A Total Re-engineering of our Civil Culture

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

MANY times we hear but we do not listen. In his Independence address, Martin Dorville, President of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, called for a total re-engineering of our civil culture. “Total” has to indicate that the system is completely broken. That is a dread assessment.

I have often confessed that Saint Lucia is the most lawless country I know. Laws mean nothing in this country and when it is that the purveyors of the law disregard it gleefully, what can we expect? So that his message went in one ear and out the other of government’s ear is no surprise.

The constitution mandates the appointment of a Deputy Speaker but before we blink our eye it will be a year and the Prime Minister in recalcitrant manner would have neglected his obligation. And so it can only go downhill from here. People speak of a failed state under this administration and if they are not stopped it is sure to happen.

Let’s do some introspection, Saint Lucia. We spit anywhere. We curse anywhere. Our drivers fail to use the roundabout properly. Our drivers have no respect for the lives of their passengers. They stop anywhere to pick up passengers. They drive and they are on the phone and curse you if you try to say anything. They want to charge you whatever price they want after 11:00 p.m.

Our police officers and teachers are only in the profession for the money. Will they reprimand a foul-mouthed person on the streets?

We can’t start anything on time and we blame it on the culture. We speak English poorly. We have no respect for our elderly. Corruption reigns in the public service. The promised resurgence of uniformed groups at our secondary schools has not happened. The music we promote on our radio stations is lewd. Our artistes are obsessed with denigrating women in their songs and the sad thing is that women embrace it.

Our women walk naked in the streets. Loud music blasts anytime, anywhere. No care for selective content. No care how inconvenient it is to our neighbours. We have men who plant their seeds any and everywhere and give little or nothing for the upkeep of their offspring. Our children have no liking for our local foods and traditions. Our taste is foreign. Our farmers are up in age and soon we will not be able to feed ourselves.

I can write a whole article about our littering habit. Not only are we a stupid people, we are a nasty people as well. Many times I observe the indiscriminate disposal of garbage and I think, “What kind of mind does this?” The bin is right in front of them and they throw their litter right on the ground and don’t trying telling them anything because they will unleash their dirty minds on you. But that is just what we need.

I remember being of secondary school age, about thirteen years, when I gave someone the middle finger. A lady (a stranger) passing by reprimanded me. I do not remember ever doing that again. We need the opposition and the correction. But our washing of our hands of that responsibility has not made us a cleaner country.

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