Pan Africanist and social activist Reverend Buddy Larrier is calling for the removal of Member of Parliament John King from the post of Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth for his statement on the controversial Nelson Statue.
Larrier said if King is not willing to step down for the comments he made in the media this week regarding his view on the Removal of Nelson’s Statue, then he should be removed by Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Larrier said Minister King’s statement is very unfortunate considering the high admiration the Pan-Africanists had for the former calypsonian, who delivered renditions such as Mother Country, I want A Plantation, How Many More, and other uplifting songs for those in the liberation struggle.
“He knew that his statement was going to be offensive, and for him to say he is prepared to face the consequences of his opinions makes the offense worse. His objection to the relocation of the statue of Lord Nelson has offended all conscious black persons not only in Barbados but in England,” Larrier said.
“As a person in the liberation struggle, John King was an idol to me and I don’t get into who writes the song, I get into who sings and performs the songs because they are sending the message. Therefore, I hailed him and almost everything that I organized I would call on John King to be a part of.
“As a Calypsonian he used to come and give me the support. I never in my wildest dreams could believe that he would come and say something like that. If you don’t support it, keep your mouth shut,” Larrier added.
King, who made it clear that he is not in support of the removal of the controversial statue, said while he is currently studying a number of papers from about 2009 on discussions various Cabinets would have had on the issue, on a personal note, be a part of trying to do to others “what we say has been done to us”.
King said he does not support “stripping down everything and throwing it away” and noted that while there was a history before slavery it is now time for a new mindset.
“If you are saying that during enslavement and the colonization process , that our history, culture and way of life were wiped out and we came into places like the Americas as minorities, why would you now turn around and advocate to do the same thing to somebody else? The discussion we should be having is if we want to remove this statue, where do we put it?
“How do we recognise the collective history of Barbados is not relegated solely to Barbadians of Afro descent” How do we also incorporate the history of indigenous people who were here [first]? How do you incorporate all of the groups that make up Barbados? Let us look at these things for what they are and use them to inspire ourselves to change our prejudices and look at each other as human beings,” King said.
However, Larrier who also made the call for King to be removed as Minister of Culture, in Heroes Square this morning where scores gathered to protest for the removal of the statue, told supporters he was disappointed and traumatized by King’s comments.
Meanwhile, also speaking at today’s protest, President of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI) David Denny told those gathered that the Minister of Culture should be made to apologise to the people of Barbados for the statement he made.
“I think that statement should be recalled if he wants to continue as a Minister and as a person to represent the people of Barbados. I am calling on the Minister of Culture to recall his statement and apologise to the people of Barbados for making such a statement,” Denny said. (AH)
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