Kaieteur News – I walk the streets of Guyana, shop at the stores, restaurants and food outlets, buy gasoline, exercise on the seawalls and the National Park and walk my dog everywhere in Georgetown. In doing all of this I meet people who talk to me about Guyana. Because of social media, there are more questions I get. Each time a topic comes up, I would say I don’t use social media and don’t have a Facebook account. But I have learnt something valuable from people on social media. They pay attention to what is disseminated.
I didn’t know what Deputy Vice Chancellor of UG, Dr. Mellissa Ifill, wrote on the March 2020 election because I didn’t read anything from her in the newspapers, except a Chronicle interview. It was when a university lecturer asked me about the role of the American PR firm, Mercury, in the election that I knew what Dr. Ifill wrote on Facebook. The person reading Dr. Ifill wanted to know who or what Mercury was and how it shaped the election according to Dr. Ifill.
In this country young people can easily be swayed by social media, so older folks have to confront the fictionalisations, dangerous narratives, racial vocabularies and propagandistic vitriol of well known Guyanese and because they are well known, skeptical minds can be swayed.
Harsh words, like asinine, fetid, ignorant, pathetic and other terms must be used to describe what Dr. Henry Jeffrey wrote in the Stabroek News last Wednesday. I would give the quotes followed by my rejectionist comments. (1) – “(APNU+AFC) was advised by all and sundry, including the pinnacle courts to use…an election petition to prosecute its contention that the 2020 election was rigged.” Comment – this is unadulterated propaganda. The use of the term, “all and sundry” was a nasty piece of mischief.
The support for an election petition came from the losers themselves and their undemocratic surrogates. More ignorance can be attributed to Jeffrey because he takes the advice people give to others every day around the world to seek court redress out of context. People normally tell others that if they are serious about their grievance they should take it to the courts. It doesn’t mean they believe you have a case.
(2) – “No one should expect the opposition to say the government is legitimate… legitimacy is not the same as legality, the former is rooted in subjective notions….” Comment – above I used the word asinine to describe the contents of Jeffrey’s polemical outlay, and in that number two quote, the asininity is prodigious.
The word legitimacy is a complex one that involves moral dimensions. If you deconstruct the word, then the world turns on its head. What is legitimate and what is improper? Those are not easy terms to define. However, if you want to define it using moral criteria, then Jeffrey rightfully argues that the PPP government is not legitimate.
Jeffrey says that to have legitimacy, the government of the PPP must reside in consensus building and “political leadership that has a unifying quality.” It seems he has deconstructed the term. But in doing so, the PPP should not be worried if legitimacy is not applied to its governance.
Using Jeffrey’s perspective, this columnist would like to know which government in the democratic world is legitimate. We start with the world’s best known democratic state – the USA. The Biden presidency lacks a unifying quality because almost half the population did not vote for it and in that half that rejected it, the members are 90 percent White.
Is the government of Barbados legitimate? The economy of Barbados is in the hands of local and foreign Whites. While the Motley administration is legal, could we say her power is legitimate when she has no control of the economy? Is Boris Johnson’s government legitimate since it lacks unifying quality? Polls show that if Scotland holds a referendum today, the UK would break up because the Scottish people no longer want to be part of Great Britain. Non-Whites in the UK did not vote for Johnson in the last election.
Is British society legitimate when its history has been one of the colonisation of the world’s non-White races and the institutionalisation of slavery of African people? The more you deconstruct legitimacy the more you see not only countries but institutions, cultures, organisations, industries and people may not be legitimate.
We end with two examples. Russia says it lost 26 million people during the war. On the basis of that fact, does it have a legitimate right to rule the world? In basket ball, 90 percent of the players are African, 99 percent of the owners are White. Is the sport a legitimate one?
(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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