Created on 16 June 2017 Hits: 141 Written by William Joseph Category: POLITICS
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FIGHTING FOR CRUMBS AND CROWNS

There is always newness about life and its mystery is fresh by the moment! Thankfully, the Father did not grant a say to mankind regarding life. But life is full of this and that, of yes and no, of more and less, of crumbs and crowns! None of these things are new nor is man's sometimes relentlessly drive to get what they want in life. Many do not trust or wait upon the Lord to lay a table before them.  It is truly a blessing that man does not have to fight to save his soul! If he had to fight for that crown he would never leave the table of crumbs.

 

For centuries spanning the old and the new worlds, men fought for kingdom (territory), ethnicity and religion, in the main.  On the African continent, the Ethiopians were triumphant in an epic fight to remain free from the invading and colonizing European in 1896. By their example, we know that the fight is won from the head, not the arm, and that victory is not a function of race.

Unless I have my history wrong, here in the English-speaking Caribbean, our exploited forefathers, barring a few revolts, hardly put up a fight for freedom. Some may argue that they favoured the spiritual high- ground. Instead, the 'fight' to free the slaves transpired in the British Parliament.

The fight for freedom must rank as a distinguishing feature of any civilisation's existence. Not owning this distinction, the Caribbean man appears to have taken a 'joy ride' to freedom and that lack of fight may well help to explain the use to which we have put the freedom won for us by others.

During the sixties and seventies, we were happy to negotiate Independence with the British. The new status brought with it assurances of crowns for the new elites and the promise of less crumbs for the masses, though it must always be remembered that a promise is not a prophesy. Interestingly, those of us who were born into these new circumstances have not really fought for development and governance, two vitally important crowns of nationhood.

We have established ourselves as 'receiver societies', welcoming foreign education, ideologies, systems of government, cultures and technologies in a largely ad hoc, 'come- what- may' manner.

Look at us in Grenada; we do not even put up a fight for better economic and social conditions. So then, how do we justify our Independence? Do you know anyone who is fighting to eliminate poverty? Do you know anyone who is fighting to save our young people from the trap of the Diva culture? Do you know anyone who is fighting to bring governance closer to the people? Are you able to say who is fighting to create economies in the parishes, outside of St George? But we fight for the vote with big dollars and loud mouths because victory delivers a crown of privilege and plenty!

We have put up certain fights in the past and may agree that we are willing to fight today, but for what? Today's fights are not about national causes, they are about individual crowns. Today we fight for party and for leader because we expect personal reward through those preferred relationships. We are prepared to fight fellow citizens who may have no appetite for our 'political mango' of choice. In that fight, we often belie our true character purporting to be 'ethical' on Facebook and pure and honest on radio and newspapers.

Actually, we are fighting to win public favour using foul means and tricks and traps. Fighting is often a dangerous thing! Its consequences may be devastating at the national level (October 1983), and its incidence may fall recklessly on innocent victims, in which case the fight is said to have been unjust.

In the late seventies, the Mongoose Gang fought, brutally, for Uncle Gairy! That fight was for power not justice. The most recognised fight put up by Grenadians in our era was that to secure the freedom of Maurice Bishop. When we got him away from the first encirclement of guns we celebrated, "We get we leader". We had fought for a man we loved, a crown we valued!

In more recent times, we have displayed a variable willingness to fight for Keith and Peter and Victor. While methods have differed, the objectives have been the same. People fight for individuals whom they glorify as providers of the material things they desire in life.  The fight is not about what they believe in as a people. Thinking aloud, the popular fights are waged by poor people, ordinary folks who crown others and happy themselves with crumbs.

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