Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac has defended Blackout Day against criticism that it has racist overtones and supports the idea of black people spending their money at black-owned businesses.
Isaac is a strong and vocal supporter of Saint Lucia’s Black Lives Matter movement.
Tuesday is Blackout Day in the United States.
Organisers of the initiative have been calling on Black Americans to only spend their money at Black-owned businesses.
US media reports indicate that the day is getting increased visibility amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice launched by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and others.
According to Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac, the Blackout Day concept should be imitated in Saint Lucia.
“We have noticed over the years that a number of other people from other races and other creeds have been supporting their own,” Isaac told St Lucia Times.
“We are the only race that has not really been supporting our own – we are always getting involved in other people’s business, making their business work,” he asserted.
Isaac expressed the view that if someone who is not Black establishes a business and it begins to thrive, black owned businesses begin to fail.
“We’re always supporting others apart from our own and I think loving your race first, putting your race first is not racism,” he declared.
Isaac told St Lucia Times that doing something to advance one’s race has nothing to do with racism and should be encouraged.
As far as he is concerned, Black people should be encouraged to propel each other up to the highest level.
“That is not racism in any way,” Isaac asserted.
A push is on in Barbados for Blackout Day to be recognised there, local reports say.
But those in favour of the initiative have acknowledged that one of the areas in Black businesses which needs to be improved is customer service and worker training.