Inequalities abound in the world and the most popular way to change it is not to complain but take decisive steps to have it corrected. However, because of this natural way of looking outside, there is a tendency to blame others for our miseries. I recall an uncle who complained against his father for him not learning to tailor. He said that his father would come to the tailoring shop and said to him: “Baiyon, you must go early and cut grass for the animals.” Baiyon made this complaint his life’s mission, long after his father passed on. He never took the opportunity to further his skills. He was contented complaining to justify his miseries!
Jews were the most persecuted people in history but they have turned their miseries to an advantage. When they were driven out of Israel by the Romans, the Jews made learning from the scriptures a central pillar of Jewish culture. When the Arabs conquered the Middle East the Jews learned skills; they were the blacksmiths, weavers, carpenters, masons, bricklayers, etc. With the money earned they saved and invested and migrated to other parts of the world.
When Christians and Muslims viewed banking as usury, the Jews became the money lenders and the bankers. Today money capital is controlled by the Jewish community, thus giving them a major role in global trade and finance.
The Jewish were thinkers and were in the forefront of political change and revolution. At the heart of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia were the Jews and foremost among them was Leon Trotsky, the foremost ideologue.
Blacks in the USA are a far cry from the Jewish community. They appeared to have learned very little from history except to crowd the airwaves and complain about every perceived grievance. This miserable state of affair is transferred to the Caribbean and particularly Trinidad and Guyana where the culture of scapegoating has reached phenomenal heights.
Blacks are victims of office-jacket and tie, briefcase, and polished shoes with a passion to eat with knife and fork. They are not about earning properties. So in Atlanta City where black governors are elected, the economy continues to be controlled by the whites. Research is revealing that blacks are one-third of the population (5.7m) but are less than 25% in homeownership. The research also revealed income inequality-blacks earning $47, 202 annually against the state average of $65, 381. ( In diverse Atlanta, why are less than a quarter of homes black-owned? – Curbed Atlanta.)
In his book A Turn South, (1989) VS Naipaul had made this pertinent observation. The lack of ownership of properties is not confined to Atlanta City but the entire south. (Indians can learn more from this instead of being obsessed about political power! Maybe if Indians were owners of a single bank or even a credit union, they would be better positioned to appreciate political power.)
Ownership of properties, and management of businesses call for commitment and dedication. Only those families that are committed to learning skills, working the extra hours, saving and investing, will be positioned to control the commanding heights of the economy. Voting fanatically on election day may win you the government but not the economy!
In Guyana, Dr. David Hinds cannot ignore the 28 years of dictatorship, misrule, and the racist policies of Forbes Burnham. In Trinidad and Tobago black commentators must come to the truth that the PNM has ruled this country for 30 consecutive years (1956-1986) and have implanted party hacks in decision making positions. Needless to say, they continue to do so today to the detriment of the country instead of developing a meritocracy. Today, commentators like Dr. David Hinds and others are ignoring this truth and lampooning the Indians for all their miseries.
What is the status in the sale of the Pointe-a-Pierre oil refinery? With not a committed buyer on the horizon, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley is now blaming the Opposition for blocking its sale as was done when the Sandals project was aborted. A narrative is developing to blame Indians for the failings of blacks in Guyana and Trinidad. This connivance is fanned and fueled by semi-literate talk show hosts with supported of myopic Indians whom Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar described as ‘haters.’
In South Africa Mandela was lauded by the western media but the miseries, inequalities of South African societies were ignored. South Africa, the once shining star of the African continent is dimming because the fundamental inequalities were ignored. Income distribution continues to benefit a few- the top 20 % of the population owns 68% of the wealth while the lower 40% have to contend with 7%.
Governments have to debunk policies like higher social spending to correct social inequalities. These policies have never succeeded in any part of the world and must be banished. Affirmative actions, in all their varied forms, must be denounced.
The recent passage of the procurement legislation is a license for the 1% to have legal access to the treasury, However, instead of chastising Independent Senator Dr. Maria Dillon-Remy for supporting the bill, talk show hosts were defending her as a ‘black woman and a well-respected Tobagonian doctor.’ Indians and the UNC were called out for peddling racism for their criticism and condemnation of Dr. Maria Dillon-Remy’s support for the Bill as if racism and discrimination were invented by Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her UNC supporters.
And what is Independent Senator Paul Richards up to? How can Opposition Senator Jearlean John’s description as a “shame and disgrace” be ascribed as contempt of Parliament? Is Senator Jearlean John not entitled to comment on the voting of a bill that is going to affect the nation? Shouldn’t Senator Dillon-Remy be called upon to explain her choice of voting?
The reality is -Knife and fork, jacket and tie first; the treasury can be entrusted to the 1%. It is not a big price to purchase social status and respectability, however hollow it may appear. Always put yourself in the other man’s shoes. Trinkets at one time were valued more than human freedom and it is no less so today. Amen.