Jul 09, 2020 Editorial
When leaders distance from their sworn duty, the population suffers from the fallouts that come. Usually, the brunt of the pain – physical, in the pocket, and otherwise – is felt by the weaker, those at the bottom of the ladder. All the delicately controlled, and fragilely managed, neighbourhoods and areas that are most in need of government’s authoritative presence are made to reel and retreat into frightened hiding. This is what is happening in New York City, Chicago, and other places, such as Seattle and Baltimore. Weak, torn, indecisive leaders, trapped on a tightrope of conflicting interests all too regularly decide that doing little or nothing at all is what works best, and that everything will come out good in the end.
Many of the so-called inner-city sections, the largely minority communities, of the well-known places named above have been reduced to warzones. Turf battles, old feuds, and vendettas are settled with violence running amok, and the fatal fallen including both the noticeably young and those more advanced in years. Nobody is exempt, as in bulletproof, and all are vulnerable, sometimes even in the seclusion of their homes. We focus our spotlight on New York City, because so many of our fellow Guyanese and others from neighbours make home and life there.
The police murder of George Floyd, the latest of such high-profile crimes involving law enforcement, brought out peaceful legitimate protestors, an assortment of anarchists dedicated to mayhem, and hustlers and looters determined to make the best of the covers and openings made possible by the restraining of police efforts. From a police perspective, what has resulted is the muzzling and handcuffing of its efforts in numerous big cities, with the inevitable result of the criminals and vandals enjoying unprecedented freedom to wreak havoc.
The Mayor of New York City has come across as idle, vacillating, caught between competing forces, and lacking in leadership competencies and strengths to make decisions that are needed. He is not alone, with many already cemented to the bandwagon of doing nothing, of pandering to this group and that wing and one interest after another. In the meantime, the safety and security of vulnerable communities are up for grabs, with violence ruling the roost. Over the past two weeks, the confirmed reports of gun incidents, injuries, and deaths have spiralled to levels not experienced for decades.
And yet, there is hesitation and withholding, and groping for a way out in NYC and Chicago, but with care to not touching sensitive feelings and positions. This foolishness is costing innocent people their lives, ravaged communities that will take years to recover, and blight the prospects of the same young that many rush forward to clamour loudly that their interests and future are being represented. This is utter absurdity since those same young are unable to navigate their streets, and are not safe in most places, be they playgrounds or parks or bodegas.
Meanwhile, there is a governor in Albany who, like the rank politician that he is, weighs the pluses and minuses of necessary positions and messages he should represent, and decision that have to be made, but none of which are forthcoming. Still further, there is a leader in the White House that is about bluster and what could only be mildly described as fuelling the bigotries that now rage throughout America. Instead of leading and helping, the Chief Executive is about inciting and playing to the gallery for maximum political mileage, while stoking stereotypical fears.
In agitated Guyana, the ugliness is out of control, with leadership lacking the honesty and decency to rein in their maddened supporters from engaging in the embittering nastiness that pierce and harm. We are concerned at the irresponsible talk-nuanced instigation, really about winning, disputing, and resisting the dictates of the law and the courses that should be followed, as are the norms in democratic societies. The faith of many citizens has been hurt, and as this gathers energy the hopes and wellbeing of many could be impaired, should leaders in this country fail to identify with what is lawful and logical, as well as what is good for this society. The CCJ and GECOM now challenges: democracy and law, or unilateralism and decay.
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