Reverend: “Reclaim your identity”

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Rector of St George Parish Church, Reverend John Rogers, has thrown out a challenge to Caribbean people to reclaim their identity.

He was delivering the sermon at a service to mark the 20th anniversary of Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) at the rural Anglican Church.

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Members of the congregation at the BARP anniversary service.

The cleric said: “If we do not reclaim our identity persons would come here and treat us in any way they think necessary and because we do not have a correct understanding of ourselves, because we do not have a collective understanding of ourselves or direction, people would feel vindicated in what they have done. I made similar comments this morning for which I have no apology. We here in this region must recognise our past and start forming a more cohesive unit as a people.

“It is our lack of cohesion, our lack of unity, our lack of understanding ourselves, our lack of self identity, that perhaps gave British Prime Minister David Cameron the right to feel that he could come into this region and tell us as a people, it is time to forget slavery and let it pass. I will help you out, I will give you 25 million pounds sterling to build a cage and I will send back some people to you.

“David Cameron would not go to Jerusalem and tell the Jews to forget the Holocaust. He would not go to Jerusalem and tell the Jews to forget Masada of AD70,” the cleric added.

Rev Rogers told his congregation, which included former Deputy Prime Minister Billie Miller and other members of BARP, that there will come a time when Caribbean people would get over the horrors of slavery, but they would do it in their time and at their pace and on their terms.

“It is not for him to come to the region and tell us what to do. That happens because the message was not passed on. The struggle was not shared. And if we do not share our struggle as a people, and we do not let our people know that we will survive because we have done it before, our people would always feel a sense of mendicancy and persons like Cameron and others would come and just throw something at us and that would settle the issue,” he said. (NC)

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