It’s eerie to see how the ugly trends that we thought we had put behind us, have come back. I’m talking about effectively reversing decades of progress in disease prevention by anti-vaxxers based on unfounded fears that go back at least to the 18th century. The Christian churches are back in politics with their big money completely ignoring a hard-fought separation of state and church. These unelected church bosses are advancing their extreme visions which deny equal rights for LGBTQ+ whilst at the same time hiding and denying the responsibility for committing sexual crimes against children, as they have always done. The reproductive health rights of women are under pressure and the human rights of immigrants and refugees are not being respected despite pleas from international human rights organizations. The hard-fought battle for autonomy is being depleted, not by The Hague, but because of our inability to correctly manage our own affairs. We have become immune, we accept and do not question our set of beliefs as citizens and keep voting for inept and corrupt politicians, even those who have been sentenced by independent courts.
What happened to us? Progress, social justice, and equality for all used to mean something. Leaders used to fight for equal rights and not discriminate against minority groups. We used to talk about inclusion, but now we separate groups into “us-and-them” and use it as a campaign promise. Curaçao used to be a shiny star in the Caribbean that few surpassed. We had leaders like Dr. da Costa Gomez who thought us to lean on the strength of our belief in progress. Now, too many politicians and influencers prefer to teach us to rely on fear, conspiracy theories, bigotry, and hate. Do we stay the course and perish slow?