Reflections On Carifiesta 2014

REFLECTIONS ON CARIFIESTA 2014

By N Oji Mzilikazi

Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 24, Number 14 July 10, 2014

The 39th staging of the Carifiesta Parade on July 5th was one of the best in years.

While my heart welled with pride for the thousands of community members that were participants — revellers as well as on-lookers — I couldn’t help but weigh the power of their presence, the financial and voting power they collectively constitute in their hands against community laissez faire attitudes, divisiveness, paralysis, and other shortcomings.

I couldn’t but weigh the potential power in our numbers against the continuous underfunding of Carifiesta by City Hall, the absence of funding from the Quebec government and the Montreal Tourist Board, and that Carifiesta is without a corporate sponsor…

 

Sense & Sensibilities

Sense & Sensibilities

By N Oji Mzilikazi

July 12, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 13)

Ti m’ba r’oto ma so, o le panu mi de
Je’nwi temi o, o le panu mi de
Otito ko ro, o le panu mi de
Bo ti mi mo’le o, o le panu mi de
Otito ko ro o, omo araiye o fe
Be fe, befe o, mi a wi temi

(If I see the truth, I will say it, you can’t shut me up
Let me say mine, you can’t close my mouth
Truth is bitter, you can’t shut me up
You can imprison me, but you can’t close my mouth
The truth is bitter, the world hates it
Like it or not, I will say mine)

– “Je’nwi temi”

— Fela Kuti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Musings on Carifiesta

More Musings on Carifiesta

By N Oji Mzilikazi

May 3, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 08)

A young lady accused me of being unfair to CCFA with the article, “CCFA, You Made A Boo Boo” (C.C. Volume 22, Number 07), of trying to score brownie points, staying on the sidelines to criticize, and criticizing for the sake of criticizing. Far from standing on the side, I’ve always been active.  It’s just like many others; I’ve always been contented to do so quietly and invisibly.

Just as light dispels darkness, criticism and derivative exposure forces and ensures transparency and accountability. Healthy societies are self-critical. Failure to be openly critical continues to feed the recycling of dysfunction and is a community millstone.

The invoking of not “washing our dirty linen in public” is disingenuous to say the least, and only serves vultures, incompetents, conmen, smart-men, and smart-women. For then, they can continue with their parasitic feeding…

 

CCFA, You Made A Boo Boo

CCFA, You Made A Boo Boo

By N Oji Mzilikazi

April 19, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 07)

Dear CCFA, Mr. President, Members of the Executive,

With all due respect, it is with a heavy heart I pen this. I had so much hope for you moving this thing that we love; this thing call Carifiesta forward. Your acceptance of the City’s shortened route is a betrayal of the community, and a betrayal of the very spirit of Carnival. It can in no way shape or form be justified.

I know you inherited an extremely weak organization; one whose past leadership failed to show direction, had no vision, no business acumen to make Carifiesta financially viable, and more importantly, no political groundings to deal with the City in an effective manner. They simply saw themselves as staging a “Jump up,” with no understanding of its deeper significance.

They didn’t see Carifiesta as politically, racially, and socially empowering. They didn’t see Carifiesta as an emotional release, therapy, stress reliever and a respite from the frustrations of winter, life, and the multitude of varied obstacles many in our community encounter and experience daily, including police heavy-handedness and racial profiling.

All they saw were wine and jam: hips, pelvis bouncing, wining, rolling in unison, genitalia thrown front, back, side and center, and rude girls in glory – showing off their perfected control of their middle section.

They didn’t see the Parade as saying to the wider society and the political structure, “Look at our numbers. We exist, we are here, we count, we vote, we pay taxes, and this is home.” Their approach to the City was like that of a beggar asking for change. I don’t want you falling into the same mindset.

They forgot that back in the day, whenever the West Indies, India and Pakistan played cricket against England and Australia, the game was transformed from bat and ball to that intellectual and racial strength.

