With my British-creole-Charibbeen, or British-Creole-Charibbee or British-creole-Caribbean fingers, I wish to unveil my voice to this 1937 stripping of citizenship staged scene of horror,by tapping out this post. To say the least this outrageous wicked act, was nothing short of the 'slaveowners' perpetual atrocities at its lower than low ebbflow, being like-strung-together-beads within the isles. As most folks are aware,the whole island belonged to Hayti or Ayti (as the native Taino Indians called the isle) - thus, linguistically speaking, one wonders how on earth, could so call leaders of superiority or implementers of 'man made rules' expecting a Creole-French speaker to pronounce a Spanish word with the correct throat,nasal sounds or whatever! The Spanish word for parsley, should it be pronounced by the Creole-French speaker using Creole-Spanish, or mainland-Spanish! So would a mainland French speaker pronounce the parsley word any different from a Creole-French speaker? Would a Creole-Spanish speaker pronounce the Spanish word for parsley in the same manner?
Linguists please let me know, as a friend from Venezuela, supported my views! Referring back to the posts about Haiti, I now add, let the Haytiens set back up their Kingdom and give the Haytiens back their whole island! NOW!
The leaders who implemented this evil and wicked 'stripping' should have been stripped of their so-called citizenship. And, of course other isles leaders would have done zero, because the rest of the isles were still colonies and did not want any black king. Only Haiti was independent of the colonists!
On a closing note, in the Good Book of God it is written : ."..our citizenship is in heaven....", may the Good Lord who sees all, do something extraordinary for the remnant people of Haiti, so that a day will come again when they will again be 'Sans Souci' - without worries or cares, and I say together with the King Henri Christophe of Haiti - Amen to that.
On a further closing note, I am not one for naming names,but I recall on a visit to an isle, I attended a Saturday evening church service, and the participating priest came from another isle (he named the isle), during his homily, intermingling with his homily he told a little story, not sure of its relevance to the gospel readings etc, it went like this... ..... when he was in on a particular isle (he named the isle), when the authorities wanted to know if someone was from a particular isle, they asked them to say the word 'socks', and if the person or persons in question replied with something phonetically sounding like 'sacks' - they knew the isle of origin!
At the end of the service, whilst his frock was flying slightly courtesy of the tropical evening seabreeze, I reminded him I did not take lightly to hearing him belittling folks from another isle on the pulpit!
Is this the treatment we fellow folks of the isles expect our once enslaved inherited ancestral brothers and sisters to undergo - whilst some folks may turn a blind eye, if education means to go forth, lets make an attempt use it to correct seemingly veiled wrongs where applicable to offer help where needed or to nurture fellow vulnerable or afflicted members of our isles who in today society maybe still in need of a voice or supported voice to go forth on their journey!
And while we are on the subject of ethnic cleansing- Dominican Republic style- on the island of Hispaniola ala "Parsley pronounciacion espanola" Parejil, with its roling "r" and all, some of us can also remember a similar test to determine national origin that was imposed on Grenadians who had immigrated to Trinidad in order to improve their lot in life back in the early sixties.
Indeed, our Caribbean Brothers and Sisters of the post Slavery, French and British colonialism era had begun implementing their economic austerity programs that left no more room for the continuing labor of their Grenadian immigrant Cousins hence the mass deportations had begun. In the context of similarities in the test of pronunciation but devoid of the brutality and outright genocidal practice as displayed by the Dominicans, Grenadians had suffered the public humiliation by the Trinidadian authorities and were summarily "rounded up" and deported.
The test word for deportation in this case was "box" as in English; purported to pronounce as "bax" (maybe in defiance to the throne) by Grenadians and "bux" (dem doing dey own ting) by Trinidadian nationals.
This one act alone had stripped some Grenadian nationals of their dignity while others made every attempt to assimilate to the Trinidadian culture; never! ever! to mention their Grenadian roots in public.
Needless to say, the whole exercise of deportation could not escspe the paroding of the Calypsonian during the carnival season.The most recognized account of this was sung by Lord Blakie in his 1960 rendition of "send dem back"
An excerpt from his lyrics is as follows:
"Move let me get me share
The licking Grenadians down in the Square,
Ah must give a lash, let me get me share
They beating Grenadians down in Woodford Square
Since they hear we have a Federation
All ah dem pack up in the island
Immigration have them under a test
The policemen beating them and arrest"
"If you see how they holding them scamps and them
friends you bound to bawl
Some ah them could read and spell
But they can't pronounce at all
The policeman telling them say box, you stupid man
And as they say bax,
Licks in the police van "
But unlike our Haitian Brothers and Sisters who were denied a chance of assimilation on the Dominican Republic side of the island, Grenadians went on to chart the cource of the Afro Trinbagonian culture with distinctions, giving it notoriety at every level, locally and internationally. That exercise of ethnic clensing may have served as the impetus to propelled Grenadines forward to invest in education because that period beginning from the sixties saw a re- dedication unlike never before.
