On Tuesday 06-19-12, this season’s winner will be announced! Is it Rebecca? Biting mi nails!!!!! Ah hope soh gial!!!! You have done so well and we wish you the best! Check out the pics from the last episode:
Ken Emmanuel was one of them, a Police Constable who risked his life in service to his people everyday. But instead of justice being sought for his death, the “good old boys club” is wielding its influence and he is just another dead black boy not worth worrying about. I mean who is going to demand justice in his name? His dad and his mom are already dead. I don’t know where his granny, Ms. Gwennie is or even if she is alive still…He’s just a no count nobody right? After all, this Mr. Carlos Santos is a pillar of the community. Everybody loooooves him. He is such nice man.
I didn’t want to have to talk about this because when it comes to Kenny, his life has always been difficult and I knew that it would just bring back a flood of memories and feelings. You see, Kenny is my cousin. I was there when his mother Arlene Kuylen met his father. She was a tragic figure herself, an illegitimate child for my Uncle Eric Kuylen, (he died during my 4th and my brother’s 1st joint birthday party) being raised with her brother “AK”by our spinster Aunt Olive Kuylen. She was brown and poor; her cousins, rich and white. When I was three, we went to live with them while my father studied in Jamaica. I was the passport when she went to meet Kenny’s father. She would tell my aunt that she was taking me for a “walkabout” when really she was meeting him. She was giggly and happy, in love. When she got pregnant, I was there stroking her hair as she cried because my aunt was yelling and cussing. I remember her squeezing me so tight I couldn’t breathe but I didn’t dare tell her because I loved her so much. (Yes, I do have memories from waaay back…I remember crawling on the black and white floors in the house in Jamaica. It can be a curse and a blessing.)
But of course, everyone got over it and Kenny was Christmas and random visits in the evening on the farm. His father died when Kenny was very young from complications of diabetes. They moved away and the visits became far and few. But that didn’t mean we didn’t know about Kenny. We all worried about Kenny because his step father was a very violent man. A few times, Arlene would run to us to get away from him. But she would go back so we tried to be there for Kenny even if indirectly. She and my mom were very close so that eventually when she moved to Belize City, my mom was able to get her a job working for her uncle at HL’s Burger. When I was in sixth form I would visit her and get my $2 burger. My paternal grandmother made sure she sent Kenny clothes and shoes and of course, candy. Bless her heart. When Kenny was 17, he met us again and it was like the first time because he did not remember us at all. He was ecstatic to find out who “his people” were. He went to the cayes and got to be a “Kuylen” for the first time in his life.
We lost contact after that because we moved out of the country so all we knew was the violent deaths of his mother and sister. It’s funny how murder can separate rather than bring you together but that is what happened. We drifted apart because of the pain…and Kenny went on to live his own life, we, ours.
And now this.
I don’t want to unfairly accuse Mr. Carlos Santos if this truly was an accident and he really did get blinded by the light and hit Kenny. If that is all to it then so be it. What I don’t want is a shitty investigation because Mr. Carlos Santos is a prominent member of his community and married to George Price’s niece. Rumours are flying about that he wasn’t even driving; that his daughter was and he is taking the blame. Another rumour is that he was drinking and driving….
I don’t “know” this…it is “yeriso”. But I am putting you people on notice. He deserves only the most thorough investigation done on his behalf. He was a police officer for god’s sake. One of you. It is what you do as brothers and sisters in this very special family. And while it is sad that an old man is the offender, if he were negligent or if he is lying on behalf of his daughter, they both need to be charged. Kenny was a person, a human being. He had family who loved him his whole life. He mattered.
Links to Kenny’s story:
After 11 episodes, the most wins and being the second most popular all season, Rebecca finally says goodbye to Mission Catwalk. We, at Twocanview, want to congratulate you, Rebecca, for all your hard work and for bringing recognition to Belize. It is just the beginning girl! Congrats to Ryan on his win.
This picture is going around ..not sure who she is or even if she is Belizean, American or what. Most people are sympathetic but many myths and simply wrong information is being perpetuated as well. One person said that the reason it keeps happening is because the women tolerate it and don’t press charges….
I have serious beef with this one.
There is a psychological process going on here that is being willingly ignored. A woman doesn’t grow up thinking “I’m going to marry an abuser when I grow up.” Even if she is in a home where she witnesses violence, she is hoping for someone who loves her and will care for her. So when this person, in whom she has placed her trust, to whom she has made a commitment, pledged her love, starts to hurt her, she is confused, betrayed and embarrassed. She is ashamed because she believed that she was a smart person who “knows better” and makes good decisions. So at first she may hide it and not tell anyone because she hopes it is just a one time thing….a phase, it will go away.
And then she has children with him and they can have a decent life with Christenings and Easter vacations, Christmas gifts and Valentine dinners. All the while, she is being beaten and told she is worthless. He isolates her from her friends, calls her a whore if she wants to go out with them. He tells her she can’t talk to so and so because she is a bad influence. Before you know it, she doesn’t even go to visit her mother because he accuses her of neglecting her duties as a wife. Soon, she doesn’t have time anyway because he expects a clean house, three meals a day and the kids must be clean and in bed on time.
