PM Gonsalves says he’s not racist

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has defended himself against accusations that he made racist statements about Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace seven years ago and said he welcomes a conversation on race that is not “opportunistic and self-serving”.

His statements on radio last week came as the discussion about race continues here on the heels of a recent letter in newspapers two weeks ago by Eustace’s daughter, Maia Eustace.

Eustace, leader of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), during the lead up to the 2005 elections, asked what the United States would say about certain policies adopted by Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party.

Gonsalves, in response, said that if he and Eustace were walking in the middle of the night and chanced upon then U.S. President George Bush would greet him and ask who is walking along with him.

Gonsalves is of Portuguese descent while Eustace is of African descent and some persons have said that Gonsalves’ statement was racist.

Maia Eustace referred to it and other issues in her letter, which called for a discussion about race here.

“I want them to play the tape. … they will not find that any such tape exist in the way in which they are presenting it,” Gonsalves said of his statement in 2005.

“I remember in 2005, Eustace was … talking about what would America say … when we take certain initiatives. I say but why you’re not inquiring what the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines would say. And I say the thing about it is this: George Bush doesn’t know the man. I say George Bush know me and if George Bush, in the middle ah the day, the middle ah the night, anytime, George Bush would not recognise Arnhim Eustace because he doesn’t know him,” Gonsalves said.

“How that, anything close to that, becomes a statement involving race?” he further stated.

Gonsalves said that while he is of Portuguese descent, he is “deeply entrenched in the core of this country.”

“When I defended the poor and the working class, where was Eustace? Where were the people inside of the NDP? When I on the lines, the front lines, here in St. Vincent, Barbados, Jamaica, all over the world defending the rights of African people, where were they?”

Gonsalves noted that he was invited to deliver the feature address at the first Africa-Caribbean gathering on the diaspora in Jamaica and is the only Caribbean leader to address the African Union.

“I want a conversation on race but I don’t want a conversation which is opportunistic and self-serving. … And I will tell you this: from a political standpoint, they are real dunces when they raise that issue. Because people know the comrade and all that they are doing, people see they are trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel.”

Gonsalves said that it is not the first time that race was being used against him politically. He said that in the lead up to the 2001 elections, his party “intercepted” a letter in which NDP campaign advisors encouraged the party to use race as an issue.

“They must not come with a self-serving discussion. People did not vote for Ralph in three successive elections as prime minister because he is of Portuguese heritage. No! They vote for him because he identifies with the people, he’s part of this nation and he articulates a vision for this country and the region.

“And to say they didn’t vote for Arnhim Eustace because he has African stock in him, now, where anybody can advance a thesis like that?

“Let’s have a discussion on race because we are not 200 years yet removed from the abolition of slavery and there are issues of ethnicity, cultural questions which we have to address,” he said.

“I want a conversation, you know. But let it not be self-serving because I come to the table with a history of struggle on precisely this question.”

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15 thoughts on “PM Gonsalves says he’s not racist

  1. I agree that the issue of race needs to be raised as described by the PM. Any other way diminishes the issue to political football, especially in light of the currency given to the issue since Maia’s letter. Maia raises some very important issues, and knowing her personally, I am sure she would love a genuinely neutral, responsible discussion. So let’s hope that those who have the power so to do (e.g UWI Open Campus/Community College) would create the space and invite a wide spectrum of voices (old and new) to lead the discourse.

    Posted by Sherill | March 5, 2012, 09:52
  2. Gonsalves I have a different view to what you are putting on things. The first problem that we encounter is that you are a liar, and you are a self admitted liar. It is difficult to believe anything that you say knowing that you are a liar.

    Years have gone by since you made the unfortunate remarks, during that time numerous persons have spoken and written, that what you said was racist, until now I have never seen you deny that accusation. You have had a long time to get your story right, are you now telling the truth or are you lying again. Without seeing the actual transcript of what you said, which is available, we must assume the worst, because you are a liar.

    I have always wondered how you could utter racist remarks when you consider your first woman/wife was a black woman who bore you two mulatto sons, one being the SVG UN Ambassador..

    Your current woman/wife is coloured of some kind, East Indian, or East Indian mixture with black somewhere in the past. Your children by this woman are not exactly white.

