If Rhodes Must Fall, Why should Nelson Stand

Update:

After I posted the original article below a coupe days ago and promoted it on Facebook, it was taken to task by some of our White society here on the island. I was sorry they did not post their comments directly here on the website but I have copied and pasted them here in the comments to give readers the opportunity to see for themselves how this topic is being viewed. It has even drawn the attention of noted Historian Karl Watson who represents the defense for Nelson. He will refer to a flag which I have shown here so you can see what he is speaking of. You are still invited to share your views with us.

watson's flag

I think the responses coming forward validates the sentiments expressed in the Rhodes must fall movement. #nelsonmustfall.

Original Article

I was sent this article by a friend of mine the other day and as I read it all that kept racing through my mind was "Nelson Must Fall". For lord knows how long Pan Africanist here have tried without success to have the government of Barbados remove the statue of Lord Horatio Nelson from the central place on the island it now occupies. Barbados has long hailed Nelson as a hero of sorts who saved this former British colony from French conquest. The fact is that Nelson was a supporter of slavery and colonialism. He was so must in favour of it he swore that he would defend slavery and colonialism to his dying day. Being a man to his word, he did. It is also a fact that he hated the island of Barbados. He hated it so much he called it a detestable island and refused to even set foot on the island. Bajan historian Mr Trevor Marshall has forever been a strong advocate to have the true story of Nelson taught in schools and his statue taken down.

Nelson must fall 3

For some reason this seems impossible to do. When you read the article we cannot help but ask, why is it so hard for this statue to be removed from the place it holds physically and mentally in the lives of  our people? Maybe we should start a "Nelson Must Fall" movement here in Barbados.

A lot of people see this as a non issue but is it really? With the call of the Barbados Prime Minister to move this island to a republic within the 50th year of its independence and all that moving the British Queen as head of state stands for physically, we must ask ourselves what will this do to and for the psyche of our people? The 50th year of this island's independence may be ripe for the mission to remove Nelson. As we work towards revolutionising our educational system we are actually saying we are working towards changing how we as a people think. Nelson may not be Rhodes but he was certainly cut from the same cloth. Coming to think of it shouldn't our university students be working in this mission to move Nelson? Maybe the University of the West Indies is not that far from Oxford in its thinking. When you read the article you will understand what I mean when I say this. In fact the Caribbean being called the West Indies smacks of the Columbus journey, his conquests and ignorance. I would think our highest institute of academia would be swift to address this but maybe as I said before they are working on the same philosophises as Oxford. Having Barbados removed from the control of the British Empire must have Nelson eternally rolling in his grave. Let us hope Nelson is not as Garvey who vowed to return as a whirlwind to fight for his people, because if he is 50yrs of independence and the sacking of the Queen as head of state would be a great catalyst for his return.

Nelson must fall 1

If after reading this article, knowing that Nelson and Rhodes are like cousins in the family of oppressors of Africa and African people you think Nelson should also fall, please share this post and encourage others to read it. Revolutions must start with awareness.

Rhodes Must Fall: Decolonizing Education

By Dan Glazebrook

 The world needs to “move on” from slavery and colonialism, David Cameron declared during his visit to Jamaica earlier this year. He went on to casually dismiss demands for either reparations or even an apology for the systematic kidnapping and enslavement of Africans which laid the basis of both of the wealth of his own country (and indeed his own family) and the poverty of the nation hosting his visit. What he meant by “move on”, of course, was simple: forget it ever happened and ignore its continuing legacy.

 Last week, in Oxford, a demonstration of around 200 students were also demanding that Britain ‘move on’ from its colonial past – not by forgetting about it, but precisely the opposite – by acknowledging the damage done (and still being done) and atoning for it. The Rhodes Must Fall movement began in South Africa last year, demanding an end to the veneration of colonial murderers like Cecil Rhodes, but has since spread to Oxford, where Rhodes’ alma mater, Oriel College, still displays a huge statue in his honour.

Nelson must fall 2

Rhodes’ statue at Cape Town University was eventually removed this year after protests, and the Oxford campaign hopes to repeat the success here. Cecil Rhodes was the archetypal British imperialist – a tyrannical stealer of land, ruthless exploiter of labour and rabid butcher of men, women and children. By the 1890s, he had conquered around one million square miles of territory (including modern day Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia) and laid waste to its inhabitants, using the newly invented Maxim gun to massacre all those who stood in his way and forcing many of the rest into the living graves that were his company’s diamond mines. As Prime Minister of Britain’s Cape Colony, his policies laid the basis for what became the apartheid system, as he forced Africans onto reserves, introduced segregation and forced labour, and systematically excluded Africans from voting, explaining to the Cape Assembly in 1887 that “the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa.” What exactly this meant was spelt out in one of his more prosaic pronouncements: “one should kill as many niggers as possible”. The question is not so much why there is a campaign to have his statue removed as why on earth it is still there. It says a lot about just how little Britain has ‘moved on’ from its imperial past when the leader of the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, Robert Mugabe, is one of the most demonised figures in the British media – whilst the architect of that country’s subjugation, Cecil Rhodes, remains a ubiquitous and venerated presence in Britain’s most hallowed academic institution.

 But the campaign is about much more than statues; as the press release for the event noted, “Our call for the statue to fall is but the first step. What we stand for is something much greater: the transformation of the university in its physical and intellectual spaces, its colleges and its curricula.” Indeed, Rhodes Must Fall is part of a much broader global movement that has emerged in recent years, based around the demand to decolonize academia.

 As Maori anthropologist and activist Linda Tuhiwai Smith has put it, “decolonisation, once viewed as the formal process of handing over the instruments of government, is now recognised as a long term process involving the bureaucratic, cultural, linguistic and psychological divesting of colonial power”. Western academia is in particular and urgent need of such a decolonizing process as it so clearly continues to reproduce Eurocentric fallacies and omissions in manifold ways.

 One way is through its erasure of the crime of colonialism; that is, its tendency to overlook – or, worse, deem as irrelevant – the sheer scale of human suffering caused by European colonialism. Surinamese scholar Sandew Hira, for example, notes how the typical figure given for enslaved Africans in Western histories is around 12 million. But this figure neglects both those killed in the process of capture in Africa, and those enslaved at birth in the Diaspora. Once these two groups are added, the true figure rises to between 236 and 432 million – that is at least twenty times higher than the standard Western statistic. Hira has also made a calculation of the reparations owed by European colonial powers to those they colonized based on the value of goods stolen, unpaid rent and labour, and compensation for human suffering, plus a very reasonable 3% compound interest on the debt (half the rate charged to Haiti on the ‘reparations’ imposed by France for the crime of abolishing slavery). The estimated total comes to $321 quadrillion, demonstrating “the inconceivable damage that colonization has caused upon the colonized and the unimaginable debt that rests of the shoulders of the colonizer”. Little of this is recognized in mainstream Western historical accounts of the rise of Europe, which still tend to treat colonialism either as a mixed blessing for the colonized or a net drain – that is, effectively an act of benevolence – for the colonising powers. This ‘weighing up’ of supposed ‘positive and negative’ aspects of colonialism would never be accepted for other acts of mass murder, such as the Hitlerite atrocities – yet are apparently perfectly valid for colonialism. As Rhodes Must Fall activist Chi Chi put it at the Oxford event – “You cannot reconcile ‘but what about the railways?’ with genocide”. Except that, apparently, you can – and those who do, such as empire cheerleader Niall Ferguson, are handsomely rewarded with research grants, media accolades and seemingly endless commissions by the BBC.

