‘Bad-minded and Lub-ugly’ Antiguan Culture

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By Makeda Mikael

Friends of my generation are trying to discover where the Antiguan culture developed ‘bad-mindedness and lub-ugly’ as its outstanding features when it comes to its own people.

We have come up with a theory based on the history of Antigua being the first colony to emancipate its hundreds of enslaved Africans and their half-breeds – inheritance of their master’s rape.

The mind set of the planter class may have been triggered by fear and loss of control, hence their departure for the UK, leaving their overseer class in charge of the island.

These are the culprits responsible for the failure of our people to have picked up some of the finer cultural attributes of the upper class British, instead of the brute qualities of their lower class left behind to oversee the estates.

Antigua can truly be considered a classless society, which respects no one, especially its own people, which has  unfortunately resulted in mediocrity and a non-meritorious society.

It is not lost on us that there are very few Antiguans if any who hold top jobs in Government, the hotel industry and private enterprise, and who if qualified, apolitical and professional are micro-managed by Ministers of Government, and the expatriate Manager who reports to the hotel and private enterprise owners.

For a long time we blamed the Antiguans’ refusal to make the quantum leap from middle-management to top management. Now serious study of the two political administrations and going back historically into the last thirty odd years we find no encouragement from the top, except for a brief period in the 1980-90s when government sought to locate and position outstanding Antiguans to high Ministry positions, encouraging the hotels to do the same.

Clearly the government does not trust Antiguans to carry out their directives without beating up on their people with the ‘bad-minded and lub-ugly’ cultural attitude.

On the other hand the expatriate or non-national in the top job can be trusted to carry out government directives unquestioned and confidential, and at the same time smiling in the Antiguan face while carrying out the adverse political directive with subtle racism.

How do we fix this ‘bad-minded & lub-ugly’ cultural attitude which we have learned from those who had no ‘airs and graces’ to impart to the down-trodden black enslaved Africans freed in Antigua, who groaned like Langston Hughes, the American poet:

“So we sit here on the edge of hell
And wonder what to do in the face of what we remember
And with every bid for freedom
Someone whispers
‘Wait’

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46 COMMENTS

  1. I am trying desperately to equate the caption to the this “farticle” and what is actually written.

    • GETTING INTO NOTTEN

      So saying ‘…Notten’ about the ‘…Opinion piece.’

      But do ‘luv dis darn new wud – ‘…Farticle.’

      Straight into the Dictionary.

  2. JUST SAYING if you cannot see the connection between the caption of the article and its content, then you are worse off than I used to think. Perhaps FROM THE SIDELINE, TENMAN, PETE, CARSON B, PHILLIP G, FREDERIC LAMPTON, RUPERT MANN or BEEF can help you. My only disagreement with the article is in the fifth paragraph when she says that Antigua is a classless society (what the author is implying here is that the people are uncouth), and not that Antigua is a society without social classes. Other than that ambiguity it is a brilliant article. JUST SAYING the article might be too much for you

    • @Tabor I want you to help me. I also want you to answer a question I have been asking for weeks now. What will the UPP do differently in tackling covid. Let us assume Harold’s gasping at straws assertion s correct that the money the government could have had is all spent wastefully as he puts it. That now is water under the bridge. So I am asking you again tell me one thing that is of rationality that UPP would do differently in tackling covid.

    • I totally agree and I am a born Antigua. I grew up in this Country and this is exactly how the ppl are.

    • Sadly, “really”, you come across as an example of the very thing she is talking about. Educate yourself.

  3. In general the typical Àntiguan response to what you don’t understand or care to is curse out , dismiss or be insultive . Not leaving out the disrespect for women which is nauseatingly high and might very well be culturally ingrained .The article was well received by me .

  4. Well written woman. The truth will always be offensive. Antiguan/black people in general are bad minded, jealous, ugly inside n outside, ignorant… They are a waste

  5. As if often said to each his own and every written piece has an audience to whom it will connect. For me there is no positive connection. This “farticle” is xenophobic and downright an insult to all Antiguans and persons from other countries who have made Antigua their home and I dare say the ones who would have helped the “shiter” of the “farticle” massed her wealth. The “farticle” is void of any empirical evidence but is filled with conjectures and unsubstantiated assertion. If it connects with you then so be it. Afterall there are many who believes covid is not real.

