A lot of folks, including your ever-optimistic Eyewitness, had hoped that “the younger generation” would’ve moved past the racial stereotypes that kept us blinkered over the last sixty years. But we’re now with our third “young generation” cohort and it’s clear we still haven’t moved off the starting blocks to view each other just as fellow citizens of our dear mudland.
In wake of the Dec 21, 2018 no-confidence motion, the racial invectives flew fast and furious, especially over social media. And this – dominated overwhelmingly by youths – was the tip-off to yours truly that it was deja vu all over again on the “race question”! The March 2 elections simply widened that divide, which is now alive and thriving, since it’s infected some folks whom your Eyewitness had hoped would’ve started to change the narrative.
Like the (comparatively) young lawyer Amanza Walton-Desir, who’d been attached for a decade in the Office of PM Hinds, and then the GCCA, before she decided to throw her hat into the (political) ring under the PNC banner. Your Eyewitness assumed that her advanced training and practice in the arcane field of Maritime Law would’ve matured her outlook on the race question. During the five-month defence of the Mingo rigging, she didn’t come off as strident, and because she was articulate and (let’s face it) easy on the eyes, she became a fixture on the social media platforms defending the PNC’s position. She was rewarded by Granger with an MP posting.
But here it is, your Eyewitness just viewed an interview in which she articulated a perspective on the “race question” that’s so backward in its premise and adumbration that it made your Eyewitness recoil in horror. Literally. Essentially, she insisted that “supporters of the PPP” (read Indians) are “a bunch of mentally lazy people who don’t think for themselves” and remain “trapped” without the power of “self-determination”. They just go along like automatons with whatever the PPP tells them – especially about PNC supporters (read African Guyanese) who will “rape their daughters”.
She contended to her enthusiastically nodding affirmative host, David Hinds: “Contrast this with the supporters of the PNC, who have a greater appreciation of the democratic process”, and therefore make their political decisions much more rationally. Never mind that, after 28 years of ruinous, dictatorial rule, 95% of African-Guyanese voted for the PNC in 1992, even though they also had a choice in the WPA. Or that it was the swing Indian-Guyanese vote for the AFC in Berbice that made the APNU/AFC WIN THE 2015 elections.
The (racial) mote has unfortunately grown into a plank in the young PNC leadership’s eyes! Cry, the beloved country!
…of older PNC leaders
While one may ruefully shake one’s head at Walton-Desir’s utterances, and concede her frank admission to naïveté, what’s Granger and Harmon’s excuse? Surely, they knew what would happen after they massed their faithful in front of the High Courts as Chief Justice George handed down her decision on their frivolous election petition. And so (expectedly) we had the march through Regent St – the trope for Indian-Guyanese economic “advantage”.
Wasn’t this a move on par with Granger’s shuttering of the four sugar estates and throwing 7000 workers onto the breadline? Surely, the PNC knows this only intensifies the movement of disenchanted Indian-Guyanese back under the PPP’s tent! And if this wasn’t enough, up came Harmon, who removed any doubt that the PNC doesn’t give a damn about reconciliation when he warned – after implying that Justice George was biased: “(The PNC) will not be held “responsible for the reaction of the victimised, disenfranchised, and marginalised masses.”
If this isn’t fire-stoking what is?
…on new DHB
So, we’re going to have new bids for Design, Build and Finance (DBF) option or a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain (DBFOM) option for the new fixed Demerara Harbour Bridge.
But no US firm prequalified?