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About being politically correct


My original intention was to write about our importation of “Black Friday” and “Halloween.” I was driven to do so by a huge crowd I saw standing in front of Courts at 6 last Friday morning. I could not understand what was happening, until someone told me it was “Black Friday” Then, on October 3I, Halloween night in the US, I saw a group of youngsters walking through Cane Garden, doing whatever Americans do on Halloween night. I immediately remembered Naipaul’s Mimic Men:{{more}} “…we mimic men of the New World, one unknown corner of it, with all its reminders of the corruption that came so quickly to the new.” Perhaps it is only part of the process of fitting into the global village and losing ourselves in the cultural wilderness. But more urgent and important matters came to my attention.

I was actually sitting before my computer reflecting on those issues, when I got news about the termination of the services of Cecil Charles, manager of the Sports Council and the sending on leave of Alexia Charles, town clerk in Barrouallie, for what appears to be a result of being politically incorrect. This country seems to have gone totally mad. To exist, it appears that you have to be politically correct and do the dictates of your tin gods, regardless of what they are. These persons, I understand, were simply doing their jobs. Cecil Charles indicated to SEARCHLIGHT that he had his peace of mind knowing that while he held the position he operated on principle. “I have never brought the Council into disrepute or done anything to tarnish my character…But it is clear that there are other factors involved…” It was not all smooth going because of a stance he took in relation to Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Hon Cecil McKie. Fortunately, he is able to philosophize about it and to take it in stride. Rumours abound about why he was really fired. At least, without giving any further details, he made reference to his strained relationship with the Minister of Sports because of the stance he had to take. It is an open secret about what prompted that stance, and if rumours are correct, we should all hold our heads in shame, a clear case of victimization for not kowtowing to unwholesome mandates.

The other case involves the town clerk at Barrouallie, whose politically incorrect action was to allow use of the Community Hall (Let me stress Community Hall!) for the holding of a Town Hall meeting by the NDP. What was wrong with what she did? Who is really supposed to use the Community Hall? She has apparently been sent on 47 days leave and probably has not been fired only because some persons dared to speak up about it. This lady has been in that position for about 13 years, I am told. If the other stories I am hearing about the firing of a road gang she had selected are correct, then Heaven help us. We are obviously creating our own version of a banana republic. What is crazy about all of this is that some persons will rationalize and put their own spin on it.

What is the position of the constituency representative on this? A Christian man, I am told. How can he live with himself if all I am hearing is true? In SVG we are making a mockery of everything. We are becoming more and more heartless, selfish and lacking in scruples. But all of this nonsense will only continue if we allow it. I am sure that a month ago none of those persons dreamt they would have been in the position in which they now find themselves. Is it a coincidence that their surnames are “Charles”? Well, they came for Charles; I was not a Charles, so I said nothing. Who will it be next? Be warned! For the more you allow those persons who are put there to force us to do what they want, the more they will continue to do so. Do we wait until it reaches us! It will certainly be too late?

When are we going to sit up and take stock and recognize that everything is collapsing around us? Really not around us! For in the process, we are ourselves collapsing, and becoming mere apologies for decent human beings. How many of us are genuinely satisfied with the way things are going? How many of us continue to mistake the crumbs for the bread? I am not sure how long we can go on like this without reaching breaking point. We have to prevent that from happening and begin a process of healing and empowering. Of course, the Bigger Biggs issue is still very much in the air. What else has to be done before we can stand up?

I am often not tempted to blame the politicians. They do only what they think they will get away with. With all of this are the yard fowls and spin doctor,s who only care about themselves. They are the ones who become most critical when an individual takes a principled stance. Do some of these people sleep? Perhaps they do, because they lack a heart and a conscience and are in some sense like robots. They do what they are told to and then their owner manipulates the remote that keeps them alive. They are the dangerous ones, for they are open to the highest bidder. I really agonize over the fate of these two persons, who were not acting outside the bounds of what should have been expected of them and had to suffer because of that.

Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian.