7th Annual George Lamming Distinguished Lecture
Streamed live on Jun 13, 2017
On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, delivered the seventh Annual George Lamming Distinguished Lecture at The UWI Cave Hill Campus’ Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) in Barbados. Vice-Chancellor Beckles spoke on Britain’s Perfect Caribbean Crime: Ignored Genocide, Faked Emancipation, Insincere Independence, and No Reparations.
Members of the media and public were invited to tune in via livestream.
22 thoughts on “Britain’s Perfect Caribbean Crime: Ignored Genocide, Faked Emancipation…”
In times like these, it is important to reflect on those who came before us and worked towards building a better society. We did not get to this point because those who came before did not care, to the contrary, many of them gave us the best days of their lives fighting for what they know to be the right thing to do. It is unfortunate that where we stand today is at the crossroads of finding a character that we can establish to make this place a better. Judging by the those at the helm of our leadership in any given field, we do not see the next Mahatma Ghandi, we do not see the next Nelson Mandela, we do not see the next Martin Luther King, we do not see the next Marcus Garvey, we do not see the next Dr. Eric Williams and we certainly do not see the next Lionel Seukaran. In order for society to move forward, there must be a compass from which we get the sense of direction as a way forward to march towards a better society. Britain have come and gone (maybe), but we just cannot sit and keep lambasting her without reflecting on ourselves and depending on ourselves.
Each year we celebrate Independence without charting with the question – What has Independence done for us? We must gauge how we marched through from age to age and asked ourselves WHAT DID WE DO RIGHT AND WHERE HAVE WE GONE WRONG? If we do not ask the questions we will not get any answers. And it the answers that are most crucial to making the steps towards a better society that is important in this day and age. Take for example CRIME.
It is the most haunting behavior that we face today. We are consumed by the effects of what it is doing to our society. We do not feel safe in our homes, in our workplace and in public. The scourge of crime has taken away our best instincts because we are too afraid about where we can end up. Security Companies are flourishing in our midst as we see capitalism at its best, taking advantage of our fears. Everybody want their services. The are needed in our schools, in our hospitals, in our courts of justice, in our Parliaments, in our Libraries, in our department stores, in every strata of our society, YET? That is still not enough. You know why? Our security companies do not employ the best, they do not train the best, they do not care about national safety and the look for the most vulnerable among the poorest to staff themselves.
Governments too, don’t know which way is up in terms of how we arrest the scourge of crime. How we deal with the administration of the Defense Force, Police Service, Fire Services, marine services and security of the nation have more to do with the politics of the day than how to effectively ensure the security of the people from the savages of crime. It’s one thing to enact laws but another to ensure that the laws are being carried out with discipline and consequential actions. For example there was a big bruhaha about CCTV, yet when it was put into service and crimes committed, they could not see criminal nor could they arrest anyone that the CCTV was supposed to pick up. There is NO DISCIPLINE in how we use basic facilities. The streets are used for fetes with no time limit on when it is used and when it should be cleared. Venders ursurped the the use of the sidewalks with impunity. Merchants are not called upon to be responsible for their own actions. They litter our streets and then expect the municipality to clean it up for them.
Law enforcement is another story. Why can’t there be a Police Commissioner instead of the political tug-of-war as to who gets the opportunity to appoint one? When such applicants are earmarked, are we looking for the best candidates? Indiscipline is rife in the Police service and now the Defense Force because security and policing is no longer the modus operandi of our services. It has become more important to elect from (my race, my friend, my partisan, my class, my community) instead of looking for the very best there is. The other question is, where are the reforms set up for the re-introduction of the incarcerated to re-enter back into society? How do we manage and administer all local laws to keep our communities safe? Why can’t there be time limits for people to fete? ‘The Avenue’ can be a nice place to lime, but can’t there be a time to start (like say 7:00 pm and end like 2:00 am?). Why can’t the merchants be responsible for getting rid of their own garbage? Why haven’t the city set standards on what kind of containers the merchants use to store garbage?. There is a health issue there too. What about the safety of the neighbourhood? Why is not important to respect the quality of life the residents of the neighbourhood enjoy? Let the merchants pay for the presence of Police.