But it is not only the crimes of empire that are erased in Western academia – so too is the non-European contribution to European civilization itself. As JM Blaut has analysed in depth in The Colonisers’ Model of the World, ‘Greater Europe’ is still depicted by the majority of European historians as “the perpetual fountainhead of history” based on what he calls the ‘diffusionist’ notion that “the world as a whole has one permanent centre from which culture-changing ideas tend to originate, and a vast periphery that changes as a result”. This unique capacity for progress, in this view, is based on Europe’s supposedly superior and self-generated ‘value system’.

 Hand in hand with the notion that all that is good in the world flows from ‘Inside’ (Europe) to ‘Outside’ is its inevitable corollary of a “counter-diffusion of evil and savagery and disease from outside to Inside”. The supposed knowledge about the non-European world, on which such ideas are based, was, of course, produced in the process of colonialism, reflecting the biases – and interests – of the colonizer. As Blaut writes, “the plain fact is that theories constructed from this information – and this includes the great bulk of nineteenth century anthropological, geographic, and politico-economic theories about non-Europeans – are systematically distorted” as not only were they based on information reflecting the bias of the colonialists who collected it, but also involved “shaping knowledge into theories that would prove useful for colonialism.”

 It hardly needs stating that the ‘diffusionist’ theories produced by such methods are completely false. As John M Hobson has outlined in great detail in his magisterial The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation, far from being the passive recipient of Western innovation, Africa and Asia largely provided the technological and institutional ‘portfolios’ (not to mention the labour power and resources) that enabled both the European industrial revolution and the ‘voyages of discovery’ that preceded it. Vasco De Gama’s travel round the Cape, for example, was not the unprecedented triumph it is still depicted as in Eurocentric history; in fact the voyage had already been accomplished 20-50 years earlier by the Islamic navigator Ahmad ibn-Majid, whilst “the Javanese, Indians and Chinese had all made it across to the Cape many decades, if not centuries, before De Gama” (who, incidentally, relied on a Gujarati Muslim pilot as his guide). Similarly, Hobson shows how non-European societies had a major influence on all the major the turning points in European history, with, for example, Chinese technological innovations and ideas underpinning both the industrial revolution and the European Enlightenment, and Afro-Asian trading circuits originating a millennia and a half ago laying the foundation of the global trading system of today.

 But it is not only history that continues to reproduce colonial theories; as Hobson has argued elsewhere, Eurocentrism thoroughly permeates fields such as international relations as well: “international theory does not so much explain international politics in an objective, positivist and universalist manner but seeks, rather, to parochially celebrate and defend or promote the West as the proactive subject of, and as the highest or ideal normative referent in world politics”.

 In philosophy, too, only European philosophy is typically taught, with non-European philosophy consigned to anthropology – to be studied as the quaint beliefs of irrational societies. At the same time, the racism of the European philosophers under discussion are buried or ignored. As Charles W Mills points out in The Racial Contract, there is a “uniformity of opinion” on the inferiority of non-Europeans amongst pretty much all major European thinkers from the Enlightenment onwards: he cites, for example, “Hume, who denies that any race other than the white one has produced a civilization; the utilitarian Mill, who denies the applicability of the anti-paternalist ‘harm principle’ to ‘barbarians’ and maintains that they need European colonial despotism; [and] the historicist GWF Hegel, who denies that Africa has any history and suggests that blacks were morally improved through being enslaved”. None of this will typically be mentioned on undergraduate philosophy courses.

 Underlying all of this is what decolonial scholar Ramon Grosfoguel calls “epistemic racism”. Seventeenth century Europe saw a revolution in epistemology, epitomized by Rene Descartes’ idea of mind-body dualism. By separating the mind from the body, Descartes was able to posit the idea of a completely objective system of knowledge, unbounded by the limitations of societal specificity. This afforded the subject – the privileged male Western subject, that is – a ‘God-s eye’ universal view of the world, superior to all other epistemologies. Such a claim to perfect, godlike, knowledge, would have been treated as idolatry in other cosmologies; and for decolonial scholars, all knowledge is “bio-graphically and geo-historically located”, to use Walter Mignolo’s terminology. But Western epistemology has, by sheer force of arms, been able to impose itself on the rest of the world, presenting itself as the one true and valid system of knowledge production; it is no coincidence that the epistemological revolution overlaps with the era of colonialism. As Enrique Dusselle argues, it is not so much that “I think, therefore I am” as “I conquer, therefore I am”.

 And academia still bears the birthmarks of its colonial genesis. Grosfoguel points out that this is the case to such an extent that supposedly “universal knowledge” is still based on “the socio-historical experience of just five countries” – Italy, Germany, Britain, France and the USA, comprising between them a mere 12% of the world’s population, but virtually 100% of the reading material of almost every academic social science course in the western world. Knowledge produced in all other parts of the world is inferiorised.

 Oxford was, and is, central to both this inferiorisation of non-European knowledge, and the conquests and exterminations that allowed this process to develop.

Radcliffe Camera Panorama
I asked Ciaran Walsh, radical Labour historian at Ruskin College, who runs the excellent Radical Oxford walking tour, about the university’s role in colonialism: “The ideologues who justified the creation of first the English and then the British empire came from Oxford, and generations of imperial administrators were educated at Oxford under the banner of the civilising mission. But this mission was a cover for the expansion of European political forms, structures, property relations and all the oppression, dislocation and death that flowed with that. Imperialism and capital accumulation have been co-emergent in the modern era and Oxford’s played a key role in this whole process in Britain and globally.”

 Places like Oxford’s Indian Institute – founded after the first war of Indian independence in 1857 had shaken the foundations of the British Empire – were created as what Walsh calls “centres of orientalism”, designed to study non-European cosmologies, legal systems, institutions and social structures the better to dominate them. Walsh explains that William Jones, the first European to study Sanskrit, was a product of Oxford, who went on to study Indian law in order to allow “a more workable system of European property relations to be imposed. This is the instrumental nature of orientalism”. And still today, as Mignolo notes, “seldom, if ever, are intellectual debates in the regions being reported taken into account…very much like natural resources, Third World ideas are processed in European intellectual factories”. Thus, as Kiran Benipal put it on the demonstration, “Rhodes legacy is alive and well, and runs through the blood of this institution”.

 And Oxford continues to produce the modern-day Rhodes’ who are his worthy successors in British colonial barbarism in Africa and beyond. Oxford graduate, Tony Blair, was involved in plans to follow directly in Rhodes’ footsteps and invade Zimbabwe; it was only the steadfastness of Mbeki’s ANC government in South Africa that prevented this from taking place and subsequently exposed the plot. Likewise, David Cameron, a graduate of Brasenose College, did his bit to stymie African development; his blitzkrieg destruction of Libya paved the way for a bloodbath that has already enveloped Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria and continues to grow.

