An Inconvenient Knight
Black people have a problem; a big, big problem. And Antiguans and Barbudans have it worse; maybe the worst. Somebody says that all black people should get along; and everybody believes that. You believe that? Not me. I know, personally (how else?), a whole ton of my own black people (I mingle with them every, single, solitary, confining day) from whom I will beg God to separate me, if I were unfortunate enough to end up with them in some un-earthly place. Move me Lord; move me; send me back to purgatory; even down to hell (to rhatid!), but get me far, far from this madding crowd of neaga, especially far from some of those so-called, holier-than-thou, Christian ones.
Divisiveness, to a point, is a good thing. Short division and long division must be understood and practised so that addition and multiplication and unity can make sense. It is the mortar of democracy. And yes, it cannot be too thick or too thin. We, Antiguans and Barbudans seem to be very fine long distance runners; and so we carry things, including divisiveness, way too far. But a national hero cannot talk to us like that. Tell us what you want to say; but tell us so we can tell everybody, including school children.
Can it be that this overpowering desire for us to be one, dear, good people, and work together, is forcing us to this very end, by any means necessary? It cannot be. This is why we must believe in real, serious old-time jumbie: We put way too much burden on living, national heroes, forcing them to be super-human in life, when in fact it is post mortem that we see the true national hero. Most heroes must be dead people. And national heroes must be dead, dead, dead; because it demands a long period of time and study, in the permanent absence of the candidate, to truly assess the worth of a national hero.
Being a living, national hero is like going to your own funeral (as if you had a choice). It has no earthly or heavenly, positive value to the national hero. It is purgatory; living hell. It is for the congregation of the living that national heroes become. And moreover, we learn more from the total sum of the errors of our heroes than from the early, primary good they do.
So, if that inconvenient night teaches us anything; it is that, starting with the Father of the Nation (and moving right along), we must look at the successes and failures of our heroes. Regarding their failures is not a recipe to laugh and get giddy and point finger and become even more divisive and reject them. It is to register, by indelibly writing down, the simple fact that they are, were, human. And hence, my dear good people, our national heroes, by definition and purpose, and in the future, cannot be oxymoronically alive, lest we kill them, dead, with the burden of an ox.
Dr. Lester CN Simon-Hazlewood