Alumni plan YCLA boycott

| 22/03/2013

r-ALLEN-WEST-PATRICK-MURPHY-large570.jpg(CNS): On the eve of the YCLA gala news has broken that members of the alumni have objected to the selected key note speaker and plan to boycott the event after the board refused to listen to their concerns. Allen West, who has a controversial military history as well as a reputation for insulting a whole catalogue of minority groups, was described by the alumni as “notorious and divisive” and said that choosing him sent the wrong message about the leadership values promoted by the YCLA and what the board considers to be good leadership. The alumni are concerned that the board simply has not listened to their objections.

The annual awards ceremony, which is televised live at a glittering gala, has developed a reputation for inviting speakers on the far right of the US Republican party that are, as in this case, exceptionally controversial. In correspondence with the board, the YCLA alumni has pointed out that former Congressman West lost his seat recently, not least because of the offensive remarks made by him during his time in Congress about gays, Muslims, women, black people and other minority groups.

The alumni wrote to the board to say they are concerned about the reputational damage to the finalists to have such a notorious speaker on a night that should be about them and their accomplishments. 

“Some alumni are boycotting the event in protest at the lack of transparency with choosing keynote speakers and the continued Republican slant of past speakers that is not representative of the diversity of the alumni and finalists,” a spokesperson told CNS.

The alumni said they have expressed their concerns over the years to YCLA staff and board members as to the criteria of selecting keynote speakers, but nothing has been acknowledged and the selection of West suggests that the board has ignored the position of the alumni.

“Given that the goals of the Foundation are to recognise outstanding young Caymanians who are making a significant contribution to society and who, through their achievements and actions, serve as positive role models for the youth of Cayman, one would expect that the main criteria for selecting a key note speaker would be that they exhibit true characteristics of leadership or they have an inspirational message or personal story to share that will inspire others to make a positive difference,” the alumni said in its letter to the board.

“We are concerned that the selection of speakers like Mr West, who is known for divisiveness, sends the wrong message about the leadership values which are being promoted,” the group stated. 

They asked the board to give consideration to the concerns when selecting next year’s key note speaker, the criteria and process that it uses to select them and the effect that this has on the reputation of the YCLA organisation as a whole.

“We also hope that you will re-consider this year's choice of Mr West,” the group adds.

The event takes place on Saturday night at the Ritz Carlton when Michael Blackburn, Marzeta Bodden, Victor Crumbley, Melanie Scott and Shomari Scott will be chasing the title of Young Caymanian Leader this year.

CNS contacted YCLA to ask for comment regarding the question about the speaker and a spokesperson confirmed that the organisation hoped that in future the alumni would become much more involved with the organisation as a whole, as well as choosing speakers, but made no defence regarding the choice of West, who was accused of torture during his military service in Iraq.

Related article:

YCLA presents controversial keynote speaker

For more on the nominees got to the YCLA Facebook page

Category: Local News

Comments (87)

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  1. Anonymous says:

     

    Wow this  Debate is NOT about whether they were  good speakers or not .

    It seems to be about  the YCLA board chose a CONSERVATIVE'

     If that was the reasoning for he YCLA decision I say CONGRATULATIONS to the YCLA if they may their decision based on the Speakers Conservative lifestlye or views.

    See I have realised where areliving in a Era that  COnservative and Christian people are 

    considered  Bigots   . THat is sad . 

     Many have come  to our Shores and laughed , scoffed, rediculed our Moral Values.

    But yet  they are not living in their countries , where they have left friends and many families behind. So they have had to come  to our country to make a living!

     Lets get Biblical here : As that is  what I was raised  with and has shaped my life ( yet not being perfect) . I am NOT a drain on my society.  I ADD  money and good to my  community and country on a daily basis.

    The Bible said: " A nation that forget God will be destroyed" . In my life time , I dont know of any countries that have vanished off the map with flood or fire , or sunami's or hurricanes.   So he couldnt mean physically  seemingly. 