 So Rhodes’ legacy continues not only through the manifold monuments, buildings and institutions that bear his name, not only through the European supremacist foundations of academia, but also through British policies that continue to brutalise and subjugate Africa, Asia and South America. The British state cannot bear to see anti-colonial resistance movements in power anywhere, and have still not reconciled themselves to the reality that the movements that led the fight for independence remain in government across much of Southern Africa. Rhodes will fall. But it will require constant vigilance – and we must never forget that the enemy today is the same as it was then – British imperialism.

______________________________________________________

This article originally appeared at https://www.rt.com/op-edge/323094-decolonizing-education-cecil-rhodes/

Dan Glazebrook is a political journalist and author of Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.

This article has 120 Comments

  1. Blacks are so timid; in fact, most of them. If the system is not willing to listen to you, but it is an affront to you and your survival, why continue to live by it? Only the black race has soft spots for such nons*ense.

  2. From FB by RJ
    Foster Lets erase all history. Bulldoze all of our colonial buildings, dismantle parliament, change the names to all of the streets, avenues, roads etc…. why stop at Nelson?

  3. Sanderson Rowe

    And change our names from Cumberbatch, Brathwaite , Foster , Rowe etc etc. And how about the names Combermere of Codrington? so revered by many Barbadians.

  4. Cheryl Hutchinson
    But we forget that it was the PEOPLE of B’dos who commissioned and paid for his statue, not the G’ovt. So it’s not the Gov’t’s to take down! Course it was different people then but were they revering him because he fought ‘with and to his death’ to defend the TA Slave Trade, or because he saved us from being French?

  5. Simba Simba
    It is true it was the people who put it there. But looking at the reason students fought to take down Rhodes it can be applied to the Nelson statue here. Look at it Bussa is in the middle of a highway you have to risk getting knocked down to see. Nelson on the other hand is safe grounds to view. Who would we say is more important to our history? They painted Columbus in a pretty picture and taught that to us. Same with Nelson. So I say we need to revisit our educational system.

  6. Karl Watson
    Nelson had absolutely nothing to do with the trans Atlantic slave trade…his posting in Caribbean waters was related to the British government’s attempts to exact all the customs duties payable to the Crown. Essentially, that is why the West Indian planters, especially those of Barbados did not like him. But then, few people like tax collectors. BTW…Barbados was the only West Indian colony to support the passage of the slave trade abolition act. Whatever you think of Nelson as a person, his victory at Trafalgar shifted the outcome of the Anglo-French struggle for supremacy in favour of the English and changed the course of world history. The person who wrote this article has no concept of history nor of context.

  7. Simba Simba
    I said in the article he was a defender of the trade by his own. It is documented fact that he was opposed to Wilberforce and the abolitionist. The fact that he was not a trader is not the point here. It is a fact that he was a defender of the British interest in these regions. Even the famous Battle of Trafalgar was distorted and really had nothing to do with here. We should know he history of why he was put there and who put him there. I stand corrected it was Nevis. The man hated these shores so why is he held in such esteem. He helped to keep us British. it that a good thing? I don’t think you are correct on the history of that battle. But I would leave that to the esteemed historians such as Trevor Marshall to tell. Many events helped to shape the course of world history. In European accounts of history that battle my have been a turning point in the fight to control colonial territories here in the Caribbean. This like Columbus who also helped to shape world history needs to be revisited. Just like Rhodes, Nelson had no love for African people on the whole.

  8. Sanderson Rowe
    From our National Anthem. The Lord has been the peoples guide for the past three hundred years. Not Nelson, Not Bussa, not Wiberforce , nor even the now 375 year old Parliament.

  9. Simba Simba
    What the lord have to do with this? We speaking about the history and legacy of Nelson in Barbados and I am saying it is comparable with Rhodes. So I would be safe in saying no one outside the lord had aided in your development? From the National Anthem> Where was he before that? By the way which lord is this because just like Nelson Jesus want taking down out of the psyche of our people. But that is another discussion all together. The fact is white people put Nelson there. Not just any white people either, our former/present colonisers judging by what we just heard and saw from the British PM and now our Black independent government can’t get him come down. What did they do, change this position I think? I want to know if British rule was better than the French or Spanish? That was Nelson job to save Barbados from that. Is this a good thing?

  10. Karl Watson
    You see Simba Simba (Lion Lion) you are looking at the entire thing through 21st century eyes and not understanding the context of the times and the role played by Nelson in maritime history. The first thing that any aspiring historian must do is to develop a sense of empathy if you are going to have any success in understanding and interpreting the past. We know that the land the statue stands on and the statue itself was purchased by funds raised in Barbados, contributed by Barbadians…most of whom, but not all…were white. Now why did they do this, given their dislike of Nelson’s role in Caribbean waters as a tax/customs enforcer. This is where context is important. The eighteenth century was one of intermittent warfare between France and Britain. This intensified following the French Revolution and grew into a struggle for world supremacy once Napoleon took power in France. The key to any winner emerging in this struggle hinged on supremacy at sea which is why Trafalgar is so important. Now you ask a useful question: was British rule better than that of the French or Spanish. From all surviving evidence, it is clear that the people of Barbados in the early nineteenth century preferred the known quantity of British rule. Let us ignore the white folk for the moment and look at the views of the enslaved and free coloured population of Barbados. This island with all its inequalities was home to them. There were cases of black Barbadian fishermen being captured at sea by the French, overpowering their captors and sailing back to Barbados…yes back to slavery but also back to family, friends and home. In 1805, Nelson was seen by Barbadian blacks as a saviour and martyr…the man whose victory had saved these islands and Barbados in especial from French conquest. From today’s perspective, one may argue that they were brain washed but we have the luxury of never having lived through what they lived through, of experiencing their fears or of taking part in their world view. I will post a photograph of the flag carried by the enslaved during the 1816 slave revolt. That will help you to enter the world view of the Barbadian enslaved..it may be foreign to you, you may not like it…but their reality was quite distinct from your present day reality.

  11. Karl Watson
    This is the flag…as you can see, the Royal Navy features prominently in the slaves’ perception that help would come from that quarter in their quest for liberation. Now as it turns out, they were mistaken but two hundred years ago, they knew that Britannia ruled the waves, they placed their trust in the Crown and the persona of Nelson was synonomous with that of the Royal Navy. All of this falls within the realm of context.
    Karl Watson’s photo.

