The Chains of Colonialism : The Neal and Mora Secret Tapes by: Aria Lightfoot


Eldred Neal and Marvin Mora are leaders within two of the most powerful  unions in Belize representing a diverse membership from all over the country of Belize.  Both men were secretly taped using racist terms and cultural stereotypes against the Garinagu people of Belize.

If you were raised in Belize, you are familiar with the sundry list of racial adjectives and stereotypes thrown at our diverse melting pot of cultures.  Many people think that such words are innocent, playful or even harmless and maybe even cultural jabbing. Some people will argue that Belize is a racial utopia and in the next breath utter cultural and racially insensitive stereotypes. When you speak to Belizeans who grew up dark skinned, darker,  short haired, wide nose,  Creole,  Maya, Garifuna, Mennonite, East Indian,  Mestizo, Arab,  White – the pain is evident in their stories and what we think  is cultural jabbing  is a form of racial bulling that undermines ones dignity, self esteem and individuality.

The racist and divisive expressions stem from a dark colonial history. Many cultures in Belize are victims of an orchestrated psychological form of racism producing self-hate, divide and servility.   We don’t question the status quo, we don’t challenge injustices, we don’t fight for each other.  We are a “docile people”  – mental slaves.  We have too many people who subscribe to a romantic notion of European ancestry even though their features, hair, skin color betray them;  many revere  European laws and order even though Europeans have committed the worst atrocities against our ancestors.

Belize is historically flawed because of  fairy tale books that pass off as history books and  the failure to introduce Maya and African history into the curriculum.  Neal and Mora are ignorant to their own subjugation.  They promulgate hate and devise a culture war against a race of people they share ancestry with.  Neal, in his rant, did point out a truthful yet sordid past about Belize; Belize practiced segregation.  In additional to segregation, there were extreme forms of  bullying.  The Garinagu were banned from living in Belize City and were only allowed to visit on allocated days.  The Garinagu that visited the city as  fishermen and vendors faced the scourge of rude children’s stones, teasing and disrespect.  Is this something that Neal should be celebrating?   Even within Creole culture, there were mulatto children who hid away their dark skinned parents or parents who treated their darker children or family members with disdain. There are even stories of abandonment due to complexion of children.

Colonialism was a systematic and power tool of control. Races were eradicated; histories and identities of ancestors were erased; subjects were confused with divisive tools, whipped into compliance, subjected to an acceptable form of  inequality, limited access and exclusion.

Belize City has the most powerful leaders; every Prime Minister in Belize’s short independent history  has originated from the City.  Belize City can be described as a predominantly black city, with some of the most educated people, the epicenter of Belize’s legal and financial centers,  and yet the city boasts the poorest divisions, worst living conditions, highest crime rates, and the most evidence of wealth inequality than any other part of the country of Belize.  Why?

Too many Belizeans in powerful positions prefer to transplant wealth and land to foreigners before they extend a hand to uplift the people they share a birthright, culture and citizenship with. Belizeans have accepted divisive labels such as  political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity and citizenship unable to recognize the destructive forces of colonialism.

Think about the power of colonialism that even today, people are unable to break the chains.  We have highly educated and intelligent people still advocating stereotypes, distrusting and fearing people of their own citizenship.  We have people we have entrusted  to lead us, to fight for us – dividing us. Please let your voices be heard. Let your leaders know that we will break this mental chain, we will resist the culture wars, we will break the chains of colonialism and we demand that all citizens be treated equally without exception.

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” (Bob Marley)

 

 

 

Daily Dingleberry 06-05-12 No Jubilee Fuh Me


We cut off the hand the could have fed us.

England is celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years of rule with a grand show of pageantry and seemingly genuine sentiments of gratitude and pride. I’m going to say something that is NOT going to be popular but I have long held this opinion, even as a child. One could accuse me of being influenced by my father who opposed independence in 1981. While his son, Henry Jr.,  was meeting the Duke, my dad was at the cayes building his house, refusing to be a part of what he saw as a premature move on George Price’s part.

However, I am unwilling to say that it is his influence which makes me have this very strong conclusion still to this day: we should not have asked for independence when we did. I really believe that we were unprepared as a people to take over the role of leadership. I believe that it was a very self serving agenda upon which George Price embarked. He cared more about his legacy than the shambles in which his decision would leave us.

See, what we refuse to admit is that we did not have the tools for rule. Not yet. We are a small nation with a small population with little and poor infrastructure. Old George asked us to enter the game very late and compete globally with economic giants. We didn’t have roads; functioning medical clinics; developed industries; an educated and experienced pool of people from which  to chose our new government; an army; a proper airport….and the list goes on. You can say to me now: “Well we have all of that now.”

Really? At what cost? Our crime rate is ASTRONOMICAL! We owe sooooooo much money and our people are suffering with a truly disgraceful number of 50% BELOW the poverty level. Our justice system is a JOKE. Yeah. I said it. There is NO justice when lawyers run our country into the ground, using their knowledge to intimidate and STEAL from our people.

We should have prepared ourselves BEFORE jumping up and down like impatient children waiting for the ice cream truck. We did not need to get independence in order to develop as a nation. We should have made the British Empire develop allllll that stuff for us first. After all they owed us. They took all of our resources and left us with nothing. And we let them because we had stupid, blind, false pride. We were gonna show them we didn’t need ’em. So we kicked them out and left ourselves stranded and struggling. Nowhere is safe in Belize anymore. Is this what we imagined? Was our precious independence worth all this killing and strife?

Our best minds keep leaving, never to return, afraid, because the risk hardly seems worth it. Our children are raped and murdered with no recourse. Our people are dying in record numbers from all kinds of diseases and cancer is ravaging our population. Guatemala is still claiming us and forcing us to have a referendum over something that should be moot by now. Our citizens are having to fight ignorance and archaic laws to just establish basic rights. Children are going to school hungry or none at all. Our land is soon to be ours no longer since the only way to make money is to sell the one asset we do have to the Americans or the Chinese.

Don’t get it twisted people. I have no love for colonialism nor any allegiance to royalty but I sure as shit would have preferred making them give us what we deserved as their subjects before kicking their asses out because now we sure are in the crapper and I don’t know how we are going to get out of shit hole we dug ourselves into.