anti foreigner talk
Posted By: Anonymous
anti foreigner talk - 06/04/02 06:51 PM
The anti foreigner messages that you see here from time to time shouldn't hurt any of your feelings out there. This one of the many comic book aspects of life here.The definition was given on this site by someone who makes these remark is that a foreigner is someone who isn't from here. Not added is "unless they are my good friend." This would put all Belizians from the main as foreigners along with actual foreign citizens. The funny part is that the three people who I hear make these remarks all have foreign passports in their purses! I have heard it said about all three people that they are "not from here"
The real point of these sentiments is a desire to always go to the head of the line for all opportunities. Your friends from the main are invited to cut in line with you naturally.
Every person who expesses these sentiments has a different list of who is 'from here'. There is a not so funny side that says "if you are black, too white, or chinese then you are not from here. Not your children born and grown here or grandchildren either. If you aren't a good friend of mine your family will never be from here."
Any way don't be insulted -these are English and American citizens who are talking this line mostly.
Posted By: sunshine
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/04/02 10:49 PM
When island folk speak of 'foreigners' they mean:
Anyone who is not a direct descendant of the Original settlers ( late 1800's )of this small fishing village - the island of Caye Caulker.
Naturally, an 'island folk' is considered a 'direct descendant' of the Original Settlers.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/04/02 11:19 PM
Local folks - descendants of the original settlers
Mainland folks - Belizeans from mainland Belize
Spanish or Piasa - Immigrants from Central America & Mexico
Foreigners - Immigrants, mostly from American, Canada or European
Chiney - Oriental Immigrants
Indian - Lebanese, Indian, Hindu Immigrants
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/04/02 11:26 PM
The 'foreigners' in the description above may also be referred to as 'Ex-pat'.
Posted By: memingwa
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/05/02 07:32 AM
I take no offense when anyone refers to "foreigners" I am a foreigner when I come to Belize, any part of Belize. I just figure that if it weren't for foreigners, there would be very few people in Belize. After all, most everyone in Belize started out somewhere else.
Does it really matter? Not to me. If some folks there want to shun me, or make unkind remarks about me, that's them using their energy. I won't waste mine. I know I'm a good person and I figure that refusing to accept me for a stupid reason is their loss. I doubt I'd like someone with such an attitude anyway.
I am Native American, so I deal with an entire country of foreigners. And I know the resentment that still exists for the non-Native. The anglos took what was ours, worst yet, they did not respect it. But those times are long past and now, in the US, we need each other, all the others, to keep our environment, our freedom, our whole way of life. I'm NOT referring to the aftermath of 9/11...we have always needed each other, all the others, we are just slow to realize it. Perhaps those on CC who spend their time resenting foreigners have not realized this same concept?
I do find one thing very strange, and I shared this with a couple of friends I made on CC: why in the world are non-Belizeans allowed to lease land on CC? With so very little land on the island, how will all the children of those who make CC their home ever be able to live on CC- to call any part of it their own? Very, very few Am Indian reservations (land under the control of the Native Nations) will lease land to non-Indians, many will not lease land to non-members (mom-citizens) of that specific tribe. This is because there is so little land, that the land must be kept for those who have an aboriginal right to it. Even a non-member surviving spouse may only live out their lives on a lease. The lease then reverts to one of the children of the couple, or it goes back to the tribe to be leased to another member.
What I do resent is the assumption that many Belizeans make about tourists, specifically Americans: all Americans (or tourists) are rich. Many are not. I am not. In fact, my income is far below the poverty level. For 2 years, I lived on less than $200/mo. I made it by living with others, shopping at second hand stores for everything, going to food banks for peanut butter & tomato soup, and food gifts from the reservation, fish, deer meat, wild rice, etc... So when folks on CC said to me, "You are rich," I had to bristle a little. I did not try hard to convince them for I knew they would not believe me.
I live on a disability (insurance) pension that I earned when I was able to work. I was owed back pay for 2 years, so I got a nice chunk when the check finally came. After I paid bills, and all the friends who lent me $'s, fixed my non-running car, I had enough left to take a couple of trips. I chose BZE last year & BZE & Mexico this fall. In fact, when I was there last year, new friends offered me a loan & fed me some days because I ran out of money! But I am only truly poor here in the city.