  12. Roger Gibbs
    Nelson’s statue is a potent reminder of an critical moment in Bajan history – one that secured the Island for continued British rule. We must learn from Jews and their “never forget” attitude to the Holocaust and we must NEVER FORGET the epic story of how Bajans, the majority of whose ancesors came to the Island as enslaved Africans and indentured White servants, were able to slowly transform (without major bloodshed) the brutality and oppression of a colonial slave society into a relatively peaceful and prosperous place today. Nelson’s statue is an important part of that story

  13. Simba Simba
    First off I am not an aspiring historian. The next thing is I am not saying that Nelson was not important to British Naval history I am saying history has to be taken not from only the lenses of the oppressor but also from the side of the oppressed. In a previous article I spoke of the Black Pirates and how for some slaves the open sea offered the only place they were treated as equals. I have not seen any one address Nelson’s opposition to the abolition movement. The documentary Forgotten Slave Owners shows us that Barbados was the first created slave society and from my travels around the Caribbean I would say Barbados is the most culturally repressed as far as African culture goes.When we speak of being a peaceful slave society what are we saying? My ancestors did not come here they were forcefully and cruelly brought here. It is well now that we had probably the least revolts here. The most noted as far as what we are taught is the Bussa uprising and we all know how that went. Barbados as far as it goes was one of the most oppressive colonies and as such remained one of the most peaceful. Some of the arch architects of colony building came from this island. So as small as it is Barbados had an important role of creating slavery that went beyond the physical brutality that dominated the management of the typical plantation. Without major bloodshed? What do you consider major? It is interesting to see the differences of opinion and who they are coming from. The fact is white Bajans love Nelson, they put him there and they keep him there. The majority of the population could say take him down and he would still stand. That alone says nuff. When I look at the responses and who they are coming from that also says nuff. We live in a racially divided island where African descended people are at best well paid slaves. Well paid is arguable. But all this is besides the point of the post which speaks of Nelson’s view of the slave trade at the time. The point is his opposition to the Abolition of slavery. The question is should a man who so vehemently opposed the abolition of slavery be given such prominence in our society which is majority African descended people. Let us never forget that slavery included the repression of African history, spirituality and culture. To this day that is upheld. ” It is only until the Lion tells the story of the hunt will the story not be in favour of the hunter. I guess the rest of the article was not read which speaks to the sweetening of Europan history as far as the African is concerned and how this is done. For most of us it is better to be free and poor that “prosperous” and a slave. Malcom X addressed it beautifully when he spoke of the Field Slave juxtaposed to the House Slave. The story of the house slave will always be used to justify the benefits of the slave trade. For me I just see the need in telling the story from the point of view of the lion also. And yes Britiania ruled the see and our trust was very misplaced. Nelson was no liberator or the British Navy, they were just securing their property that they stole, killed and lied to obtain. This is exactly why he must come down. I will post these responses on the website as that is where I had hoped this conversation would ensue so that other not in this group or even on facebook would be able to benefit from it. As I said this discussion in itself speaks volumes. Unedited so excuse and grammar or spelling errors.

  14. Simba Simba
    Would we be worse? Haiti as we know is instrumental in the liberation story of the African enslaved in the diaspora. The issue here again is what do we consider better off. From the point of the masa it would be better to live on scraps and have somewhere to rest at night no matter how deplorable that condition may be than to live free and be hungry or no where to really live. To the slave some felt it better to be free and suffer. As did many Africans who jumped over board rather than be taken a slave. Again it depends on who is telling the story. The recent visit of the British PM and his offer to the Caribbean shows he or they are not much different from France. Don’t try to make colonialism anything that it was not. It was then and remains today a brutish oppressive system created by Europeans and we as African descended people could never glorify consciously any person that upheld that. It is like you saying I should say thanks because you were a better masa to me than the other masa. The fact is, it is still you that enslaved me and keeps me enslaved in many ways. Your putting away of the whip, the noose and the many instruments of torture you had for use on us does not mean your system or thinking has changed. I would say it was just perfected and their is no need of outward brutality to keep your system working peacefully and prosperously . So at the end of the day it could be argued that Barbados is yours, you killed for it, robbed for it and even at some points died for it. Me I was just brought here to work. So I can see why the white people who have a history here would fight and argue for his retention of residence. I wonder how the ingenious people of the island would feel about Nelson, Columbus and the likes. But we will never know cause you killed them out. You fought to keep me your property, he is your hero not mine.

  15. Kay Blades
    No one on this thread has claimed him as a hero. But he is a part of our history whether we like it or not. Barbados was not occupied when it was colonised by the British, no battles were fought to take the island from indigenous people (maybe descendants of the Australian aborigines? wink emoticon ). At the end of the day we all trace back to Africa, and have moved around the world.

  16. Roger Gibbs
    Thanks for the response Simba Simba. Couple of points:. I don’t think it’s fair to say that enslaved Africans and White indentured servants in B’dos rebelled any less than anywhere else or that Whites were also not kidnapped by thousands and sent to Bdos against their will (note the term “barbadosed”). While the 1816 revolt is the best known, they fought bravely against brutish conditions from as early as1655 when a special militia was formed to hunt down escaped Africans AND Irish who were wrecking havoc in St. Phillip. Rebellion was always brewing and punishment when captured (being staked to the ground and burned slowly) was exactly the same for black or white. The point is the capitalist colonial system existed to enrich a very few and the idea white = rich and free and black = poor and enslaved is not factual. This is not in any way to understate the particularly evil nature of the African slave trade and its long-lasting effects. You may be doing your Barbadian-born ancestors a disservice to suggest they simply accepted their lot as enslaved workers. Their hope and vision of a better future for their progeny on a beautiful Island gave them the strength to overcome the whip, torture and noose and embrace their “Barbadian” identity, flaws and all.

  17. Simba Simba
    We have ancestors who sold out so it would be a disrespect to those that stood up not to make mention of this. Nyabhingi was the call against the Portuguese in Kenya. That meant Death to the whites and their Black allies. I never said they did not fight back or rebel. I said in comparison to other colonies we had fewer and many things contributed to that especially the landscape. It is known that we had more people escaping to other nearby islands that were more conducive for a run away slave. I just did not get down into it, but rest assure I would never disrespect my ancestors that way. What gave them the strength to survive was simply the fact that self preservation is a basic law of nature. We survived because we had to. It seems you are saying slavery offered in the long run a chance for a better future for the African am I right in saying so?

  18. Simba Simba Let me quote from a letter from Nelson to his close friend in Jamaica dated June 1805. The name’s name is Simon Taylor. ” I was bred as you know in the good old school and taught to appreciate the value of our West Indian possessions; and neither in the field or in the senate shall their just rights be infringed, while I have an arm to fight in their defense or a tongue to launch my voice against the damnable doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies”. This is the point this article really addresses and yet no one is responding to that. I am not the historian but another historian has noted that out of the 14 of Britain’s colonies only Barbados has a statue of him erected and it is only here that it is claimed he saved them from the French. He was based in Port Royal in Jamaica and all he has their in his memory is a bronze plaque. As I was corrected it is in a letter to Fanny Nisbet of Nevis termed Barbados “this desolate place” Even among the elite here at the time it was not a great love for nelson especially with his rigid enforcement of the Navigation Act which I am sure Mr Watson can enlighten you on. But sticking to the point what does his opposition to the abolition movement mean? From where I sit he wanted the continuation of the transportation, kidnapping, raping, killing and torturing of African men, women and children as that is what the slave trade entailed. We take the place it was erected that was then called Trafalgar Square and called it Heroes Square and leave the statue of this man there. What does that say? If I visited a place called Heroes Square anywhere else in the wold and saw a statue of someone in it, I would assume that it was one of the heroes who stood there. We could discuss the battle of Trafalgar when I publish my piece on the legacy of Nelson. so I await to hear anyone on his opposition to the abolition of the slave trade. Thanks for the interaction

  19. Kay Blades
    Maybe the fault lies in changing the name of a square that was named Trafalgar and already had a statue of Nelson. Why not have Heroes Square at the place where The Emancipation Proclamation was read? It would surely have been more fitting!

