“You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln.
Theft, Lying, Cheating and Deception are crimes that permanently affect your legal reputation in the United States, and I also believe in Belize. It is the only crime where evidence of past similar indiscretions can be used against the defendant in a court of law as it speaks to the character of the person.
Somehow it doesn’t translate into political life. There seem to be a tacit agreement with the public that being voted out of office is sufficient punishment for millions of dollars of unaccounted money, for secret deals, for lost lives due to rising poverty and crimes and for being a downright unscrupulous, corrupt, selfish, unconscionable and scandalous individual. We are expected to look beyond the character of the person and vote back in some of these same individuals. Sadder even are the people who have a semblance of integrity pushing this message to the Belizean people because of their personal beefs, agendas, hurt egos and feelings. I say to hell with your bruised ego. If you are telling people to look beyond corruption and not advocating to change the system, I am now questioning your integrity. You are part of the problem. You are no better than the self serving selfish corrupt individuals that have Belize in this quandary we find ourselves in 2012.
Our leaders are corrupt because the people are corrupt or are the people corrupt because the leaders are corrupt? At this stage, does it matter? These parties have systematically blocked every element of change . Agents of change have been publicly humiliated and ostracized and stripped of leadership roles. And it leaves me to think…If they can be so cutthroat with their own party faithful, where do you stand as a “nobody” in the midst of it all? All the people who want to stand up and make proclamations for or against parties are disillusioned voters or have something personal to gain from their party win. They do not give a shit about Belize! I call you out! Who would advocate for a criminal, without advocating for rehabilitation? Only another criminal of like mind! And where is the moral authority in all this? How corrupt for the churches to be so interested in gay sex but don’t give a rat’s ass about wanton unabated corruption infiltrating every aspect of society. HYPOCRITES!
I read where a politician wrote that we are “ inclined to be thieves as humans”! Really? Is that how we are now thinking to justify criminal behavior? How about thieves are drawn to areas where thievery is an accepted practice and oversight is non-existent. Shame on anybody who has become complacent to this type of behavior. For God’s Sake, we are raising children with these leaders as examples…Do you tell your children to be thieves and bullies? We need to reel in the arrogance and bad behavior of these politicians. Look in the mirror, see the person looking back? That is the only person who can save Belize. So I end off saying…when you come campaigning and giving me your sales pitch..show me what you have done to move Belize forward because I don’t believe anything a thief, liar, and cheater say. Your reputation speaks for itself….Lets get real Belize. We may have descended from pirates, but the pirate mentality that has spoiled our system and growing like a cancer must end. Belizeans, when will your tolerance for criminals end?
5 thoughts on “Once a thief, always a thief by: Aria Lightfoot”
Aria, I have been wondering about this passivity for years now and I have several theories of what is happening. One theory is that of dependency. Almost everyone in Belize (rich & poor) is dependent on the government. From Micheal Ashcroft who is dependent on the permits, etc to operate his BTL and Belize Bank; to the middle class business man/woman, who is dependent on the permit to export and import; to the civil servant, who is dependent on the job to keep the “cement” house and the brand new, second hand car; to the poor man/woman who is dependent on the $50.00 to pay the house rent and light bill. This dependency has been fostered by ALL political parties whose sole aim is to come to power, and who literally come to POWER when they come to office. When in POWER, they are King. Kings who literally giveth and taketh at their behest. In a sense, we live in a Monarchy.
Micheal Ashcroft did nothing about it because he felt he could just buy his way; the middle class business men/women thought they would just bribe one politician or the other and still get their way; the civil servants have no other option but to keep their jobs and maneuver within their little sphere of influence, trying to get a house lot here and a scholarship there; and the poor man/woman are so preoccupied with their plight, making them easy targets for the politician.
So now we’re here, 2012, and the bottom has fallen out. The UDP is in POWER, the PUP is jumping up and down with the usual cosmetic promises, and the people, they have not yet awakened.
This leads me to the second theory, conscientizacao (Freire – Pedagogy of the Oppressed). Conscientizacao “refers to learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality.” We as a people have not learned to perceive these contradictions and we have not learned how to take action against the oppression. Our educational system, which we have inherited, is systematically making us passive. Everyday we teach our children not to question, observe, challenge, ask. Instead we teach them just to accept. We teach them only to learn what will come on the STUPID ASS test. And it starts in kindergarten. The other day my 5 year old learned about three animals that exist in Belize – no context or anything, just these are 3 animals that live in Belize. Then he got the quiz which asked him to circle 4 animals. He only circled the 3 that he learned about. When I questioned the teacher, her response was, “most of them got that wrong.” Never mind he has the 4th animal living in his aquarium at home. The child was so intelligent a year and a half ago, now he’s becoming a dummy.
Now, I’m going to exercise my agency and take the school to task but it has required that I learned how to “read the world and read the word,” and continue to struggle at becoming conscious. Something that I wish more Belizeans had the opportunity to do.
But alas, there is hope, in people like yourself Aria, and Fayemarie who have decided to challenge us intellectually in forums like this blog. My hats off to you Ladies. As I tell my students, it is now up to they/us to be responsible and committed to the task at hand. We can only take the horse to water (smile). Although in my classroom I do try to force the horse to drink.
I appreciate your analysis..did you read “Respeckkkk”? I talked about how we have the wrong idea about what respect is because we have not let go of the lessons our slave masters taught us. Yeah I took it there. I absolutely felt stifled in class and would get into trouble bc I was soooo bored and was just expected to sit there and not question anything…So even though I was placing first in class, I was serving detention and getting threatened with suspensions and in elementary, I got my lashing 🙂 To challenge in Belize, not even out of defiance but out of a desire to learn and explore, is to be punished. What lesson does that teach a child? Sit down. Be quiet. You don’t matter. You will be punished. and then as adults, we just sit there, accept and get screwed. Sorry about the story about your son. He’ll have to learn to hack the system…give them what they want and learn everything else outside. Sad.
Thanks for your contribution Christa. You are invaluable in your attempt to reach our youths. As you know as your ex classmate I too got into trouble to question the status quo. Let’s keep encouraging our youths to do just that.
I wonder if they is any change any time soon all our politicians seem to be after the same thing: get rich on the expense of the people. I think that our public officers should be able to help change how things works as they should be the technical people. But they refuse to stand up for what they believe and know is the right thing to do instead they sit behind their desk and wait for their pension come retirement. You see those people I have no respect for them. That is the same mentality that they pass on to their children. I feel sorry for our children because its not going to get better for them.
Black people in the near future will soon be second class people in our country and Spanish will be our first language. Right back to what George Price wanted a long time ago. The Churches have all the time and money to waste on a legal battle to stop a group of people to practice their fundamental rights when bigger things are happening right in front of our eyes. What they should be doing is getting behind the GOB to support better education for our children instead of settling for below standards, the illegal activities that are occurring at our borders, the terrible condition of the public hospital and the list can go on and on…….
I was at the lands department earlier that place is a mad circus, you would think that all the land would fold up in a suitcase and leave because of the way these people are behaving. One question,” If you are so sure of yourself why are you hurrying to get everything signed by the minister before elections!” Everything should take its process so that public officers could do their due diligence. By the way where is the so-call Public Service Union it seem that they are satisfied with how the GOB is operating. Or did one of you were offered a big contract, a scholarship, a mortgage write-off or some other GIFT to keep your mouths closed. Remember if you can’t stand for something then you fall for everything!
I really hope that we realize we are selling our future for a pittance.
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