The Barbadian response to “This is why people from Barbados hate Jamaica and Jamaicans”

This is why people from Barbados hate Jamaica and Jamaicans. This article went viral and caused a massive stir on Facebook over the past few days. Here is a response from a Barbadian about the Jamaican hate or no hate.

On Sunday evening, I was sent an article which made serious accusations about Barbadians, our identity and the way that we are educated.

As a writer I want to make clear that topics such as these can’t be dealt with in their fullness in any blog post, or a rebuttal.

However, I do believe that these types of accusations and the emotional response they stir should not be allowed to roam freely across the internet without some form of a reply. Here’s mine:

To anyone willing to believe that ‘People from Barbados hate Jamaica and Jamaicans’ :

I as a Barbadian have been moved to write a response to address the most harebrained and hateful notion I’ve ever seen expressed about my people towards any of our Caribbean neighbours.

It’s ironic that I read a post labeling Barbadians as hateful on the eve of the Grammy Awards, because we Barbadians simply can’t accept the Hate Award being thrown our way. Even so, there are several people and things we Bajans perhaps ought to acknowledge from this Award stage that the author of the post has happened to present us with.

First off, we must acknowledge the author, of course.

Sure many Black Barbadians suffer from the same self-image issues as many people descended from African slaves brought across the Atlantic. But could the author please be so kind as to provide us with some actual examples of these Bajans being referred to ? You know, the ones who are specially singling out Jamaicans for hatred, due to some misguided history classes where they were taught – what was it ? That “any mad/crazy slave or any slave who could not take instructions, were [*was] shipped off to Jamaica” ? I must have been absent for those classes. Islanders being wary of other islanders for any number of reasons isn’t anything new, but we could really do with some actual people produced to show us that the author really did anything more than write a provocative piece that was designed to stir up emotion, but totally unsupported by any hard evidence.

Next, Bajans have to acknowledge and give thanks for the part of our education system which actually didn’t teach us that the ancestors of other Caribbean territories were any madder, crazier, or more stupid than ours. Instead it taught us to respect the history of places such as Haiti where insurgency amongst slaves was not only present, but ultimately transformed an entire society of slaves into an independent country – and this is in spite of the myriad political and economic challenges Haitian people have faced since the time of their independence. What we actually were taught in our classes is that Haitian and Jamaican slaves had to be strong enough to survive travelling the extra distance between the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and that slave rebellions and maroon settlements being less successful in Barbados had everything to do with the island’s small size and flat terrain.

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