When I live on my reservation, I get a place to live (have to wait up to a year sometimes) for a reasonable fee, I can fish, eat deer & bear meat, fish from the lake, berries gathered each summer, etc. When I live with my people, I will not go hungry, I will not freeze (very cold in no. WI!), they will give me clothes, my tribe will help out with medical needs, etc. So on the reservation, I am rich for I will not want for the necessities. By that definition, admittedly, my own, there are few poor people on CC. In closing, I guess that each of us has our own relevant definition of poor & rich.
Sorry to get on my soapbox; I apologize for the length of this. So call me a foreigner if you like, just don't call me a rich foreigner!! Reba
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/06/02 04:32 PM
The land for lease does not go to foreigners, it goes to citizens. The citizens have leased land given to them by the government. Once they have gone through the process and finally own their land they often sell it for a tidy profit. It is their decision.
Posted By: memingwa
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/07/02 06:35 AM
Forgive me as I do not intend to either insult or be argumentative. It's just that this "lease then sell" scenario is so familiar that it is painful.
When the US gov't gave each Indian "40 acres & a mule" the land came with aspects that native people did not understand or could not afford. Many people lost their land due to unpaid taxes. The taxes were not paid for two primary reasons, or both: not enough money (the few jobs did not go to the Indians!) & no understanding of the concept of land ownership & taxes.
A few Native people were able to hold onto the land, even to consolidate family holdings & purchase land on the delinquent tax rolls. Many lost their land due to the unpaid taxes; many sold their land to feed & cloth their children. To this day, most Indian reservations are "checkerboarded" meaning the land within the boudaries are tribally owned, as well as privately owned (taxable) by natives & mostly non-natives.
I am NOT saying that non-citizens are to be blamed for this situation. I AM saying that it sets the scenario for Belize to be owned by non-Belizeans. I AM also saying that I do not think this is a positive situation for keeping the traditions of the Belizean people. What seems a "tidy sum" today may prove to be short-term gains that sacrifice any chance of owning the motherland, including the birthright of children who have no say in the proceedings.
I would love to hear stories of how Belizeans have parlayed the "tidy sums" into a successful future for themselves & their children. Are there many? I hope so. It would be a shame for humans to once again keep repeating the mistakes of their forefathers. It would be a dirty, rotten shame if independence led to the eventual loss of the country for its country-men & women. Reba
Posted By: sunshine
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/08/02 12:41 AM
The post made by foreigner that the land goes to citizens is mis-leading.
First of all remember that a citizen can very well be a foreigner. A naturalized Belizean.
And yes, these foreigners/naturalized Belizean citizens do apply for and get land from our government, before some of our native people.
It is a crying shame.
They come from another country and deprive us of an opportunity to own land in our own country.
It is also true that some Belizeans use the opportunity to get free land from the GOB and then turn around and sell the land. This indeed is a decision they make. A very short-sighted one. However, perhaps it is difficult for them to think of tomorrow when they are struggling to get by today.
One of the primary reasons the Belizeans sell off the leases is because the lands given to them in the form of a lease is usually located in an undeveloped area. No infrastructure. No immediate signs of development.
The lease says that if you do not develope your lease land within 3 years, the GOB can take it away from you. Just the cost of accessing the land becomes an expensive endeavour, much less develope it.
Mind you, I am not here to make excuses for the selling of land by Belizeans. I am merely empathizing.
Sometimes I've been inspired to stand at the central park with a mega phone and campaign hard against the selling of Caye Caulker land. To encourage the locals to hold on to their land. Mortgage it if they have to. But do not sell it.
As difficult as it is to get land in Caye Caulker right now, it will become virtually impossible to get land in Caye Caulker in the next few years.
As it is, the land given out (leased) to it Belizean citizens is no longer free. You now have to pay a fairly handsome sum for the lease. In fact, the topic has been hotly debated for the past many months on the island and in the local & national papers.
Note also that a handsome sum is relative. To you and me, it may be a handsome sum. To the foreigner ($1.00 US = $2.00 BZ), especially the speculator it is a mere drop in the bucket of investment capital.