Cricket represented white hegemony. Defeating those nations was to score a victory over former colonial masters and representations of white supremacy. It psychologically established equality of non-white humanity. Psychologically, Carifiesta is the reign of “outsiders.” People whose skin colour and physiognomy oft invoke negative reactions, bias and discrimination.

Carifiesta is our community striking a blow against white cultural hegemony. It is our way of “mashing” up Babylon.

They forgot that up until 1962, Canada’s Federal Immigration Act kept Blacks out. That Canada has never been welcoming to Blacks. They forgot we live in Quebec, whose people for the most part were victimized by the English and made to feel inferior, so the ascension of the PQ made French liberation; French empowerment and French language domination priority one, two, three, four.

It would be stupid of us to believe the City administration, Francophone bureaucrats and functionaries, or the people of Quebec are willingly going to care about us – our community, like us, respect us, or be magnanimous towards us.

We have to make them respect us. We must force them to recognize if not care for us. And how do we do that? By affirming our rights as citizens, fighting for said rights, getting involved in the political process, holding strong positions in regards to our welfare, owning businesses, building institutions, moving away from island tribalism, displaying effective management and leadership skills, and with transparency and accountability our measuring scale.

Every time we don’t function according to sound principles, one of our businesses fail, or we mismanage an organization, it says, “we ent ready yet – we cannot swim with the sharks, and the esteem of the community takes a nosedive.

Just this March, the City dropped a letter of eviction on Notre-Dame-de-Grace Black Community Association with a 60 day notice to vacate the premises.  The NDGBCA has been delivering services to the Black residents of NDG since 1972. While one could advance the City’s action demonstrates it doesn’t give a hoot about those serviced by the NDGBCA, it isn’t the City’s fault the stewards in the organization took the NDGBCA into that abyss.

And be rest assured, none of those stewards, some who deliberately acted inappropriately to get over, are losing sleep over that situation. Who among leadership is going to man up, call names and demand accountability – hold those stewards accountable? Are we going to continue to let mismanagement slide – go unpunished as in not being publicly embarrassed?

Power respects power. Every time we – our community accept less much less will be given. Has Jamaica Day grown since being kicked out the Park, and municipal legislation pass forbidding such gatherings in city parks? Every time Carifiesta is chipped away; so is the community’s respect.

Organizations/leadership must realize their thing is part of a bigger thing, not something that exists in isolation, and repercussions to poor decisions affects all.

In complaining about the difficulty in obtaining funding for Carifiesta some years ago, Ms. Sandra Dass was quoted in a newspaper saying, We need to move ourselves away from the Jazz Festival to show Carifiesta can stand out on its own.”

The Jazz Festival wasn’t even conceptualised when Carifiesta was launched. The Jazz Festival is blessed because it’s money-making machinery, not to mention it’s from white hands. The Jazz festival overwhelmingly brings Black Americans to make its coin.

Carifiesta is from our hands – West Indian hands/Black hands/Indian hands/community hands. And though it generates revenue for the city, and has the potential to be money-making machinery as well, the City has always treated Carifiesta as a disliked stepchild. Past leadership did nothing to change that perception.

Our community pay taxes. Taxes that contributes to the City’s functioning. The City investing in Carifiesta must be positioned as them giving back. Once we feel the City is doing us a favour, and we approach them in that manner we disadvantage ourselves.

In the same article, Dass opined, “We’re overshadowed right now but I can see Carifiesta being moved to later in the summer.”

When our officials can hold such a view, it’s easy to see why the City would keep us away from “clashing” with the Jazz Festival or Canada Day. Carifiesta is not in competition with the Jazz Festival nor does it target the same demographics – a point we’ve failed to establish with the City.

Without a model of strength, Mr. President, there was nothing for you to draw on. Hence I didn’t pound you last year for accepting to stage Carifiesta on the same day as Jamaica Day, (A house divided falls.) And for giving out flyers to homeowners and businesses along the parade route, at the behest of the City when its postal workers are paid to deliver mail.

