…in Geneva

Well, if you thought there were only fireworks over Israel in the never-ending Middle East conflict, there were quite a few ballistic missiles fired over in Geneva – in OUR almost equal ethnic intractable conflict. Yep…Geneva!! Addressing the UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent on behalf of IDPADA-G — which claimed to represent 78 local African organisations — local attorney Nigel Hughes hurled some seemingly pretty powerful accusations against the PPP Government.
Quoting from Recommendation 15 (non-Discrimination) of the UN Forum’s March 28 recommendations, Hughes claimed the Government was ignoring the specific exhortation to address discrimination against African Guyanese. Implying, of course, that the Forum had reviewed the evidence and concluded that such specific discrimination was rampant!!What the Committee had actually said was, “The Committee remains concerned about the absence of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that may extend beyond discrimination in employment, provide full and effective protection against all forms of discrimination prohibited under the Covenant, including direct, indirect, and multiple discrimination, and contain a list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in line with the Covenant.”
So, what else is new?? Of course, the Committee would like ALL member countries of the UN to follow the stipulations of the UN Charter!! Isn’t that how we’ll finally realize what a wonderful world we’re living in? Peace and joy to all!! No hunger, no sickness…and equality for all!! Your Eyewitness wonders, for instance, what questions they’ve been asking of Israel – which drove the Palestinians from Palestine to “create” Israel — so that the Palestinians have to now fight for a state called “Palestine”!! And mind you, Israel was made a full member of the UN!!
Anyhow, back to our fracas over who should not be discriminated against. We can figure out the specifics from the Committee’s ACTUAL recommendation. “(a) Adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that explicitly addresses all spheres of life and prohibits direct, indirect, and intersectional discrimination on all grounds including race, ethnicity, age, nationality, religion, migration status, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and ensures access to effective and appropriate remedies for victims of discrimination; (b) Redouble its efforts to end the existing divide and tensions between ethnic groups and discrimination against ethnic minority groups, including by creating opportunities for open dialogue between various ethnic groups, promoting inter-ethnic harmony and tolerance, and overcoming prejudices and negative stereotypes, including in schools and universities and through the media; (c) Take the necessary steps to prevent, condemn, and combat hate speech and incitement to racial hostility directed at the groups most exposed to racial discrimination, including by public officials and politicians.”
The recommendation definitely doesn’t specify any particular race, but your Eyewitness guesses that whichever group’s party is out of office, they’ll scream “DISCRIMINATION!!”

…in colonial hegemony
One of the ways we’re still kept in thrall to our old colonial masters is what they put into our heads as “EDUCATION”. We were uncivilised (of course!), and as such, our lived experience was actually stuff and nonsense!! Even though our civilisations were older than theirs!! Having convinced us of that “TRUTH”, we actually fought tooth and nail to become “EDUCATED”!! Bob Marley dubbed the result “mental slavery” – and urged that we free ourselves from its chains – which were even more powerful than the physical ones, since these were invisible!!
So, by the time when your Eyewitness went to school, our education system had seemingly gotten wise to the ruse, and had created our own “Readers”, that told us about our local West Indian and Guyanese reality!! Remember the Rampat Family and their wedding?? So, your Eyewitness was kinda surprised that the powers-that-be aren’t still teaching about love, with Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” – but spending oodles of moolah to stage its performance at the Cultural Centre!!
Mental slavery!!

…in local politics
The perpetual struggle between the PNC-controlled M&CC and the PPP Central Govt came to a head when the condemned wharf portion of Stabroek Market collapsed over the heads of the vendors who were still allowed to occupy it!!