I've been trying to buy land in Caye Caulker for several years now and cannot seem to find anything affordable - unless it is 'bush' in an undeveloped area and still it is not cheap.
A 50' x 90' beach lot on the East side of the island starts at about $100,000.00 USA dollars. Which Belizean born native will be able to afford that? Certainly not a native from this island!
And they want to get paid in USA dollars too! Imagine! In this country where the Belizean dollar is the currency! Who do you think is going to buy the land? Yet more foreigners. Then they sit here and complain about the animosity between natives and foreigners.
It is a sad state of affairs.
[This message has been edited by Mermaid (edited 06-07-2002).]
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/08/02 08:36 PM
It is a crying shame for Patty Arceo or any government (local island or countrywide) to hand out the local island lands (collective island inheritance) to anyone but local village people when the needs of the existing local islanders is far from being met. Take care of the local islanders first (100%), and then whatever is left can (maybe) be shared elsewhere.
If a local islander receiving a lease turns around and sells his inheritance, it is indeed sad. However, we cannot pre-judge anyone's motives for wanting a piece of land.
Our very own ex-Village Council chairman, Emmanuel Rodriguez, who received a leased lot on northern Caye Caulker has turned around and sold it off in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Shouldn't we try to lead by example, especially if we want to be judge, jury and executioner about anyone's (islanders) motives for wanting to lease a piece of the island inheritance?
The only people I hear saying that the local people only want land to re-sell are those that are guilty of either 1. selling off their own or 2. are vying for political votes and are trying to justify their spitefulness against the people who voted against them.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/09/02 05:17 AM
Wendy-if selling your land on Caye Caulker is something that you're advising ALL natives NOT to do, then why do you have your family home on Front Street for sale - for U.S. Dollars? Isn't that hypocritical? Did your family purchase that land or was it gotten as an inheritance, or did they just squat on it and get grandfathered in like so many others? I thought the currency of Belize was Belize Dollars and not U.S. dollars. It looks like you're doing the same thing that you accuse others of doing, but of course, I'm sure, you have your reasons, let's hear them.
Posted By: Enigma
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/09/02 10:49 PM
Hmmmmm, the plot thickens!
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/11/02 03:57 AM
Enigma and Jim on the other thread, thanks for expressing so well the trials and tribulations the island people face. These "investors" come here meeting lobster traps being pulled up on the beaches by the local fishermen, and then later want to lobby for rules that will ban fishing traps from the public view. They will come and meet small struggling mom and pop businesses, and then turn around and lobby for legislation to eliminate mom and pop businesses for one reason or another. One gets the feeling that the only folks that should be making a living should be the big businesses. Why should the small local folks have to give up their $200 a week in favor of their $200 hr? I have no problem with anyone that buys a piece of this jewel paving their property and turning their little square piece into Disneyworld if that is what they choose. I have a real problem with them trying to force everyone else to also become Disneyworld. All the world does not want a manicured and paved street. Some of us like sand streets, some of us like the fishing industry and some of us mom and pop businesses need to be nurtured to grow, not legislated out of business in the best interest of big business.
When one stands up for his local culture and local people, he is labeled racist and anti-foreigner. Yet, these same labelers, the big business owners, are the biggest racists, they are all anti-locals and anti-local culture. They are the only ones that do not seem to see it.
I have heard many of the big business owners on the island refer coldly and callously to islanders as "stupid, uneducated, etc. etc. etc." Local islanders are just stupid people that stand in the way of them and their potential fortunes. Yet, it is these same people that want you to believe that they have the best interest of the locals at heart, when the only best interest they have at heart is the fattness of their wallets.
Most of these big business owners if you spoke with them privately will tell you in no uncertain terms that they are here to make money only. They couldn't care less about the local people. I speak regarding big business owners on this island only, as there are quite a number of foreign-passport holding others that blend in quite well with the surroundings and the island people. These others are not here to line their pockets but to enjoy our way of life and are a delight to many of us islanders.