    But what I am confident of is : that we can  look at the Economies and  quality of life of many countries and look at the degredation, poverty , and  desolation of their economies 

    Simply look at other caribbean islands such as Haiti that deeply embraces : Woodoo( (witchcraft). Look at Cuba such a physiclally beautiful country . Yet look  at the  desolation of its people as they embrace Communism. Look at a physically beautiful Jamiaca . They are deeply enthrenched in Rastafarianism .  So many of its fine people have to  leave their precious families to come and work under all kinds of living conditions to make a dollare for their families back home.

    So I am  basically saying:  A nation that is of strong values and morals and respect for their maker is far better off .And again I state that is why we have about 55,000 living here

    And a native poplulation of only about 20,000 

    Our God fearing principles have bought many to our shores looking for a bettter way of life. Yet many of those same people have disrespected our Moral Values and Conservative belieft. But I ask the YCLA  Board to stand strong on their moral confiction .  If your guest speaker has spoken out against Gays. That is not a bad thing as God DESTROYED Sodom and Gomorroh because of that very same behaviour.

    And if  our people with Christian Values dont  stand Strong on their Moral Convictions he will destroy us too.

    • Rorschach says:

      So, what you are saying that it's okay to be bigot, as long as your a God fearing bigot??  It's okay to be a sexist as long as you are a conservative sexist?  It's okay to be intolerant as long as you wrap yourself in the cloak of religion and conservatism because they are inseperable according to yuor logic…well, I say BS…I am not a religious person..but I have a lot of respect for Billy Graham.  I have never heard him preach a message of hate, bitotry, sexism, or intolerance and yet, his message of love, and of God's expectation of us is very inspirational.   So, realise that not ALL Christian, conservative people are considered bigots or intolerant…only those that ACT that way…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the Native Caymanian Revolution 2013 & beyond  long live the Revolution !!!                                                    

  3. Just Sayin' says:

    I’d have preferred Herman Cain. Maybe next year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A lot of Caymanians like to criticise events after something is done but when the hard work needs to be done, they are not there.  Notice that they said that they wish that the alumini would be more involved.  If they are not involved and helping, then they should not have anything to say.

    Personally, I think that they should pick Caymanians as key note speakers.  I'm not an alumini so I can say that.  Our children need people to look up to.

  5. Baldric says:

    What's the fee? If they are looking for whackos Mrs B can stop taking her medication for a week and channel Hitler.

    • Anonymous says:

      Allen West as honoured keynot speaker? Really? What, have we run out of human beings?

       

      Cranial thickness is becoming a serious concern here. How can the YCLA organisers not see the problem of consistently choosing keynote speakers who are extreme conservatives? It's unnecessarily divisive and annoying to people who are genuninely interested in honouring and inspiring young Caymanians. Are you zealots so blinded by your political and religious delusions that you can't see this? After all the right-wing American freaks in previous years, now Allen West? Seriously? It's as if you are trying your best to outdo yourselves each year. Too bad Karl Rove charges so much for appearances, huh?

       

      Let's work through this together, YCLA organisers. I'll type slowly for you. Imagine, if you can, a national award event for, let's say, Caymanian teacher of the year. And here's the lineup of  keynote speakers for the first four years:

       

      Michael Moore

      Raul Castro

      Al Sharpton

      Nguyễn Phú Trọng (general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam)

       

      Given your confirmation-bias adled politicized brains, I bet you were able to instantly recognize how wrong that would be, right? Good, we're getting somewhere. This is how everyone who isn't an extreme conservative reacts to your repeated decisions to bring in right-wingers. Now do you understand?

       

      This shouldn't be so diffiucult. It's just a banquet for handing out a trophy, that's all. How can you keep screwing it up? Why can't you just chose speakers who are constructive and inspriational to all? Many such people do exist you know. Stop watching Fox News and read a book or check out the BBC. There's a big world out there. The one Rupert Murdoch and the preachers have you believing in is make believe. I know that sounds harsh, but it's not meant to be mean. It's the truth.

