Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Allegiance to Queen Elizabeth?


By Mshaka


I am disconcerted… flabbergasted… totally upset by what I heard yesterday!

“I ‘……’  Solemnly swear that I will faithfully bear true allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the second, her heirs and successors… according to law.”

I thought that there was a law in the constitution of Antigua and Barbuda that prohibits anyone from seeking to be elected as a parliamentary representative or serving as a Senator if that person has sworn allegiance to another country.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Constitution says that “No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator (or to be elected as a member of the House) who by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement or allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state.”

Yesterday, I watched as person after person, swore their allegiance to the Queen of England!  ‘By virtue of their own act’ all of them swore their allegiance to the head of a foreign state.

I was flabbergasted. And then I was upset and then… even angry. Why? Well… I cannot be appointed a senator. I cannot seek to be elected to the House. Although I am a born and bred Antiguan… and although I lived thirty-five of my years in Antigua… and although I continue to live and pay taxes in Antigua… and although from time to time I work in Antigua and contribute to the development of my country… I cannot be named a senator. I cannot seek to be elected to the House.

Why? Because I am a citizen of the United States of America. Just like Lester Bird. The difference they say… is because “By my own act” I swore allegiance to a foreign power or state!

So… Yesterday… I was flabbergasted when I heard all of those individuals… about to be appointed senators… swore allegiance to the Queen of England!

Today… I am still flabbergasted… maybe even more so!

Yes… I guess that I should have known. I guess that I have ignored listening to the swearing in ceremonies of the past.

But today… the hypocrisy of it… is unbearable. It is mindboggling that you can swear allegiance to the sons and daughters of those who enslaved your fore-parents…. who built their empires on that enslavement… And whose country today is rich because of their enslavement of my great grandparents. It is upsetting that today… in 2009, you proudly swear allegiance not only to them but to their heirs and successors…

And the hypocrisy of it is that in the same breath you tell me… a born and bred Antiguan… that I cannot hold such high office because I chose to similarly swear allegiance to ‘a foreign power’.

Of course this is only one of the hypocrisies. The fact that Lester Bird could not only be elected as a parliamentarian but can hold the highest office of the land is a hypocrisy that could only have been foisted on us by a Machiavellian mind… probably that of the man he is heir to. Who… recognizing that his son was born abroad… that he had to insert… that a person who swears allegiance to a foreign power “By his own act” and not because he was born in a foreign land.

So like Lester Bird, Alan Stanford – the disgraced financial pirate -  (maybe even Data Tan and John Alan Muhammad – the DC sniper… after the ridiculously short qualification period) could not only be appointed as senators, they could be elected as parliamentarians and they could even serve (a la Lester Bird) as Prime Ministers in this land of ours.

This land of ours… Ours? Not according to those senators who swore in yesterday.. According to them this is the land of the Queen of England… and of course this land – her land - will naturally fall to “her heirs and successors”!

Let me serve notice. I am an enemy of this law. I am going to fight this law… this and any other law that disenfranchises me as an Antiguan… a born and bred Antiguan… of my birthright. Unlike Lester Bird, I have no birthright in the United States of America. My birthright, which I did not give up… by any act… is mine forever. No law will take that away.

This is the first time that I am writing on this… an issue on which I have had strong feelings… feelings too strong to even articulate… until now! This is just the beginning.

I do not serve the Queen… I never swore any allegiance to any Queen or King or heirs or successors.

But yesterday… I heard all those Antiguans… appointed to be Senators…  “by their own acts”, out of their own mouths… “Solemnly swear that they will faithfully bear ‘true’ allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, and her heirs and successors” – therefore… forever and ever more!

I am going to work to end that!

If I can’t swear allegiance to the US… then you can’t swear allegiance to the descendants of the purveyors of slavery and crimes against the my great grand parents.

We must swear allegiance to the people of Antigua and Barbuda through our Constitution…  and not to serve any master or mistress from anywhere… not even if the individual was from Antigua and Barbuda!

God Save Fair Antigua and Barbuda!