Are we being fair?

Dear Editor,

It is not customary of me to react to the writers of letters to you, but to the contents. This has become second nature to me because of what I did for 41 years. Even though the concern was there and sometimes visible, the problem was not directly mine and neither did I make it mine. I solved it as correctly and as peacefully as I could.

I am stating this because from experience I know that, especially during political campaigns season, the people tend to believe and sometimes indicate who is backing who. For instance, the people are inclined to believe that I will vote for Anna Richardson. And I do not mind if they think that way, but they must also say why they think that way. Fact is that until otherwise is proven, the person who got the most flack from the people both on the road and in office was Anna Richardson. And I believe that all that that young lady did was be sworn in as Minister of Justice.

On moving forward she realized that approximately 700 justice workers were left stranded. With the conviction that it’s a good horse that never stumbles, she remained on the farm and decided to take the bull by the horns. Even though several of the cowhands deserted her she persevered, because before her she saw these 700 deserted families. This was something that caught everybody's attention, even though her effort to get things back on track was met with great controversy, primarily from within.

This was because there were rivals in the field, who just like all of those who profited from the toppling of every St. Maarten government since 2010, but who were expected to have her back, were following her with hidden daggers.

Within the two last days I have read three letters from persons who I expected to defend their point of view, but differently. I had to ask myself, what can change a constitutional democracy into a dictatorship?

And who are these people? Are these people different from whatever we have been having since 2010?

And then this. I was busy writing this letter when someone called me and said to me: “Now I understand why sometimes when you write you does say that you write so that the people on the bus could read and understand it.” He continued by saying that he read a letter from Michael Granger and up to now he can’t understand where he’s coming from. I usually get myself in hot water with these people, because they expect me to have a comment or to voice my opinion. I told him like I usually tell everybody who asks me what I think about so-and-so. I usually let them know that what the writer means can be interpreted differently by every individual. And if I give my opinion it will be taken literally like I said it. Meaning that too could be taken out of context and by the time it reaches the fourth person it would be a complete different story.

The black horse would have become a donkey or a mule, etc. I prefer to have the article in front of us so that we can read it together and analyze it and then come to a consensus.

That is why sometimes my letters are lengthy. Like I have mentioned, I want the people on the bus (who do not have a dictionary at hand) to be able to read the letter and understand it. Beside that there are a whole lot of words that have several different meanings and then there are many words which are pronounced the same, but are written differently and have a different meaning. For example: hair, here, hare, hear.

That is why I prefer a healthy discussion, rather than to react on assumptions.

Good (sleezy) politicians use these tactics, because they are aware that the people interpret and absorb them in different ways and consider that politician wise. That, in my opinion, is telling the people what they would like to hear rather than telling them what is reality.

Russell A. Simmons

The Daily Herald

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