The Colour Of Injustice

By Josh Shaw
A frightening and dangerous pattern is  unfolding in Dominica. First,
members of the UWP executive were arrested and  charged following a peaceful,
lawful demonstration near the Financial Centre.  Then the police detained
former attorney Bernard Wiltshire for 10 hours after  questioning him for signing
a passport form in 2006 which turned out to have  been fraudulent. Last
Wednesday they arrested former government minister,  Herbert Sabaroche on his
way to the Parliament despite the fact that he had a  written invitation to
attend Parliament the very day. To add insult to injury,  they charged him
with assaulting a police officer during what must surely have  been an
unlawful arrest.

Do you see the picture which is unfolding in  Dominica? Now consider the
flipside to this travesty of law enforcement. A  magistrate’s contract is not
renewed after he convicts a close friend of the  Prime Minister. The police
refuse to arrest the Prime Minister’s lawyer who  allegedly defrauded his
law partner of millions of dollars. The police refuse to  question another
lawyer who is closely associated with the Prime Minister for  his questionable
role in signing 41 fraudulent passport forms. The police  deliver statements
given by a co-conspirator in a heinous arson to a lawyer  associated with
the Government and the police adamantly refuse to investigate  the person who
gave the statement. The police claim ignorance of the whereabouts  of a
co-conspirator in a heinous arson while the same man states in a public  
interview that he told the Deputy Commissioner exactly where he was. A number of  
persons are charged and detained for possession of fraudulent passports and
the  only one who is released, just happens, by sheer coincidence, to be a
relative  of a minister of Government.

This is the face of law enforcement that has  emerged in Dominica. There is
now little pretence that  law officers are  even-handed in the way they
deal with the public. The colour red gives an  offender almost blanket immunity
from criminal sanction while those associated  with the colours green or
blue are vilified and denied any semblance of equal  treatment before the law.
The politicisation of the police is not by  coincidence. It is part of a
concerted effort to provide the muscle to prop up a  government which has
violated every principle of good governance imaginable.  Some senior officers
are so intent on propping up and protecting the Skerrit  administration, that
they are dispensing with every legal formality in putting  the boot to those
who do not support the party in power.

You should have seen  how some of these officers, paid by taxpayers’ money,
conducted themselves  during last week’s House of Assembly! Members of the
opposition gathered outside  of the area cordoned off by the police
officers. A few opposition members got  ready to use a public address system to
communicate with their supporters.  Thereupon, a few trigger-happy officers
leapt over their own barricades and with  little provocation or legal authority,
disconnected the public address system.  Many officers appeared, waiting,
eyes blazing with hatred, for the earliest  opportunity to unleash a violent
attack against persons who were merely  exercising their right of freedom of
assembly.

But it is the behavior of the  Chief of Police which shocked and angered
already-cynical observers to the  frightening state of law enforcement in
Dominica. Upon hearing that Sabaroche  had been arrested, many patriots and
reporters convened at the police station  out of concern for the arrested
individual. While there, they were subjected to  a tirade, not from some lowly,
unprofessional private but from the Chief of  Police himself, screaming at the
small group of reporters to “get out.” It was a  shocking display of
unprofessional conduct; one that induced some sadness that  this is the level to
which Dominica has sunk and the realisation that in the  near future, law
enforcement will sink even lower in Dominica. When someone  texted the Police
Chief about his arrest of Sabaroche, he quickly called back,  and displayed
tasteless delight at his handiwork. His expression quickly changed  however,
once he found out that the texter was not a Government crony or  supporter.
This present Chief of Police was specifically chosen to carry out  the
biddings of his political masters. Remember that the former Acting Chief did  
not get the nod because he would have executed the warrant signed by Chief  
Magistrate John Baptiste against Isidore. Remember that this Chief publicly  
declared that Renneth Alexis’ gun should not have been seized even if the  
licence had not been paid. Remember that during Alexis’ trial, a gun marked as
an exhibit was returned to Alexis on the instructions of a very senior
officer.  Remember that the head of the police publicly lamented that his new
recruits  were virtually illiterate and yet displayed an unforgivable
ignorance about the  meaning of the word “arsonist.”

These are the qualifications and attributes  which gave our police chief
the critical advantage in the decision to appoint a  leader of our law
enforcement forces. The Government has not wasted any time to  mould him into a
compliant automaton who will carry out its biddings.

A few  months ago the Chinese ambassador invited the 10 most senior
officers for a  dinner at the ambassador’s residence. Where have you heard of such
a thing? Can  you imagine the U.S. ambassador in Beijing inviting all senior
police officers  to dinner? They would surely face  execution if they
accepted,  let  alone attended such a function. Similarly, a contingent of
Dominica police  officers travelled to Venezuela for some unknown reason.
Do you now see the  picture unfolding? Our police force is slowly being
transformed into a  para-military brigade designed to serve the interests of
one man. Those senior  officers who appear too professional, fair or
even-handed will soon be  sidelined. Law enforcement as we know it will soon be a
thing of the past as the  Government surreptitiously encroaches on the rights
and privileges of its  citizens. God will protect us, as he has already
started to strike those who  bolster this descent into tyranny with sudden
afflictions. But he only helps  those who help themselves.