      • Stanford $25million property was given to her.
        And thanks t Vere Bird II and Lester Bird

        • @From The Sidelines…very simple, tell the World what does her “wealth” has to do with the points Makeda Mikael are making regarding “lub ugly/bad mindedness” which are entrained in the Culture of Antigua, Barbuda & Redonda?

          And, by the way could you tell us who owns REDONDA? You are in the know.

          • Was just responding to Lizabeth who asked a question. Sorry if you don’t like the answer. ‘t was not addressed to you

  6. I love my country but this article is on point. Antiguans will find all the reasons in the world to love and support everyone except their own and then want to be offended by the truthes in this piece.

  7. The title of the article should be, The Bastardization Syndrome Of Cultures, and its affects on Our local Antiguan culture.

    • The “comments” are so entertaining. People speak their minds and say what is in their hearts.

  8. This article was not meant to insult anyone, but rather to take a real look at our condition and see why we behave as we do to each other. The historical reason was discussed constantly between ourselves with Tim Hector pin pointing the role models each island had at emancipation and during the colonial era. As a people taking responsibility for our own development, there are many instances where we just mimic those who went before, and the way we treat to each other has been learned.

    • It is sad that the negative aspect about our culture was chosen to define the culture. Maybe I grew up somewhere else, but I have seen so much love and care from my fellow Antiguans, from people in the village of Liberta where I was born, to teachers, church members, random people, people around the market where my mom was a vendor, my fellow Antiguans when away at university and even some people in high government positions.
      Quite often, ones overwhelming view is guided primarily by their personal attitude.
      The many Antiguans, much more than our population size would suggest, who hold high positions in other countries, are they beneficiaries of the bad minded culture of those countries or are they beneficiaries of their qualifications and hard work like some of the immigrants who come here?

    • Antigua people are very passive. Not sure why but I am thinking it may have to do with our lineage

  9. Article is spot on. Antiguans have a US National/Dominican fake running our Port. He fool off dem UPP and ALP smaddy with docisment that have credentials that make he look like President Obama.

  10. Any one who feels insulted by this article needs to see a psychiatrist. I would suggest to JUST SAYING therefore that he makes an appointment to see Dr. King. It reminds me of VS Naipaul’ s great novel THE MIMIC MEN however instead of going to the colonial capitals such as London to discover our disillusionment and trying to find our true selves from our colonial history, we can do the research and introspection right here at home. The whole process of enculturation and socialization are factors that impacts on who we are as a people today. We need to understand those processes and make the necessary social and political changes. History is replete with examples both in the Caribbean and Africa, where our leaders took over governance from the colonial masters and instead of doing better simply mimic them. Your article in raising this issue was therefore very welcome. That was the kind of analysis that the great revolutionary scholar from Martinique, Franz Fanon, was engaged in and this is exhibited in his 1961 classic work THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH. That book should be required reading even today. I recommend it to you JUST SAYING so that your thinking can become a little clearer and more sensible.

    • @Charles Tabor…🌻🌞it’s still a sunshiny day, no matter what comes to #daShores of Wadadli.🌑
      The #BlackheartMan sent those messages regarding Frank’s Fanon teachings from their significance and importance, in understanding the Bastardized HUEman thought processes, and how they’re still affecting us to this day….🖤

      Many moons some 10 years ago, on Caribarena the likes of John French II recommended what you’re suggesting, get such works as Fanon’s in Our educational system from as early as kindergarten!

      Jumbee Pickbee, til a prowl lakkah #NightOwl, and him partner Ras Smood could be #Edward, deVere!

      RASpect…yes! I do agree works from Frantz Fanon are a MUST in the #NewIndoctrination, of this #NewNorm.

    • Charles, This time you are making more sense than usual, not that you don’t make any sense. It’s just this time you outdid yourself. You are sounding more like a Comrade in the tradition of Maurice Bishop and Tim Hector. Thank you sir.

      • CErmle that is because I was a comrade in the sensible and revolutionary tradition represented by Maurice Bishop and Tim Hector and was a member of the ACLM.

