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Racism in Belize and how unaware we are of it Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 18 May 2017 00:00

Originally it was not our intention to write about the topic of the perceived racist remarks that have been attributed to the President of the Belize Energy Workers Union, Mr. Marvin Mora and the President of the Public Service Union Mr. Eldred Neal. We must however become involved in this conversation because it is our opinion, that the proper things are not being brought to the forefront. First of all let us state that at this newspaper we deplore any sort of discrimination and as such we condemn, the statements that are being purported to have been said by the two gentlemen. We believe that people should not be singled out for special treatment based on race, color, politics, sex, religion, economic status, education, size or any other of those things that persons may seek to use, to divide us as a people. Often times we do and say things in our everyday lives without realizing that those actions may be a form of racism. When we say those things, we are as wrong as Mora and Neal. We don’t want to have ourselves be accused of making racist or disparaging remarks, but for clarity we will include some of those everyday remarks we as Belizeans make based on generalization ,in an effort to drive a point home or to make a joke :-

1) Gyal you dah Creole fi true, your hair only tuff.

2) Bwoi you got Coolie blood, you only liad.

3) You like fish like Garifuna.

4) You like Corn Tortillas like Spanish.

5) All deh Chinnyman weh own shop thief.

6) You d raise chicken like Minnonite.

7) You want lee gyal like, you dah Maya.

There are many more instances, but we will only mention those few for context, that at times we all become guilty of making racist remarks, without intending to do so .

There is a lot of hypocrisy that has stemmed out of this sordid affair. We think that perhaps Mora and Neal are being singled out because of the office they occupy and the fact that their statements were recorded. The person(s) who did the recording ,may be equally as guilty. They too may have been equal participants in the conversation, but because of editing, they now appear to be heroes. There is the need to ask whether the recording was made public, solely to create mischief, rather than to highlight racism. Then there is the weak response from the Leader of the Opposition. He, we know has a connection to Neal. That connection is the Orange Walk Central Drum core, a group financed by Johnny’s family. Neal is the long serving coordinator of the Orange Central Drum core. As such he is Johnny’s connection to the young people of the Orange Walk Central. The short version is that Eldred Neal is a PUP voter in Johnny’s constituency Orange Walk Central. If it were a UDP Supporter who made the racist remarks Johnny would have been calling for that persons RESIGNATION. We are not sure of Mora’s political allegiance, but he is protected by being a party to same conversation with Neal.

No amount of grandstanding excuses and half hearted explanations will make this situation go away. Those who seem to want to sit comfortably in their high positions and pretend they don’t understand the games being played here using our Garinagu brothers and sisters , to try and advance their own selfish aspirations, are equally as guilty. Channel 7 News is not without fault either? One only needs to read the way they introduced the story about the ordination of Bishop Nicasio and we, quote direct from their Monday Newcast, the same newscast on which they first aired the racism story, “Belizean Catholics welcomed the 2nd Garifuna Bishop of Belize, the Most Reverend Lawrence Sydney Nicasio. “ We don’t think it was necessary to label the Bishop based on his ETHNICITY, because that was not what qualified him to become Bishop. As a people we must all do our part to fight against racism. Whenever we see it rearing it’s ugly head we MUST speak-out and speak loudly.