My father was a stickler for taking time to understand what is written. That and along with what I did for years, reading something that interests me at least twice is normal to me. Why am I saying this? About 10 o’clock on Thursday, March 16, someone called me and asked me, “Why should you say that the Members of Parliament did not even go to school?”
My first reaction was that I did not say anything about anybody not going to school. His response was, “But I read it in the paper this morning. You want to tell me I don’ know what I read?” So I asked him: “When was the last time that you and I were involved in any kind of conversation?” “Wah da got to do wid it?” So I asked him if it was yesterday? He said that it was about two weeks ago that he had last seen me. So why are you so sure about what I said yesterday? “But yo write it?” I responded, yes, I wrote a letter to the editor which was published, but I do not remember “saying” anything like the Members of Parliament did not even go to school. And told him to do himself a favour and read that letter again, not go over it, read it and then feel free to call me or not.
I am writing this to point out the reason why our seasoned politicians keep getting away with murder, simply because our people just run with things instead of taking their time to read or research it themselves. This is one of the reasons I write, because what I write I cannot deny.
Knowing how things go in his circle, it will become “Russell say the MP’s didn’t go to school.” It might be so, but I did not say or write that. What I will write now is that what I know from experience is that, if there are any statistics to bear me out, is that “children who go to Sunday school and play sports do not end up in jail.” I do not even have to mention numbers just by looking at the number of churches that we have on St. Maarten.
We should have never permitted anyone to come to St. Maarten and interfere and impose on our way to revere our God. The same God we run to at the beginning of December. History will show that we permit all kinds of businesses to open on Sundays but that business owners of foreign origin close their place of business on their countries’ flag day, independence day or whichever. We permit foreign nationals to parade the streets of St. Maarten with their countries’ national flags. I wrote it down.
On March 6 at 9:37am an American couple asked me if St. Maarten was part of another country. So, I told them yes, ready to explain to them about us being part of the Dutch kingdom. But before I could actually answer, they said they thought that we were Dutch. So, they saw the reaction on my face and asked if that was not a parade with flags from the Dominican Republic that they saw a few days ago. And right after that they said that they collected flags from countries all over the world, that is why they recognized the flag from the Dominican Republic. I was born in Aruba, I have an Aruban flag, but I do not raise it if I cannot comply with the contents of the flag ordinance.
I can remember asking who owns that building in which the First Response security company is situated? No one could give me an answer at that time and I did not make it a point.. What I did at that time was explain to them that the place of that foreign flag was wrong.
In closing I will mention this. Those of us who went to Sunday school were obliged to read the Bible, which enabled us to recognize difficult, non-everyday words, look them up in the dictionary, which expanded our vocabulary. So, via you, I would like to encourage our people to try reading more often. You might like it and then find books on civics of our country in order to avoid having to avoid yourself because you cannot even explain anything about your country.
Russell A. Simmons