The panacea won’t be the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
And we’re not saying this to diminish the footprint this organization has in reducing and then removing structural racism.
We know the role it played in the 70’s to dismantle the Apartheid System that fueled South Africa – from forcing the US Government to withdraw financial support to the racist South African (SA) Government, demanding divestment by major organizations from South Africa’s economy, to fighting against its monetary support through loans from banks which dealt with/within America.
But that campaign began on a foundation. It was constructed by Nelson Mandela who didn’t sit in prison from 1964 and wallow in sorrow but used the communication underground to inspire his country men to stay engaged in achieving the ultimate – the outlawing of their exclusion from the norms of society.
It was Politicking in the most dangerous of times, combined with unbudging commitment to the duty of leadership and the unmitigated zeal of a politician whose goal was to succeed by giving selflessly to the cause he was invested in.
And it was this, in part, that motivated the CBC to bring his cause to the attention of, then, President Jimmy Carter creating one of the touchstones of political effort in the history of the Caucus, with a resulting success now considered a road map when their help is being sought.
More recently, its bonafides have been burnished in advancing the Global Black Community…an elevation of but beyond race, through policy and political mobilization which it designs based on a working model and US policy.
And all this is necessary recall as we read of the embarrassing descent of this noble organization into the circus of the cringe -worthy…in the name of assisting Guyana.
The spectacle is multi pronged.
The Disinformation Olympics, that’s purportedly journalism on Guyana’s perpetual political predicament, has already deployed the dueling interpretations of reporting outlets –official and quasi– to smear the listening space with partisan analyses of two very uncomplicated meetings, for mass public acceptance.
Dispute and Inaccuracies, the primary characters of Guyana’s political news, are simply misleading their two audiences – PPP and Coalition – which leaves the total electorate misinformed and unaware. An education in Guyana during the 70’s is the kind of writers’ gold that buttresses our inspiration to document these things.
Who can forget Shakespeare’s character, Rumour, in Henry IV, “stuffing the ears of men with false reports”.
The Caucus did not take sides, people.
It published a read out of its meeting with Irfaan Ali because it met with him in his representation of the country and its anticipated role in regional politics, beginning with reducing regional hunger.
We’ll submit that is outside of the scope of operations of the CBC…to summon a head of state…though we find it quite plausible that the effusion of news of Opposition heading to visit with the CBC could have been, tactically, preempted by the Ali visit.
But the readout lines up perfectly with Blinken’s visit to the country in July 2023, to further US regional policy.
Then there’s the disinformation of print media.
Its preference for the adverb ‘highly’ to qualify the ‘productive meeting’ Ali had with the CBC is irresponsibly interpretative and with mendacious intent. We’ve read the Op Ed’s of supporters of the ruling Party and the sleight and dismissive analysis of the socioeconomic demise of Afro Guyanese, they dispense…that pile on to this project.
There’s nothing new about dodgy information galloping ahead of truth when politicians seek to score a win. But it could be dangerously dis -informative in Guyana, where politics is the sum total of ethnic composition and partisan culture.
Disinformation, through headlines shedding poor light on the Opposition, tend to move more nimbly through news outlets that cater to its opponents. It’s the kind of medieval politics that resident diplomats ignore, even when their assignment is the nurturing of democracy.
And the term ‘fake news’ has become the emotional exit for those who do not want to deal with reality. Much of this lies at the feet of politicians who find it easier to indulge and lament than correct and educate. This has made Guyana’s political terrain fallow ground for those who exploit/thrive on flawed journalism.
The Opposition was graciously given an audience by Leader Hakeem Jeffries and several prominent Democratic Congress People but it is not to be sold, to the unsuspecting, as a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, for any self promotion or undue political aggrandizement.
It’s the kind of disinformation that gives the opportunity to create chaos …as in this headline which deliberately misnames the Congressional Black Caucus CBC as Black Congressional Caucus BCC– the tricky rearrangement of letters in the abbreviation that gives the illusion of ‘facts’.
The decision to seek audience with the US is well founded and is to be applauded.
It is not, however, the exclusive domain of anyone claiming access or feigning broker, when the meeting is done during the paid work day, under the government assigned designations of the meeting hosts and in their physical, official, offices because they are all funded by US tax Payers’ dollars.
Language, when disseminating information, is critical to how the message is interpreted. In politics, it is easy for the dysfunction to be amplified…and by saboteurs who don’t mind operating on both sides of effort, at the expense of the wilting politcal capital of the country and, more so, the Opposition.
After what should have been two good meetings – the CBC hearing from Ali on his plans to feed the region and the meeting with team Jeffries by Opposition members to discuss inclusiveness amongst, other things- the headlines are now tumult and hostility, stepping on the infrequent positives that come out of the Opposition.
Publications are awash with negative reports of Guyana Government refusing to meet with a US Fact Finding Mission. We are sure that Congresswoman, Dee Dawkins Haigler, is aware that a fact finding mission from Guyana could not have shown up on America’s door steps without following established protocols. She’s now in the awkward position of having to distance herself from ‘organizations’ that claim acquaintance and working relationship. And if the purpose of her visit was okayed by the Ali Government, she should say so.
Our cheat sheet could have been of help to the seasoned Congress Woman….every Operator is not an Operative, every Shaker is not your Mover, Trust but Verify…ground floor edicts.
Too late now, as the Opposition scrambles for the reset button to try to climb out of friendly fire.
This one even cites a New York Attorney, who, we’re thinking would have known the procedure.
But sometimes even the best fact checkers miss the elementary steps…like thoroughly checking source and foundation.
What started as some measure of hope for the Opposition using its political designation to reach the international community, engage as its operational scope allows, has ended with the kind of calamity that mistook everything it shouldn’t have as trust and good will.
It’s a steep learning curve.
But we’re hoping that the remnant within continues with its quest to establish the leadership it lacks and we’re grateful that they’ve recognized they need to take the reins.
As we said, the CBC will not be the cure.
It will take the bold efforts of the visionary minds that want more than just designation name plates.
It will take a leader who can initiate strategy and not just tag along.
Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to the racism and sytemically excluding charges to be pursued.
The records are there – at the US State Department.