Throughout history, there have always been people who have tried to define others, so as to perhaps, understand them, or, perhaps, influence others into thinking the way they do. Politics is indeed a multi-faceted affair. I say this because, I watched with interest, the recent launch of The Grenada Movement (TGM), and thought to myself, “somebody is going to try to cut them down”. I don’t know if indeed, that was his intention, but after reading Mr William Joseph’s recent Patriotic Vine article (“Come, TGM. Let us Reason Together”), I realise that I was right.
As I recall, when TGM was launched, it did so openly and honestly, and from the words of the speakers, with a deep patriotic love for our country. I did not see anything that suggested an intention to participate in replacement politics, nor did I detect anything resembling a spirit of elitism to suggest that they were the sole owners of knowledge and the keepers of the tools for the reconstruction of Grenada. Instead, they seemed to be people driven by a Vision, which they hold to with tenacity and conviction.
But, if only for the education and enlightenment of Mr Joseph, I will share what I learned from a visit to their website. According to the TGM Principles, the organization “seeks to act as a vehicle for harnessing the collective wisdom and genius of the Grenadian people so that people-based and people-oriented solutions emerging from this collective wisdom and genius can be placed before the Grenadian people as a programmatic platform for transforming our country”
I also happened to catch Dr Patrick Antoine (the TGM Chairman) on GBN’s ‘To The Point’ programme last week. Again, he spoke with humility, clarity, sincerity and his usual scholarship. I dare say that it could not have been clearer, the way he presented TGM’s views.
Whatever the motivations that aroused the ill-advised (in my opinion), unprovoked and unfortunate positions expressed in Mr Joseph’s article are anyone’s guess. As a new NGO, TGM has consistently emphasized that it is under construction and that everyone with well-intentioned interests in its construction is free to give of their resources. So, the spectacle of “a lone wolf” conjuring up political movements and unpleasant events of the past, points to a tactic of fear breathing fear among the builders, so that the wolf doesn’t even have to blow the structure down. It appears to be a calculated attempt to disembowel TGM in its infancy.
As I alluded earlier, there will always be individuals who always see themselves as the paragons of unique knowledge and specially-endowed wisdom, who will embrace every opportunity to draw others into discussions fit only for pseudo-intellectuals. These are the kinds of people who will be attempting to bait TGM and other well-meaning organizations into becoming sticks in the spokes of wheel of national progress. My advice to TGM and other organizations, is this:
1. DO NOT let yourselves be commandeered into that trap.
2. BE AWARE of those pitfalls of pseudo-intellectualism and, the detractors and misleading label designers who are out to derail your efforts to help build Grenada.
It is rather interesting that Mr Joseph, under review, pretends to have an interest in consultation and dialogue; his call to TGM, to ‘Come, Let us Reason’ rings very hollow. He has erroneously (or deliberately) drawn conclusions that belie his ignorance of everything the TGM has openly discussed and shared about itself. I note that in his treatment of his thoughts on ‘Freedom of Association or Purpose or Approach’ he did not attempt to probe in the slightest; instead, he proceeded to state some of his positions as materially true and philosophically sound.
My recommendation to Mr Joseph is simple: TGM has extended an invitation to all well-meaning Grenadians at home and in the diaspora, to join the organization and help build Grenada – this has been the case for as long as I have known them to exist. Would it not serve you and your readers better if you engaged with them? It would at the very least, save us – all of us – from peddling misinformation, misconceptions and whatever other metaphorically unsavory tastes, such as your reference to ‘Friends’ and its relevance to the substantive issues you might have tried to raise.
Mr Joseph, it’s up to you now, to put your heart where your mouth is.
Michael St James, Centreville, Maryland, USA