Guyanese must flex their power to cancel careers of politicians who spew race hate – AG

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Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall

Career failure is looming for those politicians who continue to spew race hate and division among citizens, Attorney General Anil Nandlall has warned, noting that many Guyanese were now rejecting this kind of politics.

Also forthcoming are legal consequences for those who had a role to play in the recent violence which erupted along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) which resulted in the destruction of public and private property and severe emotional trauma for many.

Investigations

Speaking during his programme “Issues in the News”, the Attorney General revealed that investigations were ongoing locally and outside of Guyana with respect to the mayhem along the ECD.

Noting that there were deliberate attempts to “incite, ensnare and encourage thousands of Guyanese” to partake in “riotous and terroristic activities”, the Attorney General warned that “those persons who were doing so in the United States of America, on social media in Guyana and who were also present and who, even after the violence, continued along this path to encourage more illegality and more criminality, those persons’ conduct and utterances are also under review, not only by law enforcement agencies in Guyana but also outside of Guyana.”

“And they also will be dealt with by the full force of the law…We ask for patience. The investigations are ongoing,” Nandlall stated.
He also reminded that Guyana’s laws create offences in respect to racial hostility and warned that recent utterances by certain politicians are also under review. He contended that certain utterances can no longer be considered just “irresponsible” statements by politicians.

“This is incendiary and inflammatory utterances in a country where there are ethnic issues like Guyana, they can have combustive impacts and [Opposition Leader] Mr Norton cannot be unaware of these implications, Mr Christopher Jones cannot be unaware of these implications…,” Nandlall posited.

Race hate, division

Nandlall lamented that some parliamentarians wanted to continue the disturbances along the ECD by organising a Day of Protest on Monday in Buxton. Fortunately, he indicated, those desires were rejected by the people and countered by a massive ministerial outreach to the community which scores of residents attended.

Nevertheless, the AG bemoaned the reality that many politicians continue to racially incite Guyanese.

“I listened with absolute shock to Mr Christopher Jones, a person whom I have some regard for, and I listened to the level of racism to which he descended on camera and if these guys are saying these things on camera, just imagine what they are saying when the camera is off…and here the guy is telling the people in Buxton and the youths in Buxton that they can’t get jobs because they’re Black…they can’t get a loan at the bank because they’re Afro-Guyanese, they can’t get contracts because they’re Afro-Guyanese,” Nandlall explained.

“And I can take you to tens of thousands of Indian Guyanese who also can’t get loan at the bank, who also are not getting contracts, who also are now getting jobs…David Hinds, a supposedly educated man, is standing next to Christopher Jones as he is making these utterances.”

“Christopher Jones was in office for five years. He had a very powerful position, he was the Director of Youth and Sports, name one single thing that he did for the Afro-Guyanese youths in Buxton to who he was preaching,” the AG contended.

He also pointed out that Hinds, a member of the Working Peoples’ Alliance (WPA) who was in Government for the same period, did nothing to uplift the lives of the Afro-Guyanese population.

“David Hinds has been speaking about Black empowerment from since Noah was a little boy, let David Hinds name one single policy, one single strategy, one single project of substance that he has ever done for the people of Buxton or for Black people anywhere in this country,” the AG said.

Against this backdrop, Nandlall bemoaned that “every time these guys open their mouth, it is about division, it is about putting hate into young peoples’ minds, putting anger into their minds…divisive politics and hate they spew every time they speak.”

He highlighted too that every time certain politicians encourage persons to come out on the roads and participate in violent and dangerous activities, it must be noted that those very politicians would never put their own families in such situations.

“As someone said, you would never see those very leaders who are putting other peoples’ children in danger, you would never see their children being on the road.”

“The Opposition has reduced themselves to such an extent that they have nothing to which they can make reference to make a constructive dialogue anymore, they have deteriorated to the lowest end,” Nandlall added.

Career failures

This type of politics, Nandlall reasoned, has no place in a modern Guyana. And he believes Guyanese are realising that.

“Guyanese are mature, Guyanese are sensible, Guyanese are now looking at issues and they will not be herded like cattle by leaders who preach race and race baiting; they will not fall prey to racial incitement anymore,” he posited.

“Once Guyanese start to behave in that manner, that is the end of the career of those politicians because the career of those politicians are based upon the existence of a gullible uneducated population who they can exploit on racist and racial grounds.”

And he posited that what he saw demonstrated on Monday in Buxton is the people of that and surrounding communities taking the “dignified, edified and educated route”.

“They did not lend themselves to be manipulated, used and abused by those politicians,” the AG explained.

He further reasoned that no matter the outcome of the investigations into these types of politicians, the litmus test would ultimately be the will of the Guyanese people.

“To the Guyanese people I’m speaking, are you going to support a political leader or a political leadership that…advocates that degree of degradation and that degree of racism and hate-mongering and division in your country? You have to make up your mind because if tomorrow you decide as a people that you don’t want that type of leadership and leaders, then that is the end of their careers,” Nandlall explained.

“You could determine whether they would continue as politicians or you will determine whether they exit public life, because without you, the people, they have nothing, and they literally have nothing…other than your support.”