Saturday, 25 March 2017 06:07:14 (AST)

Opinion

A nation of masters and slaves

A nation of masters and slaves

By Vinny Newton

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is known by every Vincentian for its natural beauty and strength in the physical features all packed into our 32 islands. We are and should be very proud of the number of ways in which God has truly blessed our homeland. The singing of the National Anthem and other patriotic songs conjures up emotions of pride and sentimentalism, as we are overwhelmed with how much we love these lands.

Many Vincentians travel out, but on speaking with them, you will hear of the longings to be home and to visit amidst all the success and prosperity they find in the outer world. The feelings of our people for our country are emotionally charged and run deep. You witness this in the passionate exchanges between Vincentians, about anything with national implications, including politics.

SVG, however, has been extremely bombarded by the influences of the outer world through the media. Internet and cable television have revolutionised this land and one can debate for hours as to the pros and cons of us having received all of the varying influences.

The question to ask, however, is: what makes us unique as a people? Not just: what makes our land special and preferable? And, How do we positively shape the view of the outside world of us? Also, how do we want the generations succeeding us to live?

Vincentians are achieving in many areas overseas. They are winning awards, climbing ladders in the corporate world, academically standing out and thriving in many ways. Here at home, however, we seem not to be all thinking deeply about better for our own society. In fact, it seems that a high proportion of what is brewing here at home is a culture of degradation and gangsterism.

What is forcing the descendants of slaves, who are freer than their ancestors have been for many generations, to choose to regard themselves with less than healthy self-respect, in proportions so great, that the cause is nationally championed? Is national financial gain the new slave master that is the next convenient excuse for blindness, silenced voices and peer pressure? Do we care to stand up for things on a national scale because of its moral value with nothing that involves material give and take?

Soft porn and semi-nudity is the order of the day. If this is not visible on one of our local channels most of the time, we can hear the images being painted in the lyrics of songs on one of our local transport vehicles or radio stations. Our children are being exposed and assaulted with hips gyrating, uncovered and sparsely clad female bodies in sexual positions moving to hypnotic musical beats where lyrical pornography and erotic commentary is arrogantly and violently proclaimed. The average Vincentian man of today will tell you that women seem to be braver than them and often champion sexuality far beyond what males are stereotypically known for. Vulgarity and bad words are on the tongues of our children.

It seems that even the voices of the God-fearing are silenced by some mysterious force where the moral scales are malfunctioning or have been put into storage in some unused room in the basements of our places of worship. Christians are all now invited to celebrate immorality and the worship of strange gods as culture and this is now superseding the instructions of who used to be our Almighty God.

This is the nation we are showing to the world around us. But even more alarmingly important, this is the nation we have become and educating our young to see as normal. Is this a reflection of our roots? Is this what the lands of our ancestors had best going for them?

Did God not always punish and remove blessings from the peoples and lands where men turned their back on him for strange gods of foreign nations and where they exchanged him for heathen idols?

Art and culture are not ultimate yardsticks for moral standards. A person winning an award for being scantily dressed does not make it right or wrong. Our ideas of beauty and festivity, though profitable for the here and now and seemingly entertaining, are still being witnessed by the powers of morality in the heavens. This is the One who has been preserving this land and our people for generations. Are we selling out to strange gods?

The real slave master is the devil. He has controlled all the minds and empires that enslaved our ancestors. It is he who has always corrupted the nations. It is he who is behind moral decline and lawlessness. Do what you want and what you feel is always been the way he has convinced men rich and poor, educated and uneducated and Vincentian and non-Vincentian to live.

What we are playing in our vans and televisions as a nation and what we are constantly promoting and portraying tells a story that goes against the emancipation our forefathers sought for their future generations. When sexual acts, talk and song become public show, and semi-nakedness are the order of the day, we have become a nation of erotica and slaves to the same master of our enchained ancestors.

God created and he can destroy. He loves and forgives and judges and condemns. An SVG of erotica and daily soft porn we have become. Like He says in 2 Timothy 3:4 we have become “…treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, “For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.” 1 Peter 4:3

We are warned Vincentians: Ezekiel 6, …those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations.

Do we know that amongst our ancestors that were enslaved were bloodlines of craftsmen, artists, doctors, leaders, clergy and the descendants of renown dynasties of progressive civilisations with high morals and noble values? Alternatively, are our ideas of the motherland based on the propaganda by masters of scantily clad, obeah-working, jungle warriors? What is our view of dignity, national pride, celebration and festivity as a nation? Obviously in crisis.

Are we, in fact, portraying a status of freedom or enslavement?

How do you feel thinking about this? It might be an indication of who is the master of our master, master of our freedom or master of our continued redressed slavery.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com

IWN Conversations

6 thoughts on “A nation of masters and slaves

  1. Watching Hard says:

    How can we possibly lift up our women when we join in chorus singing about them being bad like sore foot? How can we uplift our men when we glorify their infidelity and when their manhood is reduced to merely their sexual prowess? This is truly vexing to me.

    I know our favourite excuse is to say well look it happening in Trinidad or it happening in Jamaica. But it’s truly pitiful when we can find solace in comparing ourselves to the lowest common denominator. Do we aspire to the social decadence of Trinidad and Jamaica? Why is it uncool to hold ourselves to the highest standards? There is a crying need for a national conversation on the kind of society we want to create for ourselves and our descendants.

