By Hudson George
It was amazing. I saw the discussion about the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) October 10, 2018 on Government information Service (GIS). However, based on my observation the issue seems to be more of an intellectual debate exercise whereby, intellectuals are divided on two political sides debating and trying to prove how smart they are, while persons whom the moderator thinks are less intelligent were not given enough time to express their opinion, due to the fact that local Grenadians version of English language is not the same language usage of intellectuals.
So, if we want to free ourselves from colonialism, the first thing we should learn and accept is that colonialism makes us who we are and that includes our way of speaking the colonial English language. It is very important for moderators of debates to understand that a lot of intelligent Grenadians speak Grenadian English because they feel comfortable communicating in their cultural “lingo” ways of speaking.
However, those persons who are citizens of Grenada and they were born and raised in different countries or lived in a different countries during their childhood years, should understand that our Grenadian “lingo” English is the language of the masses. Our way of speaking is what makes us unique as Grenadians.
And when we gather together to discuss politics it is expected that the so-called ordinary citizens will speak the popular language of the people. This is just my observation because not all Grenadians had/have the opportunity, privilege and academic talent to educate themselves at university level. So, I think that the moderator should learn to respect people’s participation and try to learn from the way ordinary citizens express themselves, when they are making a valid point. Furthermore, persons who speak the local language are better connected with the masses too.
In addition, it seems as though those intellectuals main intention is to show how smart they are by trying to belittle their opponents. For example, Dr. Francis Alexis who seems to be the most experience person within the intellectual circle, were criticised by his opponents and when Dr. Alexis was making the final summary to end the debate, he hit back at those intellectuals who challenged his opinion concerning voting yes for the CCJ.
Then again, I saw Black Wizard who is one of Grenada’s best calypsonian singing a song about the CCJ as one of the political weapon to bring an end to colonialism.
Now, I am wondering why Black Wizard composed that particular song, knowing that he is a frontline openly supporter of the opposition New Democratic Congress (NDC), while the CCJ referendum campaign is polarised by NNP supporters who will vote yes for the CCJ because of their political loyalty.
Another thing I observed in the video is that there were some parsons in the audience heckling certain individuals who opposed the CCJ. I assumed that those hecklers are pro yes CCJ supporters because of their political affiliation and they are not too politically friendly with those persons, who do not support the CCJ or have doubts about the CCJ.
Additionally, the gentleman who said that our CCJ discussions should only be debated among Grenadians and he is not happy with Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt of Dominica meddling in our internal politics, I personally think he is right. Grenadians have a bad habit of looking for persons outside of Grenada to participate in our domestic politics and it is time we put an end to this behavior that was created by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG).
However, based on what I heard in the discussion, all those persons who made contributions to the debate did a wonderful job. Those who support the CCJ and those who do not support the CCJ must be commended for their opinion. On the other hand, those who sat in the audience and heckle persons whom they disliked for political reasons, should stop displaying their ignorance. I think that their political representatives should scold them privately about their behavior.
Anyway, I am not living in Grenada, so I cannot tell citizens how to vote and what to vote for in the referendum but it is impossible for the CCJ to put an end to colonialism. A yes vote cannot erase our colonial mentality. Grenada will still remain a member of the British Commonwealth. We will still have a Governor General representing the British Monarchy and citizens who speak local Grenadian English will be still looked down on as less intelligent people. Colourism will still remain a factor. These are the social colonial diseases that are embedded in our brains for four hundreds years.