When is Enough, Enough? An Open Letter to the Elite & Middle Class.

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By Akim Larcher

Colonalization has a conscience!” (2020) – Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia

Is there ever a good time to critique an idea, the silent violent act, the insidious thought or a forceful hand making unlawful advances onto our bodies?

 

Under the public health emergency, these past months have felt much like an assault on who we are. A forgivable attack on who we are and how we see the world has been taken from us, without our consent. This period has provided us with a front row seat and insight into how our governments have on the one hand seized additional powers to manage the COVID crisis. Then, on the other hand grabbed power to enact the most draconian laws that weaken democratic institutions, cover up their economic mismanagement, and give license to the police and criminal justice apparatus to stymie political voices. Sadly so, this operates within a new silence of the elite and middle class. Almost complicit in the colonization of our imagination, the elite and middle class have gone silent in the Caribbean, they have become broken, utterly immobilized and abandoning the ship of revolution.

 

Across the Eastern Caribbean, we are facing an existential retreat to re-define and re-imagine how we understand vulnerability, experience happiness, brave modernity and live free from the threat of state violence. These are civilizational questions we need to take seriously, or should I dare say you, yes YOU to reflect and understand what is at stake; it affects the very water you drink, air you breathe, land you toil and space we coexist in.

 

Look around anywhere in the sub-region and bare witness to the devastation taking place to our livelihoods. From the Atlantic corridors to the Northern Caribbean shores, a somewhat precarious marriage has developed between the government and the land. This odd marriage between the environment and economy is nonetheless held together by the vows and wedding bands of political interference and corruption. Not one island remains unscathed by the treacherous injustices of foreign investment & development, apartheid tourism, and political corruption.

 

On the island of Saint Lucia for example, Canadian company Cabot Links is geared to develop a 375 acre luxury golf course, resort and residences for the ultra rich on an Amerindian burial ground dating back between 800 AD – 1500 AD. In Antigua, the Yida project is another development but will operate like a state within a state affording the Chinese-funded project 90% profits tax exemptions within its 2,000 acres colony. Complete within its tax-free haven will stand factories, homes and holiday resorts across the islands most virgin and protected marine and wild life reserves in the Northern part of the island. Not by any means the least of transgressions, countries like Dominica and Grenada remain sullied by ongoing corruption scandals with the sale of diplomat passports for pay by the political elite. Scandalously, this is held and seen within plain sight where public officials are directly and indirectly benefiting from these commercial relationships. They are basically selling the land of the people to the lowest bidder.

 

These unholy and corrupt alliances, remains unchecked, unaccountable and representative of a robber in broad day light. At what point, do we respond, at what point do we call them out, at what point do we stop our self indulgent   navel gazing? At what point do we realize that our citizenship has been violated?

 

The middle & elite classes’ unwillingness to speak up, especially as we have become materially privileged, socially positioned and politically corrupt to further oppress the poor is a sad state of affairs across the Caribbean. The suffering and pain being witnessed across the region is palpable and tantamount to the days post World War II with inequalities borne from our silence and complicit support of the political corruption sitting at our own dinning tables.

 

Across the Caribbean we can’t breathe from the professionals who sit pushing papers and killing families. Across the Caribbean we can’t breathe from colonialization having a conscience. Across the Caribbean, we can’t breathe from the corrupt and morally bankrupt politicians who are bribed with donations. Across the Caribbean, we can’t breathe from the hypocritical morale and unethical religions we allow to take root in our imagination.

 

Across the Caribbean, we can’t breathe because we remain silent!

 

Akim Adé Larcher is a Canadian/Saint Lucian born neg mawon lover, a faggot, a truth (story) teller on a journey to bridge the gap between his thoughts and words. He holds an Associate in Arts in International Business from Miami-Dade Community College (1995) and a Bachelor of Law with 1st Class Honours from the University of Wolverhampton (2006). He is also a 2008 Gordon Global Fellow sponsored by the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation. This fellowship is awarded to emerging young Canadian leaders who have proven their commitment to and passion for enhancing Canadas role in global politics. His forthcoming Memoir, will explore issues of empire, criminalization, sexual citizenship, culture, migration, and human rights.

