The double jeopardy of bondage

  • Wise words: Martin Luther King Jr said “Truth is on the scaffold and wrong is on the throne”

    Wise words: Martin Luther King Jr said “Truth is on the scaffold and wrong is on the throne”


I have been driven to a saturation point with some social-media displays. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a person’s sharing, but nowadays one has to be judicious about how much information they want to consume. Watching the police shoot a mentally challenged individual in a wheelchair, how does one respond to that? The consistent Trumpian news must have triggered all sorts of personal and institutional neurosis.

Underneath or beyond all of this information bombardment, there exists the normal world — plants still grow, rain falls, babies are born and the world of nature continues. Unfortunately, information bombardment acts as a distraction and stirs emotion, causing people to curl up into a retreat from their human nature because they cannot cope with the required responses. They say society is becoming desensitised or numbed by its overexposure to the toxic news. Is this why, politically, you can just do anything and get away with it? People have come to expect bad, believing it’s just the way things are and therefore they expect the worst as a norm.

We used to say “don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch”, but that axiom has shifted. We’ve let a few bad apples rot the entire bunch. In the United States, it is as though one apple is spoiling the entire nation.

Excellence has been replaced, merit and logic have been replaced, what’s good for society has been replaced by “my way and what benefits me”. No valour, no chivalry from leadership, no “give me freedom, give me the truth or give me death” — more like “give me my paycheque or a little tip and I will sink as low as you need me to go”.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr in a speech said: “Truth is on the scaffold and wrong is on the throne.”

It has not become any better; rather, today, truthfulness is put in the cesspit while wrong is on the throne. In the 1960s, we tore down oligarchs only to see us attempt to build all over the former oppressed world new ones of our own for today. Any who dare to argue will be met with old slogans and reminders of the long-ago march to freedom instead of a clear plan of how society is to advance mutually today — society loudly and viscerally gurgling to death while leaders entertain and satiate themselves jockeying for privileges. I don’t envy our new government; they have huge challenges to overcome.

We have allowed our country to become a spawning ground for internationals to launch their businesses while we repress our own. We’ve become the land of opportunity, but for other people and not our own. Being sold into slavery was one tragedy, but being sold into a continuous spiral of bondage is a modern-day double jeopardy.

Unfortunately, almost universally our leaders have made a proverbial deal with the devil by selling our people into being perpetual labourers. The slogan hanging over their heads should read “You can have all the business, just give them a fair wage” — all for 30 pieces of silver. The real tragedy is the people are none the wiser, as long as they can be reminded with the marches and throw in a little protest now and then. A few among leadership circles can continue to enjoy the privilege that mass ignorance affords. We need a complete shift in philosophy and not just a team that says it can do it better.

Go to Barbados and you will see the Syrians owning the business. Go to Johannesburg, the village of Mandela, you will see Koreans. Go to Jamaica and watch the Chinese — nothing wrong with foreign participation, except let’s try understanding what psychosis causes one to block their own.

It will continue until one day with moral indignation and vigour, someone stands up for truth, puts aside personal pride and gain, and the need to be accepted by the new neocolonial oligarchs, but is prepared to step aside and be targeted because they will be. I am a believer that this Progressive Labour Party government was given that invisible mandate from the public.

Isn’t it a pity? No, rather, isn’t it a shame on us globally when you look everywhere and we have to use celebrations such as Heroes Day to atone for not having a vibrant vision for today. Celebrate yesterday with no goal for tomorrow? As tyrannical as Adolf Hitler was, he had a passion for his distorted vision of a world he wanted to build.

With the level of technology and intellect available today, leaders should be on the mountaintop proclaiming the gospel of a new day of progress that should jolt our minds into support with national fervour.

Singapore did it. They named the tune, then played the music. Malaysia did it also. They had an aim to become the world’s most educated society and did it. Oops, I’m sorry, they both were committed to building a society and not an oligarchy; they had a strong anti-drug, anti-corruption agenda. Walk up and down Africa, and the argument in some way is going to suggest we can do it differently. We don’t have to follow someone else’s standard, even if that standard is whipping us.

The truth is we don’t have to follow others’ standards, but then we should do it better. Why not go a step beyond, become more engaging, more inclusive, more transparent, or even more logical? Isn’t that possible? Or is the only game in town what happened 50 years ago and all the reminders?

Yes, it’s a hefty order but we have a young leader followed by a young crowd and those in the party and country eager to do things different. Bermuda can reverse the global trend and become the new example and I have every hope that this team is up to the challenge.

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Published Jul 24, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 24, 2018 at 7:22 am)

The double jeopardy of bondage

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