“JEREMY CLARKSON’S PRESENCE IS A DISGRACE” by DAVID COMISSIONG: Clement Payne Movement

The presence in Barbados of Jeremy Clarkson (producer and presenter of the BBC’s Top Gear television programme) as an honoured, invited guest of the Government of Barbados is a disgrace and a blot upon the good name of our country.

At present, Mr. Clarkson is the object of outrage in his native Britain over the latest in a string of insensitive racial remarks that have emanated from his mouth over the years. Indeed, throughout Britain there is an ever increasing public demand for Clarkson's dismissal from the BBC!

At present, Mr. Clarkson is the object of outrage in his native Britain over the latest in a string of insensitive racial remarks that have emanated from his mouth over the years. Indeed, throughout Britain there is an ever increasing public demand for Clarkson’s dismissal from the BBC!

A few weeks ago Britain’s Mirror newspaper broke the news that Clarkson had been filmed using the word n**ger in a segment that was being produced for his Top Gear television programme. Clarkson initially denied having used the word, but subsequently retracted his denial and issued an apology of sorts.

However, Clarkson’s apology hasn’t gone down well in Britain – and shouldn’t go down well in Barbados either — for the simple reason that this is not the first time that Clarkson has made demeaning statements about non-White people.

Recently, Britain’s Daily Telegraph published an article outlining what they considered to be Clarkson’s top 10 offensive “gaffes“. These included his 2013 use of the word “slope“- a derogatory term for people of Asian descent; his January 2012 insulting of Indians, their culture and history; his February 2011 xenophobic reference to Mexicans; his April 2007 reference to Malaysians as “jungle people who wear leaves as shoes“; his October 2009 offensive reference to “black Muslim lesbians”; and his December 2005 making of a Nazi salute!

Based on this record, Jeremy Clarkson is not the type of person we should want to see in our country period! Furthermore, the last thing we should want to do is to give the impression to our impressionable young people (and the not so young ones as well) that there is nothing wrong with the type demeaning racist sentiments that are now synonymous with Jeremy Clarkson! The very last thing we should want to do is to give our youth the impression that it is acceptable to perceive of a Jeremy Clarkson as some type of acceptable celebrity or media hero.

In light of our history of slavery and anti-black racism, we Barbadians - of all people - should evince an attitude of zero tolerance of all aspects of anti-Black racism or racial discrimination. Whenever racism or anti-Black discrimination raises its ugly head we should be the first people to express outrage and to strike it down.

In light of our history of slavery and anti-black racism, we Barbadians – of all people - should evince an attitude of zero tolerance of all aspects of anti-Black racism or racial discrimination. Whenever racism or anti-Black discrimination raises its ugly head we should be the first people to express outrage and to strike it down.

For far too long now we have borne the brunt of cruel and racist put downs of people who look like us- Black and otherwise non-European people. It is time for it to stop! And we must play our role in helping to signal to the entire world that no vestige of anti-Black racism will be tolerated.

Our Government has therefore let us down badly by inviting Jeremy Clarkson to come to Barbados as an honoured guest. They have shamed us and have made us out to be a nation that is lacking in racial pride and self respect.

It is against this background therefore that the Clement Payne Movement wishes to publicly declare that our organization denounces Jeremy Clarkson and all that he stands for, and that we consider him persona non grata whose presence among us is anathema to us.

  • DAVID COMISSIONG

President, Clement Payne Movement

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