Dear Mr. CHARLES,
Respectfully, I hereby respond to your letter to the editor entitled, 'Names of letters writers must be included', in the Daily Herald of Saturday, August, 22, 2009.
First of all, I could not agree more with your general reasoning in that particular article and I commend you highly for doing such under your own name.
For your information, I too have publicly expressed, on many occasions my objections to letters by anonymous writers which criticize and condemn others.
In the event you did not know already, few persons have been attacked as often and as mean like I have, by writers whose identity have been conveniently protected by the editors of the local news-papers.
Nevertheless, I have continued expressing myself, in the process very clearly identifying myself, while on many occasions my letters were never published in which I tried to defend myself.
Talking about freedom of expression and democracy for all !
Nevertheless, Mr. CHARLES, while I agree with you and oftentimes can not stand the use of 'obscurity' and 'anonymity' as a 'shield' for certain people to express themselves, I also understand WHY that is the 'modus operandi' at times for certain people.
Therefore, where I disagree with you is on the 'praise' you bestow upon Mr. BIJNSDORP for his 'bravery' in identifying himself when writing his articles.
With all due respect to you and to Mr. BIJNSDORP, I fail to see where he deserves any policy to be named in his honor for this 'bravery'.
Gimme a break, please !
Quite to the contrary.
My position is based on your lack of 'enabling perspective' in concluding the man being 'brave'.
It is well known, that history has created some very 'uneven' and 'unequal' life-determining circumstances for people.
These differences can explain to a great extent a person's and/or a people's behavior and culture.
Whether one wants to acknowledge it or not, it is an undeniably fact that there are very understandable reasons for many of our local St. Martin people, not always identifying themselves when criticizing politicians and others.
The psychological trauma of slavery passed down through many generations is a very potent one for instance.
Being too 'conscious' or too 'brave' then and still in our 'modern times', can carry very 'unattractive' consequences and 'penalties' for an individual, and at times for entire families.
Since too many local St. Martin people have become victim of political victimization, for many therefore, there is not exactly much incentive for being 'brave'.
Now, take your 'brave' Mr. BIJNSDORP now.
He comes from a society of former colonial masters, with a very strong sense 'superiority' versus other cultures and a history of total domination over large portions of the world.( 'We benne klein, maar dapper' )
Just check out the Dutch literature and study the effect of the deeply rooted 'Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet culture'.
In addition, in the Dutch culture being outspoken, knowing one's own rights and freedom has always been encouraged and rewarded as opposed to being persecuted.
Expressing one's self freely, with no limits in a satirical manner, has resulted in a long tradition of well-respected and highly paid 'conferenciers' in the Netherlands.
Therefore, in that larger perspective, there is absolutely no courage necessary for this type of self-expression; niks, nada, niente, zilch.....
Besides, I daresay, that Mr. BIJNSORP, like many of his compatriots full well know that many of us Black people still are troubled with the 'lingering remnants' of feeling inferior to 'White'Man'.
Consequently, many Caucasians make very effective use of that psychological 'edge', even if they are in a predominantly Black environment.
As a matter of fact, some behave like 'Kings in blind man's land' in certain countries, with the exception of course with showing such 'bravery' in so-called fundamental Muslim countries !
So, as long Mr. BIJNSDORP chooses the 'Friendly island' over countries like Yemen, North-Korea etc. to identify himself while criticizing the country's social- and political leaders, his 'bravery' might be nothing more, nothing less than pure opportunism.
In ending, I hope to have brought some 'perspective' and balance in the exercise of 'praising one to the skies', while 'criticizing the other to the ground'.
In my opinion, it would be much more constructive for the media to encourage critical, but rational and intellectual debates about the root-causes of the issues affecting our society and ways to resolve them.
Hopefully this letter could be a very modest beginning.
However, I will patiently await whether or not this letter will 'qualify' and pass the high bar set by the Daily Herald in order to be published.
My website (www.stmartinnation.org) will for sure though,
As always, a proud, conscious native-indigenous St. Martiner, with out any apologies.