Letter: The St. Maarten people are more important than the song

POSTED: 10/28/11 11:40 AM

Dear Editor,

Lots of people continue to ask me my position on the St. Maarten song. Some wonder when I am going to break my silence on the issue. There is a group with a website to cast an opinion about the St. Maarten song. Well my people what I am going to say may not be nice to some of you, and yes I do love all of you. But how in heavens name can you defend a song about a people if they do not exist, or if you cannot determine who they are?
We have the proud Member of Parliament of Guyanese heritage – William Marlin – and Prime Minister of native St. Maarten heritage – Sarah Wescot-Williams stating they cannot determine who is a St. Maartener. Where was the uproar on defending ourselves as a people? If we do not have an identity as a people then the St. Maarten song is null and void as an anthem only exists to define a people, and if the people are not defined let’s forget about the St. Maarten song or anthem. You cannot defend something that describes people if you believe they do not exist.
Lovers of the St. Maarten song defend the native people of St. Maarten heritage first. Then we can defend a St. Maarten song. People come before and are more important than a song. At present the St. Maarten culture and real I.D card is on a boom especially from people of St. Maarten heritage in the United States, the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Guadeloupe, Martinique and France, Dominican Republic. All these people prove their mother or father or grandparents are from St. Maarten and have land they inherited to prove they are indeed people of native St. Maarten heritage. The government of St. Maarten can give you an I.D card owned by the state, but you have to be of St. Maarten heritage to get our real St. Maarten I.D card that defines who is a St. Maartener. The government knows we have done what they failed at and could not do.

Lots of people from the Caribbean islands say they are happy to see the native St. Maarten people define who they are. They say they have great respect for Mr. Leopold James and the St. Maarten Nation Building Foundation who define the native St. Maarten people so eloquently and truthfully. When the parliament passes our motion of who is a St. Maartener only then I can pursue the St. Maarten song cause.

Unlike certain people in our government who is not in favor of the St. Maarten song because it was written by a white gentleman, we love all people of color. We love our white brothers and sisters of native St. Maarten heritage from Simpson Bay; we love our red or brown brothers and sisters of native St. Maarten heritage from Grand case and French Cul de sac. We love all of our people of native St. Maarten heritage. Color is not important. We love our people and we are one people with same culture and heritage. The conclusion is the native people of St. Maarten heritage must be defended before we can defend a St. Maarten song. God bless the people of St. Maarten.

Miguel Arrindell
The Patriot

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