TAKE THE POLITICS OUT OF CRIME – It is my firm beliefs that were we to empty the administrative process from the politics that is so prevalent crime can be reduced. Is there any wonder it is so common to hear people wish “where is Randolph Burrows?”. This is not to say that Burrows had the best personal character but what people saw in him was a man of action who appeared (on the surface) to confront and destroy the criminals. That by no means is the best way in which he did it but people him as a man who was interested in getting things done AND HE WAS THE LAST PERSON TO DO IT. It is shameful to see the rate of crime detection. When we look at the TV and see in the Europe and the U.S a perpetrator is discovered within twenty four hours and here it takes twenty four years to find one it becomes sickening. What we should fight for is GETTING THE BEST TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO MAKE THIS A BETTER PLACE – period!!!!!
This is what i termed a message to Africans in T&T and the entire caribbean, with the coming days before the so-called emancipation day celebrations, the address of Dr Beckles should be made available to all black students.There is nothing more that can be said, but rededicating, reawakening and reeducating our people of the inconsistencies, that have been taught over the years. the issue of land was well articulated, the inhumane conditions enforced on the African, is what USA and EUROPE and the mis-educated call terrorism today.At my age of 25yrs in the mid 80′ Dr George Lamming delivered almost the same paper while addressing our annual conference of delegates at OWTU, PG George Weeks was always at the forefront in making England being held accountable to one of the greatest crimes in the annals of humankind.The disunity of the African is our biggest stumbling block in formulating our march forward, the struggle for reparations should be our war of attrition. Caribbean government leaders have become victims of their people, they are forced to deliver from nothingness, having to pull their boot straps by themselves, the populace not educated to the historical facts,puts all the blame or their lack of know how on them.The gov’t of T&T was forced to buy the Texaco refinery, after being threatened of the shutting down and laying off the 6000+ workers, the gov’t had no choice but to purchase a run down establishment, there by saving the economy from collapsing, the verything England did with decolonization,today, people who never participated with the OWTU’ calling for the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy, are taking political office and making decisions that does not include the entire populace.On paper we are independent, but in reality interdependent so-called nations, IMF,World Bank, Multi national Corporations, they are the ones who call the shots, we are kept in our place by the laws they enacted , with black faces administrating on their behalf. No contract was signed for me coming to these island, and if wanted to stay at the end of my contract, land would be give to me, the past is rooted in the present, i was made a criminal after the so-called emancipation, today i’m still looked on as a criminal, my continued oppression is rooted in the cane fields, long before Indentureship. Brother Clyde Havey’ analysis of his hororing experience is right on point,Slavery and its after conditions continue to exist in every island and the American continent land mast. England should, and must pay should be our rallying cry, will our Indentured brothers and sisters stand in solidarity with us?,Hotep.
Very erudite,enlightening,every black person should tune into this lecture,also those so called pseudo historians.Well done Sir Hilary,you are truly an authentic intellectual.
What did the presenter meant that there was a flaw in Obama’s thinking: re- nation first people after? Yet the call by our leaders is for all to see their country (Trinidad) first and individuals after. The presenter made the claim that our Caribbean leaders at the time at the signing of the respective charters for independence never made a call for reparations despite inheriting the respective state of the lands as is. Too much history and hand outs of 350,000 pounds to the CDB etc.becomes temporary fodder. Let’s all pick up the pieces, employ technology and forge ahead with the future rather than dwelling on property and persons for 200 plus years and getting no where. Caroni, Shell, Texaco are perfect examples.
He can talk all he wants and I have no doubts about truths and lies. And I know that is why we are undergoing our hell. I would watch the young men (no women)cleaning car wind screens for a living and wondering about our so called great leaders of the past…in the PNM, UNC and the failed PP and NAR governments as well. They took and took from us for years and years of sucked rule to the G8s who bulldozed our lands and seas and brought global warming weather (Sandy and Katrina etc and endless floods and mosquito bearing illnesses etc). But of course I must not forget the greedy lawyers and Judges and the list goes on. This is Judgement Year as our Lady of Fatima says. Bring it on….
