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Monday, December 6, 2021
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From the Publisher

There is a very old saying that, the pen is mightier than the sword. In a sense, it’s really just a cute kind of metaphorical thing, because how can ink on paper be more powerful and definitive than a bullet in the back of the head?

Belize is in a situation presently where our middle class, church-going citizens are alarmed by recent revelations. But, the streets have known most of this from year one. The middle class church-goers are INOCENTES, as one would say in Spanish.

At the same time, life is all about children growing up to become parents and then raising their own children to be the best that they can be. I will concede to my dear friend, Henry Gordon, that the church-going life is the best and safest way to raise children. The streets are so dangerous in so many ways. But, the streets know stuff. Can you dig it.

I was raised in a middle class, church-going family. But I became radicalized, so to speak, in a university setting in America during the Vietnam and black power years. Even though I was middle class and church-going as a child and youth, I had lived right across Bolton Bridge from where a lot of street people hung out, day and night.

So when I became radicalized and realized that I would be in physical danger when I returned home with such thinking, I concluded that I would have to go to the streets. For this, Rufus X has said that he holds me in some esteem, but I will say to him that it was a case of my seeking protection from some very powerful and dangerous people.

To be truthful, I would have preferred not to write a column today. But there are some special Belizeans who have been my enablers for decades, and I believe they expect me to say something about the present crisis. These special Belizeans are a severe minority, perhaps 4 percent of the Belizean electorate, but they have made a difference in some critical political confrontations over the decades.

What I will say to my special Belizeans is essentially what I said in the first paragraph: bullets and bombs are more serious than pens and paper. The streets know this, because they are more vulnerable on a daily basis than the church-goers.

When we were young in Belize, we went to movies made by the white power structure which extolled a man who worked for the British Empire who, it was explained to us, had a “license to kill.” This was all presented in a glamorous and adventurous manner by the movies, as they made this special “agent” a hero to us. He drank expensive liquor and slept with beautiful women.

Nothing that is scaring Belizeans today has anything to do with the PUP conundrum. When it comes to these matters, the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) are the same kettle of fish. They take turns doing the same thing. Fu yu, fu me — like pitti pat.

In closing, and this may seem a tad irrelevant, in 1975 I wrote a poem I titled “NOT AS I DID”. In 1975, I did not even know my eldest son, who was born in 1971. I’m proud of that poem, because, unbeknownst to me at the time, it was very much prescient.
Blessings upon you.

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