  20. Romnel Weithers
    NELSON MUST GO. The basic problem is that many of us do not fully understandy becoming aware in recent years. The bigger problem is t the issues and implications of our history, I must admit I am onlhe maintenance of the Status-Quo. There is more to living than jobs, homes and the like but social and economic justice is often left on the back burner or are not even on the stove or in the kitchen, #nelsonmustgo #removethebritishherofrombridgetown #repatriatenelson

  21. Raymond Patrick Maughan
    It is strange to me how some go out of their way to change and shape history to conform to their sensitivities and or agenda.
    Nelson’s Stature was paid for by ordinary Barbadians to represent what they thought was important at that time, he was their hero. Perhaps they felt that if it were not for him we would be a French Colony and today it is really not important if we believe that we would be better off French than English. This is part of our History and regardless if it was a positive part or negative part it is still our History. It really does not matter if Nelson was Racist or not, he is still part of our History. The fact that he supported Slavery does not mean that he and his actions were not an integral part of our history.
    If over the years we try to change history to reflect what we believe it should have been, then, it is no longer History, it is a nice story.
    If there was an old “historic” tree situated where Nelson is now and someone tried to remove it there would be an outcry. If Nelson was linked to some part of our African heritage they would be riots if anyone tried to touch his stature.
    First they moved him then turned him around and still trying to undo a part of our History.
    Nelson Pharmacy is no more and Nelson Street still survives but some are adamant that this stature must go. I am told that Trafalgar Square with Nelson in it was here in Barbados before there was a stature to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar in England.
    We went with our fastness and changed Trafalgar Square (a place of historical significant) to Hero’s Square and then in the same breath wondered what Nelson is doing in our Hero’s Square. He may not be your hero or even mine but at the time the stature was erected he was a hero to a significant portion of our Barbadian population demonstrated by they actually spending their own money. There is no other stature in Barbados to my knowledge which was not funded fully by government.
    If we go down the road of changing in the way that we wish to remove Nelson then we need to carry it all the way, get rid of all of the English names in the Island and descendants of the Slavery supporting whites, sending them back to England, Send all the descendants of slavery back to Africa, Rename the country according to what It was called back in the Carib days, and make their original language the national language and leave the Island to be freely ruled by the Arawak and Carib descendants. Basil Maughan, Karl Watson please comment.

  22. Romnel Weithers
    Ordinary Bajans want it moved, we need to get grips of the fact that history of Barbados is not the history of only white Bajans and if we want to get some thing we can identify with then let us be. I guess you do not want us to become a republic either for fear of our history being lost. I am at a loss as to why you would have nothing better to do than being ridiculous and fail to deal with facts. English history and Barbadian History is not one and the same and you are naive to try the elementary argument of your last paragraph while calling for assistance learned men. #nelsonmustgo #removethebritishherofrombridgetown #repatriatenelson

  23. Raymond Patrick Maughan
    I am a black Barbadian but I do not believe that OUR history should only reflect the history of black Barbadians only, We have a strong historical connection to the Irish not to mention that my maternal grandmother was half Indian. Our history should be colour blind. We never wish to forget that slavery existed nor do we wish to have it reinstated but we do not wish to remove it from our history books, remove Bussa or stop fighting for repatriations.

  24. Romnel Weithers
    Why are you introducing colour into this discourse. I dun wid you rant and rave without my participation if you like. #nelsonmustgo #removethebritishherofrombridgetown #repatriatenelson

  25. Raymond Patrick Maughan
    I believe that slavery had something to do with colour so I do not believe that I introduced it, not to mention that you Romnel did say that “history of Barbados is not the history of only white Bajans”.

  26. Raymond Patrick Maughan
    So nothing. It was you who asked “why are you introducing colour into this discourse” I am just pointing out that it was indeed someone other than me who introduced it.

  27. Romnel Weithers
    Sorry I did interject the issue of white Bajans and by extension colour, my comment should be our so called English Heritage. That being said #nelsonmustgo #removethebritishherofrombridgetown #repatriatenelson. Being colour blind is not the same as being aware of our differences and willing to accept them as just that and living together in a fair and just society.

  28. Karl Watson Raymond,
    I commented extensively when this was posted on the History Forum. Essentially you are correct. The context in which many Barbadians of varying complexions and class subscribed money to buy the land and commission the statue of Nelson was quite different to the context of today. We may wish that we could reach back into the past and change things or by removing the tangible aspects of the past, we somehow feel that we have righted the wrongs of the past. Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking. Today, we throw up all kinds of mythologies and parade them as history. We lack empathy with generations past in our rush to rewrite history from our perspective. This is totally anachronistic. It may seem unpalatable to acknowledge that our ancestors valued their connection to the then British Empire and gave their loyalty to the British crown. We may consider them to have been quite naive but who are we to judge. we did not walk their road, did not experience their realities and apparently, have no empathy for nor understand the world view of two hundred years ago. Removing Nelson will change nothing, merely illustrate that we do not understand our past history. Mr Weithers is correct when he states that English history and Barbadian history are not one and the same. However, by the same token, it is impossible to understand the trajectory of Barbadian history without understanding the links and intertwining of the two histories. We did not develop in a vacuum. Nelson’s role in the Caribbean was to ensure that the British government collected the appropriate customs duties from the merchants and planters of the West Indies. This was a economic policy out of London, set to protect the interests of the mother country but resented by those in the colonies. Tax collectors are usually not well liked. With the British victory at Trafalgar, the peoples of these islands…black and white…recognized the significance of the French defeat and welcomed the return of stability to their every day lives. Today, we do not face an imminent and on going threat of invasion, destruction, rape and killing, so we simply do not understand the feelings of those who faced these threats…and sometimes realities…two hundred years ago. What do we know of warfare…nothing. So it is not surprising that the then populations of our islands…including Barbados…held up Nelson as a hero and martyr and were prepared to spend scarce funds of their own to erect a statue in his honour. To help you all understand why the enslaved would have felt this way and were in no way sell outs, roast breadfruits, Oreos or Uncle Toms…look at, study and analyse this flag which was constructed by the enslaved to carry with them into battle in 1816. It contains powerful symbolism and messages. From today’s perspective, it represents a sell out…invocation of the Crown, the might of Britannia and the Royal Navy. But try to enter the mind of the enslaved and see things from their perspective. Just maybe, you all might understand the reaction of these past Barbadians..now long dead..to Nelson and his times.

  29. Raymond Patrick Maughan
    Thanks Karl, Basil is the historian in the family but I feel very strongly that we should leave our past history as just that, our past history, celebrate what has passed and respect our ancestors and the decisions that they made at that time. We would not want 200 years from now all the statures that we put up pulled down for some new version of history.

  30. Simba Simba
    A people whose history was purposefully discredited and erased from the pages of history could never say leave history as it is. I am sure if your story was distorted and blotted out you would want that addressed.

  31. Romnel Weithers Karl Watson.
    I have no desire to rewrite history but to project what is positive for the generations to come to full appreciate the actions of other and the right for a people to identify with their heroes. Raymond Patrick Maughan If 200 years from now the generation of Bajans require more appropriate symbols by all means. Simba Simba we need to correct errors and mis-representation of ‘From where we came!’ and chart an appropriate course for our future generations of the majority Bajan populations often sidelined and labelled. #nelsonmustgo #removethebritishherofrombridgetown #repatriatenelson

  32. Simba Simba
    Rhodes was part of South Africa’s history yet he came down and if the article is read in entirely we would see why and why it applies to us here. But I don’t think everyone making contributions here has taken the time to do so.

