Our Readers' Opinions
November 29, 2022
Vincentians must say no to colonisation

EDITOR: As a small, independent nation, which was once colonized by European nations, St Vincent and the Grenadines must resist any and all attempts at re-colonization and instead forge its way forward by telling a better story than the one it is being fed while maintaining its unique values and culture.

By 1914 European countries had colonized the majority of the world. Asia, Africa, and the Americas all suffered under the repressive rule of various European monarchies and parliaments.

Their justification was based on two international legal principles. One known as the “doctrine of discovery” gave these invaders rights over the land of the indigenous population. The other one, the “contiguity principle” allowed these countries to claim land that bordered lands they were occupying.

This extended to claiming land that was irrigated by a river that was in the colonist’s territory.

The history of colonialism is one of oppression and repression and, when it seeks to re-emerge, it should be resisted as much as possible.

St Vincent and the Grenadines has a unique history among its Caribbean brothers. It was the last place in the region to experience Settler Colonialisation because of the vigour with which the local people, Kalinagos and Garifunas, fought to keep their land and bodies free from oppression. This is the same attitude that is needed now to resist the attempts of European and Western mindset countries as they again seek to control, exploit and impose themselves on us.

You may be wondering how they are attempting to do so, do not be deceived, they are still looking for ways to control others. They are just using different methods from the ones they used in the past. Today it is entertainment, money, and the media rather than guns.

Exhibit one can be seen at the current FIFA World Cup being held in Qatar, which is the fourth richest country in the world based on GDP and a predominantly Islamic state. In an Islamic state, there are certain restrictions on publicly consuming alcohol, dressing in what is deemed an inappropriate manner, and homosexuality. Let me be clear though, Qatar is no angel when it comes to human rights abuses, their labour laws and treatment of people from Sub-Saharan Africa are deplorable. However, it is the restrictions concerning the practice of homosexuality and alcoholism that most Western media have decided to focus on.

You would expect a civilization that preaches tolerance, inclusion, and diversity would respect different views to the ones it holds, but they do not. In reality, they do not want diversity or inclusion, what they, the Western colonizers want is to control and exploit and impose upon other nations their views.

I must say this though, there are Western values that are worth adopting, democracy, and respect for personal property and rights come to mind. Also, killing people because of their sexual orientation is not right and should never be promoted. However, national sovereignty should be respected as should values and cultures that are different from those of the Western mindset countries.

Let me say it another way, every nation should be able to practice its customs and have its culture without interference, and if they desire to change, it should be their choice. One they have reached through a process of diversity in discussion, unity in discernment, and the collective will to act in the best interests of others.

As a people let us resist the attempts to divest us of our hard-fought culture and adopt a culture that others deem best for us. Instead, let discourse, empathy, and reason guide us as to what we want to be and how we want to achieve that. Say no to colonialisation of the mind.

KES Lewis