Bajans call their Prime Minister, Auntie Mia. Apparently just weeks before the general election in 2018, when Mia Amor Mottley, QC was voted in as Barbados’ first female Prime Minister by a unanimous victory, the last government tried to sell off the only government-owned hotel on the island; the Hilton Hotel.
We know this hotel. We went there for Delph’s 11th birthday. They made her a cake and everything. It was also by chance, just before this election.
Did the previous government plan to run off with the money? We’ll never know. Auntie Mia got in instead, and stopped the sale – which was considered massively undervalued at the time. Phew. Since then, The Prime Minister has been trying to fortify the country’s resources.
Right now, she has an enormously uphill struggle. She’s not just going for post-pandemic economic security either. The PM has her eyes set on food stability. A climate change task force. She says her country is right at the front line – vulnerable and beautiful at the same time.
The Prime Minister got some flack for refusing to speak publicly in the early days after George Floyd was killed by the US Minneapolis Police. There were some public comments about how Prime Minister Mottley didn’t care. Some people were even concerned she was codifying the old Barbados ‘Little England’ persona. That slavery still exists here in the way in which Barbadian leadership keeps silent in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. As I’ve written before, we are in the ethnically-derived minority here. Suits me fine. Especially with the women. The women here are endlessly beautiful to me. I could spend my whole life admiring them. So when the PM did speak, it caught me by surprise.
Here’s what she said:
“It is easy for people to talk blindly, I note it in this country, there are those who are saying for example, that I have said nothing on Black Lives Matter. There are those who are forgetting that at this time I speak not just as Prime Minister of Barbados but for another two to three weeks as chairman of CARICOM and they would do well to understand that I have never believed in jumping on bandwagons but I believe fundamentally in supporting principles.
“I am not going to take lashes for things because people chose not to get into fights or not to engage in arguments.”
Lashes?? She said lashes. She didn’t use that word by accident. No one gives her lashes.
Then Prime Minister Mottley said:
“This country is not going to support behaviour that in any way reflects unfair treatment, discriminatory treatment or unconscious bias.
“The battles that we need to be facing are not battles that may be fought in the United States’ elections in November. The battles that we need to be facing are the battles that stop our young girls and young boys from wanting to go and buy bleach and use bleach on their skin as if something wrong with the pigment of the skin in which they’re born.
“I believe that the solution to the problem comes not simply at the institutional level but in changing the hearts and minds of people in the small things as in the large things.”
There you go. Don’t steal. Don’t lash or let yourself get lashed. Be proud of your skin colour (please don’t lighten it) – and of yourself. We need to change hearts and minds; the small things as well as the big. The Prime Minister said it. Love from Auntie Mia. 💕🌺