Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Then they came for me!'

Just a short very personal note on this Saturday (even while I am watching England murder Australia in cricket).

Some people have asked, how come the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG), has not issued a statement following the Prime Minister's tirade on the George Grant show last Sunday.

In defense of MWAG, 100% of its executive committee are my friends and colleagues; and 98% of them are genuinely concerned about issues of freedom of the press, and the a ability of media practitioners (journalists, commentators, talk show hosts etc) to be able to express their opinions -- whether we agree with them or not.

They understand that is a broader principle that is bigger than me or any one else.

I am satisfied that the right thing will be done eventually -- and I have been heartened and encouraged by MWAG's President Rawle Titus, who since Monday had made a strong and unequivocal statement in is own personal capacity on the TV news.

Left up to him and almost every other single member of its executive -- and every single member of the general body -- a statement would have already been issued.

I have the utmost faith that this aberration will be corrected.

We must understand this for what it is -- and this is not the time to ever be up in arms against MWAG, which is a worthy organisation that has served the community well; and which we must continue to support and encourage even when its inconvenient.

MWAG has done a lot of good work lately under the leadership of Titus, including organising a current series of training for practitioners.

But for the very few (fewer than the fingers on half of one hand), we must continue to remind them about the importance of solidarity based on principles.

And, it is in this context, I will like to quote Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. (And to remind the few the danger of inactivity).

Niemoller once wrote:

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak for me

7 comments:

  1. My concern is this-why is it taking so long for MWAG to issue a statement? Did they issue a statement when the young journalist was attacked by the present PM?
    Something is not right here and dont tell me anything about when Keith Mitchell was there. I am a student of history but I do not wish to live in the past.

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  2. Spice girl said,
    Sometimes we have to reflect on the past to remind us of our strengths and our weaknesses. Grenada needs to remember the past as motivation to create a better path for tomorrow.
    Time will tell!

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  3. I admire your intelligence and creativity but i am disappointed in the way you behaved after the election and I am again disappointed in the way you have handled this situation. Yes there is freedom of the press but there is also the responsibility of the press to promote the stability of the coutry. The ex-PM accused you in the past of distablising the country's image and I did not agree with him. Today, another P.M is accusung you of the same thing. It is not what you do but how you do it. Be more creative in your delivery.

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  4. I would think the politicians have the responsibility to promote the stability of the country through wise policies and decisions, and to reflecting the will of the people.

    My comment on what I view as a lack of wise policies and decisions and the hijacking of democracy -- does not undermine the stability of the state. In fact, if taken seriously, it may save it.

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  5. I simply view the PM's action as a vicious attack on press freedom and Mr Mark in particular. (Look at FOX NEWS, they attack Obama daily but he does not react like our PM). The PM's utterances were in a planned effort to damage the credibility of this journalist and to do so permanently. Mind you Mr Mark never launched such a direct personal attack on the PM and still continues to take the high road in not doing so.

    On MWAG; all I can say is that I AM NOT SURPRISED. MWAG has a credibility problem on it's hands and their lack of action is only strengthening same. I will continue to believe that MWAG IS POLITICALLY BIASED AND TAINTED; AND TOO COZY WITH THE NDC. THEY ARE YET TO PROVE ME WRONG.

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  6. I have great respect for Mr. Mark's work. However, one still has to have respect for the office held by persons in this our democracy. Even if we have freedom of the press we still have to be careful about what and how we say/do things. Grenada is a small country and everyone is related in some way or the other. Why play off our issues the way we're doing? We continue to get hurt along the way. We continue to struggle to lift our heads. When we should be advancing we are retreating. Everyone wants to win. No one will. We are only creating uncertainty for our children. After 27 years I still can't get over the trauma of Oct. 83. I was a teenager. It still hurts. To me, it was a lack of respect for the state's office of PM(revolutionary on not) that got us there. I just wish we could try and work things out amicably.

    Re:MWAG: Rawle Titus spoke in defence of Mr. Mark. He's the president of MWAG. I thought he was unbiased in his remarks. He had a strong resolve when he spoke. His comments did not favour the NDC nor the PM. So, please let's move on.

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  7. Grenada has a strong resilient nature. Survived coups and Ivan, and will survive this also. I've always said, Grenada has too many chiefs and not enough indians. I don't live there but here and have not kept up entirely with everything, however i do know that old attitudes die hard in Grenada. Lots of Grenadians have long thrown in the towel. As a born Grenadian, i wish her well.

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