Guy Joseph “appalled” by Ferdinand’s “coolie man” comment

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Guy Joseph “appalled” by Ferdinand’s “coolie man” comment
Joseph (left) and Ferdinand
Joseph (left) and Ferdinand

Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph has taken issue with comments made by Opposition Senator Guibion Ferdinand at the Saint Lucia Labout Party (SLP)-led St. Jude Hospital protest march over the weekend.

Joseph has accused Ferdinand of using racial slurs in relation to him and has said he is “appalled” that the party has reduced to “name calling” and personal attacks.

Ferdinand had said, “Come and discuss the findings of the audit in parliament where we can represent you and we can ask them questions and they will answer the questions. But instead, we just hear about the audit and we hear a “coolie man”, an Indian saying ‘… I know what is in there as if he is some engineer and some expert on demolishing and building.’”

Speaking to the press at the weekly pre-Cabinet briefing, Joseph responded by stating that this behaviour is not a first for the SLP.

Joseph said that Ferdinand went ahead and used “names that send a derogatory message about a certain set of people in this country…”

Joseph added, “That’s not the first time the Labour Party has done that. It’s as if because I’m of an Indian heritage I should not have a say in anything that happens in Saint Lucia. So if I want to go and use the words that they used to describe me to describe them they would tell you, ‘oh, you are disrespectful.’”

“You’re talking about a former principal of a school … a senator in the parliament of St. Lucia. But that is the message that they project, because when they have no substance to what they do they go on a personal attack. I don’t go about attacking people personally on St. Jude,” Joseph stated.

The economic minister accused the SLP of having double standards.

“So in parliament they want to portray one behaviour – they want to tell you, oh, you’re a bad example but when they are out there when more people are watching them, look at their behaviour. I tell them I’m consistent. The difference with me is [that] what you see is what you get. Unlike them who would pretend in one forum to be one thing and out there…. And it was appalling to see that that was the level of discussion taking place; that we would reduce ourselves to name calling,” he said.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. Stop the name calling and get back to work…we have too many LucianS without a DAM job and Gunslingers all over the DAM place…killing like crazy, and you guys stop working to argue for a whole entire month and getting paid. Shit get back to work man all of you blood suckers. TALKING TO BOTH SIDES….

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  2. So we have coolie town, dinneh coolie, but all of a sudden it's offensive in st lucia to call an Indian decendant a coolie man? Nonsense. Put guy in jail for playing that card.

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  3. The colonial legacies still have divisive influences and limit St Lucia from forging a modern, national identity which embraces its multi-racial and multicultural diversity.

    It is through the use and the implementation of policies that these slurs can be redressed. In public discourse, people cannot freely demean others’ (race, gender, religion and sexual orientation) without consequences. Such behaviour feeds the public with intolerance, disrespect and a message that it is OK to behave like that. I would have loved to hear Guy Joseph apprise us on pressing governmental issues instead he is addressing his wounds! How can a nation be a healthy entity with self-inflicted wounds? We should not ignore or condone the impact this negativity is having on the nation! This nonsense must stop!

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  4. The slps they are very good at name calling well for sure I know their name calling didn't win them an election and it will never win them an election

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  5. Guy Joseph is the MP for Coolie Town for 4 terms now. I never heard him once ask to change the name, but it was used to describe him and that caused a world war? Hypocrite. The "coolie" is creole for Indian. Some words have different meanings in different languages. I am sure Guy himself has used that word to describe Indians before.

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    • the word "coolie" is not creole. I understand why he feels insulted because the term was used with the intent to offend. The same way a black person would feel insulted if called a nigga esp by someone of another race, an Indian will feel insulted when called a "coolie" by someone who's not considered a friend. I'm not for uwp nor slp so my opinion is absolutely not biased. It was just plain unprofessional too.

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  6. For the stupid people out there...the world coolie that y'all claim is patois. Is a hindi word in India that's as derogatory as using the word nigga...so smoke that!...so yes you fools it is offensive!

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    • The term ‘colie man’ used in that context has derogatory connotation. After emancipation of enslaved Africans, England rather than paying for labour and enrich freed slaves instead employed indenture labourers from India to secure its economic and political hold on the islands. The ‘colie man’ in that context was used as an instrument to impoverish the black man and for the white man’s economic exploitation. That was the past. This is a new era. St Lucia is a nation, and the master of its destiny. We are supposed to learn from the past not repeat it by creating divisions and unravel our national identity as St Lucians.

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    • Yep that's right , Chinese labourers in HongKong were called coolies too back when Britain ran things. As an educated man he should not have used that word.

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  7. SSMH, I can just imagine what name Ferdinand use to call the students and is that the best way to be on the front page. Nigger woy tan.

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  8. Guy is the most talented politician in St. Lucia. The Vieux Fort March was meant to solidify the labour base as they continue on a quest to destabilise the country. Guy just one upped these suckers by solidify his "coolie" base. Dont be mad at the Guy for winning. Dont be mad at dude for not remaining a bus driver. The problem with many Saint Lucians is that no matter who is in power, they are going to be the same, no matter how many marches they attend or insults thrown. The dude who used the term on an obvious labour party platform....this was about no hospital....another creative move by Guy....letting the country know that it was a labour party candidate obviously campaigning under the guise of a hospital...but yes...the dude who used the derogatory term is a looser. He will keep loosing elections as long as he runs. The truth is that the labour party is about to start a war within itself for the party leadership. Its obviously Hillaire's time! Pierre is simply a place holder as he cannot win an election. The pissed off labour party big shots are just now feeling the pinch of not being in power. The women are no longer interested in them, they are no longer important, and the money is drying up. Time to give up that Audi! So it was nice letting Chastanet know how it is hurting you all, and the lengths that you people would go to to get back on the gravy train. The Chastanets dont get into anything to loose. They will not loose another election unless they want to. Maybe you will learn after the next election when the flambeaus come for all 17 seats. Keep saying coolie!

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    • Most people who resort to name calling are irate and puerile individuals who can come up with nothing substantial and are at a loss for words and meaningful dialogue. Some are simply envious. I would have no confidence in a politician who resorts to such classless and immature behavior.

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  9. Only in St. Lucia is the use of racial slurs celebrated. Go ANYWHERE else in the Caribbean and say "coolie man" or "nigger man" in public and you will get some really unfriendly stares.

    Then again our culture of self -deprecation is nothing new. We have no national pride, no identity and no sense of belonging lol. St Lucia is a failed and deteriorating society and these comments prove it.

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  10. Well in todays world there is no place for long accepted insults. Long ago people used to endorse racism and that something of the past that cannot be tolerated now that we know the outcome. If you cannot accept this then you will fall victim later as what is being experienced by the #metoo accused. Don't play naïve and that you don't know just to defend your party. Trump called a Native American minority senator "Pocahontas" and it was decried as a racial political slur. Whenever politicians venture into the realm of name calling we the citizens should resist as it represents the sowing of the seeds of division and hatred. We must never try to trivialize it as it presents a platform to bigotry and discrimination

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  11. Ok Guy.....so what about Richards statement - you attempting to bribe him with £1M and Stephenson King with $5M!!!

    Which one would you rather be referred to as "Coolie" or "Corrupt"

    or "Corrupt Coolie C**t" - CCC for short.

    Please also note what Richard said wasn't an allegation!

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  12. This is mind-boggling for a past principal to use words that make him appear illiterate. No wonder his students were not performing at that school. Poor representation of the St. Lucian people. Just wondering what he thought of the non-blacks at the school.

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