Shitholes or Shit kickers! What’s the Difference?
Photo : Dool Hanomansingh
What is the difference between shitholes and shit kickers? Why has the former evoked such condemnation by Caribbean voices including ex-diplomat Reginald Dumas, Professor Hilary Beckles and the Caricom Secretariat when there was pin drop silence when Dr Keith Rowley brandished his shit kickers after Dr Roodal Moonilal had spoken in Parliament about alleged bank accounts at a bank in Florida?
I guess that it is only because shitholes came out of the mouth of President Trump, the most powerful voice in the world while Rowley’s voice is more or less insignificant to evoke a response of condemnation. Maybe Dr Rowley was not loud enough to reach the ears of our Caribbean leaders a la Beckles and Dumas.
I cannot deny that many of those countries that President Trump is calling shitholes are the creation of US policies. In the case of Guyana its shithole status was a direct result of the connivance of the Afro-Guyanese and the CIA to remove from office the Cheddi Jagan government of the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1953 when Cheddi Jagan was elected premier of Guyana in a free and fair election the constitution was suspended for four years thus denying power to Jagan . In 1957 Jagan again won and he ruled until 1961. It was one of the better governments in the region and Guyana made tremendous economic progress.
In August 1961 Jagan was re-elected to government and the US conspired through the trade unions and leaders such as Forbes Burnham and Peter D’aguiar to undermine the Jagan government. Mainly Afro-Guyanese took to the streets of Georgetown and burnt businesses to the ground. The Governor appealed to Burnham and D’aguiar to call off their supporters but they bluntly refused.
At Wismar, a village in East Demerara, Indians were given pieces of paper with the instructions to leave their homes or be killed. More than 1500 Indians were murdered, women raped, men beaten. Hundreds fled into the bushes to survive and the appeal of Ms Janet Jagan, Minister of Home Affairs to the Commissioner of Police felt on deaf ears just as our leaders today refused to hear the shit kickers’ streaks of Dr Rowley and his threats to Dr Roodal Moonilal.
Western imperialism has bred shitholes across the world, not only in the Caribbean and Africa but also in Asia. In 1947 when the British were leaving India, it was not happy to leave it as one whole country but to truncate it. In doing so the British wanted to prove to the world that Indians cannot live in harmony with themselves and colonial rule was justified..
Pakistan, a creation of the British, is one such debacle. The US has manipulated the foreign policies of Pakistan in its struggle to oust the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. After the expulsion of the Russians, Pakistan successfully created the Taliban that became a menace to the people of neighbouring Afghanistan. Thanks to the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan falls into this category called “shit holes!”
The Caribbean remains one of the most socially and economically backward places in the world, thanks to US policies. Countries such as Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore don’t fall into Trumps’ shithole category. These parts of the world are highly productive and it would be in the interest of the US to have citizens from this region of the world as migrants, not the Caribbean.
Reginald Dumas, Professor Beckles and other Caribbean leaders must accept the reality that Caribbean people are not amongst the better people in the world. Look at the murder rate in T&T. It is outrageous. It makes one wonder if our minds have been programmed to be destructive and murderous. I say this because the Caribbean is a region where our cultural past has been more or less erased and supplanted by substandard imported cultural substitutes from the west.
Caribbean people have to look within. We can no longer feign ignorance of our ancestral past. It is time we open our minds to learn about our Indian and African history and heritage and stop believing that Carnival and soca are our tickets to salvation. Our Carnival culture is rude, lewd and licentious and destructive. It does not make us responsible but encourages us to put caution to the wind and “get on bad.”
No amount of protest and denial by Professor Hilary Clinton and Reginald Dumas is going to improve our shithole status. While many of us do not approve of such low comments by President Trump, we cannot deny the fact that the Caribbean is deteriorating socially, economically and politically. Instead of protesting against President Trump Caricom leaders would do better developing policies, programmes and strategies to keep our people within the shores of the Caribbean. If not, the future of the Caribbean would be Haiti with desperate migrants drowning at sea to escape their shithole country.