Letters & Opinion

A Nation of Cowards

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

A QUESTION that Science is trying to answer is whether memory is passed on through our DNA?

A couple of weeks ago, I read of some such transfer in some specie in the animal kingdom, but I have my doubts that that will prove itself true for humans, Saint Lucians especially.

The question lingers in my mind: What is it going to take to move us into action? Put another way: What is taking the revolution so long? Yet another way: When will we say ‘Enough is enough?’

I would hate to think that I am alone in those thoughts.

I am told that we have a history of protest. The trade union movement, I am told, is built on protest. George Charles, I am told, is a pioneer in the field. George Odlum, I am told, left behind such a legacy. Sir John Compton, I am told, led some strikes in the Valley.

My question is: Am I the only one who knows these things? I don’t think so. What moved these men to action? If I may answer the question in one word: injustices. In two words: national injustices.

Are we teaching our children the history, the trials and triumphs of our icons dead and gone? Surely, they are not in our memory banks.

Do we know the rock that Mrs Rock was? The stories of the battles of the Brigands, the Neg Mawon… they all need to be retold and as I see it, needs to be relived.

Just a few nights ago a friend of mine was asking me if I ever thought of leading a strike here in Saint Lucia. I told her that I do not want to be any Jesus Christ, even though many people have called me such, with and without my locks.

My uncle recently told me a story from the 60/70’s when he worked for a British construction firm called Blackstone that operated here in Saint Lucia. They (he and his co-workers) were on a project somewhere on the Morne. He was of the view that they were not getting paid enough for their labour. So did his other 19 or so other co-workers. So, he organised for them to strike.

On the morning set for the strike action they lay down their tools and were waiting for the supervisor to come. They heard the distinct engine sound of the vehicle (some old model whose name I can’t recall) approaching. At the sound of the approaching vehicle, all the men, except my uncle, took up their tools and scampered off to work.

The foreman, whose name I don’t recall (a Bajan) confronted my uncle and asked him what was going on. He (my uncle) told him (the Bajan foreman) of the intended action. And the cheese who stood alone told (my uncle) that he (the foreman) would have welcomed the strike, because he would have gotten a few more pennies on his salary as well.

Up to a day like today, the Bajans are still laughing at us.

The Bajans spoke loudly and convincingly at their recent general elections — a scenario I do not want to see duplicated here in Saint Lucia.

I asked a Bajan friend of mine how does he fathom the fact that the Barbarian government has no official opposition. He told me to wait and see.

The days of ‘White Massas’ are still with us in Saint Lucia and the plantations by the sea are in full effect. New enclaves are to be built under or golden spoon, Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) and we just sit by and let it happen.

When are WE going to STAND UP?

What is taking the revolution soooooo long?

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