Last year I read the last book written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? In Chapter 2 of that book Dr. King stated: Power, properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political or economic changes. In this sense power is not only desirable but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice. One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites.
What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. There is nothing essentially wrong with power. The problem is that power is unequally distributed.
Reading Dr. King’s words from 1968 in many ways, it seems like the book was written in December 2019 or summer of 2020 for Dominica and Dominicans. Yes Dominica has weathered many storms – and many existential threats from natural disasters like the monster hurricane Maria, Covid 19 to divisive and powerful politicians and their henchmen and women. But in spite of all these things that are thrown at our island home- Dominica stands and will stand strong if not stronger.
It is not just the Covid-19 pandemic, the worsening economic inequality, the increased reliance on the unsustainable and dangerous business of selling our sovereignty (passports) to generate much needed cash. Where is Agriculture? The question must be asked; do we face a very real threat to our democracy in the near future and to the ability of every Dominican to thrive or even to earn a dignified decent living without begging? These crises will defiantly pose longstanding and lingering problems in our small society- In order words the chickens will come home ‘to hatch big time’ and it will not be pretty.
But let us all be clear- we all are responsible for fixing this pending Armageddon. The internal, external political and economic forces that are taking advantage of our governance systems may or may not be interested in calming a tense and polarized nation. They may be just energizing their bases and cultivating chaos to distract Dominica and ‘Dominicans at heart’ from the real current and future issues that matter.
Just imagine how different Dominica’s situation would be if our many dedicated and highly professional, qualified and esteemed citizens who have found homes abroad were invited, encouraged welcomed to actively participate in our nation’s development regardless of their political leanings or affiliations?
Imagine a very different future with locals like a diaspora professional from Dublanc working and mentoring young people who are growing up just like he did many decades ago in his small village. Would the gentleman or lady from Dublanc would be showing them passionately how to ‘fish’ instead of giving them a ‘fish’.
Is that more sustainable and focus than working with a big money foreign tycoon with millions of disposable dollars residing in Dubai? Some contend that relationship is equivalent to making a deal with the devil? Look out payback and confusion are eventually the end results.
Well as Dr. King wrote, the choice is community or chaos or community. Real, honest and passionate Dominicans and Dominicans at heart want community, others want chaos for whatever selfish and personal ‘good’ reasons they choose.
As the late Congressman and civil right leader from the state of Georgia often said, “let’s get into good trouble, necessary trouble, let’s keep doing that. Together we know that together we can accomplish things that would be impossible on our own.”
It is high time that all good, loving and decent Dominicans (at home and abroad) who love their country to start organizing and getting into peaceful and non-violent ‘trouble’ for the sake of our beloved land.