A billboard on Bonaire reads:
1863 Abolition of slavery Free from the Netherlands Now help, or re-colonialize
10-10-10 colony again far fewer Makambas.”
10-10-10 was the almost magic date when the effect of a public referendum was effectuated. Bonaire voted by a majority to become an integral part of The Netherlands.
In public awareness, a phantom was created that the horrors of colonialism and slavery of the 19th century would return on 10-10-10, and a fanatical call was made to racial segregation and extradition of “ Makambas,” white skinned new settlers. Also, other phantoms started to surface, like, “The Netherlands, the new colonial terrorist, will annex Bonaire to steal the reserves of oil and gas of Bonaire for its benefit.” Pls note: Bonaire does not have any rich reserves of oil and gas, and The Netherlands parliament made it very clear that any wealth from the mining of minerals, oil, and gas, would be entirely for the benefit of the island.
Whatever the verifiable facts are, the public prefers to believe in phantom terror. Some 20 years ago, fiction writer, Dan Brown, revived conspiracy theories of the Order of the Illuminati, an old student fraternity of 1776 of Ingolstadt University in Bavaria. Soon, millions of posts from his loyal readers on social media fuelled the myth of the sect’s omnipresence and omnipotence. The belief is so well established that it is hard to convince any youngster that it is a silly invention, a phantom, and not reality.
Gerrit Schotte, the leader of one of Curacao’s largest political parties, and former prime minister, as well as a convict for fraud and corruption, heads his MFK-party and takes part in the upcoming general elections as if the Judge never ruled. Not only was this man convicted to a lengthy jail sentence, but also barred to participate in politics and any administration for a long time. Gerrit created the false notion that during Appeal, he is considered innocent and can do whatever he pleases.
Gerrit’s record shows that he is exquisite in the creation of false ideas and at the same time phantom terror. Soon, the public can be sure that soon confabulations of all kinds will be made up and distributed to social media.
Once again, many will fall victim pray to their gullibility and lust for phantoms.
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle