Letter: Open letter to Todd Peterson

POSTED: 02/16/12 1:24 PM

Dear Mr. Peterson,

Let me admit first, I am not a born St. Maartener, though things could have been different had my mother been here on April 25, 1950. I consider myself an earthling, a human being among equals.
Your letter to the editor about cock fighting misses the point (at least, in my opinion). Instead of addressing the issue itself, you turn things around by making it the prerogative of “St. Maarteners of heritage” to decide which traditions and customs are good for them.
What you are actually saying is: if St Maarteners of heritage consider it fun to allow, say, dwarf throwing, or to declare domestic violence an honorable local tradition, that’s okay with you. If you’re not a St. Maartener of heritage, stay out of our business.
I have news for you Mr. Peterson. Figuratively speaking we are not living on an island. There is a whole world out there, filled with decent people and others. Decent people respect local traditions anywhere in the world. Those same decent people stand up against traditions that belong in the dark ages.
Cock fighting is a nice example of traditions that have no place in modern times. You may be aware that people who abuse animals are also likely to abuse other people and that they usually have psychopathic tendencies. One day they may come after your wife or your daughter, if you have them. If you think it is healthy to keep a tradition alive that facilitates the sick needs of these psychopaths there is nothing anybody could do to stop you from thinking just that.
But I am telling you Mr. Peterson, cock fighting equals animal abuse. Have you never wondered why bull fighting is on the way out in Spain? Same thing: decent people are getting sick and tired of so-called entertainment over the backs of animals that are unable to defend themselves against human brutality.
And by the way, did you ever bother to familiarize yourself with the content of article 22 of the Constitution of St. Maarten? For your convenience I looked it up, and it reads: “It shall be the constant concern of the government to keep the country habitable and to protect and improve the natural environment and the welfare of animals.”
If you are able to explain to me how cock fighting protects and improves the welfare of animals I rest my case. But you won’t be able to explain this to me, so please, do us all a favor and admit that cock fighting is unconstitutional. No need to outlaw it, that’s already a done deal. All we need is to enforce the law.
I know that there are Members of Parliament who support cock fighting as a local tradition. But those same parliamentarians have sworn to uphold the constitution. They cannot have it both ways. Either they uphold the constitution and they work towards banning cock fighting, or they tell their voters that they’d rather wipe their behinds with the constitution.
So you see, Mr. Peterson, the constitution has been approved by the representatives of all those who are entitled to vote. It is home-made legislation. Your claim that St. Maarteners of heritage must not let outside influence determine what is best for St. Maarten and St. Maarteners where it concerns traditions and customs is totally without merit.
St. Maarteners have decided that it is the government’s task to protect and improve the welfare of animals. That this same government does not do anything to ban cock fighting is therefore a form of violating the Constitution cabinet members and parliamentarians have sworn to uphold.

I wonder if you maintain your position after reading this letter.

Hilbert Haar,
Editor-in-Chief @ Today.

Did you like this? Share it:
Letter: Open letter to Todd Peterson by

Comments are closed.