EYEWITNESS: Giving due… respect to First Peoples

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We’re past the halfway mark of Amerindian Heritage Month, but frankly your Eyewitness doesn’t see enough activity in the public space to mark the occasion. The first point that must be highlighted is when we talk about colonialism – now that Queen Elizabet’s passing has catapulted the topic into a meme – the Indigenous peoples have suffered the LONGEST since they were the first to be colonised!! They suffered the ultimate demonisation when Columbus announced he’d DISCOVERED a new world. Meaning that those who were living here have no consciousness of their humanity – but whereas the other animals, he’d encountered!!

It wasn’t surprising that within a few decades of Columbus’s “discovery”, 99.999% of them have been wiped out across the ENTIRE West Indies!! That’s right – WIPED OUT!! So we owe a great debt – as inheritors of the European conquest – see that suit and tie? to make amends for that initial genocidal holocaust. What can we do?? Well at a minimum take a united stand that the Government keeps its treaty – unlike the PNC – to give the Indigenous Peoples all the land to which they’re entitled. Your Eyewitness says “treaty” ‘cause their land ownership agreements are at the same level as an international treaty – since it was part of the Independence Agreement of 1965 – “Annex C”.

Then there’s this matter of “development”. While we on the coastland bicker about who’s getting what from the oil revenues, it’s “out of sight, out of mind” where the Indigenous Peoples are concerned. And that’s why some – especially the Opposition – are kvetching that this PPP government’s working overtime to set that matter right!! Did you hear all the “slang” thrown at the President when he announced those 600 houses in Reg 9 for locals who’d get a $1 million grant to start construction?? PLUS an inside track with the banks to finance the rest of the $3 million cost with collateral-free mortgages!?! Not to mention the sling of cement that had been given to coastal low-income home-builders – also thrown in!?! The kvetchers obviously feel that the Indigenous Peoples should continue living in thatched mud-houses!!

Continuing with ‘development”, there’s gotta be some massive job creation scheme in each interior region so that this embarrassing practice of donating handouts to Indigenous Peoples will cease. All this does is perpetuate the dependency syndrome that was started by the European colonialists with their beads and baubles!! Take that plywood factory at East Bank Land of Canaan. Why wasn’t that built-in Reg 1 from where the wood gotta be transported?? That’s the only way our Indigenous peoples will finally have equitable development!!

And end this pattern of exotifying them with their grass skirts and feathered headdresses.

…to the Royals

It suddenly dawned on your Eyewitness that the British Royalty was the first Reality Show in the world!! It launched in the 18th century – coterminous with the pamphlets and press that covered with the execution of Marie Antoinette!! The Fourth Estate was as much – if not more – about covering the Royals and the “nobility” than about “the people”!! Ironically, the latter thought they were cutting back the powers of the former, but overlooked they were given a house of COMMONS!!

Did you realise that Christmas Trees became popular in the British Empire because Queen Victoria’s German husband Albert brought them from his little principality?? And the way the Royals speak is the ultimate in “posh” – to which everyone strains?? And that as the radio was invented the King’s message was eagerly awaited across the empire?? And those grainy newsreels then picked up the tradition -as did TV by the age of Diana??

It’s all a Reality Show. That is probably why QE II didn’t like Donald Trump!!

…to the outcasts 

Like in Heaven, some Royals can be cast out from the high firmament!! But apparently, the passing of QE II has brought a reprieve. Harry and Uncle Andrew can wear their pretend uniforms at the funeral!!