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Letter: Grenada's youths aren't exactly in awe of Prime Minister Keith C. Mitchell
Published on May 20, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

The prime minister should honour his pledges to the people of Grenada and fulfill all his promises to our youths. To the powers that be, please fulfill your promises to our youths; they need urgent assistance, support and employment.

The youths throughout Grenada voted overwhelmingly for Mitchell and his political party. Shame on Mitchell, while he and his cabinet ministers live as if they were royalty, Mitchell is allowing those who entrusted their votes and lives into his hands live as though they were derelicts. He is responsible for many of the potential and actual problems afflicting people in Grenada.

This is no way to run a country; Mitchell is a terrible prime minister and an awful official. He is too much for the rich, none of his promises was kept, the fact of the matter is that our message must prevail over the dog whistle of people like Mitchell, who would have our country believe that Grenadians don’t want to work, even though the reality is, he has not created any jobs, thanks in part to his extremely bad policies.

We will continue to fight for our less fortunate and remind people like Mitchell that our communities aren’t for sale. We will make sure politicians keep their promises and that education, our youths, health care, and the basic necessities of life are funded.

Today the people of Grenada are living on outskirts of hope; we have a responsibility to replace despair with opportunity. I am hearing of families in our hospitals, who can’t afford to buy Tylenol for their sick children. Grenada’s Mitchell NNP government values are backward. Everyone deserves a good job that supports his or her family. There’s no reason that our rich government should have so many people living in poverty. Prime Minister Maurice Bishop’s legacy is rightfully shamed because of the amount of people living in poverty in Grenada today under Keith Mitchell.

Bishop deserves and still gets credit for standing up to Eric Gairy, for doing what other prime minister’s or ministers of government would not or could not do. He braved Gairy lynch mobs of the Mongoose gang, police forces, beatings, unspeakable horrors by Eric Gairy to demand the “freedom of justice for all” when he did that, Grenadians understood the political price of his actions.

It’s hard to believe, today in Grenada, under the leadership of Keith C. Mitchell, everything that Maurice Bishop stood for is under assault by Mitchell and his right-wing cabinet these ideological brethren are trying to turn our country back to the 1950s and beyond.

Those of us on social media, writers, journalists, radio personalities are not the only soldiers on the political field of battle. We have the Grenadian silent majority on our side as well. We will continue to honour Bishop by fighting to defend what he won and to win new victories of our own, so forward together. Not one step back! We will raise our voices because we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of others. We must elect officials who will lift workers up out of poverty; we are very concerned about our country’s economy and our youths.

We know just how important it is to elect officials. Young, vibrant, intelligent, hardworking, caring, trustworthy and concerned individuals who will lift our people out of poverty. This is very important; we need to know who is running and who is going to help people. We want to hear from them and be sure who the strongest candidates are as we go forward. It will be interested to see how everyone reacts. Let’s stay away from negativity and find the people who will work with us. They say it takes a village to raise a child- well we all have to find good people to work with us along the way to help us succeed.

I commend Mr Leslie Stewart and Youth Leader Mr Tevin Andrews from the sister Isle of Carriacou for making significant strides in the fight for equality, justice, employment and education, poised and intelligent political pros.

They have told me that “we must be reminded that there is work to be done because inequities still exist today more than before.” If there isn’t going to be justice, there isn’t going to be any peace. Mr Stewart is telling the Mitchell government that their policies are harmful to our people. As for the youths he represents, they are not only the future of our country. Youths need to be included in all aspects of our society for our society to survive.

We must first reach out to our youths, in our families, neighborhoods and communities to help get them what they need to move ahead to successful futures. We must never underestimate the impact of one caring adult, or give up on any youth. But families and communities cannot do things alone. We must make our voices heard with this government. By investing now in our youths, we will be helping them to succeed in school and in life and strengthen our country’s future.

Mr Tevin Andrews, Carriacou’s youth leader, a formidable personality, is a revered hero to countless young people and old alike. Yet his presence and impact always feels so personal for me. He has a deep respect for the youths of Carriacou, Grenada and Petit Martinique and he speaks to them with dignity and aspirations. He spends most of his time organizing the unorganized. He has this magical way of making you feel like you are part of something. I am not sure if it is his spirit or his authenticity, but it is always uplifting and you always learn something from him.

I asked Mr Andrew’s what is his message to the prime minister going to be? Here’s how he responded: “Mr Prime Minister, the young people of the Tri-Island makes up over 50% percent of the population and 60% percent of the electorate, despite this, we are the ones that are faced with the greatest challenges under your administration. There have been no employment creation, no employment, under-employment, victimization, discrimination, lack of educational opportunities, high crime and violence.

“The youths already are beginning to feel the effect of your Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) while your government continues to freeze employment opportunities for hundreds of our young folks who are graduating colleges. Mr Prime Minister, you lied to us, you manipulated us. You dressed in skinny, tight fitted jeans and t-shirts to gain our votes, this behaviour is vulgar, you are a manipulator and you have no shame. We are the future leaders of Grenada and we need exemplary leaders that we can look up to and imitate, leaders that we see as mentors such as Nazim Burke.”

If we are to end the poverty of our youths, we will have to finish the task that Prime Minister Maurice Bishop began. We must get Prime Minister Keith C. Mitchell and his political leaders at every level to mount a long overdue, unwavering and persistent war on unemployment and poverty. Our youths have no politics, and we must reject any leaders who for any reason play political football with the lives of thousands of our youths’ future.

If our youths are going to survive, we must reset our economic and moral compass. For those in the Mitchell government who say, “Our youths do not matter, now that they have given us their votes, and now they can go hungry,” I say we cannot afford not to help them.

Grenadians, if the foundation of your house is crumbling you just fix it. Education is a lot cheaper than ignorance. Education is a bargain compared to prison, Mr Prime Minister.

If Grenada’s dream continues to fade for thousands of children and our youths and families, and work wages continue to decline, and education and basic survival needs continue to be ravaged by the Mitchell government to protect his powerful interests of the top one percent that has cornered the country’s income, then Grenada will miss the boat to the future. We cannot afford not to act. It is up to all of us to make that case.

We have got to be committed and persistent in pushing ahead on behalf of the silent majority, our youths, our seniors and children. I often think of Sojourner Truth, one of my role models, a brilliant and indomitable slave woman who could neither read nor write but she was determined and passionate about ending unjust slavery and second-class treatment of females.

At the end of one of her anti-slavery talks in Ohio, a man came up to her and said, “Old woman, do you think that your talk about slavery does any good? Do you suppose people care what you say? Why, I don’t care anymore for your talk than I do for the bite of a flea.”

“Perhaps not,” she answered, “but the Lord willing, I’ll keep you scratching.”

We must all be determined and persistent fleas until the wellbeing of our youths become a national priority. Enough fleas biting strategically can make the biggest dog uncomfortable. Enough fleas biting strategically can help move our country and people forward. God bless our youths and people.

Helen Grenade
 
Reads: 3657





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