A rant by a Caucasian man captured on camera set social media abuzz, drawing the ire of a wide cross section of Barbadians.
In the almost minute-long video, the man identified as Clifford Corbin is recorded referring to black people using the ‘N’ word while driving a vehicle.
“Tricks and lies and bull**** every week, wanna f****** n******. Everybody acting the same way, dishonest. This is some way to live in a country…Y’all don’t know how to act and don’t know how to behave. F*** people bring y’all from Africa to do, to act the way y’all acting,” Corbin is heard saying.
The recording quickly went viral leading to calls for a boycott of all businesses owned and operated by Corbin.
In a move to distance itself from Corbin’s actions, Corbin’s Garage Limited issued a statement.
“Undoubtedly you all have by now heard about or seen the video prominently featuring Clifford Corbin uttering maligning, racist and derogatory statements. This is only one example of the discrimination and the levels of racism prevalent in today’s society that continue to affect far too many,” the statement read.
“Corbin’s Garage would like to take this time to publicly denounce the statements made by Clifford who is not affiliated with any of our brands or businesses. At Corbin’s Garage we do not tolerate racism or discrimination at any level and remain committed to serving its community in the best way possible and encourage and implore others to speak out and take action on such matters.”
While Director of NASSCO Limiteda Neil Corbin revealed that Clifford Corbin was a “distant cousin”, he too sought to distance himself from the racist comments made.
“I was extremely saddened and angered by what was said in the video that was posted online last night. Clifford Corbin is a distant cousin and I have known him for many years, but I can speak for myself and the other Directors of NASSCO Limited when I say that we denounce racism of any kind and will not tolerate this type of behaviour. I can also confirm that Clifford Corbin has nothing to do with NASSCO Limited,” he said.
The shocking comments were also condemned by social activists David Denny and Ambassador David Comissiong, along with economist Jeremy Stephens.
Comissiong, a member of the National Task Force on Reparations, told Barbados TODAY he would be bringing the matter to the attention of the Task Force.
He said Corbin’s behaviour should serve as a “wake up call”.
“This video is a very serious wake up call for Barbados. It says to us that there is something very wrong with our social culture. It says to us that after 54 years of Independence and 70-odd years of predominantly Black governmental administrations, that we still have among us born and bred Barbadians who possess this racist contempt for and animosity towards Black Barbadians,” Comissiong pointed out.
“…Over the years we have made progress but this video is a sharp reminder that there is still much to be done in the area of race relations in Barbados.”
Comissiong, Government’s Ambassador to Caricom, said he expected members of the white community in Barbados to also denounce Corbin’s behaviour.
“It is my hope that members and representatives of the white community of Barbados will speak out and publicly denounce this person and all that he represents.
“I intend to bring this matter before our task force. One of the functions of our task force is to scrutinize the Barbadian society for any manifestations, the false and toxic notions of white supremacy or indeed Black inferiority and to address them and this is certainly a wake up call for the National Task Force on Reparations,” Comissiong said.
He also reminded persons that it was a criminal offence to use demeaning and insulting language which seeks to generate racial hatred in a public space.
General Secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, David Denny, condemned the comments which he said were directed towards the African community in Barbados.
“His statements were very distasteful and we want to call on Mr Corbin to apologize to the people of Barbados and we also want to go further and say that we want the white people of Barbados who claim that they are not part of any racist team to demand that Mr Corbin apologizes to the African community in Barbados,” Denny said.
He said he would be meeting with other members of the body to possibly organize an online protest.
Stephens was among a group of several persons who called for a boycott of Corbin’s businesses and suggested a “buy black campaign”.
“Racism deserves no place in Bim….An apology is certainly not enough,” he said in a Facebook post.