By Sheldon Bramble
Is there anything in nature that gives lighter-skinned people more earning potential or affluence in SVG? Absolutely not! How about more ability to govern?
Have you ever been in a group of people in or around Kingstown and seen employed and earning people begging? Who are they begging?
Vagrants and other genuinely needy people will beg anyone, as they are desperate. However, there are many able-bodied and sometimes employed Vincentians who think it is alright, dignified and appropriate to just approach a passer-by with, “Give me a 5 dollars nuh?” or “Can you give me 20 dollars to buy…?”
This is almost always directed at another Vincentian who is properly dressed, well-spoken with or with lighter skin than the average person around. If you really dark skinned or ill speaking, you will hardly ever get asked by these able individuals.
The example of our government in always boasting of donations and glorifying begging abroad has even served to further concretise the idea that such behaviour is the way forward.
Tourism is the motivation for developments in SVG. Making the place better is always because we want foreigners to come and return. But, this is a big hypocrisy. It is such because it implies that we do not deserve or need such niceness ourselves. So as soon as tourists turn their back, the language goes back nasty and the behaviour becomes second class. And we no longer have to be spick and span and keep the place nice.
This hypocrisy combined with the “beggy” mentality of national leaders and affected citizens keep Vincentians in a state of handicap. The implication is we can never be anything better for ourselves or build anything fair and square for our nation.
Is a government’s ability to govern based on their ability to bribe? Are Vincentians so lacking in personal dignity that they will take because it’s free? Is “I don’t mind if you want to give me, I won’t refuse it” really the language of a free and self-valuing Vincentian adult? Or can we say no, even if it is free because it comes with a price on our mental health and self value?
If everyone knows the roads will be fixed because elections are around the corner, does that make it ok? Right? Ethical? To the point where in plain sight you still deserve an onlooker’s vote?
One might think am talking here about the ULP. But, am speaking about Vincentians across the board. There is a need for more mature conversations in this land about governance and development. If you want the vote, why do you think you deserve it from me?
Are you going to teach this nation how to work for themselves and their own self value? Or are you going to keep Vincentians down by making promises of hand-outs and infrastructure for them when it is really about you wanting to be in charged. Do you want to nice up SVG just for outsiders or because you know how to teach Vincentians to enjoy better?
Classism is one problem. But there is no white man here propagating it. It is the wickedness of Vincentian leaders that are keeping this nation’s citizens in less than light.
Why should I vote for you…really? We listening!
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 [email protected].