       

      By the way, why is that condemning prejudice and calling out bigots is immediately seen by conservatives as a liberal and Democrat position? Can't conservatives be decent people? Can't independents be for human rights? Can't Christians support equality for all?

       

       

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Michael Moore? Isn't he the guy who thinks that banks shouldn't be offering rifles to people opening bank accounts in the U.S.? And that the U.S. should actually  "join the rest of the civilised world" (Bill Clinton) in providing universal health care for all its inhabitants? 

        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly.  He is a communist with evil nasty proposals like that to fetter our freedom.  I want to live free in a country where I can be shot easily and then not be able to get healthcare to deal with the injuries.  I love my freedom so much.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes it does seem ironic that in the very place where the poor are most likely to suffer gun violence (the U.S.) they are the social group least likely to be able to access decent health care. What a banana republic!

  6. mccarron mclaughlin says:

    He's a military man, an infil-traitor (emphasis on “traitor”), part of the military industrial complex. He fooled everyone when he appeared on the scene, and since then, has been a big flop. Nothing has come of his time in government. A guy taking up space, producing no fruit. That tree should be cut down and another fruit-bearing tree should be planted in his place.

  7. noname says:

    I can hear from these comments that they are made by predominantly "Racists!"

    Right wing Republicans are known to hate any advancement or recognition of achievement by a strong educated conservative blackman who dares to speak out.

    Its the same Jim Crow racists ideology at work all over again.

    Racism in America has indeed come to the Cayman Islands.That 's what we get for

    these lax open door policy.

    Those haters of black people no longer wear white hoods and sheets ,making appearances in the woods at night, they are now wearing Vershachi and Armani  pin stripe suits, infiltrating our commercial and financial industry systems. Thats why our people who are of mixed race can't get hired for a job, 'cause the racists have taken over the Caymanian economy. What a pity. How are you going to get it back.?

    Had Allan West been a lily white sissy from Missippi, he'd be welcome with open arms!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure you are familiar with Allen West comments. It seems unlike you Allen West does not blame the colour of his skin for the failures of his race. Alllen West is a man of self determination who believes hard work and self worth will bring you to the top. From his peronal experience he is right. It seems you are like the rest looking for handouts and freebies. Blame the foreign for taking your job. You Sir are the failure of this society and the bigot. Look where you live all you bleeding heart liberals. You are the masters of your own destruction. Sometimes this CNS wants to make me puke wit their false headlines and left wing push. Look at the EU a complete and utter disaster. Sovereign nations giving up power to a corrupt and bureaucratic governmet government dictating policy. It really makes me sick. Self determination has be lost to the nanny state.  Liberals would boycott this because anyone who does believe what they believe is considered wrong or racist. No matter of colour. The have become what they have hated. They are the war mongers and the bigots. The are the drone strikers and torturers. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Goodness, you need a vacation. Aren't 99% of Caymanians "of mixed race"? Where, exactly, are you living, friend?

    • Nathan Bedford Forrest says:

      LILY WHITE MISSISSIPPIAN? Isn't that a racist comment??

    • Rorschach says:

      Say Wha??   West IS a  radical right wing Republican…you need to get out more…

  8. Anonymous says:

    I'd like to know what he is being paid, including his expenses at the Ritz and otherwise, and how much money YCLA receives from our government coffers to fund themselves and their extravaganzas. I bet it's enough to fund a scholarship or two.  

    • Anonymous says:

      What gives you the idea that the YCLA receives ANYTHING from the govt.?

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you have proof otherwise?

        • Anonymous says:

          lol. So you get to make ridiculous charges then someone else has to DISPROVE them? You need your head examined. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are clearly possessed of an enquiring mind, and perhaps for good reason.

  9. Cayman GT says:

    Dear “I happened to have met Lt” : what are YOU nuts!?! This. Man was voted the craziest person in Congress and after torturing a prisoner by shooting a round over his head during a death threat while under interaction (well documented and confirmed!) read the Miami Herald article published excerpts on the Porn letter and demands he made of his wife? And top it off with his racist quotes to the media and you have the perfect wacko poster boy for the worst possible person for our YCLA leaders to emulate!

