Our Readers' Opinions
August 6, 2004
Emancipation month: fantasy time for Rastas

EDITOR: This is Emancipation Month and it is evangelism and missionary time for Rastafarians, Afro-Caribbeans and those who promote the idea that we black Vincentians are Africans and should look to the “mother land” for inspiration. {{more}}
I respect everyone’s right to his opinion on any subject under the sun. However, it is my view that Vincentians must understand that our task as a nation and independent people is not to worry about Africa and chase after imaginary and illusionary milk and honey flowing in Ethiopia. Rather we have got to be concerned about SVG and making it a better place, as Stalin says, “for we woman and we children”. Believing that Ethiopia is heaven and that Ras Tafari, its former Emperor, is God Almighty and will help change the situation of the life of the ordinary black man in SVG is nothing short of fatal ignorance.
A careful look at Africa will reveal an appalling picture and that is putting it mildly. The short list shows that ignorance, disease, corruption, ethnic violence and desperate poverty abound and this is the truth, irrespective of how strong is the foolish imagination to the contrary. From Darfur in Sudan to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, “Blackman killing too much Blackman.” It’s no wonder the world has all but given up hope on sub-Saharan Africa.
In Africa, it’s always open season for diseases from Ebola to AIDS; everyday you can see on television the desperate efforts of hundreds of black Africans willing to give their lives only to end up in Europe. They openly declare their readiness to scrub toilets in Europe (which is what 99 per cent do) rather than return to their homes in Africa.
The evidence shows that with all the natural wealth of Africa the sub-Saharan part (black Africa) is on a downward spiral in virtually every aspect of life. The UN described the 1980s as the lost decade for development in Africa. From then to now Africa is all but a dying Lazarus with international aid trying to lick its incurable sores. In fact, the latest reports from world trade shows are that Africa’s miniscule share continues to decline. These are not the opinions of this writer; these are objective realities exposed by scientific research.
As I write, there are quite a few Africans living illegally in different Caribbean states and to get them out we might have to shoot them. They will never willingly leave. If barracuda come out the sea and says shark is bad, who am I to doubt.
Interestingly, the Rastafarians and “Afro-Caribbeans” will explain to you that it’s only colonialism and imperialism to be blamed. It is only France, Belgium, England and the like that are responsible for the plight of black Africa. Listening to them, one is fully convinced that there was never an Eddy Idi Amin Dada, there was never a Charles Taylor and of course there was never a Fordey Scanko. Listening to them you would not believe Mobutu Sese Seko was one of the world’s 10 richest men while Zaire wallowed in desperation, which matured into an Ebola epidemic and a river of blood having as its source genocidal ethnic violence; in other words, and all out black-on-black war.
The present day sub-Saharan Africa is a never-ending horror movie where a significant number of states like the Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau are gangrenous bodies painfully inching towards an inevitable horrific death, while others such as Somalia are states only in name but in reality are wastelands fit only for the disposal of toxic nuclear waste. Africa is like a deadly contagious illness, which naturally breeds illiteracy, confusion and want. And the problem here is that it is not only a case where the diagnosis is discouraging, the prognosis is not for the faint hearted as it can cause cardiac arrest.
Out of respect for the right of each and everyone to his religious creed, I will not here touch Ras Tafari.
Now SVG has a choice: we can follow the local Ethiopians and Rastafarians and let Africa be our standard bearer and so go down a road of chaos and reduce ourselves to eternal beggars. Or, we can choose the Vincentian way, a path to development and progress. Many say this Africa “thing” is important for we need an identity; the logical questions therefore are: so what is wrong with the Vincentian/Caribbean identity?
Haven’t we created and maintained SVG as a sovereign entity, united and forward looking without Africa? How can a poor, hungry, illiterate, desperate and dying Africa help this two-by-two SVG of ours? As I write there are Africans, in particular Nigerians, trying to undermine the business community in SVG by trying to entice it with false promises of great profits if it becomes partners in fictitious enterprises. Yes, that’s what sub-Saharan Africa is good at, blacks deceiving and stealing from blacks, black-on-black violence, blacks murdering blacks.
SVG must always be mindful of the Darfurs, Rwandas and yes the Ethiopias with their rivers and lakes of blood and endemic poverty. So we can choose to be imprisoned by the past and look to a nonexistent and fictitious glorious Africa or join hands and hearts with our Caribbean brothers and “push one common intention, for a better life in the region, for we woman and we children”.
Finally, I want to plead with Comrade Ralph to find some money and pay the airfares of all the Ethiopians among us so that they can go home (on the condition that they never return) and be happy and stop being diverting obstacles, preventing our young from seeing clearly what our objective as a nation should be.