A White landscaper caught on video levelling racial epithets on Black Barbadians after an apparent act of vandalism on his equipment declared on Friday, “I am no racist,” while issuing an apology for his racist rant.
Clifford Corbin claimed that at the time his comments were recorded he was “upset due to having discovered that some person or persons had vandalised and criminally damaged one of my excavators which had been parked overnight at a job site in Lynches, St. Phillip,” among other issues.
He added: “My choice of words at that time, I must confess were not the best or most appropriate but my anger took control. Hence, I am man enough to admit that despite my angry state at that moment, I was wrong to utter such distasteful language and I unequivocally and without reservation apologise to the people of all races and ethnicities in Barbados and beyond who felt disrespected, insulted or uncomfortable due to the utterance of such language.”
“I am no racist for I have some very close and treasured friends, associates and employees who are of African and East Indian descent.
“I am no racist.
In the almost minute-long video, Corbin is recorded referring to Black people using the ‘N’ word while driving a truck.
He is heard shouting: “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.”
The recording quickly went viral leading to calls for a boycott of Corbin’s business. Since then, a slew of firms owned by several Corbins came out in denunciation of Clifford Corbin’s rant.
But for David Denny, General Secretary for the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, Corbin’s apology was “poor” at best. He declared that Corbin was “looking for an excuse” to escape the strong backlash he currently was facing online and possible loss of clients for his business.
He said: “I think he is looking for an excuse, and therefore I would not accept that type of apology. He referred to African people as ‘N******’, and questioned the reasons why we are here in Barbados when he would have known that we were brought here by White slave masters, and all of our fore-parents would have been exploited for the development of the White ruling classes in Britain and in Barbados.
“I think that he needs to first apologize [genuinely] for making such statements towards Africans living in Barbados, and he should not be using his statement to justify why he levelled such abuse towards the African people.
“If a White man comes and damages my vehicle, it would not give me a reason to go out there and start cussing all White people.”
In 2020, Denny and other Pan-African leaders led two Black Lives Matter marches in response to police brutality against African Americans, white supremacy and racial injustice. While organizing the marches, Denny said he received criticism from several individuals who felt that racism was not an issue here.
But Denny said he believes that Corbin has once again demonstrated a fact he and other Barbadians are well aware of.
He told Barbados TODAY: “I always felt that Barbados had a very high level of racism, and I did not need to wait until this incident occurred with Mr Corbin to know that it’s very high here. Barbados is a very racist society; economically, politically and socially. If you look at the public service, you would not find a large number of white people – white people continue to own the major economic sectors within our communities. We have not really changed in Barbados, with white persons controlling the economies on the island.
“Honestly we need to deal with this man in a serious way. He is just a representation of white racism here in Barbados; he was just the first man that somebody was able to capture him on video and send it across social media. There are lots of white people in Barbados who believe in the same things he spoke about, and treat Barbadians as second class citizens.”
Denny also revealed that he was also in the beginning stages of staging a virtual protest in response to Corbin, scheduled for Saturday.
But the outrage has prompted another White Barbadian to demand equal apologies for racist remarks levelled at him and fellow Whites.
In a video response posted to social media, Clint Cole said if Corbin is to apologise, it should go both ways.
Cole declared: “Every day, I get told derogatory things by Black people in this island. I walk down the road with my wife, I got to hear what people want to do with my wife. White Bajans does get terrorize just as much in all forms of fashion and language by the same Black people that we live with. That we should call one another brother and sister. If this man is to make an apology, and all White Bajans are to be on board with him making an apology, I personally think it is a fair thing that the other races should be made accountable, and to apologize for what we White Bajans take every day from black people.”
Cole stressed that the problem will not go away “until all of us decide to love another, nothing in this island ain’t gine change.” (SB)