He monitors everything…her cell phone…who is she talking to? who is she texting? why shi di waste time pan facebook? Even if she works, he might confiscate her paycheck or make it impossible for her to save anything because he spends it on liquor, electronics, gambling, friends.
Everything about her is attacked: her independence, her intelligence, her capabilities, her security, her mental and emotional well being, her identity. This is the woman you want to go to the police station and tell her story to a bunch of untrained bullies? When they arrest the abuser, he threatens her in front of them but they do nothing? She is frightened that he will come after her and her children. He promises to kill her when he is released on bail. Where is she supposed to go? How is she supposed to feed her children? Pay the mortgage?
Everyone has a lot to say. I will help you. You need to leave him. Have some pride. How can you let someone do this to you?
The problem is who will be there in the wee hours of the night when every creak and whisper makes her jump? afraid he has come to make good on his promise?
My aunt-in-law went to live with my uncle and aunt in the hopes that they could protect her. She left her son with the man who married her at 14, raped her everyday and punished her by making her sit on a hot comal, bare assed. He came for her in the middle of the day when my aunt and uncle had gone to run some errands. He slit her throat and sliced her belly open in front of his 4 year old son and his two nieces. They watched as my mother scooped up my aunt’s guts and press them back into her abdomen until they could get her to the hospital. She lived but only because my uncle could afford to send her to Jamaica to recover and also make sure that my other uncle was prosecuted and sent to jail….
Most people don’t have that and still…she almost died anyway.
We just don’t have the proper supports set up to protect those who need it most. The most we can do is help each other on a one on one level. Don’t hang with people you know are abusive…shun them…make them know you disapprove. You men who like to say that the women deserve it because they stay…go yell at the guy beating her…tell him you are watching him and that YOU won’t tolerate HIM. You women who sleep with them knowing what they do to their wives, just don’t…tell them you deserve better. Raise sons to respect people. Raise daughters to fight for themselves. Be part of a community movement to address and confront this issue because in the end…it will affect all of us in some way. And stop blaming the victim. Please.
Check out the dress Rebecca designed for Episode 5
CHECK OUT HER PORTFOLIO!!!!! https://twocanview.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/portfoliors2.pdf
“Respect your elders”. “Say ‘goodmawnin’ to your teacher“. “Say ‘yes, sir; no, sir'”. “Show some respect!” “Deya pickney nowadays nuh gat no respect!” “Who you tink you di talk to? Mind a slap u mouth suh haad, yu teeth wah march out!” “Nuh di backansah me heah? Caz ah jus fuklick yu lee rass!” “Lookya woman. Nuh di talk to me like dat heah? Befo ah bax yu crass and crass yu face! Yu own ma nuh wah know yu!”
Sounds familiar? Which Belizean has not had these words hurled at him/her or was the one yelling them? I heard these words my whole life growing up but what it instilled me was not respect, only fear and distrust. Where did we get these ideas from? Why is it so pervasive that even if someone tries to do differently; say, a teacher who asked you to call him/her by his/her given name; a parent who doesn’t believe in spanking; a woman who asserts her right to her opinion, he/she is admonished, shunned even and called weak, a “pushover”, “stupid stupid”? Yet, when a man beats his wife, “he di teach ah mannahs” or “she ask firit nuh, we tell ah fi cook hi food di way he like it; di man work haad. Whe she duh but stay home all day and watch novela?” or “every woman need fi get cuff now and again so she could remember who da boss”. What about the child who is slapped across the face in the street or pulled by the arms up the steps, or chased around the yard with a stick?
You thought slavery was over right? Heck! Belize boasts about how we weren’t really slaves to begin with and certainly not like what happened in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Oh no! We mi always run tings da dis country. Nobadi own we! Welllllll. Not quite. If you ascribe to anything I just described above, you are still a slave. All those behaviours came straight from “Massah, sah”. Slaves and indentured servants were kept in line by keeping them ignorant. They weren’t provided with proper education and even when one had access to a school, dropping out before finishing Standard VI was not cause for concern, even when I went to school. And that was in the ’80’s. When I gave my Valedictory speech to my Std VI class in the year 1987, my address went something like this: “Some of you will enter the workforce; some of you will start your own families and some of you will join me in the furtherance of our education at high school“. Shocking? Not then it wasn’t. Half of my class did not come to high school with me. One girl had already had a baby and had dropped out the year before. The other way to keep slaves and indentured servants in line was to threaten them at the drop of a hat with whippings, maiming, isolation, deprivation. Then, there was the routine raping of the women and children, the name calling, the insults.
I hope by now your head is swimming with the images from that “Arawaks to Africans” book we all had to read; and I hope you are hearing the anger and violence in the voices of those people who screamed at you and called you names. We haven’t escaped any of it and as long as we don’t acknowledge first of all, that it did happen, and as long as we don’t acknowledge the impact it has had, we will continue to have the society we live in and we will continue to have the type of government we keep electing. Huuuuhhhhhh? Double take? What does this have to do with politics? Ah mi tink yu di talk bout ‘nuh lash u pickney’ and ‘nuh beat yu wife’. Wellllll…that could be part of the solution but I really am talking about how we choose the losers, I mean, leaders, we choose.
