Dear Mr. Editor,
Allow me to start by telling you a short story. Once upon a time there were a handful of entitled people on St. Maarten who believed that they controlled everything, even people’s thoughts. This group of elitists carved up St. Maarten for themselves and extended families, sometimes even stole land from other local people who weren’t well off. Thinking back today, it reminded you of a modern-day sci-fi movie when you weren’t allowed to utter their names in any critical fashion out of fear of reprisals.
Open vindictiveness was rife in the country and not every local was viewed as equal. You couldn’t be critical because they could bring their influence to bear on you and prevent your children from obtaining scholarships, jobs, land and the like. They were nasty, vindictive, entitled, evil people. Michael Ferrier is cut from that line of classism and entitlement and, as if on cue, the ugliness was on full display again. There he was on Wednesday riding to the defense of a member of his entitled clan in the person of airport CEO Brian Mingo.
These people, you would realize, only emerge from their holes when their perceived stature or that of people who they view as in their class, are questioned by those who they view as less than them. They ignore the issue at hand despite the presence of evidence, and attempt to spin not for the benefit of the regular man on the street, but to re-enforce to their kind that “we have your back. We in control.”
The intention and purpose are transparent; Who is making these charges against Mingo? MP Emmanuel? Impossible that little black boy is questioning one of us. These people must know their place. And if he doesn’t, let me remind my clan that he is black by questioning if he is a racist. Who cares if he is doing his job, he must be made to understand that he cannot dwell in our world and question one of us.
Michael Ferrier and his ilk must come to grips with the fact that nobody is afraid of him and/or his mouth and/or his clan, certainly not this MP. Here we have a former Minister who ran St. Maarten people through the mud for not paying taxes, while he was stealing from the country, as a Minister, by not paying over $1 million in taxes. This is a person who allegedly didn’t go to pay the tax man, but walked into the Chamber of Commerce and removed his name from the business registry in an attempt to avoid paying.
This is a “man” who took pleasure and every opportunity he had to tear down the current President of Parliament for settled affairs at Winair, not caring an inch about anyone’s family in the process. This is a man who used Winair’s hangars and equipment for free for years to service his own aircraft while directly associated with the airline through its board.
Yet this is the same person today defending his clan member Mingo for his gross and negligent mis-use of airport money. But you see the President of Parliament is a Brison, he is of a lower class in Ferrier’s eyes, so it was open season on him. Over-spending and mis-use of airport money by his clan member, a Mingo, is ok because that is what they see themselves as entitled to.
He now implies I’m a racist because I questioned the serial spending by Mingo as well as his treatment of employees at the airport, a classic attempt of deflection from the real issue at hand. Inject something as inflammatory as race into the discussion and hope that it discredits the messenger and elevate the accused. It is an elitist tactic from the 80’s on St. Maarten. Newsflash: Those times are dead!
I do not care what position you hold as a local or if you are white, black, green or yellow. When there is wrongdoing I will call it out and I will persist until those responsible are held accountable or clarification is provided. Mingo’s behavior is indefensible. Ferrier’s attempt to still defend him while the employees under him are struggling in their personal lives, is insulting to them and asinine on the whole.
I shall never back-down from doing my job as an MP because a has-been, tax-dodger like Michael Ferrier somehow wants to stay relevant and seem to think that once his voice is heard on St. Maarten, the issue is over or doesn’t have merit. The merit in this particular case is clear and will become clearer soon. I need the people of St. Maarten to understand that he doesn’t speak to bring light or understanding to anything. He speaks to defend the immoral, unethical and unconscionable behavior of his class of people for the satisfaction of all who consider themselves cut from that line.
Maybe it helps them sleep at night to think that they still have one of their own who is still willing to put “those people” in their place. But try as they might, I will not allow them to use their old, predictable and selfish tactics to try and hide the truth from the people of St. Maarten.
MP Christophe Emmanuel