T&T: The Playground Of The Borg


"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ship.
We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.
Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."
-- The Borg, Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds",1990

It is common knowledge now that one of the wheels upon which the African slave trade ran was the treachery of insiders - African brothers who betrayed their own. Come right on up through the history of many African countries to the present and you will see, if you pay attention, that many horrific massacres and deprivations happened while African hands were shaking the hands of outsiders over deals that were lucrative for both parties but often more so for the outsiders.

Before you know it, outsiders have more power over a people's destiny than the people do. Why? Because the insiders who sell us out were NEVER our brothers to begin with.

The Christ was making precisely this point when he answered that question about who he considered to be his family members, "For whoever DOES the will of God, this one is my brother, and my sister and mother." Mark 3:35. He was telling them that for him, brotherhood was not based on shared DNA or shared ethnic characteristics. Those bases for brotherhood are actually racist/ethnocentric but this is how many of us proceed without questioning.

How many times early on in my travels did I, in my homesickness, make the mistake of looking at the colour of a person's skin and immediately feeling warmer towards that person when the colour resembled that of the majority of my Trinbagonian people. Luckily, with experience and attentiveness came understanding. Skin colour means nothing in the end, I have come to realise. "Race" is a convenient lie. A brother is as a brother does.

Once, there was an elderly man, a complete stranger, who looked nothing like me, who recognised a fellow human being in danger and grabbed my arm from behind just in time. He held on to me with a vise-like grip after I'd tripped and he did not let go for moments while I continued swaying, arms made useless by my not relinquishing a bulky parcel and quite unable to steady myself for what seemed like an eternity at the top of a long and very steep escalator. When I finally regained my balance and he cautiously released his hold on me, I turned to him, shaken and on the brink of tears and thanked him over and over. At that point in time, he was the only brother that I had in all the world. Had it not been for his intervention I would have plunged headlong down this escalator. I was convinced that he had saved my life.

Over the years, I have looked at my own country and found ample proof to confirm that there is a direct correlation between what we allow others to do to us and what we are always prepared to do to our own. We do not love ourselves or consider ourselves worthy so the door is wide open to all comers. That is why outsiders continue to peel us open like a sardine can and you'd better believe that some of our own brothers are bowing and grinning and showing them the best techniques for accomplishing the task. No outside corporation/country/influence gains a exploitative foothold here without the nod of insiders, these traitors whose palms are well greased to ensure that we are primed.

Internal imperialism is accomplished by those who are secure in the knowledge that we are creatures of habit more than intelligence. They know that we will postpone thought/discussion/collaborative efforts to seek the comfort of mind-numbing pursuits. They know that participation is most attractive if it involves dissipation. They know that we have the attention span of nits. They only need to know our weaknesses because we have never displayed our strengths.

I have never "played Mas" so that must be the reason for my not understanding why we cannot for just one year, walk away from it as a sign of respect. Does it mean nothing to us that we will be slipping and sliding in the blood of our fellow Trinbagonians as we wuk it up around town? And ladies, when you have donned your flimsy but expensive costumes and are standing with your backs to your mirrors, glancing over your shoulders and well pleased with the way those thongs disappear into your cracks and fondly noting how the strands of shiny beads roll teasingly across your buttocks, will it cross your minds, if only for a nanosecond, that hundreds of your fellow Trinbagonians who were alive and breathing last Carnival, are now lying in marked and unmarked graves or unburied and unceremoniously decomposing under this year's Carnival sky?

Once in a blue moon, extraordinary manna will fall unprovoked from the sky but the intelligence to know what to do with manna when it comes and more important, the intelligence to know what to do while it does not come and how to maximise the ordinary manna which surrounds us, this intelligence blooms only after generations of sustained and thoughtful cultivation. How does our garden grow?
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!