Dr. Fraser- Point of View
September 30, 2005

To the brothers, sisters whoever they might be

I had indicated before that I was once of the view that we had gone beyond the kind of issues of class and race that had been surfacing in recent weeks.

However, listening to and reading some of the commentaries it is obvious that there is a debate, not only about race and class, but about many other things that still need to take place. {{more}}

Unfortunately now is not the time because it is obvious that personal political preferences and a great deal of hypocrisy get in the way of any real debate. It is good however that it has caused some persons to get certain things off their chests. I still maintain that our Prime Minister had gone out of bounds in making the statements attributed to him, regardless of how he meant them or what some persons thought he meant.

What I found interesting is the number of apologists who stopped at nothing to rationalize what he said and to put a good face on them. What would have been the reaction if other persons had made such statements? In any event, what is wrong in saying that given our political climate and the tensions in the society such statements should be avoided, as admittedly, some persons have said. I am sorry that I have to repeat what I said before, but I honestly believe it. If more persons in Grenada had been vigilant in monitoring things and had taken certain positions on some issues at an early stage, the tragedy that emerged would not have been. And here I am talking about friends of the revolution!

Many of us have heroes or persons we admire. But we are dealing with human beings who have weaknesses and although it might not be stated, depend on the critical eyes not only of those around them, but of others in the society. Not many of us are put in positions where we have to deal with power.

The acquisition of power brings out the best in us but it also brings out the worst. No one should be beyond the pale of criticism. We have to keep them on the right track for there are too many persons filled with good intentions who lose them at some point especially when there is a lack of critical feed back. In the final analysis what are we all about? Certainly, as I suggested at a different time, not to flatter egos but to build a country, something that demands the skills and commitment of all its people. There is too much pettiness about and some of us seem to have lost a sense of mission and purpose.

A small country of 110,000 persons cannot afford what is happening, and an election is not going to solve all our problems. We, the people, the brothers and sisters, are the ones who will have to, but we have to be honest with ourselves, to examine ourselves and our mission. Many of us who have benefited from educational opportunities that ultimately come from the taxpayers of the country have a major responsibility to make our contribution. An atmosphere has to be created to allow this to happen. But we seem prepared to ride on the backs of others merely to fulfill our individual desires, or perhaps even dreams. There is obviously nothing wrong in striving to fulfill our dreams but it must not be at the expense of everything else, including our voices.

We have to rid ourselves of a lot of the pettiness and to create among, other things an intellectual climate that would allow us to move into a different kind of dispensation. I am not thinking of any elitist construct but of a forum and a conversation that allows everyone to make a contribution. At this time everything is about elections and elections are important but not enough is being said about the development of the country. There are issues that need careful scrutiny. The country, we are told, will embark on a major project or rather face a major challenge, that is, to build an international airport. Where is the critical examination? Where are the voices looking honestly at this? What is at stake? How does this impact on us? What is our honest opinion about what is presented to us?

Knowing our country and its resources are we confident that we can successfully and realistically undertake a number of major projects at virtually the same time? Where are the voices guiding us? The politicians will say what they have to say. Are we merely their echoes? Where are those with the relevant skills, experience and information who are prepared to scrutinize the proposal and to provide the population with a framework and information for analyzing what is before them?

Our mission is a serious one. Regardless of what we think about our political heroes and our political parties, the challenges are going to tax the best of them and equally the resources of the country. We have to find a new way. We cannot continue to simply depend on handouts from the tax payers of other countries.

Are we prepared to seriously talk about the way forward or are we simply romantics unable to distinguish between dreams and realities? The question is, are we serious? The mission cannot be postponed. This is not an option. It is already late.

There is talk about avoiding the political tribalism of Jamaica. Hopefully we are far removed from that for there are ingredients that feed the situation there that are missing here and hopefully will stay so. But it is we who will have to avoid this. Voices need to be heard, not ones filled with hypocrisy but honest and genuine ones. We might not always agree. Why should we anyhow? But we must not fail because we dared not to let our voices be heard.

This is our challenge and our mission.