I don’t know if you sought advice on this. I don’t know if anyone whispered in your ear or if you believe this was the best option. Any which way, it was ill-conceived, bad advice, and showed no understanding of the dynamics at play.

Even if something doesn’t make dollars, it should at least make sense. Why would any masquerader want to pay upwards of a $100 for 20 minutes on the road, especially in these economic times?  How long does it take to build a truck; make it road worthy, safe and to set up its music – an hour, two, three? Is the man hours needed to prepare those trucks for a 20 minute parade worth it?

Carnival is parade. Parade is display. Display requires room. Carnival is Spirit. Spirit takes time to heat and manifest itself. Carnival is physical exercise for both revellers and spectators. They walk, dance and wine. Spectators wine to the side.

Carnival is parade down the streets; the longer the better. To quote Lord Kitchener, “The road make to walk on Carnival Day.” The route as agreed upon by CCFA and the City takes the road away from the people? The proposed cool down at Parc Drapeau is foolishness with a capital “F.”

Drapeau has long proven to psychologically be too far for our people. Our events there usually flop. More importantly, how could we cool down on a Sunday when we never got a chance to boil on Saturday, much less heat up given the shortness of the route?

It have a lot of people here who does talk bout culture, and feel them is entitled to run tings, and when dey can’t get dey own way, dey does do like lil children and pick up dere marbles and run home. They ent lending their strength and connection to see the same culture dey say dey love grow.

Last year, I listened to a live interview of our very own Mr. Henry Antoine on Trinidad & Tobago’s Wack Radio. Callers from Montreal and the United States pointed out they were saddened he wasn’t running things here, the Carnival wouldn’t be the same without him, and he is the only man who could run it. A woman wrote in the Wack Shoutbox that she wasn’t going to be bringing no mas in 2011 since Antoine was out. She go be doing a kiddies thing in she area.

Mr. President, there are people out there who want to see you fail, and ah really doh think its personal. Though some ah de old timers ent bring no band last year, Carifiesta still come off. This year boy, yuh in rel doo doo. Ah cah vote fuh dat, but ah ent want yuh to fail.

Mr. President, your position calls for a heavyweight. A person, who knows the intricacies of the ring, is astute, mentally agile and could hit hard. I am not questioning if you made weight or if you’re boxing in the right class, but this here move has you out-manoeuvered, out-boxed and outclassed.

Business capitalizes on opportunities. Business targets special days and holidays for then, consumers readily part with their dollars. Party promoters look for the most opportune time to throw a fete – to have a greater pool of people from which to draw attendees. The Carnivals of Toronto, New York and Miami are huge because they occur on a long weekend.

There was a time when Carifiesta drew upwards of 100, 000 people.  Its administrators never sought to find out or tabulate its financial spin-off to the city of Montreal. Hard numbers would’ve made it possible to impress the City as to why its funding ought to be increased.

The failure of past carnival administrations to look upon Carifiesta as a business, apply principles of business towards it, as well as them being competent are major contributors in its decline.

Mr. President, if you could recall, when I attended the post-mortem of Carifesta 2011 last July or August, I suggested that since Canada Day 2012 falls on a Sunday, CCFA should have the Parade on the Saturday – operate like business and capitalize on the long weekend.

In the spirit of short-sightedness, my view wasn’t entertained. Someone mentioned the police wouldn’t want to put down two sets of barricades for both parades. Putting down barricades one week and then the next on two different routes incur a greater cost than doing so consecutively. The mere entertaining of what the police are going to think shows we do not think of exercising strength or power in the pursuit of goals to empower our community.

Mr. President, your boo boo can be used to our advantage. Put Carifiesta in the Canada Day Parade – use the long weekend of July 1st to stage Carifiesta. We go bring up the rear. You don’t need the City’s permission to participate in the Canada Day Parade.

