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The shame of Dingwall's ant-Garveyism

Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Michael Dingwall's January 4, 2010 piece in the 'Noteworthy' segment of The Gleaner, entitled "Garveyism is irrelevant", where he bemoaned the existence of a Garvey Unit at the University of the West Indies, is the most intellectually circumcised bit of writing which I have had the displeasure of encountering in a long while.

The letter writer styles Garveyism as an "outdated maxim". I am no expert on Garvey but the 'self-reliance' and the zeal to "not look to others to do for one that which one ought to do for themselves", as espoused by the the nation's first national hero, is very relevant to our times.

inequitable society

If such a philosophy were incorporated from the get-go, perhaps an inequitable society where one class is persistently placed in a position to defer and beg a bread from the dominant social strata would perhaps not exist. Indeed, these elements of society would perhaps reach for inner motivation, establishing more businesses in pursuit of advancement spurred on by inner resolve.

The argument that principles such as self-reliance, social equity and justice is irrelevant to our times is inherently flawed across all spectrums. If one listens to the corporate gurus, both local and abroad, they speak intimately of the inner drive and a mentality of self-reliance as inextricably linked to their success.

irrelevant theory

Even if Dingwall were to take his irrelevant theory to an illiterate beggar who parade the streets of Kingston, or Detroit, even he would realise the pertinence of Garvey's cry for personal activism towards social and economic advancemement.

Additionally when one observes the complex mentality of African peoples who continue to create a hype around United States president Barack Obama's 'blackness' - rather than his suitability for the post - the "Tragedy of White Injustice" becomes obvious. The irony here is the few who might subscribe to Dingwall's view are ready to ignore Garvey's theme of 'not looking to others to do that which be can done by oneself' but hail the "ask not what my country can do for me but what I can do for my country" statement of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, which incidentally came after Garvey would have spoken his words.

I am, etc.,

Abka Fitz-Henley