  33. Roger Gibbs
    Slavery offers nothing but misery and pain. On the contrary, i’m saying that Africans who found themselves enslaved found the courage and wisdom to cope with an impossibly harsh situation, way beyond anything you or I have ever faced. They found ways to eventually overcome and defeat the evil institution of slavery and show the world no one should be owned as property. They had the good sense to adopt what they saw as admirable things of their own oppressors and reject other things. Today we are still fighting the legacy of racial prejudice that was used to justify slavery. Mental slavery still flourishes. Interestingly, I observe that there is still a sector of White Bajans who see themselves “from Barbados” but not “of Barbados”; they seem to relate more closely to their British/Euro heritage and a sense of superiority that they fantasize comes with it. On the other hand, I see some Black Bajans similarly rejecting their Bajan identity and characterising themselves as “African” first and denying their Bajan identity, all in a quest to reconnect with their lost African heritage. I’m disappointed to hear you suggest that Barbados belongs only to White Bajans. We need to promote the idea that this 166 square miles belong to all Bajans and continue the fight for a more equitable distribution of wealth and property.

  34. Simba Simba
    If we understand that slavery was an economic venture on the part of the Europeans have we really overcome? look at what is going on in Africa in far look at Venezuela. Wille Lynch gave them the way to ensure a peaceful slave experience for the masa and that is what they are enjoying now. slavery goes on in our education. the fact that tyrants are hailed as heroes is part and parcel of the legacy of slavery. And never forget what the British PM had to say He would not even apologise for the act. What does that say. How can we move forward as descendants of great people that were enslaved when the under lying tentacles of slavery, racism and white privilege remain untouched to this day? When we see slavery as just a brutish system of control we have missed the boat completely.

  35. Kevon Abdool
    Your definition of what he meant by move on is very presumptuous. When a loved one dies we must theoretically “move on” does that we forget it ever happened and ignore its effects? I agree that we must move on from slavery and colonialism.

  36. RJ Foster
    So if I bring that reason to a more modern era, is that why there are no “white” national heroes? I’ve always wondered why at least one could not be raked from the bottom of the barrel; you know. As a token.

  37. Simba Simba
    Re colonialisation is a real issue and it was made even more clear to us with the recent visit of the British PM. Slaver was an economic venture and the British empire has to keep that secured. So if you only looking at slavery through as whips and chains and the hang noose look again. Read Willie Lynch letters and get an idea of the mentality that was created to perpetuate slavery in new form. Don’t look at the brutishness look at the economics and look at the history or the erasing of it

  38. RJ Foster
    A) I would have to ask around. I guess if you scratched the skin of any, white, black or green you will find some reason they ought not to be included. Like many of the ones we already have. B) What did Nelson do besides kick the French ass and save Barbados from possible change in Colonial master?

  39. Simba Simba
    Not sure he even did that but I can’t say he made any other contribution that I am aware of. part of our history for sure, a hero hmmmmm, a statue to honor, I say nay.

  40. Roger Gibbs
    Slavery has ALWAYS been an economic venture, whether carried out by Europeans, Arabs, Africans, Asians or others. This current manifestation of slavery perpetuated primarily by Europeans is the same. The fabrications of racial superiority were convenient fig leaves. The social justice you seek does not come overnight but we have made tremendous progress. Universal education is a fairly recent concept. Attitudes towards women, racial and sexual minorities, the disabled and the poor, have changed dramatically in our lifetime. War, disease, famine and other plagues of mankind are in reality on a steady decline (mainstream media notwithstanding) We still have a long way to go.

  41. Simba Simba
    Slavery has always been tired to economics but the British took it to another level. The fact is the European quest to secure their economic structure continues to live through the oppression of others. a step in the right direction would be the including of our history as African descended people through our eyes in our educational system. I am not so sure they have changed that much. In fact I think we are seeing an unmasking of old attitudes happening around the world. if we are to create any sort of just society we must begin with truthful painful discussions. Like does white privilege exist here in Barbados and is it part of the plantation legacy? I agree we have a long way to go, very long. The removing of the statue is a small thing yet it is a very significant thing in the process of true healing and moving forward. Having a man who advocated the slave trade in a position like that is not a good sign of moving forward.

  42. RJ Foster
    It would have been all relevant at the time though. Perhaps not now; but the statue is still part of our history and a part of the UNESCO designation of Bridgetown a as a World HERITAGE Site. One would also therefore have to examine the purity of benefactors Montifiore (Fountain), Carnegie (Library), Samuel Lord (Property), Codrington (College and lands), Drax (lands and other stuff) etc. and any others. Should we bulldoze them into the ground and erase them from our history, conveniently?

  43. Simba Simba
    When we read the entire article and why the Rhodes statue was taken down it can be applied here today. I am saying he should not be in the position he stands. No one can deny he is part of this islands history as a colony of Britain but let his true story be told and he can occupy somewhere else. My suggestion switch him with Bussa or give him a plaque somewhere. But not a statue in our capital.The UNESCO world Heritage Sites are another debate in itself as to whose heritage they seek to preserve and why. But I am not going there now.

  44. Cheryl Hutchinson
    Simba Simba I just want to add a little point which might upset some people – the statue of Nelson is much more pleasing to the eye than the one of Bussa who from his stance I always think of as the “Constipation” statue.

  45. Karl Watson
    Simba Simba..you do make some valid points but then you go on to muddy the waters by bringing in recent forgeries such as the Willie Lynch letters which are a late twentieth century concoction. Yes , slavery was essentially an economic phenomenon though laced through and through with dreadful psychological consequences for both the ensalved as well as the slave master. Slavery continues today..I see that the London law courts just last week, found a couple of Nigerian extraction, guilty of enslaving a Nigerian for 24 years. In Haiti, the restavec phenomenon is well known. But back to Nelson…why do you think it was reported that the slaves celebrated when news of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar reached Barbados? The enslaved were not as badly informed as might be supposed. They were well aware of the ongoing anti slavery debates in Britain but they were also cognisant of the geo ploitical implications of the Anglo French struggles in the Caribbean. Remember that a thousand black Barbadian males acompanied a thousand white Barbadians on a rescue mission to Martinique when Victor Hughes threatened to take his travelling guillotine and republicanism to that island. They came back home with powerful testimonies of their experiences in Martinique. Barbadians were well aware of what a French conquest would have meant for their island.

  46. Simba Simba
    Though the Willie Lynch letters may have been forgeries it is the essence of those letters that were and are very real. I never said all white people are bad. I can also account many instances in our history past and present where white people have been of assistance to us. But that does not negate the obvious neo colonial attitudes that still exist. It also does not change the fact that the issue of re colonialisation is real. Looking at the slaves being reportedly well informed I would ask who was it that was informing them that they could make the determination that French colonisation was worse than British? Who reported this sentiment of the slaves? What I see is that Africans in the other colonies retained more of their original culture than the ones in the British colonies. The most valid point of opposition to what I say is that we have so many structures built on oppression what do you take down an what do you leave? Or do you take down any at all. Taking down the statue or rather moving it without the full story of nelson being told would be useless in my opinion. Let us never forget one mans glorious history may be another man’s dark and shameful history.. And we know a man may be good to one person while being a demon to another. Peace is not always justice.

