Chinese businessmen have been taking over the prime real estate on Central American Boulevard for years now, as part of a business strategy, and a very successful one at that. The Chinese have become dominant in the areas of groceries, stores, supermarkets, and restaurants.
In downtown Belize City, Indian and other Asian businessmen have gobbled up the real estate there. They specialize in dry goods, textiles, and imported foodstuff, and they appear to be very successful in their own wise.
Both these immigrant communities live disciplined family lives. Their children are focused on education and culture, and overall both parents and children are exemplary citizens of Belize, as far as anyone can see.
It is not clear to us what percentage of the Chinese inner city businessmen are from mainland China and what percentage are from Taiwan. It is probably the case that the Southside Chinese are mostly from mainland China. Our indications are that Taiwanese immigrants are wealthier and better educated than our guests from mainland China, and the Taiwanese are more likely to build hotels in the suburbs and acquire huge tracts of lands outside of the old capital.
The Taiwanese have poured billions into Belize in the form of loans and grants over the last two to three decades. These moneys go directly to the ruling party, whether that ruling party be People’s United Party (PUP) or United Democratic Party (UDP). The Taiwanese moneys are so long and so regular in arrival that politicians of the ruling party are always extremely solicitous about the welfare of all Taiwanese citizens.
Around these oases of business and family success which are Asian immigrants, now naturalized citizens, there has been noticeable socio-economic deterioration in the lives of those native families which have been here since slavery and colonialism. The paradox of the situation is that the high flying political leaders of the community and the society come from those same struggling native families, and the political leaders, yes sirree, are doing very well for themselves in every aspect of their lives.
At the time of Jesus Christ’s birth in the town of Bethlehem in the province of Judea, the Jewish people, Christ’s people, were colonial subjects of the Roman Empire. Judea was occupied by Roman soldiers. This area of the world has been called the Middle East by the European white supremacists, but if you examine it carefully, it will occur to you, blessed readers, that both the Judea of Jesus and the Egypt where Jesus lived for the first twelve years of His life, are really the northeastern part of the continent of Africa.
There were no Anglo-Saxons in Judea and Egypt two thousand years ago, so that it is interesting that the Christ child, and the adult Jesus, are always portrayed for us in paintings, statues, and other representations, with Anglo-Saxon features and hair.
When this newspaper continues to insist, as this newspaper has insisted for 48 years and counting, that the fundamental problem in Belize is international white supremacy, it may sound like a broken record to some. In fact, we now hear younger activists pooh-poohing the white supremacy line and pointing us in the direction of our Asian immigrants as deserving of blame where the Southside’s problems are concerned. The issue is worthy of discussion and debate, we imagine. But there is no getting away from white supremacy, because its post-slavery and post-colonialism impact is deadly on our native mind, in both our conscious and sub-conscious realities.
The most powerful long-term impact of international white supremacy on Belize has been in our schools. For example, the massively important Caste War of the Yucatan has been deliberately ignored for 120 years, and counting. But you have heard us lament this many times before. Let’s do something new. In this editorial, we want to introduce you to Vicente Guerrero, the son of a black Mexican man and an Indigenous Mexican lady who fought, famously and superbly, in the Mexican War of Independence from 1810 onwards, and then was the President of Mexico from April to December of 1829. He was overthrown by a coup and then executed in 1831. During his brief term as President of Mexico, Guerrero outlawed slavery. This was five years before the British began that process in the settlement of Belize and their other possessions, and more than three decades before the emancipation of the slaves in the United States. Guerrero’s banning of slavery in Mexico enraged those white Americans who had been moving south into the then Mexican state of Texas. When you see those propaganda movies glorifying Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and all the white American defenders of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, in 1836, what they were fighting for was slavery. That was why they changed Texas, through armed violence, from Mexican to American: they insisted on slavery.
In Belize, our schools are run and controlled by Christian churches whose first priority is the inculcation of their denominational beliefs in the native children entrusted to their care. The vast, vast majority of Belizean children accept as Gospel that a Son was born two thousand years ago to the Virgin Mary, whose husband was Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, but that that Son was really the Son of God Almighty. For the rest of their lives, after being so taught, Belizeans celebrate Christmas Day as marking the birth of the Son of God, a Savior who will redeem us from our sins. This is why we all celebrate so mightily.
The beauty of the Christmas narrative is that Almighty God did not choose an upper class lady from Europe to be the mother of His Son: He chose a humble virgin from the northeastern part of Africa. Implicit in the Christmas narrative is the concept that a human being’s value in the sight of God does not derive from social standing or financial worth. This being so, Christmas is an event which is supposed to fill the oppressed masses with hope. If the oppressed masses are filled with hope on Monday next, however, we can guarantee that that hope will last for just a little while.
The problems we have here were compounded by our Asian immigrants, but these problems were not caused by them. We natives were not mentally equipped to compete in this Belizean economy. The Prime Minister of Belize, the highest ranking native in our political galaxy, has been saying to us that tourism will now be our economic savior. We can assure you that that will not be the case. What the Prime Minister is hoping is that tourism will enable his political party to remain in power longer.
The manifest evidence is that we natives have not competed well in this economy. The Mennonites are Christians, sure, but they don’t even send their children to our high schools: they teach them to work themselves. At this Christmas time of 2017, we want to say to you natives that if we do not separate our religious beliefs from the economic war for survival around us, we are doomed. Our education system is a disaster, and it is a disaster because it places religious beliefs ahead of socio-economic truths. Our religious beliefs were designed for us by the same people who enslaved and colonized us. The time is absolutely now for Belizeans to take the religion out of the education. If we do not, we are, to repeat, doomed.