By Hudson George
Just recently, a young educated Grenadian woman asked who I think control the minds of Grenadian people, so I told her four major institutions control the people’s minds and they are the major political parties, the various Christian denominations, trade union leaders and ignorance. However the individual agreed with the first three organizations’ as mind controllers, but she disagreed that ignorance is an institution; therefore, in her opinion ignorance cannot be a mind controller.
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
Not too many people understand the power of ignorance. Some people think that ignorance is behaviour portrayed by those who lack knowledge and understanding how to carry out various tasks when they have to carry out the functions and duties. However, that is not necessarily so, most of the time. Our politicians, religious leaders of different Christian denominations, trade union leaders are agents of ignorance when it suits their agenda to hold on to the survival interests of their organisations. And the only method they can successful use to hold on to their domain is to create a sort of ignorance in the minds of their followers and supporters.
Based on my personal observation, there is a large percentage of educated Grenadians who are very ignorant when it comes to discussing political and religious issues. Some of them might be good friends to other people until they show their ignorance due to politics and religious differences. And sometimes the sad thing is that they might even be the ones who open up the political discussions and, in the beginning of the debate, they seem to act very intelligently and civil, but when a general election is held and their party loses, some of them will create bitter enemies. Their attitude changes drastically and they tend to become arrogant, and act with insult.
Unfortunately, that form of ignorance and behavioral pattern happens on the other side of the political fence too. Some of them that support the winning political party sometimes get carried away and start to make a mockery of their friends who did not support their political agenda and, because their party is in the driver’s seat for a five year term, they do more harm to the organization by harassing opponents. But in order for this form of ignorance to end, the leaders of the two major political parties are supposed to teach discipline and good conduct to their followers. However, our political leaders are not enforcing that kind of discipline, because they know that ignorance is needed as energy to keep their organization functioning.
Then again there is third form of ignorance some educated Grenadians portray after their party loses a general election. Due to their academic pride, they just cannot come to terms that their political thoughts are not relevant within Grenadian society. They feel hurt because the masses do not like their political ideas, so they turn to social media as a medium to harass others, who they think hurt their foolish academic pride. In my opinion, they are the most ignorant of all. People of that sort do not understand life experience beyond the university lecture rooms, where they were taught. Personally, I consider folks like them as educated fools because they think they know it all but, in reality, they are the less informed. They are not grounded.
Just recently, the government presented a budget and it passed in parliament as expected, and it seems as though a section of the population is opposed to the budget as expected in a healthy democracy. On the other hand, it seems as though there is a sort of political language being used constantly by some affluent people among the educated class, trying to incite the general population to rebel against paying the taxes impose by the government.
I listened to Professor Ian Francis’ interview with host George Grant on Grenada Broadcast, Sunday, January 5, 2014, and it seems as though the good professor is trying to send a message to the Grenadian people by saying that the tax laws will affect them in the near future. And even though I do not want to misquote the comments he made, he seems to be saying that government can only make decisions if the people allow the decision to become law without any resistance.
He is saying that it is up to the people. So it appears as though he is not looking at the fact that, less than one year ago, the people gave the government a five-year mandate to govern the country. However, Professor Francis did not give any specific ideas as solutions and alternatives to Grenada’s debt crisis, as to what kind of new industry Grenadians can turn to generate income, even though he did made comments about Grenadians must use their human resources to build a better economy.
Personally, I would like to listen to Professor Francis give another interview on the same topic, but not on Grenada Broadcast, where it is obvious that the host has too much control as a mini dictator of his programme and most likely he is screening callers who he wants to give an opinion. Dr Francis, who is a lecturer at Cave Hill University in Barbados, should try to set a better standard, because it is a known fact that Barbados leads in the Caribbean in freedom and democracy, while Grenadians are still affected with long years of dictatorship from the period of Gairy’s GULP to Bishop’s PRG. I would like another radio station with an independent host to have an interview with the professor, so that all Grenadians can be free to call and give their opinion, if they choose to. We can only utilise our human resources when party politics is not involved.
In addition, I read Lloyd Noel’s column; (Law and Politics: The increased tax budget 2014, January, 7, 2014). Finally, Mr Noel exposed himself to readers who do not know his political history. This time around he is not giving a summary as though he is a stranger to Grenada politics and he is just an outsider looking into the dirty game, as he usually tries to pretend on a weekly basis. He has a clear political position and also, he is inciting some kind of political unrest but in a very sophisticated way. Mr Noel is telling the Grenadian people that they should not make extra effort to pay the taxes government implements, because they are not financially capable.
Personally, I think that Mr. Noel is instigating political ignorance as he did during the time he was a top member of New Jewel Movement as an outspoken political activist and politician. After his fallout with the the revolution, his ignorance for political energy is an eternal failure like hellfire for the Grenadian people. He seems to be the type of person who cannot be content with the daily faction of any government, whatsoever. He is a political critic of all governments, when he is not playing the role as an opossum. Mr Noel should realise by now that we cannot continue put on clean clothes and spray our armpits with nice smelling cologne, without showing. It just does not make any sense.
Ignorance in itself cultivated by human beings is a dangerous form of energy. However, that type of energy can be ignited by popular politicians, religious leaders, trade union leaders and other persons with wavering influence with no permanent allegiance. Whenever it suits their agenda to create political unrest in the interest of themselves and their organization they are not afraid to use their blind loyal followers. Unfortunately, these are the people who divide the human resources of the country. They know full well that a divided people is weak and when divisions create weakness, they as leaders get the opportunity to create clans and tribes among the people through ignorance as we see in some parts of Africa presently, where people of the same race are killing each other for religion and politics.
This year 2014 will be very interesting for Grenada and Grenadians on a whole. If the NDC party elects new political leaders as some of its supporters and observers are expecting, then we will see more political issues unfold and some party supporters might either take a back seat, or disassociate themselves from the organization. And if it happens, then we will hear about more political ignorance again. However, I still believe, it is up to the various leaders who the people follow, have the influence to stop instigating the energy of ignorance for personal gains.