THE IMPERATIVE OF REVIVING OUR REPUBLICANISM

It’s not such a clinical condition like it is one of deep seated psychological resentment.
I have an allergic reaction to words that are loosely masked, sparingly clad, attempt to hide racist remarks. I actually I see them as deliberate, as bait, as very scripted attacks.

I know there are those who will say we need to move past racialized politics. I actually agree but in this area, I want to be magnanimous. I want to give the other person the chance to go through that door first, you know, like you open the door and usher the person next to you through? I want to be that mannerly, socialized individual – if only for addressing the politics of race and the assignment of ‘blame’ for the socio economic degeneracy of our country .

And, I offer my counter perspective only from a common sense point view. I am not partisan, not affiliated with any interest group. I am just a pure, unadulterated Guyanese who remains dedicated to setting the record straight when it comes to flagrant attacks on large swaths of people that I just happen to be part of.

Now, on to case in point.

There is an Editorial in a news organ that has somehow snagged the words beacon and truth into its tag line.

It offers a very scorned salute to the nation on its 46th birthday of Republicanism, referring to the normal celebrations of the day as a “vulgar street parade”, then peppering this celebratory message with phrases like ‘disregard for decency and cultural degeneracy’.

It’s not difficult to determine of whom, of which demographic, this editor speaks, especially when, as an extension of his assessment, he refers to the “irony of Burnham taking Guyana into Republicanism”.

And this is where my allergy kicks in  because it tends to be triggered by the formation of words that have been shaped to paint a set of people the color of one.

The editorial places Guyana’s socio economic demise on President Burnham, a president who has been out of office for three decades. And, as these blame games go, there is a color association with it so that every one of a particular hue and sociopolitical affiliation is automatically painted with the same brush.

The questions thus become, how, after thirty years, is President Burnham still being blamed for Guyana’s failure, even after the last regime was in dictatorial control for twenty three of those years? How can it be said that Burnham presided over the country’s most brutal dictatorship when Guyana is still answering Amnesty International’s query into Guyana’s extra judicial and arbitrary killings, estimated conservatively at hundreds, that occurred well after this president’s death? And how does he get blamed for the country’s lawlessness, when it is under PPP rule the country ranked 134 out of 178 on the corruption index, became a stabilized hub for narcotics, weapons and people trafficking and had to, as a requirement for its continued membership in the international community, comply with money laundering laws and establish a  local office for the US Drug Enforcement Agency?

Wasn’t it under PPP rule that Guyana plummeted to the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and ranked amongst the countries with the highest incidents of aids? And it was ranked the most corrupt English speaking country in the carribean, for consecutive years under the PPP. We understand blaming the other party and the other demographic is a learned default, as is ascribing lewd and degenerate behavior to them but there are pictures of Presidents from the PPP that are decidedly unbecoming, lewd and lascivious that will never be found in the archives of photos of Forbes Burnham and, I will guarantee, David Granger. So it seems vulgar disregard for decency and lawfulness is not the baggage of the specific group of Guyanese that the PPP keeps pointing to.

We understand that Republicanism is government for the people exercised by their elected officials. Inherent in this is the element of civic virtue whereby citizens and their elected officials work towards the common welfare of communities even, and particularly, at the expense of their individual interests. Fairness and integrity are expected, as is judicial uprightness and a moral commitment to simply doing what is right

So, it follows that it is the efforts of a non dictatorial government and its people who make the Republic function for its purpose.

And only to the extent that the government is not a dictatorship, can the people even get an opportunity to go to the polls, much more eject them so it is a little pretentious to assert that Guyanese preside over their own destruction and underdevelopment.

This is a new Administration, just ten months old but already the designated snipers and hired maligners are calling it corrupt and finding that ministries are frauds. Of course we are tempted to respond by citing ministries under the previous regime, like Home Affairs which would have better identified under Murder for Hire but we’ll pretend we didn’t hear that, and assert that the Social Cohesion they scoff at is the building block to the social divide they perpetuate.

We have been fortunate to have gotten this chance to see a change of government. With that reprieve comes the opportunity for us to participate in our governance, with the greatest step being the restoration of Local government Elections. This is the first time in our history that we have managed to cross the bridge to ethnic and political coalition. With this government, we have the chance to realize the promises of the democracy a Republic signifies.

Those who choose to celebrate our Republic Anniversary are those who actually have it right.
Showing this level of national pride is a  perfect fit for what is needed to regenerate our nation.

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