The Canada Day Parade in Montreal was started by a West Indian – an Indo-Trinidadian. Carifiesta in the Canada Day Parade exposes Carifiesta to a new audience, and that ought to bode well for future Carifiesta parades.

City Hall and Federal politicians have always stayed away from the Montreal Canada Day Parade. Dey doh want to offend the francophone majority, plus for de most part, dem is Quebecois. Hence, Canada Day has had no political support in Montreal.

Though our community has known victimization from both French and English, our language based culture makes Canada Day something to celebrate.

Carifiesta in Canada Day saves the City upwards of the $200,000 that is claimed allocated to provide security, other amenities and the after-parade clean-up.

Given that all our people who went down the 401 usually return on long weekends to see family, Carifiesta in the Canada Day parade would more than likely have an attendance that hasn’t been seen in years. More importantly, party promoters will get a chance to eat a food. Last year all went hungry.

And I want you to tax promoters. Hit them up for five (5) per cent of their profits – to go into the Carifiesta Fund. For far too long promoters have been eating off Carifiesta and not giving back. Explain to them that a healthy Carifiesta translates into profits for them; and a financial contribution from them goes towards producing and having a better product. How could anyone argue with that? We must do for self before we ask others to do for us.

Mr. President, go back to the City. Tell them de people say no to Carifiesta on July 7 – that the shortened route defeats the whole purpose of having a parade. Tell them Carifiesta is going to join the Canada Day Parade this year, and allyuh work out allyuh money business. And if yuh want moral support, ah go go with yuh and yuh people to the City Hall. Don’t forget to inform the Canada Parade folks that Carifiesta will be joining them this year.

Peace!

Dr. Clarence Bayne, Une Minute S’il Vous Plaît!

Dr. Clarence Bayne, Une Minute S’il Vous Plaît!

By N Oji Mzilikazi

December 5, 2011

Philosophically a contradiction is a unity of opposites. For example: night and day, black and white, positive and negative, good and evil. They all depend on their opposite for meaning.

On the other hand, when a person is called a walking contradiction, there is no foundational or ideological unity or balance. There is no integration of self. The person has no ideological position other than that which is conveniently expedient.

Detailed examination of your words Dr. Bayne reveals that you are a walking contradiction. To repeat, your criticism of others are never rooted in critical analysis but in bitterness and protection of what you consider “your space.”

You come off like those old Arab and African dictators whose time has passed, are bankrupt of ideas, but desperately afraid to go gently into the good night. Rather than be satisfied with memories of the “good ole days of the struggle,” your profitability from it, and be welcoming to new voices, you prefer to do a Mugabe Buthelezi combination.

You come off desperate to make yourself relevant, as well as brutish. Having an oversized ego doesn’t help either. When has any outsider else ever cared about our community? Still, you want to appear to outsiders as being the “Black” voice of reason. What a joke!

Ron Licorish is your buddy. You called him “my friend” (Community Contact 6/1/11). You and Ron, along with several others secretly went to City Hall to inject yourselves in to the Carnival debacle that went before the courts. Yet, in the last Contact you went for Ron’s jugular over his proposal of a Caribbean Canadian Community Congress, and in a rather unbecoming manner. If that’s how you treat friends I can’t imagine you having any.

Licorish was the past president of CCFA. He contributed money to fighting the court case against MCDF. As an officer of the CCFA, his participation as well as any criticism of Carifiesta in the Community Contact is therefore treasonous. Even if Licorish failed to recognize that, surely you with your intellectual perspicacity didn’t.

You never informed Ron as “how going to City Hall go look” to CCFA membership. Having him on board was to have a “Carifiesta heavyweight.” You didn’t see fit to use your profile and act as a mediator between CCFA and MCDF immediately upon the suspension of the 2010 Carifiesta. Instead, like an opportunistic hyena and under the guise of community interests you waited.

