So many “air” media about, it’s easy to miss things, but the Prime Minister’s declaration of disgust that there was an accusation of anti-black sentiment in PUP support for ASR/BSI moving the bulk of sugar shipments from the port in Belize City to the one in Big Creek, I couldn’t miss that, because that was all over. The move will cause the unionized stevedore group in Belize City to lose considerable earnings.
I couldn’t figure out exactly whom specifically the PM was expressing his disgust with; there’s a number of people batting for the stevedores, and while the fact is that the group is predominantly Afro, at the time of the PM’s statement I hadn’t heard anyone outright say that skin color was at the core of the decision. Ah, I didn’t narrow down the field until Wednesday, when I was scrolling about and came across my village brother, NTUCB president Louis Martinez, on some recorded media saying that this PUP didn’t want black people to eat, that this was a deliberate thing fu tek food out of black people mouth.
Oh fu we Belize! For those who don’t know, Louis Martinez, known to all in Camalote as “Cutty”, his mother is a full-blood Maya. I heard Ms. Yaya Marin Coleman insisting on her Krem Sunday Review show on Sunday that it can’t be removed from the discussion that the stevedores are black. Fu she pa da weh we call “Spanish”, a Mestizo man with deep roots in Guatemala. And as for the new general at the waterfront, Brother Mose, hihn da frahn Guinea Grass.
Emancipation didn’t come until Garvey
Someone on social media called Marcus Garvey a racist, and I was tempted to comment, but I heeded my social media lessons, to steer clear of exchanges in that vein, especially potentially long ones, because sophistry and viciousness are very alive and thriving in that forum. My gudnis, we are living in the age of pounce, it’s all over, and nowhere do you find people who are ready to spring, claws fully extended, like the ones on social media.
Oh, I was sure tempted to smack such a superficial attack, but my reluctance to engage the sophists drove me to flip to the next script.
A whole lot of people in our world have some, or quite a bit of, university education, and my observation is that in those institutions of higher learning they must teach them all how to make arguments, to win. Hmm, you have heard people boast of their capacity to argue all sides. I never had any such training, and if I had gone to big school, ih noh mi wahn tek pahn me. I never forward arguments, to win. I believe in presenting my simple truth, and I’ll congratulate you if you can make my truth better. Only perfected truth can set us free.
Bah, some are deep into trickery, deception, and the only time I laud that game is when a fisherman suckers a good fish with a lure, or a boxer sets up an opponent for a bolo. Whenever sophistry rears its ugly head, my language sinks to the colorful, so I try to stay away from there. Call me ehm…nouveau mature.
I see Belize is now celebrating Emancipation Day, hurray, I’m happy for all the proponents. Over the years, I’ve come to grasp why so many people clamored for us to be like our Caribbean brothers and sisters by having a full holiday, while I was satisfied with just a little reflection. There’s potential there. If the organizers are very creative, I can see Emancipation Day becoming very inspirational, and on top of that an economic success too.
For me, 1838 didn’t come for my black ancestors until 1887, when Marcus Garvey came along! Some things it’s best to approach from angles, but the racial supremacy propagated by the European needed a full frontal attack. That didn’t happen until Marcus came.
I saw a speech somewhere, with the claim that Marcus was totally clueless about Africa, and yes, it does appear to be true that Marcus didn’t know that much about the African continent on the ground, but his vision for the downtrodden black people in the world was inspiring.
His insufficient knowledge of African culture takes nothing away from his liberation message and his call for us to understand and appreciate our roots. The website history.com said Marcus was a “black nationalist and leader of the Pan-Africanism movement, which sought to unify and connect people of African descent worldwide.”
I suspect the person who called Marcus a racist has Central American roots, and the beef comes from the report that Marcus confined his liberation message to black people, when all around him in Central America there were brown people who were under the heel of the European banana moguls. My understanding of Marcus “sticking to his own kind” is that most of them were West Indian, like himself, and I don’t know how much command he had of the Spanish language. Maybe if he had reached out it would have scattered his message.
Blacks in the plantations were on a lower rung than the Central American natives. In the world of the Kriols, it was, and still is in some quarters, that if yu brown yu kud stick around, and if yu black yu still have to stand da back. Ah, in the world of Browns, at the present in this part of the world, if yu brown with straight hair, yu gaan clear.
In 1921 Central America, Marcus didn’t try to forge an alliance between the two groups, but he was not a racist. Smearing him thus because he worked to unshackle the minds of our black ancestors is not fair. At the time when Marcus established the United Negro Improvement Association, white was supreme, and black was the opposite.
If the intention is to label Marcus’s modern followers as racist, that would hold water if Afro people didn’t have far and away the highest likelihood of being incarcerated in the Americas, and if the people most likely to be found straggling on the streets weren’t Afro. To label someone a racist because they say, up you mighty people, is absurd.
Reynard and football and vaccine
Brother Reynard Garbutt, my neighbor in Roaring Creek, now holds a big position in the FFB, and when we met recently I had to ask him about that debacle, that lashing we took in Costa Rica. Our representative, Verdes, played well enough to win their home game in Broaster Stadium, but lost a fluky 1-0, and on the return trip we got banged 5-1.
All of us noticed that Verdes, in the first match, was the most non-homegrown club we have ever fielded, and Reynard explained that the likely reason for that is that our players are all grounded by Covid. Hence, the management of Verdes had to recruit heavily abroad.
It is believed that many Verdes players went out to spree the night before the game. Professionalism should have restrained all players from behaving that way, and love of country should have made all Belizeans on the team go to bed early.
Mr. Garbutt says the ministry has to make steps to allow all players who are fully vaccinated to get back on the field. He said we have to get our players back in games, and for added safety only those who have also had their shots should be allowed to attend games. At the very least we need to get some serious dialogue going. It’s only in Belize that the needle was put in the ball to let out the air, not to inflate it.