Eric Gairey’s Mongoose Gang. Papa Doc Duvalier’s  Ton Ton Macoute. The
reputation for ruthlessness of the Chinese police. The  secret death squads in
the police services in many Latin American countries  including Venezuela.
Is this the totalitarian template that our police force  is expected to
follow? One which demonises the victim of a crime if the suspects  include the
Prime Minister’s henchmen? One where Special Security officers flit  around
legitimate gatherings of citizens, needlessly photographing them,  
intimidating them and arresting them on trumped-up charges?
Is this the  nation we want where colour determines the quality of justice
one receives? One  where law enforcement officers seek to determine your
political affiliation  before deploying the  panoply of investigative measures
to ensure that  justice is done? Is this the kind of society we inherited
from Edward LeBlanc or  Mary Eugenia Charles?
Is the colour of justice now  red?
Is justice  no longer blind?
“Success is a good thing; wealth is good also; honour is  better, but
justice excels them all.”

Truf stranger dan fiction

Author unknown

When I was a likkle girl my Granny always use to warn me dat truf stranger  
dan fiction, wi, so when I hear a strange fing I doh be finking because it  
strange it doh be true. I rememba w’at Granny use to say when a strange
woman  come to de market Friday night an’ she telling people dat dere a well
strange  tale.

I doh know where de woman come from; all I know is she not from here,  but
she living here quite a while. De woman calling herself Madame Ngozi an’ she
doh wearing nofing but African robes, an’ she wearing plenty gleh gleh ‘
round  her neck an’ wrists. I fink she have a likkle place somewhere in de
heights of  Canefield where she selling herbs an’ she doing some kine of
spiritual work for  people who believing in such fings.

When mamselle come in de market for to  sell her herbs I giving her plenty
space, wi, because I know de kine of fings  she dealing wif, I not in dat,
no nuh; I taking everyfing to God in prayer. But  I mus’ confess dat I listen
from afar to w’at she had to say Friday night  because I fine de story well
sweet, but I doh joining in de bef, no  nuh.

Madame Ngozi say she was at she likkle place de odder day when two big  
dark-color transport drive up an stop but doh turn off dere engine an’ she say,
“Eh-eh w’at is dis for me nuh?” She say a man jump out an’ he axe she if
she is  de woman who telling people dere future. When she say yes, de man
tell her  somebody dat dere want to know dere future, but de person doh can
come out de  transport.

De woman say she say she tell de man wait a while, she doh can  tell people
dere fortune unless she read dere palm or if she get somefing  personal
from dere body like dere hair or de nail from dere finger or somefing  like dat
an’ in any case, she tell him she doh reading nofing unless she get  lajan
ches up front.

Madame Ngozi say de man tell she money doh be a problem  an’ run back to de
seckan transport an’ talk to somebody a while. She say she  doh see de
person inside because all de windows have darkers on dem an’ in any  case she
doh see too good, nuh. When he return he had a fick brown envelope an’  when
she see how it so fat she checking plenty cash dat dere.

De woman say  de man axe her if she could look at a healthy person hair an’
tell if dey would  get sick some time in de future wif some deadly disease.
She say she tell him if  de money right she willing to try, but it all
depends on w’at de spirits  choosing to reveal because she doh can control de
spirits an’ sometimes dey talk  plenty but sometimes dey doh say too much, nuh.
She say de man push de  envelope in she han’ an’ when she peep in it only
hundreds dat dere, wi, so she  agree to try her bes’. She say de man give
her a folded white paper wif thick  black hair in it dat she recognise as hair
dat come from de eyebrow of a person  wif well thick eyebrows. If it was me
she was talking to, I would have axe she  how she know de hair come from a
person eyebrow, eh, but nobody doh axe she  nofing like dat.

Anyway, Madame Ngozi say when she look at de eyebrow hair  she roll she eye
in she head, stagger an’ nearly fall dong, but she still hol’  on to de
brown envelope well tight. De man axe her w’at she see dat making she  stagger
an’ nearly fall. Eh-ben! She tell him dat she read in de person hair dat  a
loyal local hanger-on who well close to de person an’ also de person
foreign  mentor, dey bof well sick wif a certain deadly disease. But de spirits
tell she  dey doh be deciding yet if to let doze two persons recover or not.  
Eh-las!

Madame Ngozi say de man rush back to de transport, talk a likkle  while,
den rush back to she. She say de man tell she de person who eyebrow de  hair
come from say he doh interested in who already get a deadly disease, he  want
to know if she know if HE would get some kine of deadly disease some time  
in de future, especially sometime in de near future. She say she look at de
hair  again den she frow back her head an’ gasp an’ shudder an’ groan a
while.

