Our Readers' Opinions
November 9, 2007
What’s with this Crab-in-the barrel mentality?


Editor: Have you ever taken some ‘alone time’ to think about us as a people?

During the past weeks in Toronto, I attended all the events planned to commemorate our SVG 28th Independence celebration. Outwardly, the appearance was just so refreshing, with the glitter, the usual black-tie affair, a thanksgiving Church service, a town hall meeting, all with the accompanying laughter, hugs, kisses, sermons, speeches, prayers, singing, dancing and free bar.{{more}}

It reminded me so much of Christmas Vincy style in T’O and I thought “What a great and beautiful people we are today”.

It was like being on a theatre stage! Do we really need a replay of this entire ordeal year after year? Do we really listen to the words of wisdom through the messages of our speakers, performers and persons of God?

The knocking of glasses as deterrence to our speakers without a doubt exemplifies the depth of unawareness of our selfishness, disrespect and pure animosity towards our fellowmen, possibly the same speaker/s we just hugged and kissed.

Our messengers of God need not wonder about the visible void of raised hands to altar calls. Remember that such a decision means taking a stance, adhering to transparency, consistency and accountability, not only to you, but to a developing community, ensuring commitment contributes towards the struggles for ‘unilateralism’ in the future of a people. Gone are the days of “Colonialism”; these are the days of ‘Unionism’.

In today’s world, we must continue to strive for individual success. However, bear in mind that this can only be permanently accomplished through what I refer to as ‘community consolidation’, a twentieth century development strategy and fast paced movement that is surely leaving us, people of African descent, at the tail end.

Why is this? Because even with all our acquired education, we still hold onto the “crab-in-the barrel” mentality, unfortunately inherited over 300 years ago via the “Massa Lynch” process of “make a slave”.

So, my brothers and sisters, at home in SVG and abroad, let us not wait for our 29th independence anniversary to listen to our speakers, messengers and leaders. The glasses on your banquet tables are for your drinks, while the cutlery is for managing your food. To consolidate is to positively combine energy and strength. A modified unilateral focus on economic advancement will surely move us beyond our dreams as a people, thereby achieving our individual goals in the process.

Elma Gabriel
Community Advocate