Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

This is Not My St. Lucia

Image of Rochelle Gonzales

IT is becoming a hard and bitter pill to swallow as I realise more and more each day that this island that I love so much, is becoming just as foreign as the lands abroad that I refuse to live in.

I look at the daily woes which we face, some of them easily managed but simply ignored, and I no longer ask how we got here, but WHY did we all allow it to get there.

My heart is breaking for my island home as I see negativity, greed and just plain evils reigning supreme over justice, good sense, community and togetherness.

When I look to the left, I see a people who have allowed their pacifist nature to be taken advantage of by greedy governments, past and present, to the point where the majority is now completely colour blind.

As a result of this, they have left the doors open for any and everybody to waltz in and wreak havoc with full confidence in the support of their mindless drones, a.k.a. party hacks.

When I turn my head to the right, I wonder, is this really right? Is there anything right about this place? Does right even exist anymore?

How can there be any right if all that I see is wrong?! The crime rate is soaring, the justice system is plummeting to sub-levels, our medical system is in tatters where people are dying like flies whilst just trying to stay alive, and that’s just me being vague.

One example of our many issues is the fact that there are mentally ill individuals taking over the streets (…they’ve even taken over Parliament) and nothing is being done about it. And you can kid yourself all you want by saying that the Wellness Centre helps but reality check…Ummm NO!

Just this weekend, I saw a video of an altercation between a homeless man and a group of SALCC students, where it appears that the homeless man was advancing on some male students aggressively and eventually punched one square in the jaw, sending his shades flying.

This then led to him being chased for a few seconds, and in these seconds, he was seen running through moving traffic along Micoud Street and wait for it…jumping over cars, yes you heard me, no exaggeration, jumping over cars like a ninja.

Alas, he was not quick enough, was caught by said students and was kicked unconscious. Thankfully, the police stepped in before the incident escalated to the very strong possibility of him being killed.

Now see, this disturbs me on so many levels, like why is nothing being done to get these people off our streets? Many of them are clearly unstable and have constantly shown that they are aggressive and are willing to strike…so why not find a more permanent place for them to stay where they will receive treatment, shelter and food? What, their human rights will be violated? Many of these people don’t even know what century they live in so I highly doubt they can vouch for themselves where human rights are concerned.

Heck, what about my human rights and the human rights of the sane citizens going about their daily lives? Surely I deserve to walk around without the chance of being attacked by a madman, who in the event that he hurts or even kills me, cannot even stand trial or be sued etc.

But nooo, more focus is being placed on rounding up and euthanizing stray animals around the capital…I guess we have to wait for a tourist to be attacked before we see any form of action taking place. Priorities, priorities!

Then there is the part where these students were gathered on the scene and were fearless and literally screaming for blood…I have no doubt that they would have stomped this man to death had the police not intervened.

What happened to children going home after school? What happened to children having the good sense and respect to just walk away from such scenes?

I have no idea what happened prior to the recorded scene on that video, but surely it could have been averted if these students had enough sense to recognise that this man is not of sound mind, and walk away?!

No, these young men were willing to throw away their lives and go to prison for taking the life of a vagrant. Hey, one less “Zobie” walking the streets right?! So Sad!!!

This is the state of mind of our future generation?!

I see my island home regressing and taking all kinds of steps backwards towards the wrong side of history, whilst the rest of the world progresses steadily.

One of the reasons why I think so is the talk of this proposed Dolphin Adventure that is allegedly in the woodwork and involves dolphins being kept in an enclosed area at Pigeon Island, for the amusement of locals and especially visitors.

This is the “face-palm” idea of the decade! And I sent a message to a member of that government, my message was read and ignored…I guess I’ve been placed on the naughty list. But anyway, I truly hope that this remains as it is…just talk and never materialises because caging dolphins is synonymous to the way slaves were captured from their homelands and forced to work for masters under the worst conditions.