 

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29 COMMENTS

  1. The Elite are not silent. They are complicit. Selling out the country for their personal gain. They have set themselves and their children so there is no concern for the common man who works 60 hours a week but still has to “eni-mini” to see which bills he can pay this month.

    The middle class is not silent, they have been duped. Put into positions where they act as gate keepers to prevent other aspiring “lower class” persons, who believe that hard work and playing by the rule will elevate the quality of life they and their families live.

    We all have an idea of what the problem is, we certainly know it’s effects. The question remains what is the solution. And do we have the balls to do what it takes.

  2. Pat-a-cake while I agree with your fundamental position, I would just add that the elite and middle class are indeed silent because of their complicity and duplicity with the status quo. They do not dare speak out and rock the boat about the ills in society for fear of losing their modicum of benefits derived from the rotten and corrupt governance system. Even more serious though, is a large percentage of the intelligencia (since the elite and middle class are not necessarily a part of the intelligencia) who remain completely silent while the society descends into social and political decadence. Enough is not only enough, but it has become too much and the PLH Project in Barbuda is a case in point and the destruction of the environment that will ensue as a result.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock!

      “To politicize the masses is to make the nation in its totality a reality for every citizen. To make the experience of the nation, the experience of every citizen” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

      Intelligencia! Oh Gad! “Are you down with overcoming oppression?” These are assessment and evaluative questions that allow the interrogator to accurately pinpoint the responder’s location, whether it be a cultural or psychological location. As a paradigm Afrocentricity enthrones the centrality of the African, that is, black ideals and values, as expressed in the highest forms of African culture, and activates consciousness as a
      functional aspect of any revolutionary approach to phenomena. The cognitive and structural aspects of a paradigm are incomplete without the functional aspect. There is something more than knowing in the Afrocentric sense; there is also doing.” – Dr. Molefi Asamte, Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change!

      “Afrocentricity holds that all definitions are autobiographical.” Asante!

      Nuff Said!

      • The problem with our people in these Caribbean Islands, and to a wider extent on the the African continent is that we have been misinformed and miseducated by way of religious indoctrination.
        We have become disconnected from the God of our Ancestors.
        For the most part our people believe that our history began with the transatlantic slave trade.
        We are not aware of the great contribution to world civilization by African people.
        We have a love affair with everything and everyone foreign. We have to fall in love with ourselves And change our mindset for us to take a stand against those who we elect as leaders and managers of our lands.
        Too often our people who are supposed to be educated, remain silent while our corrupted politicians and Officials give away our lands in the name of foreign direct investment.
        The giving away of our most profitable entities such as the generation and distribution of electricity, the giving away of our Port for 30 years plus the option for another 10 years just to name a few, will be a financial burden of generations to come.
        It is only through education and knowledge of self, we the people Will be empowered and gain the confidence to stand up against those who are entrusted with the responsibility to be good stewards of our lands, the people’s asset.

      • Honestly, the man was cracking me up. Really knows how to put his foot in his mouth. Now I understand why the former admin made the kind of mistakes they did, with Tabor advising them.

  3. An intelligent sounding post. How do conditions in the Caribbean compare with, let’s say the USA the so-called greatest country in the world, the land of democracy where social controls dare not raise their ugly heads – wear or don’t wear a mask, gather like they do en masse at the President’s rallies, frequent the beaches, have fun. How are they faring class by class there? Is it even a class thing? Why are we so quick to assign blame and castigated groups or individuals who don’t dance to your music? Tell us my learned friend exactly what you expect the upper and middle classes to do in order to spare them the barrage of insults that have already begun and will no doubt continue. Speak directly to those classes and let them know what they should be doing to please you. Then we in the working /lower class would know if, after all, the quick-to-the-draw tabor can be listened to.

    • Ask yourself what could the other officers have done while their colleague knelt on George Floyd’s neck. Then apply that answer to your above question. The situations are the same.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! It is legitimate to ask, “Where is the sistah coming from!” or “Where is the brotha at!”