She  say when she finish rocking she body a likkle an’ talking in strange
tongues for  a while, she tell de man dat de spirits tell she de person who
eyebrow de hair  come from going to enter some hard times, wi, an’ someone
who close to him who  claim to be Dominican, but who doh looking like you an’
me even doh dey shave  off dere hair from dere head, moving secretly behine
de scenes trying to take  ovah de person powah well smart an’ quiet.
Madame Ngozi say she tell de man  de spirits tell she to tell de person who
fick eyebrow de hair come from dat dey  doh ready to reveal if he getting a
deadly disease or not, no nuh, but dey  having plenty odder fings to say
dat be of vital importance to he, but he have  to come back three more times
for to hear doze fings an’ every time he come he  mus’ bring a brown
envelope wif cash as a offering to de spirits, an’ each  envelope mus be bigger dan
de las’.

W’oy Papa! She say de man go back to  report to de man in de  transport an’
den bof transport drive off well  fast. She say she doh know if dey hear w’
at dey want, but she sure dey coming  back to see her again because once
people visit she one time dey doh can help  coming back all de time.
When de woman gone, plenty people in de market say  dey doh believin’ w’at
Madame Ngozi say because she be a well strange woman an’  w’at she say
even more strange. As for me, I rememba w’at Granny use to say;  truf,
sometimes stranger dan fiction, yes wi!
Magway a (after all!)

The older generation had this uncanny way of using short but compelling  
phrases to express their disgust with people or behavior. One of these
comments  that would make you feel terrible even when said with love is “ou pokor
kar mor  may ou jar ca confessay” (You are not even on your deathbed but you
are already  confessing). This was their way of either calling you a
habitual liar or of  admonishing you for speaking the truth willingly or otherwise.
Having read the  living confession of the Dominica Labour Party’s (DLP)
Public Relations Officer  (PRO) in last week’s issue of the Chronicle, I am
inclined to express the same  sentiment, but will add to it the expression, ‘
magway ‡a!’

The way I see it,  the DLP’s PRO last week spent an inordinate amount of
time trying to tell us  that he is a habitual liar. I am caught between the
illness of Savarin and the  challenges of Chavez as the motivation to confess,
but I am not sure. When  confronted with our own mortality, we can easily
begin the process of preparing  for the unknown. While seasoned Trinidadian
politician Basdeo Panday told us  that “politics has its own morality,” this
doctor was telling us that from where  he stood, politics had no morality.
He eloquently shared with us that truth is a  casualty of politics and he
lived by that maxim. In my view, he emphatically  told us in simple English
that as far as his politics goes, he is an inveterate  liar.

His thesis sought to belittle the patriotic fervor of those who would  risk
speaking ‘truth to power’ as being misguided. As far as he was concerned  
truth and politics are mutually exclusive and never the twain shall meet. No
wonder his writings and his speeches are fraught with so many
inconsistencies.  The preceding week he started his usual missive with a brilliant
testimony about  why the ‘want’ (in this case, the state palace) was not a
priority over the  ‘need’ (i.e. health care or any other unmet basic need). But
only days before  that, he was in a paramour’s embrace trying to convince us
that this ‘want’  (state palace/ice-cream) was what we must have, even
ahead of the ‘need’  (healthcare/milk) that continues to plague the poor of
this country.

His  expose posits that compromising the truth is the way to go in
politics. Magway  ‡a! What has happened to the Christian values that we were taught
growing up in  the church? Where did it go when we started the mission of
kissing-up to the  elite in power? Is this deceit the diet fed to the young
Prime Minister by way  of advice when he sits with his motley crew of
hangers-on posing as advisors and  intellectuals? Where do they expect this diet of
lies to lead eventually? What  will they say when the truth that they have
been crushing to earth rises back to  bite them?

As I see it, this crusade of deception that has sought to take  the decent
people of Dominica to a level where they forget the good Christian  values
that they have grown up with is a dangerous attempt by people whose only  
chance of survival is in the hands of politicians. As it see it, they have been
trained to be parasitic trough-feeders even with their SC’s and PhD’s and
that  is certainly not good for Dominica’s future. Their entire being is
focused on  skillfully manipulating facts to assuage the ego of those in power
in an effort  to keep them gainfully employed. Nothing they say is based on
any principle and  neither is the truth a factor. Truth has now become the
casualty of desperate  trough-feeders hanging on for dear life on their
feeding space and not even the  biggest backhoe could pry them away. They hang
on for dear life at the trough  and would drag the trough behind them if
necessary.

This embrace of lies and  acceptance of dishonesty are components of the
hydra-headed monster that the  patriots of this land must contend with. Those
overtly deceitful creatures will  continue to grate on the psyche of the
patriotic souls, but remaining focused is  imperative. The potshots they will
take at us are intended to daunt our spirits  and our desire for a better
Dominica. Their meal ticket is what concerns them  and all their rants and
raves must be viewed in that context. Stay strong, keep  the spirit. Their
dishonest attempt to make truth a casualty will not deter the  patriots’ desire
to replace the lies, deceit and debauchery with a meritocracy  based on truth
and opportunity for all. Long live the patriotic fervor of the  Dominican
people.

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