    Sorry (YCLA) organizers Melissa and Jackie- you missed far of the mark this time badly and should rethink forcing a far-sided political agenda at this youth leaders event!?! Shame on you! I have been EVERY year and MY seat with my husband will be empty tonight! We decide to do the charity beach walk instead tonight.

  10. Anonymous says:

    JC,

     

    You may also be of the same extreme right wing views as the YCLA board – but that does not mean that everyone else in Cayman is. 

     

     

     

     

     

  11. Philo the Philopher says:

    What do we expect when we let others organize every event such as this. Caymanians have this idea that anyone from the United States who has held political office or who has been in the lime light of the upper echelons of society are the kind of people we should use to inspire our kids at these functions.

    We, {unlike other Caribbean Islands} seem to forget the achievements  our own outstanding men and women who have  excelled in their professions.   There are  Doctors, Accountants, Pilots, Bankers, Inventors, Architects, Movie Directors and on and on we could go.

    Stop the BS and invite these persons to speak at these types of functions! I'm sure that our young Caymanians will be a lot more impressed with these men and women than with someone whom they have no idea as to their background and or childhood experiences which is likely to be much different from our own.  Give these young people the right attitude by showing them that WE can achieve anything if we work together.

    Our mantra should be "CAMANIANS CAN"!  Stop teaching our kids that they have to emulate others. We are Caymanians, we are known for our congeniality and our welcoming attitude among other wonderful social traits, and we welcome all those  who come here and work with us for the benefit of us all. But we don't need, nor do we want  to be told by others how to do everything.

    Let us start a new trend among our young people by telling each other that  "CAYMANIANS CAN".

    • Anonymous says:

      You were doing fine til you put "Cayman Can".  Why does everything have to be about Obama?  Can't we have sayings of ourselves?  All we do is copycat everybody.  I have just realized lately that everything we call our heritage is actually some other country's heritage.  Look into all the things taht we say is Caymanian and it really isn't.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Poor choice!!  

    Don't tell me we couldn't find someone with better views that Allen West, he is insults everything under the sun. The man is whacko.

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mac, Ellio, Allen West……boycott any speaker with that hair style!

  14. JC Calhoun says:

     

    I happen to have met Lt Col Allen West (Ret) on a number of occasions and i would like to congratulate the YCLA Board for making the best possible choice for a Keynote Speaker this year.  In fact I was pleasantly surprised that they were willing to pick an individual who is known for being honest, disciplined and being a man of his word rather than some Media Darling best known for being Politically Correct. 

     If Col. West is "divisive" it is because he consistantly opposes the lack of honour and lack of accountability and the sense of entitlement which has permeated society worldwide.  He does so, because  as a black man he understands what it takes for a minority to succeed and constantly challenges others within his race to choose pride and hard work over Government handouts.

    Col. West understands that along with rights come responsibilities.  Responsibilities to ourselves, and our spouses, our children and our neighbors, and our countrymen, and in his case, also his fellow soldiers.  Too many people today scream for their rights and then duck their responsibilities.  That is one of the main reasons the world is in such a mess in my view. If we all did our part, instead of expecting the next guy or the Government to do it, the world, and our country, would be a much better place.

    As for the detractors of Col. West, great men have always had their detractors, especially those who took a stand against evil.  Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher comeimmediately to mind. Evil is often camoflaged – as in the form of a Liberal election opponent named Patrick Murphy who ostensibly stole the last election from Col. West in Florida. Sometimes it is in the form of a journalist who has no conception of what war is really like and yet feels justified in judging the actions of someone who is making decisions under circumstances which they could never possibly understand.

