Dennis Joseph

Dennis Joseph

A calypsonian asked that I write a song for his second appearance should he go past the selection process in the calypso competitions and I started to pen something, which spoke to the travails of Carlisle JnoBaptiste the well-known and sometimes controversial local reporter. Unfortunately that calypsonian named Beo on his first outing in the art, did not go to the finals and so the song remained unfinished. I wanted to write that, “ Carlisle is the only real reporter all flesh, spirit and bone and all the rest are just pretenders to his throne.”  That is why he is in trouble today with the Speaker of the House who just passed the ultimate sentence that he will never be allowed in the House while she sits on her throne. So the question is what has he done? Just like you, I do not know and if it was something so drastic everybody would know. The Speaker is acting more like a ‘fam debar’ (troublemaker) than someone in a lofty position as she now occupies. I believe that Alix Boyd Knights could be a very worthy Speaker if but she could put aside her personal cantankerousness  and clear party politicking.

However, what keeps power under control is not wishful thinking and idealistic dreams but action. Sometimes it seems that we the people and even supporters of Team Dominica believe that the members of the Team in the House should just stay there, suffer, and leave the rest to God. It almost seems that there is nothing we the people intend to do for ourselves and the dependency syndrome drowns us all into more and more dependency thinking-we depend on China who does not believe in God to solve our economic problems, on Venezuela to pay our NEP workers and to give us more charity even if Venezuela itself is suffering economically, the Labour Party depends on diaspora voters to keep it in power and the rest of us melt down into dependency on God to do all the rest.

While I expect the Christians will come out frothing as they usually do when anything is said about God that they do not like, perhaps they can tell me what to make of this:

The Bible tells us that the greatest movement for liberation of a people was the exodus of the people of Israel from the bondage and slavery in Egypt after 400 years of suffering. They depended on God and he eventually answered their prayers. He plagued Egypt with various sufferings ten separate times, he opened the Red Sea for them to escape from Pharaoh’s heavy horse chariots which was the weapon of mass destruction in those times, he fed them manna from Heaven and water from dry rocks in the desert but when it came to doing things on the ground even though he supported and instructed them it was their scandals on the ground fighting their enemies with swords not just waving their hands at them and marching around Jericho to take down its walls which finally brought them freedom and the way to God’s promised land flowing with milk and honey.  Clearly when we pray we are expected to risk something; a lot more than just the blistering of our knees and only praying without sacrifice is a distinct no-no.

It is time therefore that we the people take a hand in regulating the runnings of our nation and stop believing that it is all about what we do next elections because as it has turned out we do nothing much to change anything. The things we complain about today are the very same we grumbled about last time around and will continue except we show the powers we have elected that it is not about winning the elections which is a one or two months campaign.  It is about how we are governed after and between elections which is a 60 month process.

The story of Carlisle is a typical case of we the people standing aside and looking on and of course calling Mat in the Morning to vent and then life goes on. It is the case of we the people loving to hear Carlisle’s report on the ills in our society but when he is being crucified because of it like the biblical Peter the disciple we turn away, “I know not this man.” Not even the colleagues in the media seem to think that this has anything to do with them after all they think that it is all none of their business and they should watch out for ‘My Self’ and no other. I would have expected a call of a meeting of reporters and media workers  at the very least to send in a protest letter on his behalf and even threatening not to report on the House until this matter is settled favourably. It cannot be that a draconian sentence is passed on one of their colleagues banning him from part of his life’s work and seeking to interfere with his income and credibility while they stand aside staring into space as if to perversely ignore his plight.

Martin Niemoller who died in 1984 was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps for daring to oppose the all-great Fuhrer. He said these telling lines at one of his lectures after the war ended:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

He believed the leaders of the Protestant churches—had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.

It is my view that the media workers are all complicit in the murdering of the talent of one of their own and if they are asleep at the wheel of their fortune and simply think it is Jesus who must take the Carlisle wheel then they should be prodded awake because just like it turned out for Martin Neimoller it may be later than they think.