Are you telling me that after viewing a most important lecture for over 2hrs+, you comment on two sound bites? how loyal are you Trini? apparently that lecture wasn’t pertaining to you, had you been an African, your cup would have been flowing over with the information of truth.I ended my previous comment by asking,will our indentured brothers and sisters stand in solidarity with us in this present struggle? your answer is that we should “stop dwelling on property and persons for 200yrs and getting no where”. Loyal Trini you have showed your true self, you lack historical knowledge.In your eyes, the African should always be left wanting in his struggles, people like you would do everything possible to install the stumbling blocks, so instead giving a hand up, you stay on the byline hands folded.Have you ever ponder on the contributions made by Africans in Trinidad under Englands oppression? the carnival you enjoy today came from the canne boule uprising, the Africans was jailed for inventing and playing the steel drums, adult suffrage, Africans made it happen, cricket, football, track and field Africans have and continue to bring nation building glory. Intellectually we have continue to produce Africans of international repute, even while we struggle to be accepted. Africans marched the streets of San Fernando and Port of Spain seeking the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy,and please don’t ever forget that Africans was in the forefront in the match for independence, so in Trini style of talk, “we build roads for monkey to run on”.The lecture did not resonate with you , so your aim and the people of your kind, is to diminish the foundation of the Africans justified struggle with your clouded and mis-educated minds.With or without your support our forward movement for REPARATIONS is on course, it will take a while , a war of attrition will be engaged, at the end we are sure to win, just like everything else, we are winners.In my presence you are LOYAl TRINI,at the turning of my back the ratchet knife is stuck into my spine,your job is to keep me down when ever i RISE,a lot have been done to us Africans, but still, we continue to RISE.CALYPSO, is west African, even CHUTNEY you love so much is African,your DECIET and HYPOCRISY is who you truly are, NOT LOYAL.Hotep
If you know so much of me then you should have joined me when I was marching with Angela Davis from Jubilee Hall in the streets of Leeds, Yorks in the early 80’s. I do not ever jump on the band wagon seeking support from bloggers, that’s not my cup of tea. I do respect Sir Hilary Beckles but I am at liberty to state categorically you cannot have it both ways. He’s a leader of an Institution and emphasized putting individuals firstly and Williams, Bustamante, Manley are leaders of respective countries who always put nations first. The lesson I have learnt in my life so far is when you dwell in the past the present just passes you by wanting in the future but if you get up and utilize what services are offered then you are blessed as being productive. As a fellow San-Fernandian telling you save yourself from capitalizing on deceit and hypocrisy with respect to me. As a matter of interest I do like some calypsos and chutney music but I dislike complainers, criticizers and condemners because of making poignant statements. Please get off your high horse.
Either 1971 0r 1972 not 80’s.
Its because because of dogmatic mindsets, our people continue to be in the condition they are today. There is no such thing as the past, the past is rooted in the present, don’t you ever forget that. My icons, marched from 99a circular road, nation builders were they then and presently, While you may have been enjoying the crumbs in the belly of the beast, the struggle continued in T&T. Our demand for reparations, is much more than than the present discourse we are having, the conditions of 2nd and 3rd generation blacks in England, is testimony of our experience since the trans atlantic passage. Have you ever take a conscious look at the conditions of Africans in the diaspora? maybe you travel the high ways and byways, the poverty that exist, you probably don’t see, we will continue to complain, criticise those that bury their heads in the sand and condemn the nay sayers, and as you can see, my horse is thorough breed, ready to fight for what historically belongs to me. THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES. HOTEP.
Lead the march and see how much is following, then you will realize not everyone is ready to fight. The mindset you are exhibiting is how the respective leaders differ in their opinions as to individuals and nation, meaning you can’t have the cake in your hand and want to eat it as well. Caroni is a good example. That company was raped beyond imagination e.g., a managing director made 23 trips to the UK in one year negotiating with Tate and Lyle. Nation building starts with getting institutions and industry ready whereby individuals (locals) can sustain a decent livelihood. The common denominator here is individuals. Take a read of Jerry’s past contributions in the energy sector and see his experiences with individuals raping and plundering while his technical expertise was used by some and he was dispelled as a leaf blowing in the wind. When oil was commanding high prices on the commodity market there was never any talk about reparations because Buchanans and Old Parr were the order of the day when people like yourself were knocking glasses with arched enemies. Guy, I have had my fill with double talk and betrayal and it’s people like you who want to fight without giving enough thought as to the parallels that need to be identified in achieving collective goals. Go figure! Come to think of it with your parochial thoughts that may be unlikely.
My brother LOYAL, you are not looking at the wider picture, before we go any further in this discourse,i would like you to sit down, look and listen to the this most opportune lecture, then you can meet me on upper hillside street, and really have a tete-a-tete discourse. Stay strong LOYAL.
Others have moved on.
Fact vs. Fiction
The Irish slave narrative is based on the misinterpretation of the history of indentured servitude, which is how many poor Europeans migrated to North America and the Caribbean in the early colonial period, historians said.
