(This column was first published in the Amandala issue of Thursday, April 13, 1995)
… OF TWIGS OF TREE …
They say that the child is the father of the man, that is, as the twig is bent so is the tree inclined. At any moment of our life we are composited of all that we have experienced. We are the product of our parental and family training, of educational discipline, of religious indoctrination, and of political and other societal influences.
If we were to examine these separates of our whole, we would come to understand our reactions to the various processes that surround us. Such knowledge will help us cope with the present-day mindbenders.
Take a tribe of people from the Ivory Coast; mix them with another tribe from Guinea; sprinkle among them a third tribe from Ghana. Shackle them together and transport them 5000 miles in animal conditions to a new environment. Imagine the babble, the terror, and the rage that occur among them. Unable to communicate and sharing no social or other intercourse, the only common focus is the presence of the slavemaster; through his language they must learn to talk with each other.
In being forced to learn his language, they lose their own. They adopt the mind set of the master. 500 years later the babble of the ship persists in our inability to communicate with one another. Disliking ourselves and hating our brother: gang warfare. Adoption of our master’s language has rendered us incapable of abstruse thoughts, of philosophical conceptualization: irrelevant constitutions we are unable to understand, much less implement.
Brought to shore in chains, shackled strangers, and then dispersed to various plantations to work like mules, their payment grits and the whip, they learned nothing about money, or their master’s greed for it. Today we still don’t understand money, as evidenced by our weekend rum sprees and gambling and by our purchase of the junk and baubles of the master. We have become the ultimate consumer, and we still don’t own a bank.
In slaveland, the males were at the whim and profit of the master, with nary a thought for their women and children. They were moved from plantation to plantation, from woman to woman, actively encouraged in studding, no sense of family, of community, of respect for womanhood were they allowed to develop and nurture. Today we continue to move from woman to woman with children everywhere. This tradition of programmed irresponsibility is reflected in the refrain, “What! Me get married? You crazy?”
Education was largely discouraged; what use education since knowledge would lead to aspirations other than picking cotton, cutting cane or logwood. Education would lead to the discovery of their brains, that they could think and create. Today we still don’t care for school, regarding it as a necessary evil, “a no feel shame that I can’t read or write”, and oftentimes dropping out of school, ending up as functional illiterates.
Just as the Jews have survived because of their love of education, so must we inculcate in our children this same love. In this age of high technology and derivative banking, this is their only hope of escaping mental slavery and the physical dependency syndrome in adulthood. (We can make a start by stopping the sending of our children in the street to beg for this and that in the name of fund raising.)
So as we look at the parts that make up our whole, we can better understand who we are, and why we respond to the propaganda and indoctrination of the modern comptrollers the way we do. This realization will enable us to bend our twigs (children) so that they may grow into adults of discipline and self-confidence, who dare to dream dreams and make them come true. We can achieve this by getting control of our land portfolios, enabling us to establish our own national bank, so that our children learn the value of money. (We can copy the Chinese who, who put their children behind the cash register as soon as they can count – when was the last time you saw a Belizean behind the cash register of a Chinese business?) We can ensure success by reforming the education system so that it is relevant to them in the 21st century. The new god of technology must be learned. (This is definitely not the time to be retrenching our teachers by the circumvention of budget cuts – how shortsighted and visionless, how clever of the slave god to keep the control.) Finally, we must actuate political reforms so that this system of Westminster which has degenerated into de facto dictatorship, of the “house nigger” mentality, be replaced by the participatory democracy of a modified republican model so that they may determine their own destiny. “I am Who I am,” God says to Abraham. Present tense. The kingdom is now.