I was all set on sounding off about St. Lucians on high horses when, hold the reins, I watched the UWP Convention on Sunday and my oh my, I think someone must have been on the “high” side before taking to the stage.
Anyone who was either at the convention themselves, watched it on TV or listened to it on the radio, most probably knows exactly what and who I’m talking about and whilst I respect the fact that everyone is entitled to their opinion and personal choices, I think that anyone who found sense in the ramblings of this person is cookoo.
To those of you who didn’t catch the event, I’m referring to the guest speaker of the day, Sir James Mitchell who is the former/longest serving Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
What a train wreck!
Now I’m not going to be a complete mule and say that at no point did he speak truth and sense…there were some “Yessss” moments like when he spoke about the woes of intra-regional travel namely the filling out of forms and the fact that we need to catch up with the rest of the world technologically.
However, one was lucky to hear that message after people were either switched off or dozing off from his lengthy rambling about his childhood, his 40 years plus in government and his complete teardown of the CCJ.
There was also that one moment where he also made sense when he said that we should show more honour and respect to former leaders of our nations but by then, people were heard in the audience making random comments like “We don’t want to hear that”, “Move on” and “Misyékafè blag”
With all that said, I was in the middle of laughing it all off when he moved on to “this business of reparations from slavery”.
So here we have a man whose clinch to “blackness” is his black grandfather so he feels that he has a foot to stand on when he steps on a stage and says “It is a useless and stupid idea in my view” and that we should “drop the word slavery from our vocabulary”.
This supposedly influential man, who is entitled to his opinion, might I just add, will step on a stage and suggest that we join him in thinking that slavery should be forgotten after all. It’s in the past and the people who went through it…the “true” victims are not alive to claim compensation so we the descendants should just let it go.
And not so funnily enough, people in the audience were laughing, clapping and agreeing…I wonder what reaction he would have gotten had he gone on stage with a Jewish audience and tell them that they need to remove the word holocaust from their vocabulary and move on. I can certainly tell you that he wouldn’t get clapping and people who agreed with him.
Why is it that the world applauds the Jewish community and congress for pushing and successfully receiving billions from Germany to cover numerous costs including lost assets and slave labour and there are still ongoing negotiations to receive millions more, yet African slave descendants are constantly being told to let it go?
Why is that even a thing? Are we not worth the same as any other race who has suffered and been compensated as a result of that suffering?
Whilst Mitchell was right about everyone needing to work hard and strive to reach to the top, in the same breath, he made that sentiment redundant with his insulting insinuations that the movement is a means to lazily reach the top as opposed to us, the descendants of slaves who were stolen from their homeland or sold by greedy leaders, murdered, tortured, stripped of human rights, classed as animals and property, separated from family, loved ones and possessions, demanding to be compensated for what our people suffered through…How dare you, “Sir”?
And this is who the UWP saw fit to be their guest speaker? This is who they thought would be one of the best tools to propel the party to victory? They need to think again because they just unwittingly dropped a lit matchstick into an oil well.
I’m not going to dance around the matter…It is clear that the thrice reinstated leader of the party, Allen Chastanet’s race has been an ongoing topic of discussion. Now let me make it clear, on this matter, I think the whole hullabaloo is rubbish and unfair, but at the same time, with half of the nation constantly throwing the man’s race into discussion, did you really think that it would fly well when you brought in another white man to tell the nation that they need to forget about their history as the descendants of black slaves? Really now?
I don’t know what “roro” you people were trying to incite but you got what you were looking for, only, I don’t think it will work out in your favour because I know that it has left a sour taste in the mouths of the masses and if that’s the stance that the opposition is planning on taking, then good luck to you all.
I seriously doubt that scaring the people into backing down from reparations by telling them that no power in the world will compensate them and that in case reparations are indeed paid, it will be at the cost of the Saint Lucians living abroad and that it will also be the demise of our tourism sector will work…think again because I would think, and I’m hoping that these words will place more fire under the butts of those pushing for reparations to push harder and prove naysayers like Mitchell wrong.
“Drop the word slavery from our vocabulary”…Why I Never! No “Sir” I Will never!