New radio program on La Voix de St. Martin – Leopold James offers shock-therapy on air

POSTED: 03/19/13 1:43 AM

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – He will be seventy in a couple of months but drs. Leopold James, the voice of indigenous St. Maarteners, still has a whole lot of fight in him. Tomorrow he will be on the air again with his new radio program, Building the St. Martin Nation – the challenges, the obstacles and opportunities. Tune in to La Voix de St. Martin on 101.5 FM, every Wednesday morning from 9 until 10 a.m. “The situation in our country has become so complex, that I am convinced it will only be put on the right track if we are willing to implement a shock-therapy,” James says. That’s what his program will be about.

“I am concerned about this country and it is my responsibility as a citizen to contribute to a better society. I will expose whatever challenges there are and present solutions,” James says about his new radio program.

Known as the president of the St. Maarten Nation Building Foundation / Association L’Esprit de Concordia, James says that he will distance himself from this organization in the radio program and speak on personal title. “St. Martin needs a moral leader who has the courage to call a spade a spade,” he says.

James seems to be ready to further build on his legacy. “I do not have time on my side. I am a grandfather and in a couple of months I will be seventy. But I have found that people look up to me because I speak my mind and because I mean what I say. The legacy I want to leave behind is to discuss fundamental issues in St. Maarten and to offer creative solutions.”

James, a former director of the Milton Peters College, does not have a soft spot for local politicians: “”Our political leaders have betrayed the people and deceived others by creating false expectations and by proclaiming false love. They have allowed people to come to this island with bad, ulterior motives. That needs to be recorded and account needs to be given, to heal this country we have to demand account.”

Without going into details, James makes clear that his radio program will tackle the issues head-on: “To solve our problems we have to be politically incorrect, but morally correct,” he says.”Politicians will say anything, as long as it gets them into office. I am sick and tired of those politicians. They are highly paid but they keep away from the issues that are making our society more and more complex.”

James says that he wants to set an example with his new radio program.”I want to make clear to everyone: you too have a role to play. And if they want to attack Leopold personally I say: by all means. Do it.”

The shock-therapy James promises his listeners boils down to calling a spade a spade, and by pointing out that there is a difference between a country’s carrying-capacity and its tolerance-capacity. He will also not stay away from the notion that indigenous St. Maarteners are being overrun by immigrants who are not from here.

At the same time, James says, his approach is inclusive. “All the foundations on our island are exclusive. There is no role in them for the real St. Maarteners. The St. Maarten Nation Building Foundation stands for preserving our heritage and at the same time for including others who bring added value.”

James’ radio program is designed to create “a broad-social conservation, awareness and involvement among St. Martin people towards nation building.”

That his confrontational approach will not be appreciated by everyone is all in the game:”Unlike the politicians who are highly paid but who avoid taking real responsibility I will face the music and accept the consequences. I strongly feel that the time for such a real community conversation is long overdue.”


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