EYEWITNESS: Getting it right…


…on our history

As you, Dear Reader, would know by now, your diligent Eyewitness reads all the dailies. It’s part of his job description. But he takes special care to read the Chronic – since it’s supported by his tax dollars. Well, not TOTALLY…but you know!! And he expects the rag to do the right thing by all of us. So he was more than a bit taken aback when he read its editorial yesterday. (Yes…your Eyewitness has to read even editorials!)

The editorial says we should know our history…Now there’s nothing wrong about that. In fact, there’s everything good. But it then goes on to claim, “We have lost track of our identity and adopted other identities without understanding the fundamental core principles of the civilisations we want to emulate…(that of Britain and other Western countries). Now this is the kind of crock that’ll ensure we remain at the bottom of the ladder “from now to thy kingdom come”.

First of all, we have not “lost track of our identity”. Our identities were literally beaten out of us with whips, racks, treadmills and hangings when we were denied our humanity and deemed slaves and indentured servants. The identity injected into us during that period and afterwards by our “masters” was how to become good servants. Does the Chronic not see the loss of the colonial identity they mourn so poignantly was one intended to keep us in “our place”?

How can we be comfortable with forever trying to imitate our former masters? Aren’t we setting ourselves up for perpetual psychic damage since we can never BECOME them, but remain (dark) imitations? Even if we do our darndest (and Lord knows, our ancestors – and the present bow-tied UG Vice Chancellor – tried!!) weren’t the goalposts always moved?

Was Burnham ever accepted by them even though he cultivated Churchill’s accent and wore jodhpurs when he rode a horse at Hope Estate to crack his whip at Civil Servants he’d dragged into the fields?

To emphasise how backward its thinking is, the Chronic insists, “The British lead us into the industrialisation age from the technology of mining bauxite, gold, etc.”!!! Can you believe this? Britain led us into the industrialisation age??! Even factually, it was locals who started gold mining in the 1890s and the US and Canada mined our bauxite –  but never opened up an aluminium  smelter. And did England ever refine sugar here? Lord!! Did the Chronic’s editorial writer even read Rodney’s thesis of “underdevelopment”??

The Chronic should get a grip of the narrative it’s spewing. Even Burnham, personally twisted as he was, understood that our original humanity had to be regained.

…on alcohol

Minister Norton hinted his government might impose some sort of controls over the sale and distribution of alcohol in this country. And not a moment too soon. He mentioned the rising number of accidents committed by persons “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) to justify the State’s intervention into what some may claim is a “private matter”.

But DUI’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’re the costs our free medical care incurs in dealing with all the ailments caused by alcohol consumption: cirrhosis, Steatosis, Alcoholic Hepatitis, and Fibrosis  of the liver, Cardiomyopathy, Stroke Arrhythmias, high blood pressure. And let’s not talk about the brain and the loss of coordination during DUI.

So shouldn’t we have warnings on bottles of alcohol like we do on cigarette packs?  Shouldn’t we have greater penalties for DUI? Like seizing the cars of offenders after three strikes like they do in New York.

Or insisting the GRA observe the law and NOT issue liquor licences to all the “bottom house” bars springing up like jumbie umbrellas?

…in Police reform

Now that Prezzie’s indicated deep-seated reform of the Police hierarchy is imminent, could he also throw in the major reform that was the raison d’être of the Disciplined Forces Commission he sat on in 2003?
Ethnic proportionality in composition.



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