Friday, April 19, 2024

Honest debate no easy task

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May I congratulate Peter L. Thompson for his tantalising, eloquent and most cleverly crafted letter on Nelson’s ‘artist’ (DAILY NATION, December 5). That Mr Thompson is an honourable man is an irresistible verdict from what he wrote.

The peddlers of ‘black’ history, and not just ‘history’, like Sir Hilary Beckles, and ‘apartheid living’ lecturer Dr Tennyson Joseph (see DAILY NATION, same issue, back page) who predicts more of the same, will be delighted.

I must ask Mr Thompson two questions, however. First, given that the Jewish synagogue walls were also vandalised some months ago, how precisely does Nelson’s paint job dictate we must truly confront “who we are as a people . . . as a nation”, that’s to say, I suppose, as ‘morally driven Barbadians’ – black, white, and the rest?

Second, given the range of logical, literary and psychological devices Mr Thompson uses to lead us to conclude with him that Nelson must be relocated, as well as his remarkable exhibition of ‘deductive’ powers in connection with the social and intellectual status of the vandal(s), which would have left Conan Doyle’s Dr Watson open-mouthed, what precisely does he mean when he insists there must be “an honest conversation about history and race in Barbados”?

I seem to remember that ‘truth’, like the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, is not always as chaste as Caesar’s wife.

A final thought: given the intensity of the feelings that Nelson provokes, isn’t it time that those who say he should be put in mothballs or worse, take to the streets and march? The vandal(s) claim that the “people have spoken”. Very well. If we can march against poverty and for Jesus, why not also against Nelson? In the vernacular, it’s called ‘putting your body where your mouth is’.

– REV CLIFFORD HALL

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