If you honestly consider life as it is in Belize, you cannot get away from the reality of poverty. The most stressful thing which poverty brings along with it, is hunger. Hunger demands the victim’s attention in an urgent way.
In a household where there is poverty, where there is hunger, the sexuality of the female gender early on becomes an economic asset. Rich people can protect their girl children’s innocence indefinitely, but where there is poverty the temptation is great for parents/guardians to expose their girl children’s sexuality to the marketplace. We’re talking cold talk.
Extrapolate this to the nation-state, and you will see that once you become a “destination,” and you want to increase your arrivals and the profits of your stakeholders, one of the attractions is a season when your sexual inhibitions are lessened. Inside our domestic situation, we look at our celebrations as a matter of “having fun,” but there are very rich people in the world who have the money necessary to roam the planet seeking gratification for various perverted desires. “Google,” for example, Thailand.
One of the differences between Islam and Christianity is that Islam would not tolerate the kind of moral hypocrisy which exists in Belize today. I have been a Muslim sympathizer for more than four decades, but I do not know if I could handle a strict Muslim society where the rules are extremely old-fashioned. I know that Belize is a society which is controlled by Christian denominations, and I know that this will not change in my lifetime. So, I do not have to consider how I would handle Muslim hardliners like the Taliban, who do not allow girl children to be educated. I think I am more Muslim than Christian, but I keep my religious beliefs to myself, as Christ Himself ordained.
Now, Belize is a Christian society which often behaves as if it is a pagan society. In public manifestations of human sexuality, Belize is often out of control. I suppose I may be told that I do not have to watch such manifestations. But, what about the effect the libertine nature of our public sexuality has on our children? Yes, the public displays are fun, but all of us know things have gotten out of control. We know this.
In conversations with Minister Louis Farrakhan last year and in listening to his speeches, I understood how great a matter of honor it is for Muslim men to defend Muslim women. In the Christian West, critics focus on the restrictions placed on Muslim women and the fact that a Muslim man can have more than one wife, but how about the intensity which Muslim men bring to the defence of their women?
In Belize today, I think we are pimping our girls and our women. I’m not preaching to anyone, you understand. I’m not in a position to do so. When I was a young man, I ran the streets of Belize City, and I have never claimed to be anything other than a sinner. So what I’m doing in this column is merely trying to bring to bring a situation to the attention of the moral authorities.
And, I’m saying to you that much of our degradation is tied in to our poverty. I lamented the introduction of gambling casinos in Belize in 1999 because I am a student of the Cuban Revolution. Cuba was a Christian society which went communist because of extreme poverty and the dominance of American Mafia elements, cum casinos, in pre-Castro Cuba. Poverty had not decreased in Cuba when casinos were introduced by the Mafia: Cuba’s moral fabric unraveled. Enter Fidel.
Communist Cuba has fought the AIDS epidemic much more successfully than Christian Belize has. I’m sure our Christian clergy and their congregations would respond to the effect that those who abide by their Christian precepts are doing a good job of avoiding AIDS. What about the majority of the Belizean population, those who are Christian only in name and not in behavior? Who is responsible for the terrible problems we have been experiencing with AIDS? How can it not be that the leaders of the nation-state of Belize should accept ultimate blame here? The Christian clergy have the escape clause that the Belizean people are not abiding by their church teachings. But the elected leaders of Belize all subscribe to Christianity, while the nation-state of Belize behaves in a publicly immoral manner on a daily basis. What we have here is what I earlier referred to as the moral hypocrisy of Christian nation-states. Some call this “freedom.” Fair enough, but what do the AIDS patients and their families call it? And what did Fidel do which was so different to protect his people?
In Belize, we have been making bad decisions for decades, especially since independence. Apparently, our solution to poverty is to sell things. Our leaders sell our land, our cayes, our passports, and our visas. Our families are putting up our little girls for exhibition. We have been taking the easy way out in Belize for a long time. Today, we are paying the price for our lack of integrity and moral backbone. A few of our elite have gotten richer. Meanwhile, hunger has forced many amongst the Belizean masses to sacrifice their morality. This is ugly, and this is real.