#BTSpeakingOut – Prejudice and segregation



Through Markley Cumberbatch

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author (s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.

There are a lot of things that have divided humanity over the years – class, color, creed, tribe, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. We have been forced to learn difficult lessons, especially ones that promote and nurture prejudice and segregation.

There was a time in Barbados when Arthur Holder couldn’t be Speaker of the House of Assembly, whether he was a true Rastafarian or just sporting a bald dreadlock hairstyle.

There was a time in Barbados when Dame Sandra Mason could not have been the gracious Governor General that she is, and so it is with the late Dame Nita Barrow. Women were once marginalized in this country.

There was a time in Barbados where plantation owners were of a specific shade. No more. There was a time when it was unheard of in Barbados for talk show host Peter Wickham to speak openly on a national radio station about her beloved husband.

Not so long ago, it would be absurd to contemplate a black man sitting in the aptly named United States White House giving instructions to the world. We have come a very long way as prejudices, segregation, xenophobia and other weaknesses have receded, if not completely disappeared.

It is now almost unbelievable that a pandemic and the issue of vaccination are allowed to divide the world, and in Barbados it is no different.

People all over the world are now protesting against the right to no longer be forced to take a jab. People who exercise their inalienable democratic right not to be vaccinated are now presented as unpatriotic, a danger to society, worthy of being marginalized and castigated.

Some companies even offer incentives to vaccinate and unwittingly pay or reward people to be segregated and assert their biases.

We went from “I don’t want wunnuh nig… rs around my house”, and “I can’t stand wunnuh bul… rs” to “If wunnuh ent vaccinated, don’t come around me”, like a twit misguided recently stated and received numerous wrongful blankets for shouting. A pandemic cannot justify the suppression of individual rights.

The direction many societies are taking because of the issue of vaccination should be taken very seriously.

As governments around the world stupidly use fear-mongering tactics and other means of coercion to encourage vaccination, they must be aware of the danger they could pose to those who oppose their program.

Markley Cumberbatch

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