  11. The article is spot on about too much non-national/ANU Citizens holding high position jobs within government, where we have qualified Antiguans and Barbudans that can do the work.
    Yes, some Antiguans and Barbudans especially within the government jobs are bad-minded especially at Establishment Departments and CHAPA.
    Qualified Antiguans and Barbudans have filled out application forms for government jobs with Establishment Departments, and non-national are sent in most of these jobs by politicians.
    For years, CHAPA have been turning away a lot of Antiguans and Barbadians applicants saying to them that no lands available to sell in the areas they requested on their application forms. Then a politician will give a non-nations /ANU a letter to go to CHAPA for a land in the same areas. A particular red headed lady that works at CHAPA don’t love to sell Antiguans lands….her motto is “No land available or the minister for that area says not to sell any land in that area.”
    We black people are our own enemy. We don’t love to see our own make it in life. We do anything to join with the masa politicians and keep our people down. And we will put up red tape if we see they come with better credentials/qualifications and experience than you have looking employment in the same department or company you work both private and public sectors.
    Bad-minding a kill us if we don’t change our behavior towards our own native.

  12. Well said,well written by Makeda. Many do want to hear the truth about us as a people. Let a Politician tell them a blatant lie. They would believed it and take it to the Bank. Antigua has been a Society filed with Classism. It is still in action to this day. I am going back to the 1950’s to now. I am a National of Antigua and Barbuda. I for one do not live among my Countrymen. Because them bad minded and begrudging. I do not know. Where that type of a cultural behavior came from.

  13. I wonder how Prince Klaas would feel about this article. If you need evidence to support this opinion piece, read his story. Sad to say, the comments show that not much has changed.

  14. I’m a born and proud Antiguan, love my little paradise, but its people and even adopted citizens need to change for the better. I’ve herd that saying a long time ago and I’m not that young in age, so its nothing new but true. As another saying goes “Antigua Nice”, Yes the island, but at this time…. Hmmmmm! much is left to be said of its people.
    Well said Ms. Mikael.

  15. “The looking glass”

    Ms. Mikael doesn’t pull any punches tal. She is correct, but I would argue with the origins of bad- mindedness. The plantocracy was not a meritocracy. Second sons who didn’t inherit and were not smart enough to get to Oxford came to Antigua to make their fortunes. Also, it’s not unique to Antigua. Former Bajan PM Barrow’s most famous speech was the “mirror image’ speech and addressed the same issues.

  16. The other day when I said that Cutie should not have signed the work permit for Gemma I was criticized. But here you have Ms. Mikael making the point of foreignors taking prominent positions in our country in the Private as well as the government sector. It shows you that this issue is much deeper. My father has always labeled it as black people’s problem of Crab in the Barrel mentality. So it is not persee an Antiguan and Barbudan issue. That is the main reason why slavery was able to take place and be in place for over 300 years. And when Ms. Mikael refers to an Antiguan culture she is referring to a black culture. And to tell you the truth Makeda used to be part of that problem when she was the righthand woman of Lester Bird. She shielded Lester like a hawk. No one could get an appointment if you do not pass by Makeda. I believe that was part of Lester’s down fall. And when Asot Michael took over that spot he did the same thing. So in a nutshell Lester was easily manupilated by those he entrusted to handle his affairs. So here the Makeda is addressing an issue of which she was part of the problem but is not offering any solutions. As Bob Marley sung, Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery, None but Ourselves can Free Our Mind.
    I have given examples of black Antiguans patronizing Syrian and Lebanese stores much more then they would patronize Blackmen whether its Antiguan or Guyanese or Jamaican stores. And again this is not an Antiguan thing. It’s a black thing. Black people have the power of the purse but they will not use that to benefit their own people. There was an article once published by a Jewish Rabbi who said, black people are the only people that do not support their own when it comes to the power of the purse. And with that conciousness of mind I do practice concious spending. But it is difficult sometimes when you want to buy lets say a standing fan from Super Power or from the Megoman in the street. When the price matters for you, you really have no choice.

  17. Was this farticle a biography?

    Does the author has the same mental defect she is writing about?

    How did she escape it?

    • I was wondering the same thing, Mel. Did she escape it, and how??? Overall, I felt the article was pretty good, but there are quetions.

  18. Even the women

    Multiple children by multiple different men is the norm

    The men have no self discipline or control. The women use sex as a bargaining chip.

    Time for real leaders. Teaching the young ones to love and respect themselves and each other. Teaching the children to think and analyze.

    Abandon the hypocritical religiosity and magical thinking coupled with extreme lack of morals and ethics.

    Also Antiguans lie a lot… to themselves and to each other

    • ´´Cast the first stone´´ as soon as you get off you high horse. You sound like the very hypocrites you are describing Antiguans as. You must think you are squeaky clean and perfect.

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