Time has shown on the neighboring island of San Pedro that if a big business owner cannot have his way on the island, he will just pack up and go to some place else easier to destroy or manipulate. Then, the locals are the only ones that will be here to pick up the pieces after they have ruined paradise. It happens all the time, especially in San Pedro. The dual passport holders pack up and leave in the middle of the night leaving the local partners to face many a dirty music
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a local and having a different value system, education system, or cultural system than the first world, and not any single one of us should be ashamed of being who we are - poor barefoot local people on a nice island with great weather, great conversations and great neighbors and family.
Signed: deeply and passionately pro-local
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/11/02 04:39 AM
Valentino Shal is a local Mayan man. He writes regularly in the Belize Times. His articles are very thought inspiring.
IMPRISONED BY THE WEST?
One of the things the CIA has been telling the governments of Central America is to look out for indigenous movements. Unless you can understand the world of difference an idea can make you may find it difficult to understand why.
The West, embodied by the United States of America, feeds on the idea of capitalism and the free market. It has successfully stifled the other competing ideology of Communism, which goes contrary to the interests and blocks the path of capitalism. The Communist ideology mind you is a western thought as well. So one should not deceive oneself into thinking that it might be from a different origin. It was just another Western thought.
Today the so-called developed countries of the world preach nothing but free trade and the invisible hand of the market. They even use coercive means for economically-poor and resource-rich “developing countries” to open themselves up for further exploitation. Sometimes overt methods are used but they often are sugar coated with aid money for easier swallowing. Sometimes covert methods are used and that is why we had the United States recognizing the illegitimate government of the coup in Venezuela.
There is no need to pretend that the free-market capitalism hasn’t embedded itself into countries like ours. It is there and we experience it everyday. It is, we are told, what will bring to us the economic development that we are looking for. It is in our schools and all our institutions including supposedly independent Civil Society because we too believe in “democracy” now.
Well what is wrong with the obvious development that capitalism brings you ask? Nothing. Except we all now drink Coca-Cola, eat hamburgers and listen to Celine Dion and we are very much starting to look like clones. The argument is that we need to transform the resources of the world into goods and have consumers buy them so that we can generate wealth. It is also the best system that generates and distributes wealth we are told. That can be true if we close our eyes to the increasing human poverty and suffering worldwide.
Back to the ideology part now. Free market capitalism is promoted tied to democracy. We really have to start questioning whether those two things go together because democracy today is practiced by governments of the people paid for by big businesses. We are told that we need democracy nonetheless because it empowers people to have a say in affairs of the nation. There is freedom of speech, freedom of expression, etc. People are free to assemble and to form whatever groups or parties they wish. This is what Communism doesn’t give you because it is the state that runs the lives of the people and there is only one party. Dissent is not allowed. You are therefore not free.
Communism is dead so we don’t need to worry about ever being deprived of our freedom. There is only one country in this hemisphere that is Communist and that is Cuba. Every single other country has gone the way of democracy and free trade. So now all we have to do is enjoy our western capitalist freedom where you are a consumer while you are still in the womb all the way to your funeral. Now we are talking business right?
Our lives, our experiences and every single activity we engage in is prescribed by our belief in this ideology. No dissent is allowed. There is pressure on you to avoid the slightest deviation. There are lifelong consequences if you dare to go any other way. You don’t want to go to the “educational institution” then no job and no future for you. You don’t want to “modernize” then no “development” for you. The rate at which this ideology is permeating every crevice of our society pretty soon we will end up with a one party system because we are not allowed any other option to choose from. We already are not free to look any other direction. We were told that this is what communism brings but it seems like capitalism brings the same thing too. Why have we been thinking that they were different when they come from the same source?
There are recent civilizations that were built not necessarily using these ideologies and there are those from that immediate past who are still with us. You find them in every part of the world. They are the indigenous people. They have an ideology but what they have cannot be considered an option by the west because it will ruin or interrupt the status quo. People today it seems exercise their minds within given parameters and live their lives imprisoned by the west. No wonder the indigenous peoples movement are being monitored. We don’t want to take over the world however, we just want to live free. Think about it.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/11/02 07:01 PM
Interesting reading. Note that you became a consumer when you began consuming as a young baby. No one made you do it.It is the natural way of not starving.
Under democracy you also choose your own schooling including home schooling or none at all.