  47. Marc Goodridge
    @RJ Foster – You want to know why there are no White Barbadian National Heroes? Because no member of the White Plantocracy were worthy to be called heroes. They did NOTHING to better Black people.

    If fact 1/2 the Black National heores were given that title of hero because they were fighting against the white elite.

    Name one White Bajan that should be a National Hero. Name one that lived their lives to better the black masses.

    The only White Bajan I can think of is Olga Lopes-Seale (yes she is Guyanese but was a Bajan citizen).

  48. Marc Goodridge
    And what exactly did Nelson save Bajan slaves from? Let’s say France won. It would have just been one colonial power taking over from another one. The lives of Blacks would not have changed. They would still be living in brutal slavery.

    Nelson is a hero to the White plantocracy because his victory kept them in power and in control of Barbados. He is obviously still a hero to the Bajan Whites today given any mention of moving the statue has them up in arms.

    So why exactly should a white racist be regarded as a National Hero to an island that is 99% Black?

  49. Karl Watson
    There are a few variables that need to be considered when analyzing/explaining the different degrees of West African cultural retentions in our islands. The Roman Catholic Church was flexible and allowed a number of syncretisms that were rooted out in an Anglican setting. The expanding sugar frontier reached the French and Spanish islands at a later date with consequent larger importations of Africans. The cultural pool was constantly refreshed. The case of Barbados was unique. Here was the birth place of the so called Sugar Revolution. The demographics were different. This was the island with the smallest percentage of African born individuals. At the ending of the eighteenth century over ninety per cent of blacks on the island were Barbadian born. Births exceeded deaths in the enslaved population from about mid eighteenth century. This explains why Barbados was the only colony that did not oppose the ending of the slave trade. Barbados also had the largest native white population which facilitated the development of a functioning infrastructure, including education. A number of well thinking whites encouraged education for slave children. Rev Duke of St Thomas in the 1780’s got his parishioners to agree to the enrollment of slave children at the same schools their own children attended. Some plantation owners wives ran schools on their individual plantations. Before the ending of slavery and after, Barbados had more schools than the rest of the English speaking Caribbean combined. In the 1820’s, out of a total of 315 plantations, no less than 164 had schools. The Latrobe report of 1837 lists 111 private schools on the island (to this number should be added the vestry schools and the church schools). Where race was identified, 50 schools were for non whites, 18 were for white children and interestingly,17 schools were mixed, accepting non white and white pupils. The twin variables of education and religion acted to inhibit and mask African cultural retentions on the island.

  50. Simba Simba
    I would think the education at that time as it does now just served to solidify the position of the oppressor. The question is what was being taught and by whom? We have free education here yet we probably have the largest population of black people who readily remove themselves from any identity as African. This is what our education did for us. So in my mind the perfect slave is one educated away from himself. Also teach the slave to read what? The bible a book that was used to justify the trade> British propaganda from their newspapers? We have to look at the education in that time in context. Marcus said if we are thinking that being educated by the white man will bring about our true liberation we need to think again. Assimilation is not freedom. Even King Jr realised that before his death and that was the short coming of the civil rights movement. Garvey knew this and that is what made him dangerous and why he was banned from here and why he is not taught in schools today. So the premise of education bringing about a better slave society is right but better for who? Again a matter of the lion and the hunter and the story of the hunt.

  51. Simba Simba
    I would think the education at that time as it does now just served to solidify the position of the oppressor. The question is what was being taught and by whom? We have free education here yet we probably have the largest population of black people who readily remove themselves from any identity as African. This is what our education did for us. So in my mind the perfect slave is one educated away from himself. Also teach the slave to read what? The bible a book that was used to justify the trade> British propaganda from their newspapers? We have to look at the education in that time in context. Marcus said if we are thinking that being educated by the white man will bring about our true liberation we need to think again. Assimilation is not freedom. Even King Jr realised that before his death and that was the short coming of the civil rights movement. Garvey knew this and that is what made him dangerous and why he was banned from here and why he is not taught in schools today. So the premise of education bringing about a better slave society is right but better for who? Again a matter of the lion and the hunter and the story of the hunt.

  52. Simba Simba
    I don’t think in any other island does the black man hate himself as much as here. A product of our education. From that time till now. All our white saviours got us in trouble. Jesus, Nelson who else saved us fro ourselves and the savagery of Africa as they tell it? We are now starting to take the fake white Jesus from our walls we need to take Nelson away as well. If the white people cared about us they would take him down and not try to defend that anti abolitionist. I am yet to hear you address his stance on the abolition of the slave trade and how we should view that or why we should overlook it?

  53. Romnel Weithers

    I would agree with Karl Watson in his thesis that because of the specific demographics that existed in Barbados even until now that serve to make us what we are as a nation, It however does not allow or permit an exception to the status of the Afro-Bajan and his ability to separated his development and that of his country from the oppressors and their breaking of his spirit and the lost of it identify. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG-QxB6yuC0 Bro Bob says it better than I can.

  54. Romnel Weithers
    The notion of nation is use loosely here, but it may refer to Barbados having the oldest parliament in this hemisphere etc but we failed to accept that is was by no means equatable and even democratic. But seriously I do not think we fit the definition of a nation in the strictest sense. Legally we are a nation state but socially with are not.

  55. Romnel Weithers
    Thanks Simba Simba sometimes we need to speak out of turn and from the heart at all times. The problems we face will never be solved by denying the facts and testing that which is presented.

  56. Simba Simba
    Thank you Romnel Weithers to your contribution to this discussion. I love when we can have these kind of discussion in a respectful way with each other as we all have our points and opinions that are all worth sharing.

  57. Simba Simba
    On what grounds? His affiliation with Grantley and the black masses. I am not sure of his role in assisting with the rise of Grantley. Maybe Mr Watson can help us with this consideration he wrote on it. It may well be he should be seen as a hero in the liberation struggle of this island. His contributions should be well know. I in fact would like to publish an article on him on our website. If Watson reads this and is willing to send me an article on the white rebel I am willing to publish it and start a discussion on why we should consider TT Lewis a hero. From what I know he is way more fitting than Nelson. #nelsonmustfall #ttmustrise

  58. Marc Goodridge
    I never heard of him until today but from what I’ve read I would have no problem with him being named a National Hero as he was known as “the white man with the black heart”.

    “You cannot speak about adult suffrage which came to this country in 1950 . . . without speaking of T.T Lewis – Accordingg to Hilary Beckles. He’s also known as the father of free secondary education

  59. Simba Simba
    I just read that. I did not even know a play was done called No Country For A White Hero. I to have herd the name but never knew much of him. The more I learn the more I have no problem with it and I agree with Beckles that it would make the circle of heroes perfect for many reasons. We learn more about Nelson and his exploits then we do about Lewis right here. Why because lewis was a true emancipator and the elite could not afford that kind of thinking perpetuated. Leave us with the legacy of a man that would keep us slaves. I rather see a statue of Lewis. I hope Mr Watson agree to send me something to publish so I may help share the message. We cannot only tear down we must also build up. I just meet Lewis and I am loving him.

