That so many will take this national tragedy, this international shame and make it a cavalier recount of loss of life, complete with conclusion that the reward of fiery death was befitting of the crimes committed by those who perished, confirms that base antisocial thinking remains the default position for many whose intellectual growth was stunted by the politics of sociopolitical division.
In trying to figure out how this could even be a school thought, I am trying to determine how those whose journal pieces, those who use the ‘live by die by the sword analogy’, would account for prisoners having access to matches and flammables; why was there no fire hose, no flame retardants in the units that burnt and if there were, why weren’t they enough to prevent the tragedy; why, after the first fire- since there are reports that several small fires were set – a request for enough law enforcement back up was not made, and if that was done why were they not dispatched in timely fashion, why, if there is an efficient evacuation plan, why was it not implemented.
The point of making these queries is to inject some commonsense into the judgmental pool of idiotic conclusions that are being drawn by so many who want to see an improvement in the administrative conduct of our country; who condemn crime but acknowledge that crime is a direct result of economic strangulation; who scream justice but feel that it should only be extended to the more glamorous causes, the ones that are not complicated by need and survival and lack and systemic strangulation.
And, this appeal to our humanity is not to be confused with support for criminal activity.
We are supposed to be a part of the civilized world where the moral dilemma of putting a person to death is balanced by the laws we uphold, not by the singular sentiments of those who feel that condemnation to death is a personal weapon, a solution to remove political opponents, large swaths of people that they don’t like.
We are already in the spotlight for these deaths which can run the gamut of murder to manslaughter; even suicide. And posting graphic pictures of men roasted by flame only speaks to a demented kind of celebration – a reptilian hold over in our brains which would pre dispose us to to the gleeful appreciation of this savagery.
And, the callous conclusions of blame and assignment of fault land us in the lower percentile of social advancement.
The fact is, mass deaths occurred when these human beings, these citizens, were wards of the state and that makes the state culpable.
For all those who feel some form of vindication, who feel that there is some karmic value to this tragedy, who even see some poetic justice in the way some of these victims died, I say Guyana is a country of laws and the law is neutral and applies to all; bond or free. We would want that if it were our family members or even if we were to be in that situation ourselves.
So let’s leave the barbarism, the sub humanism, the ostentatious printing of graphic pictures of men fried by flames, the callous disregard for life, out of our analyses, lest we look worst than we already look to those countries that sit next to us at the international table.
We’re still a country of ethics.
These prisoners who lost their lives were victims and mourning the tragedy requires that we stand in solidarity and mourn for the victims; for ALL of the victims.