It has been proven that Dolphin intelligence surpasses that of humans…so much so that they have been officially and legally classified as non-human persons and it is therefore illegal to keep them captive.

To boot, the rest of the world has slowly but surely been catching on to this realisation and have been phasing out and closing such parks one after another. I can see why locals will find this idea to be good or lucrative because I mean, just look at the way animals…”pets” and strays are being treated by the majority, where they kick, maim, torture animals here namely dogs and cats daily. It is no surprise that people would put the wellbeing of these dolphins, (creatures who thrive one affection and communication with family members and enjoy all the freedoms that we humans do) that we would put money (that would undoubtedly go into the pockets of fat cats and NOT back into the economy) over their wellbeing.

The worst is yet to come though, because when I look to the south, I always break down because all I see, is the beginning of the end of our freedom and nationalism as St. Lucians, with the introduction of CIP which is shoved in our faces and down our throats with the “Come as visitors, leave as citizens” billboards and DSH.

I cry and bleed for my home which is being prostituted like a common and cheap slave, and is being sold right under our noses, bit by bit.

Only thing left to do now, is to look up and pray, but alas, I think we are way past salvation and the soul of my nation is now nothing more than a distant memory.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...

 

4 Comments

  1. Rochelle,
    Don’t feel lonely. Definitely it’s not my St. Lucia too. I visit home often, so much so, that many people think I live on the island. I believe that I can make an assessment from a “local’s” point of view. My take is that there is a serious breakdown in discipline and law. on the island. That can be seen from unsightly structures thrown up against buildings downtown to the poor conflict resolution skills displayed almost every day. I resided home in the Eighties and it was such a beautiful experience. Sure, I stole fruits and had my share of altercations during sports, however, they never went beyond the moment. There was one time I chocked the reason for the decline on “brain drain.” I believed a large segment of educated St. Lucians had left for greener pastures and that loss had created a void in structure and organization. However, my most recent analysis has de-emphasized the “brain drain” and placed it more on poor leadership. Example, failure to enforce laws and statutes because it would affect political patronage. Those errors were seen by a broader public as an endorsement of corruption. Hence a “pas maylay” attitude was adopted to get ahead. This attitude is what we are witnessing today. Certainly, there are other social reasons, but I believe the crux was formed by poor leadership. On your discourse about the dolphin park, I am not sure what the politicians are thinking. Throughout the broader world, people are reexamining holding dolphins and other wild life in captivity for the sake of human amusement…and the trend is against such activity. In my lifetime, I believe it will take the exit like cigarette smoking. Someone, needs to enlighten the politicians about prevailing attitudes. By the way, why must this garbage be in the country’s national park? On CIP, this should have been on a referendum. It alters the question who is a St. Lucian or what is a St. Lucian? My “St. Lucianess” derives from living there, interacting, consuming, language, values.

  2. I still reside here and like you writer, i refuse to live in foreign lands. I love this Island, i call home. Greed got us here. Greedy governments whose sole intent is to use the people for their own ends. This country, i think too a downward turn in 1997 and this is why we are where we are today. Present crop of Politicians, greedy businesses, a people who are too afraid to speak out against injustices, took us here.

    I still try to find stuff here to be proud of. Not the dumb ass politicians we keep electing every election but the hills and mountains, the rivers, the scenery, my beautiful children that i have to scrunt to care for. I no longer look to politicans, our answers don’t lie with them.

  3. SamJam
    She is giving BALANCE and perspective for those few for whom Providence have blessed…… by illuminating the sea of despair caused by the stratospheric elite 3 % at the top of the economic pyyramid….n’est pas!
    I take it you love to hob nob with aristocrats…OUI!
    The current deal for COCO DAN can be a cultural game changer in that the whole sale import of Asians via the sale of LIMITLESS bargain basement discount passport sales ….well go figure …..indeed.
    Maybe Castries will look and act more like Signapore.
    Perhaps looshans need a week of live televised RATTAN CANE whippings a la Signapore style to wake them p from their Rum stupor

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