By Hudson George
Personally, I consider myself to be a creative writer with interests in all aspects of the social sciences, therefore it gives me the ability to think critically, even though I may have my own political lineage as all human beings do. However, when I read Mr Ian Francis article (Commentary: Grenadians in the North American Diaspora must accept the reality of new governance, March 21, 2013), he raises some issues that are much embedded in our Grenadian political culture. But the biggest problem with most Grenadians is that they do not respect the democratic system handed down to us by the British Westminster system.
Hudson George has a BA in Social Science from York University, Toronto, Canada. He has been writing since his early teenage years and now contributes letters and articles to a number of Caribbean newspapers
Mr Francis cries and concerns are for the persons who are holding sensitive jobs given to them by the previous regime to resign, due to the fact that there is a new government in office to govern the country for the next five years. However, his cry will not be taken seriously by some Grenadians who do not like the present regime. And the problem is that even though they know that it is expected that a newly elected government will make some changes by replacing some diplomats and other employees in those offices in foreign countries, it is expected that he will be making more political enemies to add on to the amount that he has presently.
The problem with us as Grenadians is that we are not an open minded people and, being that we are ignorant to that factor, it will always create a problem whenever there is a change in government. And as long as we keep on focusing too much on government to give us everything we want, and refusing to open up the country for other business activities to function, the conflict among educated citizens for government jobs will continue.
In order for this kind of political backwardness to end in our Grenadian political culture, our media people have to pay a big role, and it does not matter how educated some Grenadians are, they still hold on to that negative culture of trying to ignore the democratic process when it is not in their favour or their liking. Maybe a new subject in primary schools should be taught to students in Grenada, so that they can be different from us adults when they grow up.
As for those Grenadians who use the social media to rant hate, as Mr Francis mentions, they do not realise that power belongs to the people. It does not belong to a minority who are educated and can go on social media websites and say anything about anybody without regards, because they feel that they can seek comfort as cowards on a chair in front of the computer keyboard writing their hate literature for self-gratification but still afraid to come out openly and mingle and socialise when there are a social events in Toronto and New York for the Grenadian communities there.
Whether or not we as Grenada might accept it, but it is a fact that over 90 percent of us have a Gairy GULP political culture. And it does not matter if we call ourselves Gairyites, Bishopites, Coardites, GNP, ROREL, NNP or NDC; we still have that Eric Gairy GULP political culture because Grenada as an independent country was founded by Eric Gairy and his teachings are still embedded in us. We love the politics of spite and hate, and we like to hold on to power by any means necessary. And when I say holding on to power it does not always mean political power. We like to control organisations that represent Grenada at home and abroad and never want to allow new people to join in order to bring about changes.
As Mr Ian Francis rightly said, the majority of us Grenadians living in the US and Canada are exiles and we cannot deny it. We ran away to exile in North America and we adopted a sort of hypocritical double standard lifestyle. We tend to hold on to our old political tribal views, while most of us make great success in our new country where we buy property, work hard and raise children to fit into North American society. Yet we continue to use the social media to promote nonsense.
While our friends, neighbours and family back home are struggling to make ends meet, we want to stay abroad and keep Grenada like a virgin girl who wants to give up her virginity and to have children, and her parents are hiding her from her lover. Yet still the parents want grandchildren.
In addition, we have some post revolution Grenadians using the internet to talk about issues pertaining to Grenada’s political struggle that they do not understand a thing about. And even though some of them might write sentences with a thousand big words very well, the content and information they are giving does not make any sense because they do not know what they are talking about. Some of them were nine and ten years old when the revolution took place, but they will argue as though they were adults participating in the scheme of things during the revolution. Then there are others who loved Maurice Bishop but they left Grenada 60 years ago, but keep talking as if they have always been living in Grenada and they know it all.
Additionally, my main focus is to keep on writing about Grenada in order to make a contribution to expose the ignorance among our people. As a people we need to change from the small island colonial plantation mentality that is destroying us. We need to look at Barbados as a model small island country that is making progress.
It is very important that our media people back home play a leading role to bring about the changes. Our journalists must stop playing politics just to eat food. They must realise that journalism is not all about giving news about politics. Grenada has a deep rich culture to promote and it is time that they help promote our culture and the people who have the talent.
We do not need to bring Mutabaruka to Grenada to explain what Rasta is for Grenadian youths. We have our very own Rasta-man, Ras Free I, who should be given the opportunity to go to the schools in Grenada to explain to the youths how he survived by living the life of a primitive man for more than ten years in the highest mountains throughout Grenada. We need to promote our jab-jab music to the world, rather than have young people as radio deejays promoting Jamaica and Jamaican culture that they have never experienced. If we do not promote our Grenadian culture our people will be lost.
As a Grenadian people we need to step up and do the right thing. We cannot continue to promote Grenada with Oil-Down and our beautiful African flag alone. Why can’t we respect our culture? When we are holding a Grenada Day in the Diaspora, it must be open to Grenadians who have Grenadian talent. Grenada Day should not be like Jamaica Day, because whenever Jamaicans are having their Jamaica Day they make sure the cultural contents represent Jamaica culture. No Grenadian can walk into a Jamaica Day meeting and say they want to perform.
Anyway, Mr Francis addresses some of our negative political culture, so I chose to touch on our Grenadian negative culture in general. I hope that things will change for the better.