    You have always been a very rude and disrespectful person, uttering sometimes the most disgraceful sayings and names on people. In fact I would describe you as a despicable character. Even in you article herein you resolve to call people dunce etc. I think your just a very nasty little man.

    What you describe as defending the poor I would describe as furthering your Marxist ambitions . In Jamaica you led a group of students that developed into riotous assembly into Kingston that resulted in numerous bus’s being burnt and several deaths and over $20 million of damage being done to property. All your life you have been proud of those actions, other people who included Jamaica’s prime minister Hugh Shearer said it was a disgrace that you and other had caused this to happen, in much stronger words than that. You have been proud to of being associated with what some people regard as Marxist scum bags and crap, such as Maurice Bishop and Walter Rodney. You advised Bishop and helped him with his revolutionary speeches. Just how many of the people that vote for you know what you have done in the past, under what I would call the pretext of helping poor people.

    I think you have always been a coward, feel it necessary to surround yourself with police least you get a slap. Surround yourself with body guards at the so called ‘Road Block Revolution’ for which you and others should have gone to prison.

    You think all this Marxist crap is so clever, associating SVG with all the scum politicians like Chavez and Armadinajad.

    You have taken us into ALBA without the permission of the people, you had no mandate to do so, no referendum, no prior discussion, nothing in the ULP manifesto. ALBA is led by lunatics who all want to be dictators, and some already are.

    Taking money from Iran and others, states who persecute, murder, and execute Christians for being Christians, and in return Iran gets our support at the UN to protect them against UN votes against them, we vote with them, for them and sometimes abstaining if it helps. Dirty blood money, blood money, which you use to build the Argyle Airport, now known as the Christian Blood Airport [CBA]. The taking of money from the Iranians will bring a curse on SVG and the airport at Argyle.

    You then have the audacity to parade as a good Catholic boy, as far as I am concerned that doesn’t sit
    well with being a Marxist. It doesn’t sit well with brokering blood money from Iran. It doesn’t sit well knowing that you are a liar and therefore in my mind a totally untrustworthy person. You told us that “Show me a liar and I will show you a thief”.

    Slavery that eventually ended in the Caribbean was started by Antonio Gonsalves a Madeiran Portuguese, Someone with perhaps the same origin as you, a Crypto Jewish background.

    Posted by Peter | March 5, 2012, 11:26
  3. Man Gonsolves do you really think the people of SVG are a bunches of fools? Your explanation sucks! Be honest man! Just appologise for making racist statements against Mr. Eustace. What you are saying makes absolutely no sense.

    Posted by roinuj | March 5, 2012, 11:34
  4. How exactly did Gonsolves defended the poor and working class? Please sir cite some tanglible examples. Please, don’t tell us that you wrote some articles and curse people in power at the time. Tell us what exactly you did and what exactly you accomplished on the part of the poor and working class?

    It is amazing that after Gonsolve made the racist remark about Mr. Eustace, he turn around and said that he was the “blackest PM”. This was bad enough, but worse he went on to explain what it meant to be black. He said that he was black because he stood and worked on the side of the poor, working class and depressed. Transalation, in Gonsolves’s eyes.. to be black is to be poor, working class and depressed. Gonsolves alway believe that he can outsmart people which is legalistic arguments. THIS IS BORING NOW!

    Posted by roinuj | March 5, 2012, 11:45
  5. When a person has to say that they are not racist; 99.9% of the time they are racist. Ralph if you are really serious about race you should not be talking about it as if it’s something between you and Eustace or UlP and NDP. I suggest that you call a series of Inter-racial conferences and have everyone represented at the table. I mean the Africans, Portuguese,Indians, Garifunas, Religious Organizations, You cannot forget the Children of Rastafari any anyone else that I may have left out. Invite the International Press. The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey called for it a long time ago and it is more necessary today than anytime in the History of the World.Maybe This could be the beginning of the healing.I must commend Maia for the courage to bring this upfront. I already heard the deep down passion expressed when your comments were first published. Ralph take the lead or stop talking.

    Posted by Lance | March 5, 2012, 13:07
  6. I have else endorsed elsewhere, like the Prime Minister has here, the need for a discussion on race in our post slavery society where people would not opportunistically turn it into an NDP/ULP issue. Many of the gains from the Black Consciousness era have been reversed in this new era of widespread cable TV being fed from nations where blacks are minorities and are influencing or continuing to perpetuate feelings of inferiority among our people that we need to address.

