OPINION: Contempt for the People by Government


The people of our region are suffering the contempt of Government and its trickledown effect, through the relics of colonial rule, into the arrogance of neocolonial imports from the First & Second World continents, and now into the masses of oriental control.

The people who for the most part have been left on plantations like Antigua, are still in the cloud of ownership, where ‘massa’ is expected to supply their needs, as they continue to operate with ‘hand-outs’ and speak ‘speaky-spokey’ to get ahead.

After four hundred years of ownership it is difficult to make the switch from owned to owner, and the system of contempt by our current governments was set in place many years ago as part and parcel of colonial rule, and now, still used to control black people.

Is has become commonplace for individuals and families who do not conform to the dictates of modern rulership with its self-enrichment schemes, to find themselves facing a hate mob at the top, with power to bankrupt their businesses, and break up their families by forcing children to leave home to find work and comfort elsewhere in the world.

Trickling down from those who rule via the public service, government officers have lost whatever customer service might have remained from upbringing, exposing in their ugly manners.

Entering a government office it is difficult to get the attention of reception, as the occupants of those offices exhibit resentment to being interrupted from their phones or whatever person they are occupied with.

Disturbing their space seems to irritate them enough to make one feel like a slap in the face.

This silent rudeness trickles down into the private sector and is sadly lodged in the service sector which includes tourism operations.

Even driving into a fuel service station is to meet stony frowning service, no pleasantries, no smile just a grumble of ‘how much?’ All of the Caribbean migrant workers in Antigua are grumpy, and their fellow Antiguan workers are grumpy too, and they don’t seem to like each other.

And it is political, from diverse party diatribe to in-party discontent, relating to whom is politically pampered, and who are not getting enough.

This colonial system of contempt for the blackest and often the poorest people, left in place by the British is the surest way to continue the ‘divide & rule’ imperative, which makes peaceful cooperation and total integration forever a dream denied.

This imperative keeps the colonial mentality alive, producing more division between the ‘haves’ & ‘have nots’ which is the engine of contempt.

The colonial masters knew how to manipulate the resources of the state to bankrupt locals who were presumptuous enough to operate independent businesses, and refuse to be subservient.

This methodology of contempt for black people, usurped from the colonials, is presumed new, but it has never ceased!

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  1. Wow, Antiguan wordplay at its best!

    “…Where ‘massa’ is expected to supply their needs, as they continue to operate with ‘handouts’ and SPEAK ‘SPEAKY-SPOKEY’ to get ahead …”

    An outstanding opinion piece and cleverly written IDIOMS that’s right up my street. Wonderful!

    I’M JEALOUS … 👍🏾

  2. Even the beggars on the street in the US or even the dude that is selling a bottle of water at the stop sign, greet you with the biggest smile, even they know that customer service and a good attitude is vital to their survival,but for some reason us in the Caribbean can’t seem to get that customer service attitude down pat at all.
    Everytime I come home, customer service frustrates the hell out of me. A lot of these people act like you are the one who need a job to backside, and not them who are stock in a measly 8-5 job with no upward trajectory, from the airport to the local bars.
    Their is one guy down at the market that I stop and buy his banana’s, and I wish a lot of people would model their attitude from him. All this man sells is bananas,and he always have a good attitude and good customer service. Big up to that banana guy, at least all is not lost in the Caribbean when it comes to customer service.

  3. I do wholeheartedly endorse the copious elements of this offering so poignantly stated: and submit only one retrieval reference to: British or Colonial Bastards” ** Colonial Master’s !?

  4. Let’s just cut to the chase, government officials pockets are getting lined with loot and all they say is things are great . Its like the Antiguan people are the snake giving a ride to the scorpion on its back and the snake asking the scorpion your not going to sting me right or we will both perish. What happened they both perished. You can’t get ahead with all the backstabbing. Antiguans have no courtesy towards their own countrymen, I guess they want to learn how to speak Chinese and arabic it seems that’s all they want to help.

  5. Let’s all cut to the chase, Antiguans don’t do customer service to well for the simple fact that basic communication skills are lacking with just your average Antiguan, the level of ignorance with just the government and the fact that basic needs can’t be provided for your people like regular running water and so forth and making it so difficult to do any sort of business as an Antiguan while other nationalities can come here fresh off the boat and do well is troubling. All the while the powers that be say that we as Antigua the nation is doing great. Maybe the ones saying those things are doing well due to position. Its like a story from long ago a snake offered a ride to a scorpion to cross a stream before the scorpion got on the snakes back the snake asked the scorpion, your not going to sting me half way across the stream are you? The scorpion said no trust me. While crossing the stream the scorpion did indeed sting the snake . The snake and scorpion began to sink to the bottom however before they did the snake asked the scorpion why did you sting me knowing we both would perish? The scorpion replied it’s in my nature. All we can do is as much as you see and experience ingorance wherever you go in Antigua, just be cool, calm, and collective and start learning Chinese and arabic.😁

