Wow, It’s great to be here again in front of you all.
Friends, colleagues, leaders and trailblazers of the Green Conquest, I am so thrilled at the turn-out tonight for the 29th annual Sustain to Gain Gala event. I was asked by the organizers to say a few words about the Gala, and how profitable our crusade to green the globe has been. Next to blocking out the sun, and we’re working on that, there is pretty much nothing we can’t and won’t do to make this world a better place for us!
Before you get to your meals, I’d like to give a..what do the bl..inner-city kids call it again…sorry, I’m not quite “down”..ah yes…I’d like to give a shoot-out to the First Nations and the rest of those rag-tag group of indians. That’s why I’m wearing this feathery thingamajigger on my head, because, fellow venture capitalists, we need to remember that they’re humans too..kinda like us. And a special shoot-out goes to my main beeyatch, Mama Africa! Right, amirite? C’mon, give it up!
Providing us with superfoods and super villains, we couldn’t have made it to where we are without ya, tuts. Shell, you gotch yourself a keeper, buddy. Lucky bastard..
But enough with all these pleasantries, it’s not like any of these people are actually here, right! So go ahead and dig-in to your heart’s content. We have enough polar bear roast to feed an entire army of child soldiers and a endless flow of red wine dark like the blood-stained streets of Bahia. You earned it! Together, let’s leverage the world for a brighter future!
I gone and write down all deh ingredients down on piece a paper so, fold it twice from corner to corner and stuff it in my arse right tight so when the Lord does call me home, me and my Ginger Beer recipe gonna walk up to the pearly gates together as one. Cheez on, what a day that will be, yuh! In my three piece suit prim and proper ready to kick deh bucket and leave this wretched place, and leave all yuhs ungrateful children that plotting to teef my recipe from me. Chuh! Fool me once, if yuh please!
On my tombstone, that big piece of fine rock, make sure to write ‘Official Creator, Founder and Royal Curator of the Original Ginger Beer’ in the Queen’s Calligraphy yuh hear? That’s the very least you and your lazy brothers can do for yuh father. The very least.
In fact, I fit to write the recipe nice-nice so in blood-red ink on the last page of my Royal Barbadian Passport, so if ever I does forget where I going after the coroner pucker me up in my ivory casket, I can reach in my inner pocket and show all the heavens and the earth that I, Harold S. W. Walcott am the one and only official Barbadian Ginger Beer Royal Head Master, if yuh please. And I will die with my secret lodged in my old black arse and three cloves clenched in my cold fist. Tink I gunna let these unruly pickney take my good recipe,wreck it and then share it with their friends and family to enjoy? Over my rasshole dead body! Wuh loss!
Whenever Baby cries, mother would fetch a bottle of tobacco leaves, coffee grains and sugar water, shake it up and give it to baby. Delighted, baby would expose their black tongue and yellow gums. Baby goes to sleep and mother slave puts on her high heels and leaves for work.
Tobacco, sugar or coffee will never feed a community. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade kidnapped Afrikans and forced them to grow tobacco, sugarcane and coffee; cash crops that did not value subsistence but prioritized profit. The expansion of such cash crops are one of the metrics that differentiate Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade from slavery within the Motherland. Close-minded scholars would compare these different types of slavery to diminish the ruthless and continual effects of imperialism. Look to agriculture as an indicator. African slave-owners had slaves, yes, to grow cassava and subsistence crops to maintain the health of a society. Agricultural techniques and culture were shared between captor and captive because despite differences, there is a respect for humanity and a reverence for the ground that provides food. Captives, in their lifetime, could have land and be leaders in their new community.
When tobacco and sugar were exported to Europe, it was not to sustain a population, it was to quench the bourgeoisie’s greedy addiction to luxury items. European aristocracy had no vested interest in the humanity and culture of slaves, nor did they value the soil that provided them with the commodities they desired. They worked both Afrikan and soil mercilessly. They were not feeding families, just potbellies and egos. Slavery sucks. But do not put slavery in the Americas and slavery within Afrika on the same level.
A greater enlightenment of the environmental consciousness of Black peoples living within capitalist nations is the necessary harbinger for solid actions towards true environmental sustainability. White environmentalists cannot fully strategize for worldwide environmental stewardship without acknowledging the active role that white society continually plays in dehumanizing indigenous cultures by the fundamental reality of exploiting lands and waters. Once they have patted themselves on the back for humble declaration of their privilege, the white environmentalist should then take the extra step and stand the fuck down so that the victims of environmental racism can find solutions that work for them. Afrikans of the diaspora, like the rare metals of the earth and the biodiversity of the waters, have lived through and continue to be the victims of the most violent environmental atrocities, atrocities backed up by ill-thought out policies that prioritize profit. Many cultures across the world have been manipulated, indoctrinated, accosted and bamboozled by academics, missionaries and governments all of whom want nothing else than to secure their own social position and economic superiority. Displaced Blacks have suffered a particular offence by being ripped from their land and exploited through slavery. Today, it is the chains of waged labour, over-consumption and environmental indifference that keep us in bondage.
However, like Mother Nature, Blacks are resilient. We must resist following the allure of the thoughtless greed machine and understand how we are connected to land, air and water. We must understand that we cannot afford (nor should we seek) the false luxury of over-consumption that media titillates our senses with. It is bad for our health and our earth. We must act and find a different way.