I am Guyanese. I am a man. I am black. I am angry. Some would describe me as an angry, black Guyanese man. I have no control over being Guyanese, being black, and being male. The only thing I have control over is being angry or not be angry. With the circumstances surrounding me I feel I have all right to be angry, and in this column I will express to you the basis for my anger. Some of you will not see with me, but bear with me awhile. Listen to my story.
How could one not be angry seeing your country on the brink of economic power, knowing what that could mean for all your brothers and sisters throughout the length and breadth of this land, only to see at this moment of economic enrichment, Guyana is being torn asunder by actions of internal and external forces manipulating our ethnic differences to stir up animosities, hate and destructive thoughts.
How can one not be angry when some operate in ways to suggest that they are the guardians of right and wrong in society, even as they blatantly violate those basic tenets that dictate right and wrong, and cover their deeds with a pretensive cloak of uprightness.
Anger is an appropriate emotion when one observes that those who set themselves up as morally right, as victims, themselves are amongst the worst who seek to deny others their right.
Our recent example is a case in point, where one group exercises their right to file an injunction to stop GECOM from declaring results until a recount was done, yet they turned around and sought to denigrate a sister for similarly filing an injunction to stop an act that she believes was wrong. The body fabric of our society has become so tattered.
We now witness persons society looked up to, being silent and condoning the transgression of right and violation of due process in a court of law. How can one not be angry when you look around and see persons of social standing supporting the disregard for the role of the court to weigh in on a matter placed before it? How can they not expect anger at efforts to mask support for an action on the pretext of getting it over and done with or based on a signed agreement.
Doesn’t the court matter anymore or only for some? Have we lost our sense of right and wrong and appreciation for the role of the judiciary in aiding resolution of conflict/concern through peaceful means? Shouldn’t I be angry with what is morphing to be an undermining of its function, though vital in democratic societies, and the right of all to seek its service, any time and every time.
Each branch of government – Executive, Legislature and Judicature – has a function, yet some take objection in the exercise of this, particularly when it is perceived its activation will not deliver what they want or hinder their pursuit of an agenda. It is the role of the judiciary to adjudicate on any issue placed before it by any individual or agency. Period.
The court has been asked to pronounce on an aspect of the electoral process. This is notwithstanding any agreement between President David Granger and Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo as brokered by CARICOM on the invitation of the President. No matter how well intent that agreement was inked, it has to be determined within the confines of the law, not how anyone feels.
Why shouldn’t I be angry when a President is on record, repeatedly committed to non-interference into GECOM, to respect its constitutional independence, the Laws of Guyana, and the rulings of the Court guiding its function, yet he is being called upon by some to disregard these and deliver to the nation a recount in the absence of the court having pronounced.
My anger is justified at the conduct of those who proclaim ‘uprightness’ and ‘decency’ but expect not to be held to the standards they project. They too have an obligation to respect the laws and call on all parties to follow its mandate. Seeking extra judicial means, whether peaceful or otherwise, to resolve our difference, raises questions about commitment to democratic practices, even though they may voice this.
Every Guyanese has a right to aspire to leadership, hold an opinion, pursue and express same. I’m angry because some among us honestly feel that the way you look, means you must not lead nor have an opinion, or leadership has be given to you and the opinion you have must be formulated by them.
What we ought to be wary of is leadership devoid of substance and opinion used to sow seeds of discord. Sometimes I get angry when the lines become blurred or good men act in a manner that will divide rather than weld the nation.
This Guyanese man has a right to anger over the indiscretion of those who conveniently cast aside time-honoured principles, laws and rights in furtherance of an agenda. The only thing that has kept this nation, in spite of periodic tension and conflict, as a unitary body and will guarantee our individual and collective peace, safety and harmony is adherence to the law.
Resolution of our differences if not legally pursued will and can result in a Guyana that our children would not benefit from. Avoiding this means the judiciary must be allowed to do its work.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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