  60. Marc Goodridge
    Interestingly enough he was a working class Bajan White and was not born into money.

    So you see it has nothing to do with Nelson being White. I could get behind T.T Lewis being named a National Hero. He was White but he did good for the majority Black population.

    Pity we can only come up with ONLY ONE White example for the last 400 years

  61. Ian Douglas
    With all of the sentiments positive or negative it is time to be wise and be to emotional or be smart…To my mind it makes more sense to move the statue to a place that would continue the touristic interest in its artistry. However the questionable historiography surrounding Nelson is a matter for our historians and sociologist to bring in to a revised educational process.

  62. Simba Simba
    I tend to agree that he should not be destroyed but placed somewhere that people could see the British Hero who wanted to keep us slaves forever. I do however think it us us the people who have to really force the issue of removal and revised educational input. #nelsonmustfall is a very real issue that should be supported. On the website the discussion has gone to what white person could or should be considered a National Hero. TT Lewis has been suggested.

  63. RJ Foster
    Marc Goodridge I’d have to ask a few historians. Black and white. Then I will let you know. And while i’m at it I’ll try to get the names of some yellow and red ones as well. That should make everyone happy.

  64. Marc Goodridge
    If and when T.T Lewis is named a National Hero I wonder if White Bajan society will care? Do they see him as a hero given his pro Black stance and his battle with the White elite? Do they see any of the current National Heroes as their heroes? Doubtful.

    Why is it that they are more concerned about keeping Nelson’s statue in place but they are slient and don’t advocate for T.T Lewis to be named a National Hero?

  65. Simba Simba
    My question is would you Mr Foster support a movement to take down Nelson and support the name of TT Lewis being installed as a National Hero? Asking on here is one thing but I would like you to ask among yours friends and family and see what they say. See if they even know about TT Lewis or if his legacy has been removed from White circles.

  66. Marc Goodridge
    @RJ Foster – How many Bajan Whites know about T.T Lewis? Probably virtually none. Shouldn’t they know about him since he was one of you guys?

  67. RJ Foster
    Oh, and when you do take it down tell me where you put it so I can arrange the sale of it to Antigua and donate the money to Mr. Saffey for his homeless and vagrants work.

  68. Simba Simba
    No not a choice to choose between the two. To support a move than encompasses both. So you want Nelson to say and TT to be promoted to National Hero. I am asking in my circles in fact someone just called and spoke to me about it and they like I knew little to nothing about him. I am almost positive the majority of my circles no nothing of him. So it is my job to enlighten them to man just as many do not know the whole story of Nelson and I am doing my part to bring more awareness on that subject as well. I just wondered if that info on TT was as suppressed in White circles as it is in Black circles. making any and every race a hero to satisfy racial tensions is not wise in my view. Heroes come from contribution our liberation struggle.

  69. Simba Simba
    What is the name given to someone who is just in his administration of power that has positive effects for everyone irrespective of race? That would be the opposite of a racist.

  70. Simba Simba
    In my interest to find out more about TT Lewis I can across this statement. And I quote from the source ” Race is a contentious Barbadian issue that surfaces from time to time from the depths of a mutually agreed upon repression”. I think this is on of those times. My question is, is it the repression really mutually agreed upon? Who agreed that the fact that Nelson was anti abolition should be repressed from his story, who agreed that TT Lewis should not be given more prominence in our history? Is race an issue in Barbados?

  71. Simba Simba
    They can once they have the power to affect the everyday lives of other races. But it seems only the Europeans are in a position to do that at this point. Racism goes beyond dislike for another based on colour

  72. Kay Blades
    The sad truth that TT Lewis was not acknowledged goes back to the policy of divide and rule. There was an excellent play on the life of TT Lewis at Cave Hill about a year ago written by Sir Hilary Beckles. I hope that it was recorded and it should be played on CBC TV.

  73. Roger Gibbs
    I’m reluctant to support removing any public art. I think Nelson’s statute provokes public interest in history and the rich cultural heritage of Bridgetown. The judgement on Nelson’s contribution vs his alleged racist views needs further discussion. The letter quoted re Wilberforce and his supporters incriminating but not sufficient proof he was an outright racist. Maybe he might be better accommodated somewhere around the Garrison among all the military buildings. I might support that but outright removal is unwarranted. Should the Egyptian government demolish the pyramids because they were built by slaves? Should the Nidhe Israel synagogue in Bridgetown be demolished because Jews brought the sugar technology from Brazil to Barbados and enabled sugar production, ergo slavery?

  74. Marc Goodridge
    @Roger – Nelson’s racist views are not alleged. They are documented in his 1805 letter to Simon Taylor in which he expresses his opposition to to Wilberforce and other abolitionists.

    He was pro-slavery and a documented racist!!!!!

    Secondly, past discussions on the fate of Nelson’s statue have NEVER been about destroying it, but simply to move it to a less prominent location.

    It should not be in such a prominent location in the capital Bridgetown.

  75. Roger Gibbs
    One document? That’s it? The guy might have been having a bad day. Maybe he recanted later but wasn’t documented. Maybe he had other reasons for not liking Wilberforce and abolitionists and the relationship is more complicated.

  76. Roger Gibbs
    They’re some politicians I think are hypocrites but i still support many of their positions. The letter is pretty flimsy evidence for the gavity of the conclusion you’ve made.

  77. Marc Goodridge
    “….while I have an arm to fight in their defense or a tongue to launch my voice against the damnable and cursed doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies….

  78. Marc Goodridge
    Well let me explain it to you. It means he was pro-slavery and against the abolition of slavery.

    You don’t need a university degree to understand that.

  79. Roger Gibbs
    The onus is on you – the person seeking his removal – to prove conclusively he was a racist. One letter is a good start but not conclusive

  80. Marc Goodridge If a person expressing racist views in a letter isn’t enough proof for you then nothing will convince you.

    You should also research Nelson’s 1806 speech against The Foreign Slave Trade bill which essentially stopped the abolition movement from passing laws to ban the slave trade in the British Empire.

  81. Kay Blades
    But his statue was not erected because he was a local hero who wanted to abolish slavery. Neither does the area where it is erected have a great significance in the history of emancipation. It was paid for and erected by the citizens at the time, predating the statue in London and carries its own historical value from that. Heroes Square should have been designated in the area where the Emancipation Act was proclaimed.

  82. Simba Simba
    No it was erected to impress Britain and yes he was seen as a hero and people used to go down to the statue and celebrate. It was erected because he was the hero that saved us from the French to keep us British slaves. From 1806 to 1962 every year Bajans would journey to the statue where the governor sang the praises of Nelson. We were told he was our “Preserver” and we owed him a great dept of gratitude. I still wonder why we are the only one of the British colonies that did this. Remember his job was to make sure the slave ships arrived safely to their destination with cargo intact. To me he is no better than the actual slave ships themselves.

  83. Simba Simba
    I agree somewhere around the Garrison would be more suited for him. . To have a slavers statue at the head of our capital, our main place of shopping and business is insulting seeing he sold or helped with the trade of selling humans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*