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Sir Hilary Salt

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Ah was ah lickle turned off when dey introduced Professor Hillary Beckles as “Sir Hillary!” ah never know dat he was ‘nighted by de British, Her Majesty! Nah fool we-self eh, dem lickle British decorations are part ah de RIP-arrears-Shun. Lie-Za tell me ah better learn to say Sir Come-Red, because he next! Choose-dey night was one time ah glad ah owe-bade de ole Add-Age “ con-dem not de messenger, but list-ten to his/her Message,” Sir Hilary’s message was die-nah-might! And may I ask why such an important lecture was not aired live on TV. Somebody drop sleep on de job.{{more}} Whether yuh for or against, dis is de kind ah conversation we must encourage in our churches, schools, wuk-place and in our living-room, it will tek time before all hands come on deck, so ah beg to disagree wid our Pry Minister closing statement bout “I-soul-hate dem;” Not at dis early stage or any stage foh dat matter. Dey’s ah lot still to know ‘bout dis magic word, RIP-arrears-shun and our Nation needs to know everyting! From de big man to de beggar pon de street, de lickle youths in school, all need to be educated on dis subject. Dis Add-mini-stray-shun and de previous ones, Mitchell and Cato have failed to educate us, de descendants of Slaves about E-man-say-pay-shun. We meking ah big issue of RIP-arrears-shun, but look we still in de month of August, de big month and what have we done to enlighten our people about E-man-say-pay-shun? Absolutely nothing!

De mouthful dat I heard from Sir Hilary on Choose-dey night was an eye-opener. His journey thru de slave movement was heart-breaking, and he has convinced me wid-out ah doubt, dat RIP-arrears-shun in de international stream of things, has its place in today’s society. Yuh know something, Sir Hilary deserves ah ‘nighthood! RIP-arrears-shun foh most People is all about money in de hand, to cover atrocities meted out to our fore-parents. However, According to Sir Hilary, RIP-arrears-shun is far removed from handing over money to either individuals or governments. These People, de British or who-so-ever are not going to send money to us by Western Union. Accountability will be de order ah de day. Ah fund will be established under law, and those funds will be controlled by Trustees who will be held RESPONSIBLE for the use of de funds for community development. It will not be another Guv-ah-mint Pity-Cash machine like de Lotto!

Dat is why ah still questioning de composition ah de local RIP-arrears-shun Committee, it is too heavily one sided. And ah calling on de Chairman, Jomo to correct de imbalance, trust me he has de Guts to do something like dat. Dey go have confusion if or when there is a change in Administration.

Ley me repeat way ah say last week; de membership of ah National RIP-arrears-shun Committee should be broad based, representatives should come from all sectors. We went dat road thirty-four years ago preparing foh In-deep-and-dense, remember how P.M. Cato did dismiss ah broad based group wid serious concerns foh Independence, and call dem: “Ah Bunch ah Ning-come-poops!” De PM puts it his way “I-sole-hate dem!” De more ting change de more dey remain de same.

Dey’s never enough time for Questions and Answers at these Lectures. However de PS Min. of Education, Bonadie-Baker posed ah very pertinent question: “Where is Carry Come in all ah dis?” Dah’s my over-standing of her question. Can anything good come thru Carry-Come? And den it was time foh Queen Empress, de spokes-woman for de Rastafarian. She is not on de Committee but Lawyer, Carl Williams, ah Rastafarian is there. Basically de Rasta Fill-us-ah-fee deals wid issues like Repatriation, Restoration and RIP-arrears-shun. Remember how dey did kick up ah stink when de Administration did kick dem off dey lands at Buccama, and give de Far-rain Hotel Infestors, reverse RIP-arrears-shun. Well Empress, our Vibes Caribbean TV Host on Vegetarian Cooking program, in her contribution, put spice dah was missing in de Callaloo.

Not so long ago when someone told yuh “Boy yuh Salt” dey meant yuh fell short, inadequate, wrong etc. Ah think ‘Sir Hilary Salt’ wid his theory on Salt; how de high-per-tension in Black People today, is as ah result ah de excess salt in de food dey fed de slaves. He joke about us having ah DNA of salt, but den, what is joke foh school pick-me is death foh crappo, Sir Hillary is also Doctor Beckles eh. But Sir H offered no corrective method, no antidote foh his pickled high-per-ten-shun, it was Empress who provided answers. She reminded us dat some ah we living too far from de kitchen, and our pots are not close to mother earth, instead ah eating yams, dash-in, sweet potato, breadfruit, pumpkin and so on, we crave foh de Farce Foods, de Fry Chicken , de Humbugger and de Pee-sir! Great message dat! Ah was telling Lie-Za dat de Lecture by Sir Hilary was excellent, den ah asked her what she got to say. She watched me wid ah blank face and said: “Sir Hilary Salt!” And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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