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What really is wrong?


When Vincentians boo the Governor General while he is taking the salute at the Opening of the Third Session of the 10th Parliament, so much so that the sound of the National Anthem is drowned out, we say something has to be wrong.

The Governor General is our head of State and his office should be above partisan political attacks. The national anthem similarly is meant to convey the values and ideals of being Vincentian. The sound of its strains should immediately silence and bring everyone to a stop, at least, that is what we were taught in school.

Something is also very wrong when we excuse what happened to Sir Frederick on Monday by comparing it with the atrocious act of violence on then Governor General, the late Sir Charles Antrobus, when the vehicle in which he was travelling was shaken by an angry mob when he was leaving Parliament during the last years of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Government.

What is even more wrong, is that in neither case did the political leaders of the respective parties condemn their followers, as far as we are aware. The widespread revulsion of the people all those years ago when Sir Charles was attacked should have taught us where to draw the line.

Citizens of any country have a right to protest, as the expression of dissent is part of the democratic process. We cannot, however, descend to violence, threats of violence, hate speech and desecration of national symbols. We are better than that.

When workers, who in the name of freedom of speech, repeatedly castigate their employers and places of work on social media, then cry foul when they are fired, we say something has to be wrong. What is so difficult to understand about how inappropriate it is to bite the very hand that feeds you? But why complain when you are released? You now have all the freedom you need.

When the Speaker of the House uses Facebook as the forum of choice to announce that he erred when he allowed a motion of no confidence to be amended, we say something is wrong. Would not Parliament have been the more appropriate place for such a revelation, or was it more important to placate the Facebook following?

When some Vincentians immediately assume that a video showing the sexual abuse of a child must have originated in St Vincent and the Grenadines, something has to be wrong with how we view ourselves. Something is also wrong when those Vincentians who castigated our people as being sick and depraved fall deadly silent when it is discovered that the odious act took place in the United States. Where is the apology to those here on the ground who they claimed were allowing such acts to go unpunished?

What, then, really is wrong?