In recent days, there are apparent pockets of havoc and despair throughout the world resulting from President-elect Donald Trump’s unpredictable victory in the U.S. presidential elections. People are worried about how they are going to fare under his presidency. He is viewed by numerous people as a bigot and racist. That as it may, brings the point home, to me at least.
I live in a country where the Prime Minister and his cabinet represent one group of people, his people -NNPites while others are marginalised. As such the fear held by many Americans today is the same fear I have had for years.
Americans who are Anti-Trump continue to publicly demonstrate their fears and frustration – a trend which has been copied by people in other parts of the world including South Korea, Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Brazil and Venezuela. Citizens of those countries use their most powerful weapons (freedom and their voices) to make a statement against their government. In Grenada though, we constantly take our deaths like sheep. We have a lot to say behind closed doors but are scared to take a firm public stand against political injustices and victimisation in our country.
I understand the premise for this fear. Grenada is a very small country where everyone seemed to know everyone. People cannot risk losing their jobs (for those who have). However, there comes a time when we have to stand for something.
Why should we accept that if NNP is in government only NNP supporters should work; only NNPites should have a good standard of living while non-supporters suffer the consequences of exercising their democratic right to support another party? Regardless of which political administration is in power to govern our country, it should be a government for all the people. Under this administration that is not the case.
Having suffered political victimisation, I know it exists in the public sector. I was flabbergasted to learn that it also occurs in the private sector. Quite a number of private businesses have boards on which members of the NNP have a say. And so when I submitted an application to one of the most successful private businesses on the island, I was told by someone within the organisation that “you are qualified for the position and we wanted to hire you but when it was taken to the board, two members said that you were not a supporter of the government and one said he knows someone who can fit the position.”
So as long as NNP is in power, I like others will remain unemployed.
I guess we do not have to feed ourselves and meet life’s commitments like others do. This is where my country fails. I look around in my community and see the extent of poverty, it is alarming. Of course, there are people who will denounce the sentiment that there is extreme poverty in our country. They are the ones who live such a high life that they can only see what’s occurring within their bubbles.
I see young girls selling their bodies to make ends meet for themselves. I spoke to a mother of one of these young girls and told her what I saw, the mother said, “name withheld doing what she want; ah doe have nothing to tell her nah.” From that, I sense acceptance of what her daughter is doing because as an unemployed mother she must feel like she cannot do better for herself or her children. It is a shame that things have become so bleak in our country. It is becoming the norm for parents to accept that their daughters and maybe sons are engaged in sexual activities to combat their impoverished situations.
One might pose the arguments that the government can only do so much and that people should not have children if they are not financially prepared to care for them. I concur somewhat, however the government is there on the people’s behalf and as such should be a helping hand for those who need help to improve their lives.
`There should be social safety nets through programs and services in our country to benefit all the people in need, not only NNPites as is generally the case. Again our country has failed us.
For as long as I can remember, our country has been politically divided, that is unfortunate. I think what unites us are the implementation and execution of plans to effectively improve the standard of living in our country. Have you been to the grocery lately? Everything is pound and crown. Food prices are exorbitant.
Yes, prices are rising everywhere but some control has to take effect to curb the burden we feel. The ministers and their crew get free or reduced cost on gas and other vital products. With the salaries and concessions they receive, I am sure they can afford to pay full price for gasoline. But this has always been the basis of unfairness in the world; the “haves” will continue to get as much as they want while the “haves not” continue to struggle to meet their basic needs. And so this social divide in our country has to be addressed.
As we gear up for the next general election, a plethora of promises will be made, primarily to the youths, the poor and vulnerable.
Promises that once the politicians get into office will not be kept.
We have to demand change. Young people are cemented in the Imani program and as much as it is their only hope in terms of employment; we have to do better for the youthful population. We have to see beyond a $700.00 at the end of the month. When we vote next election, the choice we make should hinge on the future we want for our kids and ourselves.
Most Grenadians vote because they receive two fortnights of roadwork, some plywood for their houses, money, etc. These things have their place, if you are getting, take it. However, when that pivotal decision has to be made, take a closer look at policies and plans proposed to us, plans to improve all of our lives as a country. Look at and listen to the initiatives the parties would implement to take our country forward as a productive and prosperous nation.
Our health care is in need of a desperate facelift. Our schools need more attention and improvements particularly those in the outer parishes and Carriacou. Sporting facilities fall short with limited or no amenities for sports enthusiasts. Look at our roads, 95% of the time, they are in deplorable condition. When I look at it, Grenada as a country is falling behind. It has failed us.
Unless you have an American passport, which can give you preference to live anywhere you desire if you refuse to live in an America ruled by a Trump administration, then you are stuck here. Americans are in the process of relocating to places like Canada and New Zealand to escape Trump. Our Grenadian passport does not afford us that luxury.
So when we vote we should be mindful of that.
Although I do not see a positive fix in sight to all the problems we face as a people in this country, I have hope that God will make a way for us in the future. Until then, I am on watch as the government of the day continues to fail us.