The New Today


Imminent servitude- the black man’s burden

In order to expand and to provide substance to the caption above, one must perforce examine and analyse the records from the beginning of our post-independence education system from 1974 up to today in 2021.

In this discourse the records referred to is not the formal written and public accounts in the archives or at the Ministry of Education, but it is based — rather on a close and personal observation of the post-independence education evolution in Grenada and how like the pandemic, has transformed our way of life, even as we celebrate this period of Emancipation with the urgent call from we the people for REPARATION.

Prior to 1974, during the 1940, 1950 and 1960’s the history taught in both primary and secondary schools was BRITISH HISTORY — about Hawkins, Drakes and Christopher Columbus et al, who scoured the Caribbean sea in the quest for possessions of the Indies for Spain and Portugal and latter for England, France and Holland.

In Grenada, after 1974 the new (local) black politicians who took over from the British began tinkering with the functioning administrative structure, and education was not omitted.

The influence of the USA began to take effect in the granting and acceptance of scholarships for higher education and the local structure began to change from the British to the American system in the administrative, curriculum and language (spelling) content, rather than with the evolution of a Caribbean education perspective (Echoes of the 1962 aborted West Indies Federation).

In this regard West Indian history which was indirectly taught via British history, was now no longer a subject which explored the origin of slavery, colonialism, crown colony, statehood and eventually “political independence”; as most young Grenadians are apparently unaware of the inferiority complex effect on the Grenadian psychic, left from slavery and colonialism especially on the ruling class, described by Fanon as “BLACK SKIN WHITE MASK”.

That said, the recent Caribbean Examination Council has made an effort to reintroduce Caribbean history via Social Studies subject, which might not fill the vacuum.

This effect has manifested itself in various negative expressions, the most recent of which, is seen in a caring NNP government that engages in subterfuge and legal gymnastics to deprive teachers, public officers and other government employees of their pension and gratuity which are their entitlements as provided in the Grenada Constitution; and has led to the matter having to be decided in a court of law, while public demonstrations for justice intensifies.

The recent announcement by the Prime Minister that the 8 months outstanding increment would be paid in bonds, which would mature in another year, instead of cash – is like rubbing salt in the wound provoking continued confrontation and civil unrest.

What is even more despicable however, is that politicians who are elected to represent the people’s interest have been looking after themselves, by ensuring that they receive their gratuity and pension after two consecutive 4 year terms in office, while teachers, public officers and other government employees have to work continuously for 25, 30, 35 even 40 years, and are retired in the evening of their lives – penniless and virtual paupers in pure Grenada.

This scenario could’ve been averted if the CBI legislation which is designed to benefit foreign developers and not Grenadians, which contain a secret CASH COW called the “Transformation Fund” is disclosed as public information, and partly utilised for meeting the teachers’, entitlement by a caring government.

The Kawana Bay development fiasco – under the portfolio of Dr. Mitchell is a glaring example of the incompetence of the management structure which sells Grenadian passports to foreigners ( see my July article titled “Another Avoidable Tragedy” and the resultant fallout. (Echoes of institutional corruption).

Just look also at the ghetto which TRUE BLUE St. George has become, in an attempt to satisfy the greed of local and foreign capital at the expense of orderly and sustainable development – an existential necessity in the 21st century, in order to minimise flooding, coastal erosion and to preserve the fragile ecosystem(s) of the area in an effort to promote climate resilience, as nature does not excuse the ignorant nor the arrogant.

Grenada is supposed to be a Christian society, and most, if not all politicians go to Church on Sundays – not to worship but as a political gesture to identify with the masses.

This brings to mind the biblical story of the high priests in the synagogue who tried to embarrass Jesus by asking him a sensitive question- that is, if he would perform his miracles on the Sabbath (the Jewish holy day). And Jesus confounded them in his reply — “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.”

In Grenada, the laws are apparently made – not for the empowerment and enhancement of the people for a better standard of living, but for the benefit of the politicians and especially their CBI foreign associates and benefactors.

This “by product” of colonialism is rampaging post-independence Grenada, where the black rulers have whittled away our sovereignty by giving away our patrimony in secret deals to would-be developers, and are more repressive than our former white masters. This state of affairs if not broken, would forever be the black man’s burden back to slavery.

This is why the call is urgent, that WE THE PEOPLE and more especially the youth – must come to the rescue of our country, by initiating the PASSING PARADE, in order to usher in a new dispensation which empowers our people in an equitable, prosperous and just society (Paradise Regained).

Norris Mitchell