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Cronyism stifling black empowerment worldwide

I do not want to prejudice anything going on with the Commission of Inquiry, but I should be able to speak to the periphery when the news lead story can say that Derrick Burgess blasts the CoI under the pretext of re-enacting slavery and lynch mobs. It is an interesting narrative because any black person who counters it will earn the title of “house n*****” running around with a bucket of water trying to put the flames out on massa's house.

It is interesting because no one considers the flames on our house and who will put those fires out. One of the saddest phenomenon post-emancipation and desegregation, along with the liberation of many African and Caribbean countries, is the lack of black leadership towards real democratisation and empowerment of the masses coming from the former colonial colonies.

In the words of former Jamaican senator Sir Dudley Thompson in a speech made in Bermuda, “our leaders enjoy to sit in the seats where the master used to sit”.

Yes, and indeed all over the world, our continued subjugation has come at the hands of those who have traded in the struggle for upward mobility for the people, for the glory of occupying the privilege of sitting in the former master's seat.

Often doing so while empowering themselves in the name of liberation for the masses.

You will hear the justification of deliberate awarding of contracts to blacks who were hitherto left out of the picture, which on first blush is great. But when those awards go to a cousin or a brother, when bona fide professionals are overlooked, avoided, sometimes even crushed — particularly when the brother or cousin has in some cases no previous track record or relationship with the industry, or requisite contracting experience — there is another name for that.

It is not called black empowerment; it is called cronyism, which has stifled black empowerment worldwide.

I know my comments will not go unchallenged, but let me say again that this is typical of black failure in leadership and lies at the base of our self-denigration, whether here or in Africa or anywhere that the beleaguered diaspora exists.

Until we as a morally courageous people take a stand like Jesus did when he turned over the tables in the temple, we will not go anywhere. We must demand accountability of our leaders; they cannot hide under the cloak of plantation talk and steal the future that belongs to everyone.

Does this mean I or we should close our eyes to the abuse of systems that are set against us by racist attitudes intent on maintaining power and control?

Absolutely not. But we cannot muddle along, like in the Trump supporters' scenario, which says this is “My Man” regardless of what he does because he satisfies my baser, racial instincts for survival and progress.

We should not fear a commission of inquiry when we have nothing to hide; we should welcome them as public hearings. In closing, it is encouraging to hear from the CoI that the airport deal may come under similar scrutiny.

On the offensive: Derrick Burgess at the Commission of Inquiry

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Published October 11, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 11, 2016 at 1:39 am)

Cronyism stifling black empowerment worldwide

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