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An identity crisis

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Fri, Oct 26, 2012

Editor: My love for the land of my birth is as profound as Barack Obama’s unflinching resolve to retain power as leader of the free world. This patriotic zeal has enabled me to adopt a more in-depth nationalistic perspective on issues that are abstract to the average Vincentian.{{more}} As a result, I can challenge any pertinent national issue without any inhibition or fear of reprisal. This is quickly becoming a rare Vincentian trait, since the political directorate has developed a culture of bridling dissenting voices.

In this period of heightened nationalism, I openly challenge the practice of observing the singing of the National Anthem standing erectly at attention. Doesn’t this vestige of colonialism convey rigidity and aloofness? Doesn’t the placing of the right hand on the left breast symbolize a greater feeling of loyalty, love and devotion instead of assuming a military stance in reverence to the queen? The acceptance of the pledge is another area in which I diverge. As a God-fearing person, I refuse to pledge unconditional loyalty and devotion to any being (resource), apart from a supernatural being, GOD, since my thoughts, words and actions are controlled by Him.

Thirty-three years of political independence should jolt our national consciousness to the realization that our lone national hero does not exemplify our collective identity as a nation. Whilst Paramount Chief Chatoyer staunchly defended St Vincent from the gluttonous clutches of European imperialism, his deed was principally in the capacity of defender of the Carib nation from South America to the southern Caribbean. Therefore, the unified cry for a bona-fide National Hero resonates island-wide.

Additionally, elementary schools’ facilitators continue to indoctrinate their charges with pre-independence curricula. A case in point is the notion that St Vincent consists of five parishes, without inculcating that the Grenadines is part of St Vincent and as such is a parish of St Vincent! Similarly, shouldn’t a town from the Grenadines (Port Elizabeth?) be factored in as one of the towns (seven?) of St Vincent and the Grenadines? I am under no illusion that these suggested inclusions will be instrumental in harmonizing the divide. This bears credence in the fact that the Grenadines boasts 80 per cent of the nation’s airports, despite occupying only 22 per cent of SVG landmass!

Isn’t it comical that roasted breadfruit is part of our national dish, yet the breadfruit plant is alien to many Grenadines residents? Pertinently, our national sports teams rarely reflect the Grenadines component of our national civilization. That is why Adonal Foyle should be cherished as a national icon who has fortified the resolves of his Grenadines counterparts, while blazing the trail for all Vincentians. Mr Foyle has broken previously impenetrable frontiers that have since been crossed by Oral Roberts, Sophia Young, Sancho Lyttle and Alsward Hooper.

Yes, I am cognizant that SVG is experiencing unprecedented economic crises. I’m also aware that inconsiderate Vincentians with an alarmingly high volume of bogus refugee claims have forced Canadian immigration authorities to implement visa restrictions on Vincentian nationals. Whilst I may be too patriotic to accept the argument that unreliable Vincentian travel documents necessitated such a policy, I am compelled to articulate that the actions of some Vincentians occasionally make me question my nationality.

What I do not question, however, is my desire that the above points penned be dissected in the interest of national development. Happy 33rd anniversary SVG!!!

Collin CA$H Haywood

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