From the very first moment we have the least bit of comprehension, we are being told to “behave”. “Don’t do this; don’t do that…OR ELSE”. Then we go to school, more “don’t do this and don’t so that…OR ELSE”. How about that lovely rhetorical question everybody and dey granny will ask you at some time or the other: ” who di hell/fuk u tink u soh?” or the statement “u only like tek up yourself” or “yu only cud ek”. AND AT THE SAME TIME we are being told “You are a Belizean! This is your beautiful country. Show the world that our education is superior. Show the world that our way of life is better than theirs” or “gial, nuh tolerate hi nuh! If he beat you? kick ih rass tu di curb!” or “Stand up for yourself! Demand better! Vote out dis govahment! Vote for people who care about the people! You matter! Nuh mek dey sell out yu land and yu futcha!” Talk about CRAZY MAKING!!!!
How can we know what respect is if we are not shown respect? This is not something we will learn as an adult or when we get an education in some fancy college. Respect is taught (or rather, not taught) in the home everyday. It is in the way you treat your wife, your husband, your mother, your father, your in-laws, your children. If you hit, scream derogatory things at your family, talk about “dey stupid teacha”; “di nasty Indian neighbour, ah wudda nevah eat fah dey, dey nuh like wash dey hand”;”di stupid politician, alla dey lyad!”; “di tiefin chineyman”; “di ugly white people, dey smell like wet fowl feather”; “look pan da pickey head gial- goonie goo goo”; AND then tell your children “nuh give trouble da school nuh, listen to u teachah and get ur education!”, “nuh sell drugs nuh, you gwein da jail”, “black is beauty, white is chalk”, (my head hurts already) I hope you get the drift. But in case you didn’t yet, how about “God says to love everybody” then you say “dey battyman need fi goh da jail” OR “dey bloody alien need fi goh back home whe dey come from” OR “yu need fi be a man and get a job!” then “but why you wa grow fruit? left dat fi di alien dey! Yu need fi be a lawyer or a doctor!” OR “gial goh tek out yu food fi yu breddah!” then “you can be anything you want to be, nuh mek no man rule you!” Your children learn disrespect from you and then they learn to disrespect you too. And so it is that we have no idea what respect is, and how to show it. Hence, politicians can get away with every immoral, unethical and illegal thing because we don’t know that that is disrespectful and that we deserve better.
Imagine a Belize where we knew what respect really means. Imagine we don’t demand respect, the threat of a big stick hiding behind our backs, but rather, we inspire it. Imagine people actually treating you with respect. The police would protect you instead of intimidate you. Your significant other would be your partner, not your nemesis, someone to go behind or around. Your in-laws would appreciate your efforts and speak well of your attempts to share new ways of raising your children. Your shop keepers would sell you quality products at a fair price (no more rat shit in your bread and expired cans of peas). Teachers would teach and foster independent thinking rather than play with people’s grades and threaten their futures. Religious leaders would encourage tolerance and love for each other instead of demonizing difference and acting as agents of terror and fear mongering. And our politicians would stop treating us like children who can’t make good decisions or like we don’t know bullshit when we hear it or see it.
Problem is…we won’t experience this Belize until we know what respect is supposed to look like. It starts with ourselves. We have to respect ourselves. We have to know our worth. You know that little voice that told you your parents were being hypocrites when you were a kid? You know, the voice that made you ask “why?” and den you got slapped so you stopped listening to it? THAT IS THE VOICE YOU NEED TO RAISE FROM ITS SLUMBER. That was your internal bullshit meter calling out, telling you that something isn’t quite right. When you can respect yourself, your ideas and your beliefs, you will raise your expectations of others. You will not tolerate put downs and dismissals. You will not tolerate this thievery and rape of every good thing we have as a nation. You will not tolerate bigots threatening your neighbours. You will not tolerate loud mouth wenches putting you down so they can feel important. You will not tolerate politicians enslaving you with ridiculous international loan payments while telling you “it’s for your own good”. You will not tolerate other people forcing their agendas down your throat because you will know that your ideas are just as good, if not better, and deserve consideration as well.
So, start today with your children. If you want them to know how to choose good leadership, you got to BE good leadership. You have to show your kids that they are valuable. You have to show respect for their ideas, questions and voice. You can’t wait until they are grown ups to treat them as equals. They were born your equal. If you wait, that tree will be bent and you can’t straighten it once it’s grown that way. Apologize when you are wrong. Make reparations to show your good faith and to rebuild trust. Don’t use anger to hurt and punish. Nurture and discipline. Demonstrate commitment and loyalty by maintaining your home and your family. Stand against negativity. Examine your own part in everything that happens and be accountable for your beliefs and actions. Ask yourself. “What is my legacy? What scars do I bear on my heart? What vestiges of slavery have I unwittingly embraced? What is my children’s legacy?” Demonstrate the principles of democracy in your own house by allowing your children to share their opinions and make certain decisions. And follow through with the consequences you have set for them when they fail to honour their obligations. And follow your own damn rules.
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 🙂