    I am sad.  Sad that a man as honorable as Col. West has to endure such unwarranted criticism.  And I am sad, and disappointed at whoever the YCLA Alumni are.  From them, I would have expected more research, and an appreciation of important personal values.  Values necessary to become a future leader – of anything.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      JC I respect you for not hiding behind an alias but I am afraid your right wing Republican philosophy that always simmers beneath your real estate newsletter is revealed in your post. Linking this dreadful man with Churchill and Thatcher (both great but with massive faults) cannot elevate him above the tawdry Fox News level he is at.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thatcher and Churchill were both bought and paid for. I don't know JC, but I would you suggest you leave out the subtle criticisms of his work. Just like you, we all need a job. Leave off!

        • Anonymous says:

          What a stupid comment 15;32. I hope you had had a few drinks so we can excuse your inane and inarticulate post.

    • Whodatis says:

      "He does so, because as a black man he understands what it takes for a minority to succeed and constantly challenges others within his race to choose pride and hard work over Government handouts."

      Really? Really??!!

      Yes … no members of the white "majority" of the USA, UK and EU ever sit on their asses at home and live on the dole – right?

      (I suggest you take a closer look at the statstics, my friend.)

      Shame on you.

      You have been living in this country for years, yet somehow, not only do you express such biased and racist comments, but you also seem to believe that they somehow apply or are relevant to this society.

      In any event, none of the above is very surprising.

      • Diogenes says:

        I thnk you will find on re examination that the reference to members of one minority not choosing hard work does not mean by extension that members of the majority or indeed any other minority are not gulty of the same issue.  All that it means in this context is that Allen is confining his observations to members of his own race .  Ask your self if you would have been equally outraged if he had referred to Inuit, or disabled people, or Jews – and if the answer s no, then perhaps you need to have a talk with yourself about whether your outrage is logical or consistent.  There are plenty of issues you can raise in relation to Allen without reaching for the race card.  

    • Anonymous says:

      JC you should be ashamed of yourself. A man like Mr West, famous for offending Jews and  women to name a few. It is his type of politics that has almost brought Cayman to its knees, thoughtless antagonism and vitriol. Here you are sad, well I'm shocked and saddened to see someone who should know better letting politics get in the way of reason. And to think you are involved with YMCA locally – I know where not to send my kids – lest they become intolerant biggots.

    • Pull me says:

      No JC, evil is most often camoflaged in the form of an overtly religious conservative who preaches hate and division in the name of God. If you can't see that, please look again.

       

      How you can think of this man as great and honourable is stunning. How you can view him as appropriate to speak at a Caymanian national event is bizarre.

    • noname says:

      So sad to see good people rush to defend bad people.

       

      The next time you are choosing a hero try to keep this quote in mind:

       

      "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

      –Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner

    • Caymanian Voter says:

      JC please do some web research on this man’s record before you swallow his BS.
      We thought better of you.

    • What's Going On? says:

      Well said JC. Amazing from the comments how so many will come up with every rationalization in the world to discriminate and hide their true colors.  Albeit sometimes in great part due to their own lack of understanding or outright ignorance of what is right.  Still others just hate when someone takes the high road and tells the truth. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Pardon me. Margaret Thatcher? Wasn't she the British PM who entertained that Chilian mass murderer Pinochet to tea at Downing Steet? Or didn't that come immediately to your mind? You need to research your heroes a bit more, as a responsibility owed to his victims if nothing else. Where is your sense of history? Think! Think! Think!

    • Rorschach says:

      What I wanna know is how the HECK do YOU know what he understands, "as a black man"??

    • Anonymous says:

      this seems odd for a function called the 'young Caymanian leadership award'.  how is it possible that YCLA has managed to bring in speakers over the years that seem to be aligned with just one party in the United States? surely the board of YCLA must have a different priority in mind than 'Young Caymanians' if they bring down speakers that are from the US republican party.  How odd!  This seems to be a bad judgement call on the board of YCLA's part and for all those persons that continue to pour their money into this agenda. Time to wise up and put your money to better use. Having said that congrats to all of those that have been recognised for what it is worth.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Who chose this loser?

