Think first!

Dear Editor,

I can never claim that I did not write this or that because like I always mention it is black on white. I also make sure that what I write is not hearsay, and if so be the case I would mention that.

I read a letter to the Editor meant for the attention of the minister of justice and I continue to ask myself when are we going to learn?

Question, if a fifth grade child steals a phone from another fifth grade child during school hours, who is to blame for that?. Who should be held accountable? Who should be in charge of that investigation, the school teacher, the school principal, the parents, the police, the chief of police or the minister of justice?

I do not know whether Cuthbert Bannis knows better or not. Or probably the lack of civics in school is raising it's head. Just like everybody would expect for me to know what channels to pursue, I expect those who use sarcasm to get at those who they think would probably not entertain them, to know which are the competent authorities to approach.

The owner of a car company does not make the cars. For instance, when I needed to verify or find an address I would ask the postman, the GEBE bill distributor, etc. if they were familiar with that address. The supervisors and foremen on the job are the ones responsible for the daily operations of a company. Civics teaches us how a country is run/governed.

Why would I go so far as to think that it is the responsibility of the minister of justice to make sure that a person's address is found, while there are people who are paid to do that job? Is the minister a puppeteer?.

I am aware that people have formed an opinion of who I am by reading my letters to you. But many of those who know how I performed my duties have concluded that it had to be for the love of this country. What I think would be a good topic to write about and would be doing the people a favour, would be if one should ask government, not the minister of justice, the Sint Maarten government, what about housing for the community police in the different communities?

Now this. I am writing this because I do not believe that permitting persons who have lived on Sint Maarten for more than thirty years and did not make an effort to obtain the Dutch nationality should be given the opportunity to take part in our political elections. The majority of these people used the pleasures and gratuities of Sint Maarten while holding on to the passport of their country of origin, because having dual nationality was not possible.

Then comes retirement age and old age pension. But one has to be Dutch to collect a government old age pension, so let us apply for a Dutch passport also because things have changed in our country of origin. Which brings to mind the question where were all of these people who were here 30 years ago after hurricane Luis? With our vacillating tax system I strongly doubt if these 30 yearers are in the tax system, which would be totally unfair to me. I am not in favour of this thought and just like I am advocating for the pensioners to go out and vote but to vote blank until something is done about the pittance that we are getting while the supermarkets and hardware stores are making millions. I will continue to say 'no way'.

When we Google the word 'dignity' it says " The state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect" The pensioners need a favour. This is not a question of not liking strangers, it is just like all our neighbouring islands say. 'Natives first'. I cannot make this up. What is so wrong with Sint Maarten that it is good enough to work here for thirty years but not good enough to become a citizen?

One comes here, works for a long time, gets the opportunity to vote. Then if things are not going well with the government the answer would be, Sint Maarten got the government they voted for. And here comes the kicker. Those who voted but do not have a Dutch passport will say 'I am not Dutch'. I am not a judge of people, but after over forty-one years I have an idea of people's behavior.

Russell A. Simmons

The Daily Herald

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