By anguillian February 8, 2016 10:22



“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results” (Albert Einstein).
From our inception our leaders have blundered from one disastrous decision to another.
A perusal into our archives will turn up in issue after issue, the proposals for making Anguilla a better place – a place in which all of us can live in harmony and prosperity.
Time after time, the government in power would say just the right things – the things they thought the people wanted to hear. But in Anguilla, we have short memories and we never hold anyone accountable. That is, until we can no longer stand it. An example of this occurred in 2010 when the AUF was in power. Things had got to the point where change was inevitable. The same thing happened five years later, with the AUM government. And here we are once more with the AUF back in power.
The recent happenings on the island, at one of our high-end resorts, should drive home the message that we are slowly digging our own graves. We can preach till we’re blue in the face, but if we don’t change our ways we will have nothing left – and this time we’ll be worse off than the years in which we saw famine, pestilence, disease and drought, to name just a few of the conditions under which we had to live.

That we are not seeing the big picture is, in itself, amazing. All it will take is one heinous and horrendous act against our visitors and that will effectively cook our goose, the same goose that, up till that time, laid the golden eggs. In one of his many insightful writings, Don Mitchell explains why our current situation exists. He says that: “We remain essentially a frontier society hostile to any form of authority and regulation, one that is unsettled, shifting, brash and unruly.”
How do we go about fixing this problem? We know what the problem is –too much gun violence. Why is that? In days of old, differences would be settled with a good cuss out and in some cases a bout of fisticuffs – loser going home, and end of story. But that was in days of old.
How did we, a country with 13,000 people go from no murders at all, to being responsible for quite a few, most of which remain unsolved? How did we, a peace loving people, manage to do some of the things that up until the late sixties would be unheard of? Is it because, as Don Mitchell says, we went from the 19th century straight to the 21st century, thereby missing the necessary skills and mores needed to make that transition?

The pious will probably say that the removal of the Bible from the classroom has a lot to do with this outbreak of violence that we are now having to endure. Social scientists may say it’s the abolition of corporal punishment in the schools. Child welfare officers may say it’s the lack of parental supervision, the breakdown of the family unit, the fact that children are having children. The sanctimonious may blame the lack of involvement of the clergy etc.

We hear of a mother weeping for the loss of her son and we offer her condolences, but what are we doing to make sure that another mother does not have to go through the same ordeal? Someone has to know who the perpetrators of these heinous acts are. Martin Luther King said: “In the end, we’ll remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” It won’t be until this scourge hits home, or close to home, that someone will come forward and say something.

The year 2017 will be the year of our semi -centennial: the 50th year of our revolution. As was eloquently pointed out by Splinter in his calypso, “The Revolution Ain’t Done.” We have to keep the dream alive. The said dream seems to have little meaning these days. When we see what is happening, it appears that it was all for naught.
There is an old cliché that says: “I got mine bleep you.” That would seem to be the mantra of those at the top. During the dog days of ’67 we saw everyone come out in support of our revolution, from the youngest child to the oldest person. If they had a pulse, they marched and made their presence felt.
Marcus Garvey said: “A people without the knowledge of their history and culture is like a tree without roots.” Think about that for a moment. Think long and hard. It should be the job of every person to learn something everyday and our government should be no different. Rather than sitting on its laurels, it should invest in new technology, acclimate itself to what’s happening in the world and equip itself to be able to deal with any situation. But we seem to have the same old tired politicians, who bring nothing new to the table, negotiating for us when they’re ill-equipped to do so. There is no place for ego when the livelihoods of an entire country are at stake.

We have short memories. We seem not to remember from whence we came – the extreme poverty and deprivation. Do we not remember the hard times that we had to endure? Where are the young baby boomers, the guys and gals who were the recipients of Anguilla’s goodwill? We grew up on President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s 1960 inaugural address in which he challenged a nation to. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” What are we doing for our country or, should I ask, what are we allowing to happen to our country?

We see a host of unsolved crimes and killings happening, all of which remain unsolved. Why is that? Is it the fact that more than two thirds of the Royal Anguilla Police Force are non-belongers? Is it that there is no trust in the Police Force? When someone tips them off to a crime, we are then exposed to retaliation by the perpetrators. When there is no cooperation with the police, does one have to wonder why? Anguilla is a very small place and these crimes are not being committed by ghosts. Someone knows, but when the level of distrust exists to the extent that it does, it is easy to see why these crimes go unsolved.

In Anguilla we thumb our noses at the educated, and the intelligent are lost in the shuffle. We bring in outside help and pay them exorbitant salaries for jobs that any number of Anguillians are qualified to do. Why is that? We have to educate, train and look out for our own. If we don’t, our culture and our people will cease to exist. Again, to use the words of Winston Churchill: “He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Right now, everyone is more concerned with his or her own self-preservation than everyone else’s. We cannot continue to negotiate against ourselves. Malcolm X said: “We cannot continue to be blind with patriotism that we can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, it doesn’t matter who says or does it.” The reality is that we have to face up to our actions or lack thereof. We have to go forward with a plan, one that benefits all Anguillians. So till next time, don’t forget the heroes, and keep the dream alive, and may God continue to bless us all and may He continue to bless Anguilla.

By anguillian February 8, 2016 10:22


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