Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Out-districters


Dear Editor,
Now that we are past the political heat, many things come to mind. Many questions remain unanswered and many problems are still unresolved. I am not into politics; by that I mean that I do exercise my civic right of voting, but I am not a fanatic of any party. As a young citizen I find myself listening to whichever party opens up to me. I read every manifesto, I listen to every speech I can. I was not born on the island. I am originally from Corozal, but years ago I decided to make this beautiful island my home.Letters-to-the-Editor
Resonating still is a speech I heard on the Sunday before elections, in which we were referred to as “strangers”, “ out-districters ”, and “exploiting”. It is a matter that has been haunting me always, but to be used publicly and as part of a political campaign was the least I expected. It makes me think, are we bound to always be seen as “strangers” just because we weren’t born or raised here? What does it take to call this place ‘home’, free from social prejudice and discrimination? We come to work here, just like people migrate to other countries in search of better opportunities. We are the people who build houses under the sun, the people who build roads, the people who housekeeping and take care of children, the people who serve you with a smile at the bank or escort you to your flights; we are the people you see every day on the streets and yet, you call us “strangers”. We don’t come here solely to claim land or enjoy the same benefits. We work hard for our money and to provide our families with better resources.
To label all of us as “out-districters” is discriminating. We are Belizeans too. Even if we were not Belizeans, we are here; we need from you and you need from us. Even more insulting is the comparison they made to us “out-disticters” to newborn baby dogs that can’t see, and the fact that we are “muertos de hambre” for coming here to find jobs. I expected uplifting speeches, inspirational speeches, speeches of unity and positivity, not degrading anyone. I do understand politics are dirty, but we do not always have to do what is expected. Show the people your passion for betterment, your positive thoughts and they will follow. We need to learn to accept everyone as our equal, only then will we be able to live in harmony.
I urge you, whoever thinks we come here to reap off anyone else’s hard work, to realize that we work just as hard. Take into consideration that many years ago we were all refugees and we were all “strangers”. We are here to stay; we are here to work along with everyone. We are here to live in unity for the betterment of our island home regardless of where we come from.
Name Withheld by Request

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