Reader’s Letter 3: Advice to Social Activist Eldridge Van Putten

POSTED: 02/28/11 12:28 PM

Dear Mr. Editor,

Can you please permit me to give some advice to the social activist Mr. Eldridge Van Putten? With all respect I understand your purposes for a signature drive. But let’s be realistic, a signature drive does not make a government resign much less hold new elections. I will like to know what your real objective is. Why do you waste time on a project which is destined to fail?

The people of St. Maarten voted for a government that they are very happy with and if they do not appreciate their leadership the next four years they will be voted out. You should stop wasting time on a mission, which is a bridge to nowhere. I admire you for your courage to stand up for what you believe in. But if the people you are fighting for do not see or share your vision, you will end up with the short end of the stick. To be an effective social activist you must gain people’s trust first and your police record should be clean of criminality. You can go to jail many times for a good cause as long it is not for criminal act. Please do not get me wrong I am not trying to insult you, I am merely stating, only defend or fight for a people that will appreciate you genuinely, but do not fight a war that if you attain success that you will be neglected and not be recognized.

People living in St. Maarten, be it foreigners or Dutch citizens of St. Maarten, are very hypocritical; they will use you and then spit you out when your services are no longer needed. Your vision should be for people who are going through the same pains as you and that are suffering the same problems from the present government that you are going through. When you have a common bond then your goal and vision become the same. Then you can let your activism kick in, because your pain, vision and suffering will be backed by people who are true to the struggle. Do not let anybody set you up to do their dirty work.

The St. Maarten people are victimized by their government they continue to vote for, so why waste your time. Your activism should be to educate the people to stop selling their vote. If you want to change St. Maarten you should get in touch with all young people between the ages of 17 to 25, because they are feeling the most pain and will march with you through Front Street for their rights. Many of them have no job, no hope and children to feed and no government help. Only the suffering who is feeling real pain will march for they will be the real soldiers for change, any other people especially the older is a waste of time. A demonstration is a form of nonviolent action by groups of people in favor of a political or other cause.
As I told you from before a signature drive is a cause you initiated. It does not mean people are on the same frequency as you. When you go to war go to win or do not go at all. To be a successful activist let your followers share the burden by giving them tasks to do. From the moment you hear excuses or I can’t do that you’re all alone. True activism has to come from the heart.

Mr. Eldrige Van Putten go home to your family, rest yourself and stop wasting your time. Let every person in St. Maarten carry their own cross. When their cross is too heavy and they feel your pain then you know the time for demonstration draws near. Let the people suffer more until they beg for your help, then it is your time to be activated. I hope you take these words seriously or else you will be only making a fool of yourself.
Thanks for your time.

Vernon Lake

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