, people were owned as property and we all now know for a fact that this could never have been right.
In 1816 an African born slave who did not fit in because he was not born into slavery. He compared slavery with the life that he had before and became a rebel with a cause. That cause was freedom. Everyone did not share his vision for freedom. We know this because an informer betrayed him. That someone was a person who lacked the strength and courage of Bussa to step forward and lead the fight for change. I will not let anyone who lacks the courage to speak out against the present administration in Barbados to deter me from doing so.
I am of good courage. I am motivated to find the strength that enabled Bussa to lead a rebellion; I am motivated by the strength that enabled Clement Payne to lead the people amidst the social economic and political turmoil that existed in the 1930’s and; I am motivated by the strength that caused Errol Barrow when others did not share his views to form his own political party.
For all that is known, each of them was faced with opposition and naysayers just as I am today. Like them giving up for me is not an option. We may not always share the same views but there is absolutely no reason why anyone should try to impede any measure in thought, word or deed that may be a catalyst for positive change in Barbados.
At the end of the day, each one of us must ask ourselves, “Do I lack the strength and courage to fight for change? Am I a Bussa or an informer? Is my role to assist in the bringing of revolutionary changes that are needed in Barbados or am I striving to retain the status quo?
I live by the mottos of my two Alma Maters “I Persevere” and ‘Aliis Non Sibi”, for others not self. I am pressing on.