  2. Vin says:

    What makes us uniquely Vincentian? As humans, we are not that unique, even though a majority of Vincentians might be of mixed racial pedigree, forged on the anvil of economic deprivations, and cultivated to accept the helplessness that is exploited by the new “slave masters” in the society.
    Culturally, Vincentians are no different from majorities of afro-derived, Latinos and some Asiatic derived peoples who have emerged from overt European colonization but continue to embrace negative cultural influences through the educational, political, social and borrowed economic system.

    What might be more pronounced in St. Vincent or Vincentian society is the widespread envy, divisiveness, degrading social attitudes, lack of allegiance to a national identity and purpose and a paucity of political/religious/educational leadership under a veil of feigned progressiveness. This lack of national grounding or allegiance to a national purpose renders our people susceptible to the vagaries of the ever-changing foreign whims and fancies, and the wiles of domestic politicians who care only for themselves, their families, and their political cronies (domestic and foreign). In fact, those who are entrusted to lead the nation to enlightenment and progress are blinded by their own warped agenda.

    One would have thought that higher education would have helped to modify some of the negative influences in our society. But higher education appears to have aggravated our problems as many of those who are “educated” become scourges on our society. They return to SVG with empty pockets, swollen heads and the feeling that they must do everything necessary to stand above ordinary citizens while they mis-appropriate the meager wealth of the nation for the benefit of their elitist class.

    Furthermore, many of those who should have taken on the mantle for deliverance of our people out of mental and social poverty exhibit an interest only in distinguishing themselves from the masses in order to support their own elitist status. They direct their mis-education toward the degradation of the nation in order to elevate themselves and hijack the power of the people. Hence the youths are negatively influenced and demoralized. So they fall to sexual depravities, drug abuse and peddling, criminal acts, and social irresponsibility.
    How are we to combat these challenges? As the Biblical Saul on the Road to Damascus a new set of Vincentian political leaders, teachers, parents, social activists, entrepreneurs, and patriots must emerge from the masses to take the scales of misguided personal blindness from their eyes. We must arise to do unselfish service to our God, our children, and our nation. We must not only accept that we have problems. We must believe that our problems are solvable. And the solutions must come from within our nation than from foreign quick fixes.

    Perhaps as Vincentians we should not enlist our assets in un-reachable pursuits of uniqueness. Instead, we must seriously consider building a foundation for furthering the positives among us for the benefit of a wider segment of our society. We must build unity of purpose rather than strategies of division. Dreams of individual grandeur at the expense of all other lead to no good end.

    Are you up to the challenge?
    I am, Vinci Vin

    • C. ben-David says:

      Vinci Vin Samuel, you are certainly not up to the challenge as your blind and naive support for Argyle International Airport, a facility which, if successful, would only bring in much more of all the bad things you say we suffer from.

      Get ready, my friend, for sex tourism, more degradation of what little is left of our fragile cultural heritage, greater materialism and capitalistic dog-eat-dog competition, and many other bad things.

      Still, because AIA will fail to attract many more tourists, this bad stuff will never happen.

      The only result will be more debt for our country and more pauperization of our people..

      • Dave from Toronto says:

        c.b-d,

        You’re still at it? Why the need to entangle AIA in every discussion? Some of what you have just written might benefit you after all. Obviously, you are missing something in your life.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    You will have to do lots of scriptural exegesis to reconcile the notion of free will, a unique gift and burden given only to human beings after The Fall (Genesis 3), with your idea that the Devil controls free will, a notion explicitly stated when you argue:

    “The real slave master is the devil. He has controlled all the minds and empires that enslaved our ancestors. It is he who has always corrupted the nations. It is he who is behind moral decline and lawlessness. Do what you want and what you feel is always been the way he has convinced men rich and poor, educated and uneducated and Vincentian and non-Vincentian to live.”

    Indeed, your aversion to public nakedness is right out of the same Genesis 3 (6-7):

    “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

    Here is one dilemma you must answer: If Satan “has controlled all the minds and empires that enslaved our ancestors,” does that mean (1) that God did not control the minds and thoughts of Adam and Eve before The Fall and (2) that God did not give free will to humankind but surrendered control over the hearts and minds of people to His arch enemy, Lucifer, when the latter successfully tempted Eve with the apple of wisdom and self consciousness?

    Here is another dilemma for you to solve: If Satan controls free will, then there is no free will; if there is no free will, there is no sin; if there is no sin, there is no redemption; if there is no redemption, there is no Christ; if there is no Christ, there is no God.

    Let me offer a way out for you: if the Devil really exists, his main duty is to tempt humankind to do, believe, and accept bad things, i.e., ways of acting and thinking that are antithetical to the will and love of God, including a deny of God-given free will and its replacement by the inhuman and nihilistic notion that “the Devil made me do it [fornicate, steal, lie, kill, cheat, blaspheme, etc.].

    A righteous person will resist such temptations; a wicked person will gladly embrace them.

    Amen, and thank you for reading my Bible lesson.

  4. Watching Hard says:

    It’s quite evident to me that we as a nation have lost what ever self respect and self love that we have for ourselves. It’s evident in the chaotic, lawless and disrespectful nature of our society. It’s evident in the poor and degrading lyrics in our music. It’s evident in the way we interact with each other and in the way we glorify mediocrity.

    I think the reason for this is because we constantly internalize negative messages about ourselves whether from our parents, the media or our leaders. Speaking of leaders we have none to set a proper example for our society. If any such exist, they are suppressed and marginalized.

    Until we start truly believing that we are good, worthy and capable people, I mean truly believe, this social decline will continue.

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