By Carlena Knight
Tensions flared once again on the sister isle of Barbuda between the Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) Group and the Barbuda Council earlier this week as a video made the rounds on popular social media site Facebook showing the MP for Barbuda Trevor Walker and a PLH official butting heads.
It was initially reported that the five members of the Council were given permission to do an investigation on the Palmetto Point construction site.
Tensions brewed after the council brought along two additional individuals who were told they could not enter the property.
It was then that a verbal exchange developed and, in the video, Walker can be heard saying “a white man telling me that”.
When the official called him out on his racist comments, Walker who was visibly upset replied: “I was born racist! You are not going to come here and behave so stupid. I can understand if you said five and I brought 10, I can see your quarrel, but two extra persons?”
Walker continued by mentioning that the PLH official had no choice but to entertain him because ‘if he wanted to venture onto the property police would have to be called to remove him since they can’t touch him’.
The video concluded with the council members leaving the property quite disgruntled and even captured Walker using profanity when he was asked why he was threatening the PLH official.
This is one incident in a long list of issues with the two entities with the most recent being the arrest of a Barbuda councilman was arrested and news of plans for an injunction being filed.
But despite the incident, the PLH spokesperson Justin Wilshaw said there were no hard feelings taken against the comments made by Walker but instead they are hoping to move forward and “get along professionally”.
He said they were “looking forward to work along with anyone in Barbuda for the upward development of Barbuda”.
Some members of the public were not as gracious as Wilshaw and condemned Walker’s actions for embarrassing the people of Barbuda. Some called for Prime Minister Gaston Browne to intervene as well.
“How can an elected official possibly take a stance on racism……to say that they were born racist tells the world that all their actions and decisions are based on race. Quite unbelievable given that PLH is the largest private employer in Barbuda. In these days of Covid, where most of the Worlds Tourism plant is in a state of turmoil those responsible politicians and others should be embracing the PLH hundreds of millions and general commitment to Barbuda. There is no room on this earth for racist politicians, they are an embarrassment and by their actions and words insight the very racism they publicly spout they are opposed to. Shame on them,” one individual said.
“To boldly speak out and say yes I’m racist speaks volumes,” another said. “Yes, ancestors of the white race enslaved our ancestors and we have resentment towards them when we look at our history but that does not mean that they are not white people who love and embrace pigmented people genuinely and are heartbroken over what their ancestors put us through.
“Majority of the help and sponsors that has helped Barbuda came from white people. He should expect that recordings will be made to make sure no false news will be put out. He intentionally made that statement without considering all the help Barbuda has received from white sponsors. I hope all the white people that are broadcasting news on international platforms on behalf of Barbuda see how the representative truly feels about them. Somethings are better left unsaid!” the commenter added.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne also commented on the matter as humorous referencing a snippet of the video where a citizen told Walker that ‘you were born a dam liar and you go dead a liar’.