The following is a reply I made to Aria’s post “Grade ‘F'” published on 01-10-12. As the debate on other pages heats up, I feel it bears further examination and continued discussion. We are watching Jamaica decide whether or not to remove the Queen as head of state and naturally we ask ourselves this question. It is important that we assess the situation from our unique position. We are not Jamaica. We are not Trinidad. We have to consider our culture, continued development as a new nation, our economy, our influences etc.
All of these assertions are true and any one of them is problematic and stymies true growth. Together, they become overwhelming obstacles. When looked through the lens of post-colonialism, however, the entire situation makes absolute sense. It is unfortunate, that in our zeal to become independent, we attempted to distance ourselves from all vestiges of anything resembling dependence and frankly, we didn’t have our big girl panties on. We hacked at the branches and tried to kill that tree but our roots were too deep and eventually, we were once again shadowed by colonialism’s canopy. On the outset, we appeared independent but what needed to become most independent didn’t. That, was our way of thinking. We are still waiting for someone to do it for us; we are still waiting for the second coming – a saviour who takes away all this chaos and solves our problems for us. How is that working for you? Daddy Colonialism and Mommy Commonwealth has done us a great disservice. They have created a situation of learned helplessness. The British Empire treated their subjects like children, incapable of making good decisions, incapable of being self-sufficient and in an attempt to break away, we cut off our noses to spite our faces. We have to revisit the impact of colonialism if we are to find the strength to overcome its devastation. Instead of being ashamed and embarking on denial to the point of destroying our heritage and history (referring to rewriting history or eliminating it completely to actually tearing down parks, bridges, monuments, anything that was British, under the guise of renovating/remodeling), we need to embrace that part of ourselves. Like it or not, they are our ancestors and I really think our great great grandparents would not appreciate that we are not only denying the British presence but we deny their struggle and survival too. We are survivors of the rape of our country, our people. We can’t pretend it didn’t happen or else we will never disembark from this self destructive path we find ourselves careening down. Let’s stop blaming the victims but lets also stop being the victims.
-Fayemarie, the other half of Twocanview
Thoughts? Rebuttals? Lemme hear it lovers 🙂