  16. Pull me says:

    What, David Duke and Sheriff Joe Arpaio weren't available that weekend?

    Something is seriously wrong with the YCLA organisers and always has been. Why do they insist on bringing in the most polarizing right-wing whackos for an event that is supposed to be about the youth of Cayman? This feels very much like some lunatic fringe organization with an agenda beyond honoring and inspiring young people. 

     

    Not that anything is wrong with fringe lunatics. Every free society needs them to spice things up. But the YCLA leaders ought to be honest and open about who they are.

    Their track record is clear: 

    Oliver North, Mike Huckabee, Steve Douchey (empty suit on Fox News), some preacher who was passionately anti-gay, and others who push extreme conservativism. These are only the ones who I can remember off the top of my head. There were others who raised eye brows.

     

    Look, clearly you YCLA people have no clue so let me help you. The problem isnot even that you coose so many extremist conservative speakers. It would be a problem if you chose extremist communist speakers 90 percent of the time. What's wrong is that this is supposed to be an open competition for Cayman. As far as I can tell, you never presented this as some sort of Republican Youth Rally designed to promote the Dark Ages. Is that what you are going for? If so, just let us know.

     

    1. If you want your event to be national in scope and welcoming to all in Cayman, then you either have to balance your speakers or admit that this is a harshly conservative banquet for conservatives and bigotry will be on the menu. Then those who want to take part will at least know what they are signing up for. 

     

    2. You could always alternate your extremist speakers, taking turns by plucking them from both sides of the political spectrum. That way you would fairly alienate and repulse alternating portions of your audience. (why you would want to, I have no idea)

     

    3. Or, here's a crazy thought, how about bringing in brilliant speakers who aren't hate-filled or morons of any particular political fringe? Why not just bring in people who have contributed something to the world other than hate, ignorance and divisiveness? Maybe seek speakers who have something productive to say, don't have a ton of hate baggage from their past words, and are capable of inspiring young people? Wow, what a concept.  

     

    It's scary to imagine that each year there are meetings taking place in Cayman with a group of YCLA organizers who sit around and choose these kinds of people over and over.

     

    "Okay, guys, we need some names. Who are we getting to speak next year? I'm sad to say that our first choice, Pinochet's former butler, won't be able to do it because he's getting his back waxed that weekend. So come on, who can we get to speak to Cayman's brightest youth?"

     

    "Hey, I know! Let's see if we can get that excongressman with obvious issues, you know, the one who is always bashing gays, Muslims and women. He'd be swell. a perfect role model."

     

    "Great idea! I'll make some calls!"

     

    "Great job, people. Oh, and for next year how about we start working on Ernst Zundel. If we book him early we can get a jump on marketing."

     

    "Cool beans! Will do."

     

     

    (so creepy… )

     

     

    • Talk about Creepy says:

      "Whackos" "Fringe Lunatics" "Divisive" All catch phrases. Seem like an ignorant reply if ever there was one. If Alan West did extract information from a prisoner during wartime that was most likely from a murdering terrorist. It's still OK for american liberals to legally KILL babies every minute of every day of the year going on 40 years now? The Culture of Death the American Liberals promote and protect by smearing Repulican watchdogs is far more controversial and disgusting! Mindless Hypocrisy!!!!   Mentalities such as this only prove the cowardly hate for those with no voice. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, but if you notice, most posts are not bringing up West's torture incident. In fairness to him, if we were to start condemning war crimes, he'd have to get to the back of a long line of many people, one that includes Bush, Cheney and Obama.

         

        The problem here is his overall message of extreme right wing fundamentalist Christianity. He may be a big draw for mean people and those who hold to various prejudices against Muslims, women and gays, but for the rest of us he's repuslive and innappropriate for this event–just as most ofthe YCLA keynote speakers have been from day one.

         

        Clearly we need to cut the feed for Fox News and keep it out of Cayman because it has turned too many brains soft here. (just a joke. I'm not really calling for censorship. That's what you guys do)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for all the hardworking underpaid people in this country that never are appreciated for their efforts, simply because they are not born in wealth, were not able to study, are not blessed with an oversized ego but DO care for others.

