Round Table with Oscar
April 14, 2015
Connecting Chatoyer and Jesus Christ

When a person comes at you with a shipload of soldiers and a message, “We are taking control of this land where you live,” you don’t have to ask your neighbour or your leader “What’s going on?”

Sometimes, what we have to struggle against and to struggle for need no explanation; they are transparent and obvious. In other conditions, the need for us to contend for justice and development doesn’t hit us so starkly in the eyes and we need to reflect and to take a second look, and to theorize our way forward.{{more}} In such situations, the contradictions, the relationships that stand in the way, oppressing us, are obscured under a veil. We might even come to accept and believe that these contradictions are for our own good.

We have, during the month of March, celebrated the Garifuna/Kalina hero, Joseph Chatoyer. He and his people faced the transparent and barbaric British forces who wanted to seize, own and exploit their land and people. That was a clear cut struggle between two people with two different visions. When, for example, two people do not confront each other, but where one community finds itself having winners and losers tied into the same jurisdiction, the militants and sheroes need tools and technologies different from Chatoyer’s. One African militant spoke of the “weapon of theory” (Amilcar Cabral, 1961), a discerning wisdom that people cultivate when they take time to reflect on the reality of their personal and social life and the changes that are calling for space to be born and grow.

Which brings me to consider the theoretical perspective of Jesus Christ, which is so deeply obscured and covered up by most of Christian teaching and preaching. The foreparents of the people whom Jesus lived among had a history of being colonized, sem- colonized, and controlled by “foreigners” for most of the “national” history. This means that Jesus had a Chatoyer perspective. He knew violent foreign domination and its effect on masses and classes. Did this influence his mission and message and imagery of the kingdom, or Dominion of God and the kind of persons who would rise to be part of the salvation community?

It seems that a large part of the work that Jesus Christ did was teaching, mentoring, coaching, and consciousness formation and deliverance/salvation demonstrations. He was mobilizing a theory strong community. When he declared “How blessed are those who know they are poor,” (Matt 5.3 NEB) he had to spend years, I believe, to demonstrate its meaning among most of the people. Some understood it in their own way – like the ‘Iscariot Judas.’ We, however, toss it in the garbage bag, for the most part.


For us in SVG, I would declare that there is no deliverance or liberating change coming, unless we resort to our theorizing the deliverance. The obvious billion dollars change we gyrate to every five years is a continuing and consistent dance of domination. The contradiction that oppresses us gets deeper and deeper and we imbibe it like booze addicts – forgive the language. We need new agencies, organs and opportunities that help tear away the veils that hide our reality from us. In that regard, I want to commend Searchlight Newspaper for now reaching its 20th anniversary, the youngest weekly in our pulp library. The Searchlight Team deserves its accolades. The next five years of this newspaper could very well begin a transition or a diversification of its mission, so that it augments its comment and reporting/education function in our community. It can lead the way into a theorizing manual as well – a virtual connection to Chatoyer and also a virtual resurrection of Jesus Christ.