Dear Reader, Let us as black people analyze and parse our historical background and see if PAM (The Peopleís Action Movement) was really and truly formed with good intentions toward the black people in St Kitts who were poor, down trodden, oppressed, distressed, suppressed, dehumanized and animalized.
Those who paid interest in our dilemma, saw to it that we were treated as human beings, while being threatened with imprisonment and loss of life. They knew that they were undaunted in the pursuit of their Divine Mission.
One of their Divine Mission was to rid the Mc Knight Community of the yoke a certain person had around their necks. This person was in control of the lands of mc Knight and was exacting his pound of flesh from the occupants of those lands mercilessly. The people cried out in anguish. The yoke was too much for them. They were gasping for breath.
Mr. Bradshaw and the Labour party heard the cries of these tormented and down trodden souls, ran and rescued them by breaking away the yoke around their necks.
Mr. Bradshaw forced the oppressor to give titles to the land which they had occupied for generations. Be grudgingly, the oppressor capitulated. Every occupier of the land who now turned owner was able to add a little drop shed to the one by one little house which he owned but could not extend, because of the land situation.
The dropshep served as an extra bedroom, causing the children who slept on the floor to gravitate toward the height of a bed.
The black man suffers from three faults (1) when he starts a business, he wants to become a millionaire overnight. He prices himself out of business. If the business shows signs of progress he suddenly forgets that he depends on customers to expand the business. He begins to show off on them. The customers soon desert him and the business fails.
Barker and Kelly are the only two black business men who kept their heads on.
(2) Black man can so easily forget his roots; his origin, his background. Give him a little position, give him ownership to a piece of land or property and he is transformed into a different person. More so if he has access to a good education. Like Peter who denied Jesus, black man would deny his family; ignoring them not. Wonder if this is the reason why most African leaders did not introduce Universal Education after they had fought their Colonial masters for their Independence?
(3) Black man is always aspiring to be accepted by the white man into his Social Circles. Black man will sell his pride and dignity his manhood, even his wife, in order to be catapulted into the Social Environment of Massa, where they can look down without any remorse, without any prick of their conscience at the sufferings of their brothers and sisters.
It is very pathetic and needs the shedding of a tear or two, to see people who had to keep their children crowded together, sleeping on the floor , because they owned their little one by one building, but could not obtain the deed for their land until the Labour Movement fought for them.
As soon as they received their deed and, as soon as they were able to expand the one by one, they changed drastically and, in 1965, those persons jumped higher than the family who created PAM. They had automatically arrived on the Social scene. They were now able to upgrade their water conveyance, not by catching water at the lone public water pipe in the street, but by placing a water pipe in their yard. Further expansion would enable them to place the water pipe inside the house.
If the framers of PAM had any or bore any recognition for the dignity of black people, they would not have kept the Mc Knighters landless, for so long. They would not have deprived the children of these landless persons from sleeping on a bed for so long. Their intent was to keep us in our place. The palace they occupied on Central Street, was not opened to entrance for black people except the cook and the garden boy. The cook could only work in the kitchen and, when asked to clean the house was able to make up the beds of the children, while her children slept on the floor.
She was treated as a mere servant and not as the human being she was. There was a gooseberry tree in the yard and, upon leaving for home, she could not even pick up a few of the berries to supply her children with 1Vitamin C.
The neighbourhood children suffered a worse situation, because, as I have said in previous articles, the gooseberries which fell from the tree onto the government side walk, were stomped upon, making them unavailable to the poor class children in their neighbourhood. Just imagine that, dear reader.
The gooseberries were not in their yard, but on the government side walk. They belonged to any and everybody, but, their hatred for the poor people was so intense that they had to come outside and demonstrate it. It was suffocating them. They had to release that hatred at a tender age by coming outside to demonstrate it for all and sundry to observe clearly.
Today, those persons are coming to tell us that they love and care for us. Let them deny the facts. If they are repentant and want to ask for forgiveness, we would forgive them, because Labour Supporters do not harbour hatred in their hearts.
To show the lack of feelings for the ordinary people, I will like to point out two scenarious scenario #1: Pam knew that their support came from the business community most of which owned sugar estate or plantations. To show its gratitude for their financial assistance, PAM did three things (1) they lowered the percentage of tax on the business places. They abolished personal income tax, thereby placing the burden of upkeeping the Treasury on the backs of the ordinary folks when they introduced taxes such as the restaurant tax where every workers bought his/her lunch, (2) they introduced overseas telephone calls and (3) they paid the former estate owners 12 million. In truth and in fact, the estate owners received 22 out lion dollars in all. Scenario #2: what treatment was meted out to ordinary black folks?
In order to appease their black and poor supporters, PAM performed 2 sets of antics (1) PAM abolished the payment of wheel tax on bicycles. Prior to 1980, a bicycle, under our Traffic Laws was considered to be a vehicle and was taxed $5.00 per year for using the road. The rider of a bicycle could be charged for failing to stop at a stop sign or riding up or down a one way street. While returning thousands of dollars monthly to their rich supporters, the poor, historically uneducated black people were prevented from paying 60 cents per month for their bicycle tax. What a comparison?
Labour built some houses in Corner House (Pond Site) New Town in the 1950ís. PAM called or referred to them as horse stables, but these horse stables have withstood several hurricanes including hurricanes Hugo in 1989 and Georges in 1998.
They are still standing strongly in East Street, James Street and John Street.
The second thing that PAM did was to invite an investor from Venezuela to construct some chicken wire houses for its poor black supporters at New Road, Lime Kiln Project and Ponds Extension. Within in a few months the concrete was breaking away from the chicken or fish pot wire, so that the fish pot wire was discernable. If the housing projects were a little closer to the sea, those fish pot wire, could have been used for catching fishes.
That is how humiliating PAM treats its poor black supporters. All of these PAM houses had to be rebuilt by their owners with the assistance of this Labour Government. Those who could not afford the cost of rebuilding, had to abandon the houses. I just remembered a third thing that PAM did to appease its less fortunate supporters: While, under Labour, Rum shops had to close at 9pm on weekdays and close all Sunday, Public Holidays including Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Whit Sunday. Open the rum shops, let the black people drink themselves to death.
This is how well they regard us. This is how well they think of us. This is what poor, ordinary, black people who have forgotten the struggles, their origins, their roots, are treated.
If PAM regarded us as the human beings - we really are, created in the image and likeness of our Creator - PAM would treat us much better. They look down at us with disdain. As people who should not elevate ourselves. As people who are hangers on to the bandwagon of PAM and who should be satisfied to catch the crumbs which fly out of the bandwagon as they travel on.
Is there anyone out there in reader land who could deny these facts? Historical facts and condemnation. No hysterical facts, please!!