    Inviting right wing republicans is an insult to the majority of this country of non-white people.

     

     

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Alumni for taking a stand, this man's views are offensive to so many. It is shameful that such a great cause, YCLA would bring this mentality into it's fray. I totally agree this sends the wrong message to the youth of Cayman. With the simpliest internet search the board can see what he stands for, how could they approve of this? I wish all the nominees the best of luck and hope their actions are not over shadowed by this mad man.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t the group who object give their names. This is suggesting that all the alumni are against the speaker. I know a number of alumni, including myself, who do not object to his being speaker. Why they all have to make this and them the story of the night, when the focus should be on the five finalists is deplorable. I have no issue if they have a problem with the selection but why make it a top CNS headline and take the limelight away from the five finalists who are looking forward to their big night. Absolute selfishness in my opinion……..and political posturing by one of the alumni who is running in the election. Disgraceful.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think the alumni concerns are warranted. I eyed the announcement of this year’s speaker with equal concern. It often seems to me that speakers are chosen based on personal ideals and can send the wrong message. Perhaps the organisation could instead consider deploying a selection method using the votes of members/alumni throughout the preceding year?

    I should add that I have no connection to any of this. Just an outsider looking in, and making an observation.

  21. Anonymous says:

     

    This is not the type of so called leader that any sensible community should embrace.  Here in Florida, we realized our mistake and sent him to the unemployment line a few months ago.  Are you actually going to pay him as a reward for spouting such extremest view in the hope that our young people would behave similarly?  Seriously?

    If you want to know why he is unemployed, read this:

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/02/16/417174/allen-west-15-worst-quotes/?mobile=nc

     

    • Anonymous says:

      This website is a left wing propoganda machine, you expect it to say something positive and truthful about an American patriot? I hope all Floridians are not as narrow-minded as you are.  Seek truth and pursue it.  You could learn valuable lessons from Lt. Col. Allen West if you did your own independent research on him.  But then again that would require you to make an effort and clearly you and your "think progress" crowd are too "entitlement minded" to get off your lazy arses to do anything for yourselves.  Yes, Lt. Col. Allen West could tell you a lot about what hard work entails.  And what it means to go out in the line of fire to defend his country which meant protecting your ungrateful arses as well. Show some patriotism and gratitude for a change. 

      • Rorschach says:

        Show some patriotism and gratitude for a change.

         

        Like You??  Remember always..the last refugeof scoundrels is PATRIOTISM!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow, anything other than the far right holding sway here in Cayman! Next thing we'll be seeing is something called a "trade Union", or even a "human rights" organisation.

  23. Mel McCoy says:

    People like West should never even be welcomed as a Tourist in Grand Cayman let alone speak at such an event.

    He has never been successful at anything,unbelievable!Oliver North and now West.

    But this is the Cayman that we have become, as I recall George Bush was here during

    the U.S elections speaking to a group at the Ritz about Fiscal Management and Finance.

    Who's next Dick Cheeny?Sarah Palin?

    We are such a confused Nation.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The committee should be ashamed of this awful decision and resign.  This man should not be allowed into Cayman let alone speak in public. 

    • noname says:

      If anyone should not be allowed into the Cayman Islands it would be the asinine liberals and trolls who have taken over computer screens all over the world…but are too cowardly to state their case in public.

      • Anonymous says:

        What exactly is a "troll"? I genuinely don't know. Also, how does one "take over" computer screens?

        • Rorschach says:

          No to mention the fact that they have to say everything 4 TIMES..

          • Anonymous says:

            If you bothered to read the CNS comment policy, CNS is in charge of publishing all posts. Maybe they made a mistake. Seen this before.  Sorry if they are not perfect.

    • noname says:

      If anyone should not be allowed into the Cayman Islands it would be the asinine liberals and trolls who have taken over computer screens all over the world…but are too cowardly to state their case in public.