And what did the Committee achieved in going to City Hall? Nought. And after your shameless running to City Hall, you had the temerity to attack those invited there, as you described, “to drink cheap wine and eat ethnic food.”

Is that the reason you weren’t present for its Commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery this past August? I can understand. After 30-something years of drinking that cheap stuff with different mayors you can no longer get a “head.” And to know, I thought the Black leaders missing from the event was on account of it not being their initiative but that of Dan Phillips.

Who would’ve “thunk” it was the wine? As both you and I know – Black leaders in Montreal do not show solidarity with one other.  The egotistical need of wanting to be perceived as chief leader has left some unwilling to share the stage and vocalizing the same. Some even bad-talking their “competition” to City Hall.

In your effort to berate Licorish’s idea, you flippantly resorted to saying that even with their Congress; Jews aren’t protected from anti-Semtism. To bring Jews into your argument reeks of intellectual dishonesty. Who can deny the economic and political clout of the Jews? Not to mention, they have friends in high places.

They have a Congress as well as numerous active organizations that defend Jewry and promote its interests. Neither Blacks nor West Indian/Caribbean people have any such institution to look out for the Caribbean and or Africa’s interest. None of the many West Indian organizations/associations in our community has a political mandate, and none of the islands’ associations have ever demonstrated a united front to anything. But ready you were to shut down Ron.

Jewish ownership of media- print and audiovisual allows for their issues and stories to be always front page and center, and their image protected at all times. Media titans Rupert Murdock and Robert Maxwell are Jews. Have you ever seen Hollywood films portray Jews in the manner they do Blacks?

When Canadian media mogul, Israel (Izzy) Asper died in October 2003, Daphne Bramham writing in the Vancouver Sun decribed him as “a committed Zionist.” She quoted him saying, “In all our newspapers, including the National Post, we have a very pro-Israel position.” Izzy also owned the Montreal Gazette.

Repeated letters and calls to the Gazette in respect to their usage of “black” in the negative as in “black mark,” and not capitalising the “b” as in “Black,” when referring to us – for then “Black” becomes a proper noun- grammar 101 teaches proper nouns are always capitalized, are always met with outright refusal.

Calls to the Gazette over their allowance of “Niggas” to be published, rather than the “N-word” in T’cha Dunlevey’s November 24 review of the Jay Z and Kanye West show was met with indifference. Even the blind can see that a strong Black organisation can pressure the Gazette in ways individual voices can’t.

Have you ever endorsed or promoted anything that wasn’t your own Dr. Bayne? Self-conceit allows you to believe you are the only person who can do things right.  You put forward, The community leadership that is getting the attention of the various levels of government do not seem to understand the economics of entrepreneurship.” (Community Contact 8/4/10)

For good measure you signed off as president of the Black Studies Center (BSC) and director of ICED, JMSVB at Concordia University. Titles that indicate you are eminently qualified to dispense, and further you, because you had your own entrepreneurship thing going.

While you want to go about triumphantly beating your chest like a big “sawathie,” do you care to explain why your, and the much lauded by you Black Studies Center (BSC) lost its Tax Exempt Status in 1986? Up until recently, and Peter Francis efforts to its revitalization, it was still being under-utilized.

By virtue of offices held, you were part of the cadre of leadership that have the community presently on its knees. So it is duplicitous and hypocritical of you to present yourself as insightful.

When Bob White pointed out that Blacks didn’t own Union Church, your response was that the St. James United Church roof is leaking and its steps crumbling and the catholic religious institutions are infested by pedophiles.” (Community Contact 4/11/10)

That “why complain when others have it just as bad” tact of yours, is Uncle Tominism and appeasement to a warp ideology at its best. Like the Jews, St. James’ access to resources is 100 times easier than Blacks.  And to know Dr Bayne, you are an educated man who “fought” for Blacks back in the day.

