Letter: Free advicePOSTED: 07/19/12 12:03 PM
Dear Mr. Hilbert Haar,
Editor-in-Chief of the Today newspaper,
Exactly one week ago, on July 11, 2012, an open letter by me was published in your paper in the form of a ‘free advice’ to you. In that letter, I advised you to ‘tread with extreme caution on the cock fight issue’.
Reason being that the ‘modus operandi’ of the petition against cock fighting is very suspect to say the least, since it bears the typical ‘hallmark’ of it being part a conspiracy to destroy we, the native, indigenous St. Martin people, by destroying what we collectively perceive to be our cultural-heritage and traditions.
Obviously, my free advice to you was not heeded. Worse yet. It seems that either you do not ‘get it’, when we talk about our determination to defend our St. Martin people, our cultural-identity, heritage and our traditions against cultural imperialism. Or, you are too arrogant, to even recognize, let alone to respect the native people of this island and their way of life. Either way, the result is the same.
In our free advice to you, we also clearly indicated that those non-St. Martiners who received a cultural St. Martin ID-card from us, based on what we consider to have been an added value on their part, should not dwell in the false illusion that they can now disrespect and/or undermine whatever principles, customs, norms and values we the natives of this island subscribe to.
On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, your paper came out with a front page report about an argument MP Patrick Illidge had at the Cadastre-office. Apart from the very transparent insinuations and innuendos within the report you, on at least two places, laced your report with expletives in full. This was embarrassing, shocking and totally unacceptable in our community to say the least, where many youngsters also read the newspapers. By doing this, you show total contempt to our St. Martin People,
Still, with a whole lot of fantasy and good will, I am prepared to consider that you did that, based on an honest misjudgment. After all, we all make those kinds of blunders at some time in our lives.
However having said all of that, I would like to believe that you would not feel yourself too big a man to post a very clear, unambiguous apology to the people of this island in capital letters on the front page of your paper – this week yet. Should you fail to do, such, Mr. Haar, rest assured, that I will not entertain having the (postponed) debate with you on the cock fight issue. In addition, I will be visiting your office, to collect the cultural St. Martin ID-card we had handed out to you in January, 2011.
Under no circumstances, will we allow for others who received our ID-card based on perceived merits to this island, to make it their business to insult St. Martin People and to diminish value and integrity of our own St. Martin ID-card – never !
In ending Mr. Haar, as usual, you have the right to respond in your own typical manner – and so will I.
The choice is yours and we will respond accordingly.
Do have a very nice day!
President of the St. Martin Grassroots People Movement and proud native, indigenous St. Martiner – with no apologies!
I think that it is up to MP Illidge to apologize to the Cadastre director. I will certainly not apologize for accurately reporting what went down in this meeting, so if you want your cultural ID-card back you can have it.
Editor-in-Chief @ Today.