Any movement which develops in the United States is likely to be replicated in Guyana. This is part of the local copycat syndrome.
In 2011, a movement emerged in the United States in the midst of the global financial crisis. The movement spread to other parts of the world. It was known as the Occupy movement.
The movement’s focus was on income inequality. But its main target was the rapacious large corporations and their role in fuelling this problem. The movement launched a number of protests actions, including sit-ins at parks and in front of state institutions. It created a stir, enjoyed large support nationally but eventually fizzled out after people got tired of its message and disruptive conduct.
The Occupy movement spread around the world. And it was no surprise that the copycats in Guyana ensured that it was reproduced in Guyana.
A local Occupy movement was formed by a small group of attention-grabbers. This, despite the fact that Guyana does not have a large number of powerful corporations. Not being able to identify similar issues as their counterparts overseas, Occupy (Guyana) targeted the government of the day, forming a civil society tentacle to the APNU and AFC.
The movement joined in the charade for the removal of then Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee. It was critical of the police’s actions in Linden where protestors were killed.
The movement sought to occupy the pavement on the eastern side of Parliament Building, imitating what they had seen on television. They eventually had to be removed from there. They readily left without much resistance.
There is also widespread copycatting in the area of culture. Many of the local television talent-spotting shows are copied from similar America television shows.
Whatever the Americans do, Guyanese love to imitate. There is little originality. We see what others do, and we follow suit.
We now have celebrations of Halloween and Thanksgiving. We are a nation of imitators – politically, economically and socially. During the pandemic, you could predict what the APNU+AFC would do by just looking at CNN. It was all imitation.
It was not surprising therefore that the Black Lives Matter movement, launched in the United States is replicated in Guyana. The movement emerged following the death of George Floyd a Black American, who died after a White policeman kneeled on his neck.
The movement began as a protest against police discrimination against Blacks. But then its focus widened to discrimination against Blacks in general.
The movement was mimicked in Guyana. A Black Lives Matter movement was formed, typical of imitation that has become a local feature. But the movement’s launch was overshadowed by the rigging of the elections and the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also gained little traction because Guyana has no White policemen. And there was a government in place which drew its support primarily from Africans and the organizers may not have wanted to embarrass the government.
The movement has now been given a breath of resuscitation following the deaths of two African teenagers in West Coast Berbice and the fact that there is now a government in place which draws its support primarily from non-Africans. In other words, the conditions are now different and better for those who now wish to conveniently peddle the line of systemic racism.
There is fundamental flaw, however, in the arguments that the deaths of the two young men are because of racism. The argument goes as follows: 1) Two African youths from an African area are found dead in an East Indian village; 2) Therefore, it means that they were killed by either a person or persons of East Indian descent; 3) And therefore their deaths were racism.
Numerals 1 and 2 are factual but do not imply 3.
The evidence is not yet there to arrive at the conclusion that this was a race-hate crime. But the political instigators who went to No.3 village have made it their duty to subtly suggest such a link. Invoking the right to self-defense implies that an entire group is being attacked and must defend themselves. Telling persons who are blocking the public road that they are doing the right thing condones actions which impede the free movement of others. And this has led to the escalation of the violence, including savage attacks on innocent persons, the destruction of property and now the death of another person.
One lawyer has deduced that the nature of the boys’ injuries suggest they were the victim of race-hate. This statement was made even before the post mortem results. The man has surgical vision. Obviously, he is just as unfamiliar with the certain forms of brutalities meted out by certain criminal cartels as he is of basic mathematics.
But it may also be a case of something he may have seen on television. And, in typical copycat fashion, is merely parroting that perspective.
(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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