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News -> Gari-News

Blacks, Stand Up

By: Dr. T Aranda
February 17, 2005

Very few times do events expose hidden and masked inequities as did the
social upheaval of last month, January. The upheaval has been examined
from very many perspectives, but the World Garifuna Organization (WGO)
would like to add yet another perspective.

First, the upheaval very clearly exposed government habitual callous
arrogance towards its workers, in particular the teachers and civil
servants, the majority of whom is black. Not only did the upheaval
undeniably unmasked government hypocrisy, corruption, exploitation
through taxes and social cruelty, but it also exposed a blatant contempt
and disrespect when the government sneeringly baited the teachers into
the analysis of the national budget which not only is not the
responsibility of teachers but worse yet is not within their competence.
The analysis should have been given to a body competent in budget and
taxes with all the time to do serious analysis of the political control
of our national resources and with judicial teeth to act on
irregularities and illegalities encountered. Nonetheless, the teachers
and civil servants did make a glaring point by linking tax increase to
government corruption and mismanagement.

The second significant revelation in the upheaval is the absence of
concerned Blacks in key positions in the political control in this
nation. With all the protest against the government wrongs the main
answer from the government was that the nation could be torn apart but
that the taxes and exploitation were going to be legalized and those in
political control were staying in political control . . . an excellent
piece of arrogant despotism against a section of the nation, the
majority of which is black, but no black personality to stand up for

WGO's advocacy for the improvement of Black People is certainly not
"Blacks versus Every One Else", but it is absolutely and categorically
for the inclusion, development and progress of Black People at all
levels of the society, with all the benefits and responsibilities
therein. Hence WGO joins in exposing, repudiating and rejecting any and
all discriminatory and biased treatment, especially from government,
enterprises and those with wide ranging powers.

Blacks must assume responsibility for their own destiny because only we
can improve ourselves. We, therefore, ought to be interested in
improving ourselves and must take the steps to improve ourselves. Quite
often we look to the outside world to come and invest in our country in
the firm belief that only foreigners, especially whites from the US and
Europe, have what it takes to improve us. That's a pretty mixed bag of
trouble. Without including Latin America and Asia, we, Blacks, only
need to look at our Africa. More than half of the wealth of the US and
Europe is rooted in the ruthless Euro / American exploitation of Africa
and Africans. Within that ruthless exploitation also lay complicity of
too many corrupt and equally ruthless and greedy African political
leaders. The end result? Undevelopment, poverty, national and economic
stagnation, brain flight, exportation of national wealth and resources
and horrendous foreign debt. We, Blacks, can certainly do without any
further exploitation - - external or internal. What we can benefit
from is Belizeans investing at home in their own development and

Like the rest of the third world, this nation is also in deep foreign
debt, exporting its scarce and meagre wealth and resources to meet
crippling debt payment while the nation starves for basic essentials and
the mode and means for development and progress. But this glaring
lesson seems lost including on some of our ethnic organizations which
discard their ethnic consciousness to reel in political servility and
exploitation which they confuse for free or easy lunch. Just as the
developed nations offer petty concessions, appeasements and balsams to
the eager and waiting third world nations, so does the government
beguile groups to maintain control.

But let's get back to the advocacy for the improvement of Blacks. One
of the most urgent analysis to undertake is the ways and means of
curbing the violence and crime in Belize which, by every evidence, is in
the Black community. The thousands of Blacks in prison as criminals
stand out as stark evidence of some major factor(s) fueling and driving
the criminality and violence. But grim as the jail population is,
perhaps the more ominous factor in the equation is the rest of us who,
although not in jail, may yet be crippled. We are more plentiful, and
not only are we populating our nation, we direct its material, cultural
and spiritual development. We make up the Belizean environment and
society. We constitute our homes where we raise and nurture our
children - - - those very children and / or criminals we are concerned
about. We school our children, we church them. We therefore owe it to
ourselves to critically evaluate our Belizean environment, homes,
schools and churches in which we were raised and we, in turn, raise our
children into what we all are.

The case of Blacks in Belize needs serious and careful analysis. There
is merit to the argument of social inequality as one of the underlying
factors but there is also significant merit to emphasizing the multiple
opportunities open to all of us. Education is available to all of us,
and Belize is wealthy and offers ample opportunities to all of us. Yet
there remains that endemic psychological waywardness and waste of talent
and humanity. We, Blacks, must see this. WGO is currently meeting to
advocate and implement programs of how to help.

World Garifuna Organization (WGO)
Other Articles By Dr. T Aranda
03/04/05 WGO 2005 Assembly
03/04/05 Elections are Due

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