If you believe no dissent is allowed then you have't read many of these posts! Note that your own post is completly dissent and seems OK.
These ideas do all have the same source.They come from the thousands of years of indigenous peoples trying out every idea in sight. Most settled on pure free market trade like the Maya. These ideas began to be written down thousands of years ago long before the term "west" was invented. In a free market system you may barter, spend money or practice communism as we did as commune hippies in Colorado USA. No one cared as long as people choose it for themselves. That is the meaning of the "Free" in Free Market Capitalism. Communism was rejected because it was a dictator system and was not free. Dictator systems produce clones because you have no choice. Free systems allow you to respond to ads,ignore them, become a clone or not, grow your hair or write comments like these. Westerners are descended from indigenous peoples and are promoting the free market ideas our forebears and yours invented a long long time ago.
Pressuring folks to conform to a standard is another idea brought down from our indigenous roots. Societies have done this for thousands of years and is usually the reason cultures have survived with their traditions intact.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/12/02 07:52 PM
When the Europeans encountered the inhabitants of the new world, they didn't just steam roll over them. While the Europeans ended up dominating the Indians,
the cultural diffusion and exchange of products and ideas flowed both ways. In addition to the material wealth the Europeans extracted from the new world,
they also extracted some new ideas and ways of thinking. For example, the level of personal freedom that the Indians enjoyed was far greater than what the Europeans were themselves accustomed to back in the
old world. Societies of the new world were far less hierarchical in structure. These encounters with the Indians influenced the way European philosophers
developed the concept of freedom and the way it is practiced in America today. There are a myriad of other lessons and ideas that the Indians imparted to
their conquerors that shaped the world in which we live today, despite the fact that the Europeans were not at all interested in getting to know the peoples they encountered and much less interested in thier ideas. Instead, the Europeans were hell bent on conquering the new world and grabbing as much land and wealth as they possibly could. This wealth grabbing
frenzy partly led to the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism; but it may be no coincidence at all that the French and British empires, who benefitted the most from the material extractions from
the new world, are no longer the world superpowers they once were. Perhaps they should have paused to listen to some of the ideas because it may be no coincidence at all that it is America, the nation most
influenced by the culture of new worlds inhabitants and their concept and practice of personal freedom, that stands today as the world's only remaining superpower.
Unfortunately, America's desire for wealth and power is as strong and as blinding as that of its European forefathers during thier conquering days. And this desire for ever more material wealth is spreading
modernity throughout the rest of the world so that it can expand America's customer base and feed its desire for profits. Most societies are buying into it because the benefits they stand to gain are tangible
and indeed very attractive. Yet, the indigenous voices are once again trying to teach us a lesson and remind us that no level of material wealth is as important as maintaining our personal freedoms. The
modern lifestyle may actually be a trap that will eventually choke us or convert us into zombies mindlessly in pursuit of the good life. Val's article may not have been greatly written, but I think his message is strong enough. All this talk about free
trade and democracy is for what? So a few people can get rich selling all kinds of products we don't really need to be happy. So a few people can amass ridiculously extreme wealth while the majority are
left chasing after their SUVs and designer clothing?
All kinds of products are being developed to make our lives better, from Botox to Viagra. But do they make our lives more meaningful and happy? A few may help
us to live longer but for what? Meanwhile, the only voice that cries out in rejection of this sugar coated mental slavery system, is that of the indigenous peoples who prefer to live their lives more in harmony
with their natural environment; but their voices are once again being stifled because it does not align with the great desire to generate wealth that is held by the powers that be. So, the idea is to just steam-roll over them if they won't join the program.
But perhaps it would be worthwhile to pause and listen for a minute and not simply dismiss them as a primitive society. Has history taught us nothing?
Posted By: Enigma
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/12/02 09:10 PM
History always teaches us something, problem is most of us never take it to heart and govern ourselves differently according to those teachings.
As they say...."You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink"
Thus history repeats itself, over and over and over again.
In 20 years, others will be rehashing the same things we are talking about now.
It's human nature.
What can we do about it? Hmmmm..
I think the real question is, Is there really anything you can do?
I say make the most of every day, as if it's your last, and always do the right thing.