Continue reading the main story
Without a doubt, life was bad for indentured servants. They were often treated brutally. Not all of them entered servitude willingly. Some were political prisoners. Some were children.
“I’m not saying it was pleasant or anything — it was the opposite — but it was a completely different category from slavery,” said Liam Hogan, a research librarian in Ireland who has spearheaded the debunking effort. “It was a transitory state.”
The legal differences between indentured servitude and chattel slavery were profound, according to Matthew Reilly, an archaeologist who studies Barbados. Unlike slaves, servants were considered legally human. Their servitude was based on a contract that limited their service to a finite period of time, usually about seven years, in exchange for passage to the colonies. They did not pass their unfree status on to descendants.
Contemporary accounts in Ireland sometimes referred to these people as slaves, Mr. Hogan said. That was true in the sense that any form of coerced labor can be described as slavery, from Ancient Rome to modern-day human trafficking. But in colonial America and the Caribbean, the word “slavery” had a specific legal meaning. Europeans, by definition, were not included in it.
“An indenture implies two people have entered into a contract with each other but slavery is not a contract,” said Leslie Harris, a professor of African-American history at Northwestern University. “It is often about being a prisoner of war or being bought or sold bodily as part of a trade. That is a critical distinction.”
Debunking the imagery of the “Irish slaves” meme
Those that promote the meme of Irish perpetual hereditary chattel slavery use a variety of images entirely unrelated to indentured servitude to accompany their anti-history. I examined a selection of them.
Two years of the ‘Irish slaves’ myth: racism, reductionism and the tradition of diminishing the transatlantic slave trade
Liam Hogan 7 November 2016
The myth of ‘Irish slaves’ and of an ‘equality of suffering’ between enslaved Africans and white Europeans has gone mainstream, appearing everywhere to legitimate racism and to undermine black rights struggles.
Were the Irish Slaves in America, Too?
Questionable sources maintain that the plight of so-called “Irish slaves” in early America was worse than that of African slaves. Historians beg to differ.
Comparing The Irish To African American Slaves Is Prejudiced
So who sold whom into slavery??
[I am offering this link for the benefit of those who may be genuinely interested in learning.]
Did We Sell Each Other Into Slavery: Misconceptions About the African Involvement in the Slave Trade
By Dwayne Wong (Omowale)
Read on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dwayne-wong-omowale/myths-and-misconceptions-_1_b_9637798.html
P.S. Make friends with search engines. Much of the history and explanations can be found through them.
While I am not a history buff, the little that I have read shows that slavery was a common practice in the 1400s and before. Every group enslaved other groups that were captured during conflicts. The question about who enslaved whom and what can be described as slavery will remain a question for centuries to come. i.e. Who built the pyramids??
And slavery still exist in the world today. The first step is bringing slavery to an end. So I suggest we engage those involved in this modern slave trade.
“While I am not a history buff, the little that I have read…”
This part of your comment is obviously true, but, you can do something about that today.
Slaves Didn’t Build Pyramids: Egypt Says
If slaves didn’t build the pyramids in Egypt, who did?
Egypt: New Find Shows Slaves Didn’t Build Pyramids
I guess for you this means something but for me I can also quote writings that show the slaves in the Caribbean were given land to be able to provide for themselves. So they were remunerated and therefore not slaves. Big deal. This is still dealing with the murky past and not dealing with the slaves of now. Lets talk about how to stop modern day slavery.
After stating, “While I am not a history buff, the little that I have read…”, are you contented to remain ignorant and spew garbage? How would you know fact from fiction if you do not read and research while working at removing your biases? Why on earth would you do that to yourself?
Well genius in my 70 years of existence and almost 40 years of living all over the world this country does not understand humility and you certainly have no idea what it is. You keep quoting a line I used to open a discussion ad nauseam. It is a sign of a needy person.
I am not doing anything to myself, as you believe. But you refuse to deal with modern issues and keep looking in the rear view mirror. When the accident occurs you will still be looking back.
Have a beautiful day.
You came to the blog with information and views that are not well founded. If you listened to the presentation by Sir Hilary Beckles, you could have learned a few things instead of trying to tell people to move on. Move on from what? Examining history and social issues when many people, especially African people, remain victims of a past that they do not understand… Where African people have to contend with the likes of you who appear to be insensitive, dense and stubborn…. Where motives are skewed and major objectives are to keep the status quo of racism intact, to be distractions and to spread misinformation. People are never too old to learn.
Professor Hilary’s message is very informative indeed
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