ALL AH WE IS ONE: Dear Shanique
By Tennyson Joseph | Tue, April 24, 2012 - 12:00 AM
I hope that I have not added yet another offence upon your tender frame by taking the liberty of addressing you both publicly and familiarly, but I felt compelled to use this medium to express my personal admiration for you as well as my identification with the nobility of your cause.
I do not mean to flatter or to place you upon any undeserved pedestal, but you must be made aware that you are now at the vanguard of the regional integration movement.
Our fragile movement, prior to your brave stance, had always been a project without a spirit, a mission without soul. It was always a burden carried by a few well-meaning overworked technocrats, but with no blood and heart connection to the ordinary people of the region. Shanique, you have given our integration movement a new popular hero.
I pray that the ancestral spirits walk with you and strengthen you as you bear the weight of the responsibility that has been placed on your slender shoulders.
I also want to celebrate your youthfulness.
In all of the hullaballoo surrounding your fateful visit, it did not slip my notice that you are a young twenty-something.
I am sure that the “babylon” that obstructed your journey assumed that your youthfulness would ensure a sullen, silent retreat on your part.
The question of “what are the young people of today doing?” has now become a tired cliché.
We often hear that the youth of today have no identifiable political projects, and they care for nothing beyond the next electronic door to virtual reality as an escape from actual painful reality.
By navigating, as you have done, the “adult world” of institutional and legislative mechanisms in your relentless defence of your rights, and in your fight to make CARICOM real, you have given us confidence that that young people will save our region from the peril into which the adults have placed it.
I salute you.
I do not wish to diminish your sacrifice, but I want to ask you to always remember that your fight is not an individual struggle. Nor should you lose sight of the generations of fallen soldiers who have sacrificed so much to achieve the goal of “out of many one people”.
In everything, remember to give thanks to the Barbados Government and people for being among the earliest to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice, without which our cause would be poorer. I hope that your example will convince the unwilling.
Finally, thanks for keeping alive Garvey’s dream of “One God, One Aim, One Destiny”. I can only add: “One Country, One Nation, One People”.
With brotherly Caribbean love,
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