    This goes way beyond local politics.

    Posted by Dexter E.M. Rose | March 5, 2012, 13:44
    • Mr. Rose, this is what does get me pissed off with you guys…. Afraid to call a spade a spade. IT WAS RALPH who started this whole thing. When Ralph called Eustace “roast breadfriut” did you say no! to that? When Ralph and his boys brought Kenny Anthony here in 2005 and and referred to Arnim as “Manicou” I never hear you condemmed that one. When Ralph say Bush will not recognized Eustace “in the dead of night”….and dispite Ralph a**s talk ’bout he mean Bush knew him but did not know Eustace.. it was intended to mean that Eustace was too black to be known by Bush( a White US president) That ‘s it plain and simple. Despite all this shi*t going on all yo’ remain dumb. Now Jomo comes up with his sh*t ’bout ” if you put Ralph and Eustace to stand together, Ralph will always LOOK like a genius.. the only thing that LOOKS different about Ralph and Eustace is that Ralph is white and Eustace is black. So the white man is a genius on account of his “LOOKS”…colour. Yo’ nah call fo’ ah discussion pon that one.

      We do not want any generic intelectual BLAR! BLAR! BLAR! on black Race politics. We have had enough of that. What we want is people like Ralph TOO STOP insulting we colour and putting down we people fo’ politics. We want people to come together and draw some “race”- boundaries for politicians like Ralph. We want Ralph to pay a price for crossing those boundaries and send a message to all who would go down that path.. that there are consequences to pay. We have had enough talk only. Talk without action is a waste of time. So, if yo recommending action. then I all fo’ that. But, if the talk you want is just more intellectual crap-talk… ” Ralphie style”….involving people who like to hear themselves talk and get “wet dreams” when they think they sound bright, then I not fo’ that.

      BTW, you think Ralph really concern ’bout discusson on race, post conolonist society and black consciousness outside of his political survival? If you think so you, think again.

      Posted by roinuj | March 6, 2012, 16:22
  7. Well if he say so is so, its not like he’s ever lied to us on anything

    Posted by vincy in bad shape | March 5, 2012, 15:32
  8. SHERRIL, I at first totally agreed with your thinking, then changed my mind. You see I do not believe we should give Gonsalves a stage to further himself. He is a superb actor and orator, he will convince people he is right and we are all wrong. The ignorant will all believe him, and the danger is that some of us may believe him also. I think his chance has gone and its time for us to discard him. I think he is a danger to society and we should work to get rid of him, not give him opportunities to play out his well rehearsed politically scientific formulae.

    LANCE, do we really want Gonsalves to “take the lead” do we want to continue to be led by what I would describe as such a politically dishonest person.

    DEXTER, no one I know feels inferior, I believe Gonsalves is all about making others feel inferior, white or black or in fact just about anybody. That’s why he calls people dreadful and disgusting names, like “worthless dirty dog” “dunce class” “went away a girl, come back a boy” and hundreds of other utterances. I believe him to be truly evil.

    Whatever he says is designed to destroy and make others feel inferior, and worse still to make the VINCY population believe that when he says these things about people, those people are inferior and worthless. He sets out to destroy them in the eyes of others.

    He uses racism just as he uses any other method to destroy his opponents. He is like a boxer who continually hits below the belt. In my eyes he really is very nasty undisciplined, uncouth, unfaithful, person who lacks any quality of true humanity towards others. I find him self opinionated, cocky, deceitful and worse of all a liar.

    Posted by Peter | March 5, 2012, 17:32
    • Absolutely Peter. Ralph will use any method or avenue to discredit or destroy any voice that confronts him.
      Ralph, Tell the people about Elena Ramos Chiltren, (or that is the name she presented herself as).Cuban dentist. Had a cousin who said she was a dentist too. But Elena had military written all over her, Let me give you the time line, mid year 2005. I know that you have a very good memory. But just in case you do not recall.- Lived with your communist friend’s daughter in Stoney Grounds, handled by her boss out of the Cuban embassy, Olga.
      But let us talk about “race” Ralph. In 2001 Parnel on an NDP election platform in the Market Square made a racist statement regarding you. ( I can assure you, much to your benefit ) Yes, the same Parnel, that you had
      perform the “counterfeit constitution” that you directed. Did you say ‘ serpent ‘? Your memory is excellent, what was your remark to me regarding that statement by Campbell? Ralph I’ve spent 38 years in America.before I returned home. I’ve been through the “civil rights” movement, “apartheid”, and the “Vietnam war”. Ralph you are
      too much to stomach, you are way past the small intestine, and well advanced through the colon. “STOP IT’.