      This was written in 1960: “The national bourgeoisie discovers its historical mission as intermediary. As we have seen, its vocation is not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism, forced to camouflage itself behind the mask of neocolonialism. The national bourgeoisie, with no misgivings and with great pride, revels in the role of agent in its dealings with the Western bourgeoisie. This lucrative role, this function as small-time racketeer, this narrow-mindedness and lack of ambition are symptomatic of the incapacity of the national bourgeoisie to fulfil its historic role as bourgeoisie. The dynamic, pioneering aspect, the inventive, discoverer-of-new-worlds aspect common to every national bourgeoisie is here lamentably absent. At the core of the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries a hedonistic mentality prevails—because on a psychological level it identifies with the Western bourgeoisie from which it has slurped every lesson. It mimics the Western bourgeoisie in its negative and decadent aspects without having accomplished the initial phases of exploration and invention that are the assets of this Western bourgeoisie whatever the circumstances. In its early days the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries identifies with the last stages of the Western bourgeoisie. Don’t believe it is taking short cuts. In fact it starts at the end. It is already senile, having experienced neither the exuberance nor the brazen determination of youth and adolescence.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

      Pay attention to the Sorry A$$ Saga of the Wadadli Power Plant, The APC BOOT, The Water Harvesting, Storage and Distribution, The two Solar Power Farms, The Wind Power Electricity Generation and the Private Public Partnership (P3) for a LNG Electrical Generating Plant! Have mercy pon us!

      Oh Gad! Duh U C anyting fi smile fah!

    • What i find telling about people like Tabor is how he sings based on where he sits. Before the 2014 election, YIDA was good, A&B was beautiful, now he considers it a ** hole and continues to dance in step with his political leader (who agreed before 2014 with Chaku that Dianne Black Layne was inimical to their investments projects and hence removed her from the environment department) :

      “Finance Minister Harold Lovell said Yida International Investment Antigua Limited, led by Yida Zhang, is seeking approval under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) as well as incentives under the Business and Tourism (Special Incentives) Act for a mega resort and residential development on Guiana Island and surrounding areas.
      “Government has approved the project and is willing to give the necessary concessions,” Lovell said.
      “We have done everything we can to facilitate the project and get it moving,” he added. “The possibilities exist that we do what is necessary in order to ensure that the project comes off the ground.”…Lovell said the government has been doing its part to ensure the mega project can move ahead full speed, but is waiting for the group to finalise its purchase from the Stanford liquidators. see Gov’t keen to offer incentives for Guiana Island project Article Published: May 9, 2014, Daily Observer

      • TENMAN HUGHES you certainly must be talking about yourself because it would be almost impossible to find a bigger singer than yourself. I will make just one point to show you are talking pure nonsense as usual. Take the YIDA project. I knew nothing of the YIDA project in 2014 so I do not know how I would be able to comment that it was good. Moreover, the UPP administration had problems with the project and it was put on hold until after the election. Unfortunately, the UPP lost the 2014 election and the ALP administration who formed the government went blindly into the YIDA project. In fact, your leader Gaston Browne even signed an MOU with YIDA (and boasted about his leadership) even before he became the Prime Minister. Finally, for your information Tenman Hughes I am very concerned about the environment and would never have allowed YIDA to pursue some of the types of development it wants to undertake on Guiana Island. Unlike you who operate like a blind minion and sychophant for Gaston Browne, if the YIDA project was being implemented under a UPP administration and it was proceeding to the detriment of the environment I would have opposed it. Always remember as well that I do not have to sing for my supper like you Tenman. Similarly, if the UPP administration was in power and they were proceeding with the PLH project at Palmetto Point in Barbuda, I would have also opposed it.

        • Keep telling you stop calling me out of my name. Anyway again Lovell (According to Daily Observer) just days before the June 2014 election:

          “Lovell said the government has been doing its part to ensure the mega project can move ahead full speed, but is waiting for the group to finalise its purchase from the Stanford liquidators. see Gov’t keen to offer incentives for Guiana Island project Article Published: May 9, 2014, Daily Observer”

          Now watch you still in denial. You forget the Hermitage Bay projects and the stop orders? You don’t recall Dianne Black Layne being chastised for it by your party chairman (Chaku held that totle at the time)? Man you must have been tucked comfortably in the luxury compartment of that express train, Cort used to speaks of.