  6. As I have come to Antigua, pre-pandemic, to share in the culture shift of Customer Service, I have gotten pushback from many, as well as transference of blame to others who is believed to have poor customer service.
    Ironically, many whom I encounter sharing their experiences are the very ones who need the training but are unaware of their circumstance.
    I am of the view that poor customer service in the Caribbean comes mainly, but no only from lack of value and respect for one’s own soul.
    It’s a defensive mechanism being used to validate one’s worth, not recognizing that it’s more hurtful and harmful to one’s character and surroundings.
    As soon we think that we’re being subservient by being kind and “nice”, we lose the very purpose of our existence by straying from our Christian principle of “Loving thy neighbor as thyself” or the phrase “Treating others the way you wish to be treated”
    Blaming colonial masters and the trickle-down leadership style of our emerging self governance, I believe is unrelated to our personal way of treating one another.
    Many years ago, children were trained at home how to be kind and respectful. So the moment they were employable or were ready to operate their own businesses, they naturally understood the power of customer service. No formal training was required.
    Because however those principles have vanished or are non-existent, we have to retrain the brain to understand that it’s more than being served, but to serve.
    Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, John 13:1-17.
    Give those a read to see the purpose of your Christian walk on earth.
    May God bless Antigua and Barbuda. 🇦🇬

  7. Hay I only understand one thing as an Antiguan that Gastón is Boss, Massa , Captain, Cook and everything. Gaston is provider and we are now living under a Monarchy dictatorship system. Speaker of the house is his messenger and the entire Cabinet his footstool. AbS Mr. Burford is his trumpet and the Governor General is his Clown. If we the subjects oppose anything we are sent to object poverty- no jobs , no scholarship for our children, no lands to own . Shut up or Crapo smoke you pipe.
    Not even election can move the world boss. Money buy votes , citizens minds are being destroyed. World Boss Rules ! Antiguans are political footballs . Suggy cannot win if he doesn’t play dirty politics and buy votes with Assot money. Antiguans are bought a sold. Hey me a cuss all a you bright fools. Only in Antigua you have people with Ba , Ma , Dr and so subjective and kiss 💋 ass. Them Bright and Baba a ups them because they are not standing up . Afraid to be banished by his majesty- The world Boss rules .

  8. Colonial rule? Look at Africa and Antigua. The greed of those who have power are fellow black men. They suck their own dry. Stop blaming and look at each other! African countries are rife with criminality from those in power and they are ruled by despots who fly in private jets, shop in New York and London and do not care about people. Stop blaming white people and remember Africans were slave traders too.

    • Hey @ bets, you speak as though the European Caucasians didn’t sell out each other as well to increase their greed and nefarious behaviour in the African continent.


      I also note with interest that you haven’t mentioned the destabilising factors from the Western countries (especially the US and UK) who put in place theur OWN despots – as you put it – to increase their wealth to this current day.

      I look forward to your response – if you can that is?

      • Oh, and BTW, if you are not a Caucasian, then what you have written is even worse, because then you are following the misleading narratives to halt any sort of reparations that are well and truly overdue.

        What say you @ bets?


  9. One of the major setbacks in Antigua and Barbuda is the limited options and the abundance of monopolies. APUA comes to mind. Having lived in America and worked for years in the customer service industry, I realize that there is a long overdue need for proper customer service training all around. Because of the abundance of options in the US and the FCC closely guarding against customer mistreatment, companies have very little option but to offer excellent customer service or its curtains for their business.
    There is no doubt that our nation is light years behind in many areas and employees must know that customers are priority. The long lines in APUA and banks would result in the loss of customers, but what choice do we have?
    A well written piece and I commend the author.

  10. Long story short , people are selfish anywhere you go and lack morals. Antigua is no different from any other area in the world it has snakes , slimeballs and Judas also. Whoever you see fit to call those things. 🙂

  11. When I was a child, Antiguans were regarded as among the friendliest people in the Caribbean. Now, most people here are very unpleasant to one another. This attitude hinders progress. Many possible reasons have been suggested. The question is what are we going to do about it? Improving infrastructure such as water and access to other basic community resources would probably cheer persons up quite a bit. Perhaps customer service can be discussed, taught, or practiced in business courses in schools as well to help the next generation recover from this downward spiral.

    • You all should understand this, the majority of people in Antigua are poor people. When people can not pay their bills and still buy the proper food that the body needs , what do you expect? How can you all expect hurting people to go out there with a smile on their faces ? Most people in this country is hurting. Do you all think it’s easy in this country? Getting up everyday going out to work and when you get the payment you have to choose which is the most important thing to do this week, pay bills or but food, should I pay the water bill, light bill it’s hard hard especially for low income workers with children.
      People need a wage they can live on. So much hypertension and diabetic persons that cannot afford to eat the right food for survival so alot of young young people is dying from these illnesses. So don’t expect smiles on people faces when you all go into business places . Some of the employers treat the workers very very bad. This whole country needs a revival.