    • noname says:

      If anyone should not be allowed into the Cayman Islands it would be the asinine liberals and trolls who have taken over computer screens all over the world…but are too cowardly to state their case in public.

    • noname says:

      If anyone should not be allowed into the Cayman Islands it would be the asinine liberals and trolls who have taken over computer screens all over the world…but are too cowardly to state their case in public.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Bravo!

  26. Anonymous says:

    a little late, and a bit much, complaining about him now,  isn't it?     Allen West's name was announced weeks ago. There is no doubting the man is courageous. Leaders are outspoken. Hearing him as a speaker doesn't mean you agree with everything he says.   

  27. Anonymous says:

    Clearly the alumni would rather listen to President Obama speak. Unfortunately for Cayman, the alumni are not mature enough to entertain someone with different views. Being divisive could mean you actually stand for something, as opposed to some whose words differ greatly for thei actions. I don’t agree with everything Mr. West or President Obama have said but I would gladding listen to either one of them speak.  For our youth sake, the alumni needs to grow up. Please?

  28. Anonymous says:

    FInally! 

    Thank you YCLA Alumni for standing up. 

    Unfortunately the quality of the YCLA board is not and never has been near the calibre of the Young Caymanian Leadership Nominees. 

    I have always been appauled at thier choice of speakers. 

    It seems as if they are intentionally trying to shove thier born again right wing views down our throat. 

    And the speakers certainly do not reflect the inteligence, sophistication and diversity of our Young Caymanian Leaders. 

    They invite and celebrate war criminals (Oliver North) – Oh but he's born again! Don't worry folks – you can do horrible things as a leader once you ask for forgiveness afterwards. 

    And now this right wing tea party extremist!?

    Young Caymanian Leaders –  You have made us proud. 

     

  29. Slowpoke says:

    What is the problem here?  Why should psychotic sociopaths not have a voice at the YCLA ceremony?  It would be discriminatory to restrict this opportunity to only sane people.

  30. Whodatis says:

    I for one am very pleased to learn of this boycott.

    Whoever is at the helm of this organisation ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    The committee of YCLA should strongly reconsider this decision as they are running a great risk of destroying what is / was a relatively decent award programme.

    Actually, this latest hiccup only serves to clarify my nagging suspicions regarding certain aspects of this organisation / program.

    I encourage the boycotting alumni to stand firm to their decision as they will receive much support from the (informed) wider public in this regard.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I’m boycotting too. I’d rather go to the PPM Conference to listen to their plans for our country than to listen to the nut-job divisionest Allan West!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thank God some of the alumni have spoken out about the poor choice of a keynote speaker. The continued far right slant of past keynote speakers had me seriously rethinking my thoughts on the YCLA altogether. I certainly WON’T be attending tomorrow night.

  33. Anonymous says:

    only in Cayman would we see this crap take place. A war criminal? he should fit right in here

  34. Learning never stops says:

    The YCLA Alumni should be successful and intelligent enough to recognize this fine man was the victim of an unrelenting racist smear campaign.  Seems like they do not do enough reading nor do they follow international matters enough to discern the truth from fiction.  But like many Americans perhaps they are blinded by the intolerant, hypocritical, close minded liberal media the United States is famous for, especially on the National level.  Mr. West is a fine Black American who served his country in a capacity that the majority of young Caymanians, especially in this era, will never understand.  They may however take inspiration in the fact that they, like he, are a minority within a minority in their own country, but yet he perseveres. For in the United States it is fine and politically correct to be a Black person in America, however as the leftist liberal media controls the airwaves in Mr. West’s native country, it is not fine (with the liberals) to be Black, Republican, truthful and looking out for the best interests of all of your fellow countrymen and women. 

  35. Good Grief says:

    Are they serious?!?! Not that clown. What a waste of money to sit and listen to him.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I guess this politically motivated awards ceremony has run its course and should now come to an end.

  37. Anonymous says:

    What BS.