By Anthony Hall
Caribbean News Now is the most widely read site for news, information, and commentary on the Caribbean. Barry Randall was its publisher and managing editor.
He embodied the journalistic mission to speak truth to power and give voice to the voiceless. What’s more, he suffered dire consequences stoically for speaking that truth.
One way to pay respects to Barry is to browse his archives of investigative reports and editorial essays. They compose a part of his commendable living legacy.
Truth be told, every Caribbean head of state over the past twenty years will tell you that he/she either felt the sting of his pen or spent years dreading it. And I am just one of many whose causes he championed for the public good.
In my case, that cause was ending the “political amorality and immaturity and general administrative incompetence” that plagued my mother country, the Turks and Caicos Islands, between 2003 and 2009.
Political intimidation, oppression, and retaliation were such back then that nobody dared speak truth to power in the TCI. That’s when Barry suggested we use my column and his editorial page to give voice to those who were suffering unspeakable hardships.
Soon he was leading our calls for a UK Commission of Inquiry. This led to the suspension of the TCI constitution in 2009, restoration of good governance (self-rule) in 2012, and prosecution of the premier and nearly all cabinet ministers from that congenitally corrupt administration in 2016.
But Barry’s derring-dos for truth and justice were equally matched by his willing sacrifices for love and friendship.
I used the word “stoically” above advisedly. He shared this admirable trait with my big brother Christy who himself died (too soon) earlier this year. The point is that anyone who knew Barry knows that the last thing he would want is a friend spilling his/her guts about their friendship in the name of eulogy.
Therefore, I shall suffice in this respect to share how happy I was when he visited my home for the first time a few years ago; this, after over a decade of great friendship.
I am heartbroken. My thoughts and prayers are with Barry’s family.
Farewell, my friend.
my brother Christy…