  12. To The Writer… thank you!! … for one of the most thoughtful opinions expressed on these pages.
    You have recognized that the Government contempt is regional not just in Antigua and Barbuda. So true. I often contend and will continue to argue that Caribbean institutions are failing its people.
    By placing this behavior in the context of our Colonial past, the writer recognizes the irony of a geographic region that depends on Tourism and whose underpinnings is customer service where the tourism visitor get plastic smile, and our people get an “eye cutting”
    Must if this behavior which has now become cultural, are vestiges of our Colonial past when our ancestors were treated with contempt by colonial civil services who controlled their lives.
    What has become a cultural norm is unlikely to change, for it serves the political class interests.

  13. To Dave Ray
    I’m in agreement with some of what you write today. Dr. use your platform to bring about change. And may I remind you it was the christians who enslaved our people. It is the Christian organizations who continue to destroy them today.
    The contempt written about here, is demonstrated each week when Max Hurst issues a Cabinet Notes, which begins with the fact that a Christian minister opened the session with prayers.
    These Christian ministers are a part of the cabal that keeps our people down.
    Those Cabinet Notes are like pissing on us, and telling us it’s raining.
    It does not take Christianity to be reasonable, fair and loving. It doesn’t not take Christianity love your neighbor as yourself and know your worth.
    It takes educating our people to be proud of ourselves, and a motto of not leaving anyone behind. Learn and appreciate what our ancestors went through.
    Until we do so we will continue to treat each other like stray dogs; with the political elites taking all the spoils.

    “Caribbean Institutions are failing its people”

  14. @Dr. Ray
    Let’s examine this.
    You write: “I am of the view that poor customer service in the Caribbean comes mainly, but no only from lack of value and respect for one’s own soul.” Soul/self same difference. Caribbean leaders have adopted many of the principles of colonialism. Among them are colorization (darker skin people gets treated differently) and control through poverty.
    In the US, before the civil-rights movement, light skinned Black people subjected the darker skin to the paper-bag test. Negroes who were no lighter than a paper bag could not get into certain social groups such as Jack and Gill. Most Afro-Americans have moved beyond that way of thinking. The Caribbean is stuck in that thought process and the political elites and the Caribbean institution’s perpetuates it.
    Here in the Caribbean it’s many times derisively referred to as those with “Gods passport” or or “Light Bright and Darn Near White”
    Dr. Ray it’s the culture. Babies aren’t born lacking value in themselves. The culture purposefully fails them as they grow into adulthood.
    Three generations from colonialism the Caribbean people are rewarded for their ability of being dismissive and vulgar; by the system that rewards them for being that way.
    You are correct it’s a defensive mechanism; but it’s rewarded by the politicians who puts these individuals in place, where this behavior is not an exception but the norm. It’s a control mechanism. What the opinion writter is rightfully stating it is so pervasive that it has bled into private businesses. It’s now a cultural norm.
    It’s the Politicians who can get rid of it, if they wanted. Buts it’s a culture that suits their purpose.
    It’s not a non-Christian thing. Christians too exhibit this behavioral disorder.
    Stop equating Cultural and Political corruption with lack of Christianity in peoples lives.

  15. Why is customer service so poor in antigua? Short answer.
    What’s there to be happy about?
    I’m in a menial job, doing menial work, I’m working.but struggling to make ends meet..
    And I’m supposed to be grateful!
    Can’t even take a proper shower sometimes to refresh myself no water in pipe ugh!
    Poverty is a terrible thing, no wonder people are depressed and despondent,
    This state has developed into the have and the have nots sad!
    Smile.. not today..
    Soon as I save some money.
    I’m heading for a better life in America or Canada..but for now there is nothing to smile about..

    • Hang in there Sandra, many many Antiguans aren’t happy with how the country is being run.

      However, there’s hope on the horizon.

      Gaston Browne has been exposed as a lying, uncaring and self-enriched leader who only cares for those in his close circle. So obvious.

      The Prime Minister has forgotten about the majority of Antiguans, and – try as he might want to rectify it now – he cannot turn the rising tide of his accountability that’s turning into a real storm – we long fed-up wid he!


      • I was writing from a person with a menial job perspective, as I said there is nothing for poor people to be happy and smile about..
        Most people I think are just waiting for an opportunity to leave and look for a better life..
        Until then, poor customer service
        and grumpy attitude from me
        Ps the worker.
        I’ll be retiring in another 4 years so I’m good 👍

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