You gave a “props” to the satire of Bob White then condescendingly put him down with, “It needs fine tuning.” Isn’t White is the same guy you described  as the inner voice of fear and low self-esteem…the embodiment of hopelessness?” And that “he and his barber shop boys are depressingly wrong and disrespectful.” (Community Contact 4/11/10)

Have you ever reach out to Bob to enlighten him on the ways and means to improve his satirical skills?

As an elder in the community, have you ever privately reached out to anyone, including any among those you described as “so-called Black columnists” to teach them the error of their ways?

As implied in that phrase, you even want to deny them their blackness. Clearly that green-eyed monster has gotten the better of you. And to know Dr Bayne, you are an educated man who “fought” for Blacks back in the day.

Then again Clarey, you were always a reactionary. Weren’t you the co-editor of Umoja – the Black newspaper founded in 1969 to counter UHURU, the radical Black Montreal newspaper?

Such is your disconnection you advised the youth (Community Contact 4/11/10) not to allow themselves “to become victims of hopelessness.” Threw in “failure is the fabric from which human species construct success models.” Also foolishly quoted, “Feel the pain and fall, but rise again to feel the pain again” from the 1970 Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) play, “How Now Black Man.”

Consider that in your April 8, 2010, Community Contact article, “25 years and no change” you made the point, “The data on employment over the last quarter century show that…whether the person has a degree…Blacks live out lives exposed to low incomes, and employment…the market discrimination against Blacks is persistent, pervasive and brutal.”

Against entrenched and deliberate racism and discrimination it is impossible to “construct success models” unless through legal challenges. So that axiom about “failure” is applicable to whites and others who are not actively discriminated against.

Only sadists embrace pain. Pain can twist a soul to hate the world. No person wants to fall and rise to pain. That a Black professor said it in a play doesn’t make it logical. Then again, there are “educated fools from uneducated schools” to quote Curtis Mayfield.

In an April 05, 2008, Gazette interview with Rev. Gray about Black leadership and educators discussing an Afrocentric school, Gray stated, “We have kids dropping out of school and dropping into prison. A 40-per-cent dropout rate for blacks – when blacks are seven per cent of the population.”

Such statistics show that our youths are already victims of hopelessness Dr. Bayne. Several studies by McGill University- namely, a Black person with a university degree is on par with a white person without one, and that that white person has a better chance at employment than the Black with certification reaffirm conditions that lead to hopelessness.

Must one imagine the employment prospects facing uneducated Blacks? So, why your obtuseness in regards to the prevailing hopelessness that is consuming Black youth, and which is accentuated by racial profiling and police harassment?

In “Who is this Garvin Guy?” (Community Contact 4/11/10) you said to the youths, “Have a good time, party, get down, but persevere in following your dreams.”

Is that what our youths need to hear given the current economic climate worldwide, employment unavailability brought on by outsourcing, the huge unemployment in the Black community, and the paralysis and dysfunction that define our community?

Hasn’t the race been forever consumed with partying? We have no infrastructures in place, much more own the places we party- and that is your advice. Shouldn’t we cease building other people empires, stress sacrifice and delaying personal gratification to our youths to actualize their dreams?  And to know Dr. Bayne, you are an educated man who “fought” for Blacks back in the day.

You delight in waving the BTW as a Black achievement. What has it done for the community? Where are our local playwrights and local plays? Have you ever opened up its space for the development and or rehearsals of local plays being staged in a “community” location, or did a  BTW production just for community consumption or for a community event?

Maybe you need to go to Jamaica and Trinbago and experience the vibrancy of their theaters/plays – the speaking of them to them without the slightest desire or thought of outside authentication or appreciation. All BTW productions target the white community.

In a November 2010 Hour magazine interview you said that 70 per cent of the BTW audience is white. While a lot of times people hide behind, “We (Blacks) don’t support we thing,” the question that is never asked is if the community was ever targeted and how. And a lot of times it isn’t effectively marketed to – putting flyers in locations that serve the community is not sufficient unto itself.