      Posted by Dr. Bernard Mills | March 6, 2012, 00:43
  9. ROINUJ, did he ever get down with the people and help, what did he do during the volcano eruption, has he ever been a Rotarian or a Lion, or belonged to anything that serves the people without expecting some personal result?

    Forget the lawyer side, he was well paid for that, it made him wealthy which there is nothing wrong in. But since his admittance that he tell lies, I wonder if he is a suitable person to be an officer of the Court ever again. Where one is expected to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. When can a court determine if he is in truth mode or lying mode?

    Posted by Peter | March 5, 2012, 17:44
  10. Dentist Man, are you saying that the Cubans planted an agent on you? If thats what you say, I would believe you as an inteligent, respected, outstanding and upright citizen. You would know I am sure in an instance.

    In case you all don’t know it we have Cubans working in many of our government ministries.
    What in shits name are we doing with these people in our sacred country, foreigners controlling us?

    Posted by Peter | March 6, 2012, 08:49
    • ……….. and recommended by Ralph himself. And you can take that to the bank!

      Posted by Dr. Bernard Mills | March 6, 2012, 22:44
    • You see Ralph and his ulp millions $ pulled out every stop, and then some to defeat Mr. Eustace in East Kingstown in the election of 2005. It was a campaign that Julian and Ralph waged for four years. Had they succeeded the NDP would have been the Party of the Grenadines and without representation on the mainland the NDP might have been no more. St. Vincent would have been LOCKED DOWN. Yes Peter the cuban agents were directed to me by Ralph himself. And you can take that to the bank.

      Posted by Dr. Bernard Mills | March 6, 2012, 23:28
  11. Dr. Mills, who is this Julian character who you mention, that’s not the Francis boy, the unelected and unelectable. He promised washing machines, refrigerators, sheep, goats, and still no result because no one believed him, or perhaps they just didn’t like him. Unlike Gonsalves he has an unfortunate personality, no charisma and very little else.
    By the way like Gonsalves, the Francis boy is also a liar, he told us that when the airport at Argyle is finished it would of cost us nothing and we would have no debt remaining. What has happened instead is that the country has been bankrupted by this project.

    Grenadines, is that why they hate the Grenadine people, departure tax, and all sorts of nasty treatment of those people and their children. Reneging on election pledges to build school in Canuan because they didn’t vote for him.

    Cuban Spy, I would like to take that to the Bank but last time I was there, I had to wait in front of whole ULP party banking US Dollars, so much of it, I waited for nearly two hours.

    Any way I hope you didn’t get involved with the Cuban chica, you just never know where she might of been before.

    I think we should turn the Bay Street Financial Building into an all inclusive holiday resort for sex tourism.

    Is it true we have a new laundry near the Law Courts?

    Whilst we are talking US$s, do you have any idea where the million US $s came from? Did they ever come clean about that?

    Cuban agents all over the island now you know, and I believe the Castro’s stopped talking to Gonsalves since the Wikileaks thing was published. And that scum bag Venezuelan Chavez stopped payment on the $10 million he owes us for the Cubans wages. Cheque said refer to drawer, don’t represent.

    I hope Gonslaves keeps the fire burning, it could be used as funeral cremation for the ULP.

    At least won’t have to expect a phone call from him, or have they been reconnected? Ever heard of such a lot of very unbelievable excuses?

    He told the Falklander’s to sod off, or something like that, cheek of them bothering a prime minister of an independent country without a prior appointment made through foreign ministers. In any case Gonsalves was busy at the time, counting his toes on his gammy foot, or biting his toenails or something like that.

    Did you hear I offered to buy him a pogo stick to help him bounce back, but changed my mind, would never find one strong enough.

    I have I hope, remained diplomatic and not upset anyone.

    Posted by Peter | March 7, 2012, 15:18

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