Denial Syndrome Killing Barbados
Submitted by William Skinner
The current crisis has ruthlessly exposed the body politic and our socio-economic psyche, in a manner most of us would never have imagined.
The devastating truth is that we as citizens, have become victims of the denial syndrome. For nearly two decades, we have witnessed the social and economic decline next door to us but chose to believe that “dah can’t happen hey”.
As negatives within the socio-economic structure manifested themselves , the denial syndrome became the popular escape route: there was no deterioration of our agricultural base, only farmers who did not know what they were doing; no problem in education, only a lethargic teaching profession;
No gangs because nobody was beaten to pulp as “ they do in America”; no drug problem, only a few undesirables from socially depressed areas who “engaged” in trafficking and finally, no crisis in the foreign reserves only prophets of “doom and gloom”.
This denial syndrome is nothing new. During the 60s and early 70s, those who expressed concern about the way in which the society was being developed were branded communists, racists and socially unstable thugs who were influenced by dangerous and foreign ideologies. They were eventually silenced by the Public Order Act while the dominant political managerial class continued its path of denial.
As we grapple with the International Monetary Fund, we seem bent on denying that we must save ourselves. The Fund cannot save us. The first step in overcoming this crisis is to accept that we the citizens must be the true guardians of our fate.
The populace must demand a higher level of accountability from those in authority. Failure to do so will result in a form of dictatorship which will be present but never seen or believed. It is very evident that even as we head down the path ,the denial syndrome has convinced us that the current situation is not as precarious as all present indicators suggest.
Errol Barrow once said that he wanted the Constitution repatriated from Washington. Are we now going to deny that our fate is in the hands of those in Washington, Europe, and Tokyo? And that it appears Caracas will also be appointed a guardian?
Are we prepared to remain victims of the denial syndrome while our society deteriorates beyond recognition?