I just wished the Haitians were given that chance and were not murdered simply because the could roll their tongues to make that 'r' sound.
As a fellow enslaved nation isle, the behaviour of the 1960's Trinidad authorities in removing 'illegal' citizens of Grenada from their shores,by the pronunciation of the 'box' word is nothing short of deplorable, and a continuation of the 'slave owners' regime of atrocities within the region.
Reflectively, this harsh, behaviour is at times due to lack of historical inter-island knowledge, taking into account the mass movement of slaves within the region, some of these 'Grenadians' forefathers/mothers could speculatively, have been born in Trinidad, and sold as slaves to Grenadian slaveowners!
What action did Grenada take towards their citizens defence? Did the said Trinidad team offered an apology for this ruthless, belittling behaviour? If no apology was put forward at the time, a personal cry goes out to the present 2015 Trinidad and Tobago Government for an apology to descendants of all Grenadian citizens affected down the generational line, by this enslaving behavioural 'pronunciation' of the word 'box' traits shown at that specific time?
I do not recalled hearing of any formal apology coming from the Trinbago government in regards to their treatment of Grenadians back in the late fifties/early sixties. But much to their credit, their "post box" behavior and disparaging sentiments had dissipated as the reality of Black Power/identy, Caribbean unity and Grenadians contributions to their nation-building efforts took hold in a manner that was undisputable.
The most noted calypso that pointed to Caribbean "homogenousness" was that of Lord Nelson's rendition reminding all that "all ah we is one family". The Mighty Sparrow, in undoubtedly one of, if not, the the best calypso ever made, "Slave" had revitalized our consciousness with that rendition and slowly TnT began its own Renaissance which included claiming their Grenadian heritage.
They had come full circle in recognizing their Grenadian roots because it was no longer fashionable to isolate people from neighboring islands. In addition, the growing pains that came with the acceptance of National identity throughout the Caribbean had recognized the necessity for TnT to quickly make that transition because by then, the Grenadian influences had permeated itself right up to the upper echelon of their government.
>>the reality of Black Power/identy, Caribbean unity and Grenadians contributions to their nation-building efforts took hold in a manner that was undisputable.<<
Verne, you hit the nail directly on the head!! Even "Guave" as Trinis used to disparagingly pronounce our town's name, plus the negatives that were associated with the idea of "Guave" have radically changed.
Indeed, Trinis today have shying away from their past "stupidity" and instead are readily and proudly claiming their Grenadian heritage, with "Guave" correctly pronunced, Gouyave.
Today we can unflinchingly say that Lord Blakie's "if you see how dey holding the scamps and dem boy you bound to laff" is dead and buried as we are now comfortably in the age of "all ah we is one family" as Lord Nelson reminded us.
Whilst I do understand that some Grenadian folks with Trinidadian citizenship or whatever, has moved on and are partakers in the hierarchy of the Trinidadian and Tobago government, arts, calypso, or sciences etc. Someone along the authority line on one of the isles should have spoken out on this deplorable, arrogant treatment, nothing short of a humiliating, insultive 'box' word pronunciation issue - and demanded an apology. I am quite surprise that island leaders did not speak out on behalf of the affected 'box' folks! over the years, should this behavioural action be just swept under the carpet or a white sandy beach?
Reflectively, were the Trinidadians authority during that 1950/1960's era such 'perfect' English speakers - with the ability to pronounce the word 'box' like an born native English speaker, to use or add this humiliating ploy to belittle and betray other fellow once enslaved islanders? Even to this day, there are islanders with a noticeable unique 'linguistic vocal twang' which is very and quickly identifiable even by other islanders!
Even in the UK, the differing counties or 'shires folks would pronounce the word 'box' with their different county or 'shire linguistic twang! Would someone from say Liverpool pronounce the word 'box' the same as say a London cockney speaker?
Constantly, we read about global folks seeking apologies for historical or cultural past wrongs, well, I am seeking an apology, from the 2015 Trinidad and Tobago government team for this past historical cultural humiliating wrong to fellow island citizens! As a matter of perpetual communal island upbuilding - an apology should be given NOW, on behalf of the affected still remaining family folks down the generational line during that era.
So, on my platform, I put forth a call for this historical cultural shameful wrong 'box' pronunciation issue to be reviewed and discussed in the Trinidad and Tobago parliament NOW - on the basis that the leaders at that time acted in an arrogant, insultive, derogative, totally unacceptable political manner!