Published On: Mon, May 13th, 2013

Anti-corruption battles

Jacob Gelt DekkerEqual opportunity for all in a level playing field society may sound like Satanic verses to those who preach the gospel of favoritism in a world of ethnic nationalism.
The color of the new alloy of USA’s immigrant melting pot is the “The American dream” where anyone can become the President of the United States. Contrary, Caribbean immigrant societies form fragmented mosaics of segregation. In Curacao, populist political leaders are gaining popularity by creating a leg- up for their specially designated privileged group of island born citizens, labeled ‘Yu di Korsou.’
Although equal treatment of all citizens is solidly established in the Constitution of the island and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, such did not inhibit parliament to vote in favor of the 80/20 bill , obliging local companies to hire 80% of their workforce from this ‘Yu di Korsou’ privileged group thus allowing birthright to prevail over ability and skill.
The strongest champion of such privilege in an unequal playing field society was the recently murdered political leader Helmien Wiels. Nevertheless his political friends and party cronies eulogize him as a fighter against corruption and put him at par with Martin Luther King.
Corruption is a loosely defined collective noun for nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, clientalism, bribery and kickbacks. Like most political parties in the Caribbean, Wiels’ party, Pueblo Soberano, is a bulwark of nepotism, cronyism and favoritism. So in reality very little remains of the politician’s definition of corruption let alone his role as champion and warrior against it.

The people who stand to gain most from his death are the tens of thousands of immigrants who left their homeland behind and came to the island to build a new future for themselves and their children. They are brave people ready to face adversity, hardship and challenge. Above all , they are also very determined to prevail. A rich variety of Sephardic Jews, Dutch traders, Africans, Latinos, Sindhis, Lebanese and Chinese made their entry over the centuries and brought tremendous economic and cultural contributions and wealth to a diverse society. Undoubtedly, today they form the backbone of the island society.
Over the past seven years, politician Wiels threatened the existing immigrant island society with extreme favoritism in the form of ethnic nationalism. With his daily racist hate messages on radio and television, he ruthlessly played one group against the next dividing the people in fierce opponent s. Never before ensued such a bitter battle stripped of all reason and humanity. Thus enfranchised and in the wake of last week’s murder, criminals felt empowered to target Chinese mini-markets .One hard working immigrant couple was shot down for less than $ 100 and another one had to fight for their lives.
To liken the slain politician to Martin Luther King is therefore a blatant affront and greater corruption of thought can hardly be forged.

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