          • TENMAN what is your correct name? Please state it so I can refer to you by your correct name. Be a man and stop hiding behind a pseudonym.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! Forget Charlie and his Spinning Guava Wood Top! Some say ah cushoo wood!

      We have gone form “Entrepreneurial Socialism” to some form of Western, Middle East and Eastern Capitalism which no politico, with a DNA cloaked in Blue or Red, can articulate with clarity! Is it expedient! Who knows!

      “Covid and Rona” as they run wantonly with bacchanalian delight have clearly exposed all of the fault lines of Social Distancing for all to see and understand!

      “The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

  4. The govt is the reason all this shit happens.

    When the members that comprise govt are in it for the betterment of the country and its citizens. then and only then will we become a better nation. Until then, it’ll be business as usual and our children will suffer the consequences.

  5. Mi gud fren John Frenvh II, have being quoting Frantz Fanon, to Us for decades; and, the observations being made, by this writer fall along these same lines!
    Nothing new, to read here. Our Quasi Caribbean Nations have being using #CLASSISM, for decades to justify, their RELIGIOUS BELIEFS and practices. In other words CLASSISM, just like RACISM is a religion, protected by the Church & State, partners in crime, since, the days of the Spanish Inquisitions to the present!

  6. What the Caribbean leaders and people classify as reality is actually a belief system based on social conditioning.

    Anyone that thinks mental slavery is the problem they should think again. We are in physical slavery without any rights and so called freedoms.

    Who owns the land owns the wealth….

  7. @Melchesidec…I n I, already know this process known as, #SocialConditioning.
    You’re preaching, to the #Choir.

    …Nothing, as in No Thing;
    …’tis, the only #Thing
    …which, happens by mistake!
    …All others are by design,
    …as, Time leaves you in that Space
    …of, its wake!
    …you’d better be, Awake!

  8. As John French II mentioned in his maze of philosophical situations and insights above – (paraphrasing) – “It is not enough to know, we must do.”

    Soooo…… now that we agree on the problem, how do we fix it?

  9. Pat-a-cake the prerequisite to fixing the problem is to first find out the status of the plant when it was obtained from China. To do this requires a thorough investigation and that should have been done by the ALP when they assumed government. As Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the Chinese government assured him that if something was wrong with the plant we would be compensated. However, despite the fact that ALP politicians proclaimed during the 2014 election campaign that the plant was old, on their assumption of government nothing was done. It is not too late to convene an investigation and if it is determined that bought “a pig in a bag” then compensated should be on the table according to Gaston Browne. If on the other hand the plant was new then it is our fault that the plant was allowed to fall into such disrepair. In the latter case, the engineers at APUA and both administrations would be somewhat at fault and undoubtedly the ALP administration should bear most of the blame for the present condition of the plant. The government needs to address this issue seriously and stop trying to play partisan politics with so grave a matter.

  10. @Pat-a-cake…I’ll borrow a saying from, a blogger who would end his comments, this way; (paraphrasing) – Fix the little things, before R We fix the big things!

  11. @Ras Smood – while I agree with that approach in some instances. I fear this is not one where we can afford to put one-one in the basket. Sometimes when we fix the big problems, the little ones fix themselves.

  12. @Pat-a-cake….the Rattling Bones, slamming on the domino table assures me, that the “promised investigation,” into the WPP, by the then ALP, never manifested, because the IHI Report from another investigation by the UPP, was used as leverage, to halt the investigation into the WPP….

    Members, of the same Fraternal Order, swore an Oath to protect each other.
    If you’ve being paying attention, not even the GG gets involved, unless forced to; even though, and I stand corrected, the GG Office can initiate, it’s own investigation, into anything which is deemed inappropriate, by the Government which the GG is in control of(technically of course).

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