That should give you a clear conscience to sleep on and peace in your old age.
Have a wonderful Belizean day! :-)
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/13/02 12:05 AM
Indiginous peoples continue to procreate. This means more people with less land to live off. The land is overused and becomes useless. Eventually overpopulation leaves everyone wanting.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/13/02 03:54 AM
every race and type of people procreates, not just indigenous peoples. to say that indigenous people procreate is such a stupid comment. every race and type of people on this earth is responsible for the amount of humans that now inhabit this earth. it is our collective responsibility why the population is what it is today. what is it exactly that you are trying to say, thinker? that indigenous peoples shouldn't procreate and only the others (meaning your race and kind of people)? sheesh!
besides, no one is guiltier of taking much more than their fair share of the resources of planet earth than the good ole first world countries and their inhabitants. first world people are so spoiled they see no problem with destroying something as sacred as the alaskan wilderness so that spoiled grown up first world children can run their hairdryers 24/7. and we should expect these people to support our natural way of life? yikes!
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/13/02 06:21 AM
Your piece is well written and I agree with you so forgive me for noting that ---"Meanwhile, the only voice that cries out in rejection of this sugar coated mental slavery system, is that of the indigenous peoples who prefer to live their lives more in harmony
with their natural environment;"----
Those who are acquainted with a number of Euro and Americans have found they these first worlders are of every possible opinion and differ in most of their views from each other even within their own countries. Many millions of them cry out in rejection of this sugar coated mental slavery system,and prefer to live their lives more in harmony
with their natural environment. Attributing that voice to one group only is probably not what you meant to say.
Posted By: Enigma
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/13/02 03:54 PM
Good God it's getting deep in here!
You people need to smoke a joint and chill out!
Doesn't all this rhetoric ever make you brains hurt? :-)
Posted By: turtlewoman
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/14/02 06:17 PM
Thank you Keycocker. As a frequent visitor to your glorious island, and a dreaded "first worlder", I support your struggle to resist development. That's why alot of "us" love you! I, for one, am not a capitalistic, materialistic opportunist! I must say I have never felt the negative vibes that seem to come out on this board.And "big up" to Enigma.
Posted By: memingwa
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/17/02 08:14 AM
There's nothing wrong with a little pride in your country, but this thread seems to be descending into another "ism" - nationalism. That's the one that says you are less or bad because you come from a certain place, and all who come from that certain place are equally less/bad because they ALL think or act the same.
Thank you to those who realize that all Americans do not want to destroy the Alaskan (or any other) wilderness. Many of us work to ease the burdens of poverty; many of us share what we have with those who don't have. Thank you also to those who realize that there are voices all over America, allover the world, that are witness to the destructive actions & ideas of the wealthy & powerful, and who will not stop calling out for it to stop. You are right, you who said we do not always learn from history; we continue, country by country, to make the same mistakes made by other countries/cultures.
Yet, it was Americans who stopped the Vietnam War started by other Americans in their search for wealth and power, or just power alone, mostly. It was Americans of all races who joined Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Wounded Knee Legal Defense, etc. to support the struggle for freedom to enjoy the same freedoms of those in power. Yes, I know, we are a very confusing people!
I do agree that many indigenous people are adding their voices to those crying out for justice. In some cases, it was indigenous people; in many cases, though, Am. Indians had to be awakened to many injustices by those outside our tribes. We/They are not they only ones who lend their voice. Many "first worlders" are saying the same things. So why do these things not come to pass, or stop, as the case may be? Because we do not hold power in our societies; nor do we hold wealth enough to confront the power holders. And too often, we do not hold power because we are no longer the strong people we once were. We have been assimilated.
What wonders me is that you CC'ers have everything you need to wrest the power from the corrupt or mis-guided hands that hold it now. But you do not. You do not give voice tirelessly to what is wrong, i,e., no land for CC'ers or other BZE's either. You do not seek to organize yourselves. You have such a small island; yes, some problems are big, but they are approachable because your territiry is small. We Americans who want to change things have so much to fight, so many layers, so many with absolute power to struggle against. But we have not quit. Have you?