Is the concept of selling blackness to whites the rationale behind you saying we “must have the courage to reach beyond our ethnicity, we must step out of our cultural box without forgetting its location.” (Community Contact 9/9/10)

I have no problem with any whose master plan is to pedal blackness. This I know. One cannot habitually cater to whites and not lose part of their soul and or be disconnected to the Black struggle. Folks like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson quickly come to mind.

At one point in time the Communist Party used white women to entrap the Black intelligentsia. And so many Black communists like CLR James married white. James wife was Jewish. Black power gave Black men access to the forbidden fruit of white women and boy, did they eat.

Harry Belafonte is mixed. That plantation derived “one-drop” rule of ethnicity pretty much made him Black and having no choice but to align with Black causes in America.

Belafonte’s first wife is described as a “well-to-do Negro girl.” I’ve never seen a photograph of her to note her skin-complexion. Belafonte then married Jewish.

I have never seen a photograph of the husband of Adrienne, his eldest daughter to know if he is white.  However, his son David married white, his daughter Gina married white, and daughter Shari married white twice.

One could surmise that while Belafonte’s grandchildren are going to recognize his contribution to the Civil Rights struggle, their racial blend-diminished blackness positions them to be far removed from the sphere of contention and struggle people of African descent continue to experience.

That none of his children married Black- given his lifework speak volumes and epitomizes “reaching beyond our ethnicity and stepping out of our cultural box.”

While there are talkers, there are those who walk the talk.  Upon discovering Black consciousness, LeRoi Jones divorced his Jewish wife. It was undoubtedly a rather drastic move. He felt having a white wife was incongruous to Black pride. What a man, eh!

Jones became Amiri Baraka.  And since Dr. Bayne, you have a relationship with Baraka, you gladly quoted him to support your put down of Licorish but you couldn’t walk in his shoes.

Dr. Bayne, you enjoy being the drum major for “progressive blackness” and yet had the nerve to say to our youth, “The time has come to when you must truly reconstruct our noble past.”

Pray tell, what glorious past are you talking about? The mythical when we were Kings, island tribalism, divisiveness, and the weak infrastructures, lack of economical and political empowerment the progenitors of today’s youth – the immigrants that came in the early 60s and early 70s left?

All around us our organizations are dead, dying a slow death or going out of business because of fossilized leadership rooted in antiquated ideologies, dictatorial leadership, bad and mismanagement, cronyism, persons feeling they are bigger than an organization, and leadership only doing for self?

Should I use quotes from your September 13, 1993, letter to the BCCQ attesting to some of the same, and which outlined reasons for your withdrawal of the BSC from under their umbrella? And I’m not talking about you saying things like the BCCQ leaders “are repeat offenders, poor management is chronic and where highly risky behaviour is justified by statements such as we cannot dwell on the pass.”

Deceitfully you penned a full page response (Community Contact 7/21/11) berating me over my castigation of leadership.

Obviously my comments are still “stuck in your craw,” as evidenced by your wonderment as to why “there was no public outcry” over them. (Community Contact 24/11/11)

Haven’t you recognized that my assertions are always supported with facts: who said what, date, time and place – that I’m sure an Internet search will verify?

I hope you aren’t labouring under the impression that I arrived here on the last banana boat. It was actually the second to last.

Fact: many of our community stewards betrayed both the community and the cause- promoting its advancement, because of of what they could extract either through the funding/government grant money that came their way or through seeking to financially exploit the name recognition they received from community work.

That none of our stewards were ever publicly censored by “us” or by outsiders, or none of them made a jail doesn’t mean books weren’t cooked, and “bobol” and “rachafee” didn’t have their way. And that applies to those in the promotion/fete business also.

In quoting Frantz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth” you said, “We must look within ourselves and face our own lies.” At least, I know my mirror isn’t broken.