The poster who said that we should live each day to it's fullest, do what is right is saying that all we can be sure of is our personal power. The power to do right, and refrain from doing wrong. The power to have, and to share what we have. The power to be grateful for the creation and it's gifts, which include the 4 colors of humans (yeah, yeah, I know there are more, but we're talking basics here, nit pickers) And when we meet others who have their personal power, we can join with them.
I disagree with the poster who says that when Anglos conquered the Indians, there was an xchange, with customs/traditions going both ways. No, there was a taking of all good things that the Anglos could use; our land, our buffalo, some of our words, and our native foods. What we were given was rotten meat, disease infested blankets, trinkets, and an alien way of life. If we did not conform, we were beaten or killed. Our children were sent to boarding schools, often ripped from the arms of their families, their hair was cut & they were punished for speaking their language. Our children, who became our grandparents & parents, were taught shame. Some became proper little Anglos. But they were brown & Indian &...less than whites. So they could never truly be Anglos. But they/we could damn sure act like 'em. And we hated ourselves for it, and we lost our power, both personal & political. We are working to get it back, at least a few of us are. And now, the Anglos want our ideas, we are chic, we are sexy, we have been wronged, and the liberals feel sooo baad about it, they just want to tell us how much they admire us & that Our ways will save the earth & it's people....
I said on another post, that now that I live in the city, I am poor. If I do not earn enough money, I will have no place to live, my car will stop running, I will go hungry sometimes, etc., etc. But when I live on my Indian reservation, I can never be truly poor. I can fish, hunt, barter for just about anything. Use my talents of storytelling. singing & dancing, traditional crafts, etc. My people will not let me freeze in the winter- I will be given shelter. In the summer, I can camp. Berries & wild food is (for now) plentiful. (NOT enough to support all our tribe, though!!!)
I see in CC what I see in my homeland (Red Cliff). I see the past oppression continuing to define the way people live & think. With BZE, it was, I guess, the British. Your "official" language is English. Not Mayan, not Garifuna, not Creole, not Spanish, but ENGLISH. This is the first thing that is taken away. Your language: it is not good enough, it must be put aside, or used at home, or among your own. Your gov't: it is modeled on the British gov't, yes? Perhaps a bit of other western countries, as well. Then, your spirituality. You cannot worship in the old ways of your culture, or if you do, you must do it quietly, lest you be ostracized by many. You are now catholic, protestant, whatever. And then your land. All Britain had to do was take a good portion of your land & give it to non-BZE's, and a select few "locals" who would play along, to get power & wealth, or at least more than they had. Then they left. They just left. In the end, your are more fortunate than the Am. Indian. They left. We still have our oppressor right across the res line, and inside it as well!
We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/17/02 03:46 PM
having just returned from CC I can understand the presence of some "anti-foreigner talk".
In San Pedro it seems that most every thing is owned by non-Belizians, and let's not get started about the nasty american who owns Caye Chapel.
One morning while waiting for the water taxi in CC , I overheard a woman (american or canadian) who owns a hotel/bar talking with a gentleman on a golf cart ( he too is american or canadian) and owns a hotel. They were discussing some recent newspaper article and the woman said, " there ought to be a law to prevent someone from saying just any thing in the paper." I was outraged! It is called free speech and free press. And it should be the right of EVERY person. As they spoke and agreed on her blasphemous idea of limited public speech, I was so embarassed to be an american on your island. What gives them the right?
It is my hope that you guys and girls on CC can keep up the good fight and limit foreign investment. I was heartsick to see how readily the priviliged land holders are ready to limit the speech of the opposition.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: anti foreigner talk - 06/18/02 05:09 AM
When the airstrip project was revived in 1989-90 those opposing it brought it to a referendum. We stood in street and tried to convince villagers it would not be that good a thing. A young woman told me that the foreigners wanted CC to be quaint and oldfashioned becaused we liked to visit that kind of place. She said "the young people needed good jobs and a future. It would be better if my home town was primitive and lacked opportunites and they could come visit us and afterwards come home to their good jobs and nice homes." She rocked my world. The vote went 3-1 in favor of the airstrip. This shut my anti-development mouth for years. Now I support the kind of slow and appropriate development in the hands of the Belizians that keeps at least some of the traditional village life intact.