…the diaspora BS

Your Eyewitness can’t get over how this three-card-monte, bow-tied hustler who was booted out of his last job in academia in the States has been able to get away with his elaborate con that somehow he’ll be able to milk “the diaspora” on behalf of UG. We all know UG is in deep doo-doo, but somebody, somewhere – anywhere – has to show this Eyewitness and the people of Guyana where Ivelaw Griffith has ever administered anything successfully for anybody other than himself.
But, of course, his claim to fame isn’t success, but access! Access to Prezzie, with whom he shares an overweening admiration for the Founder Leader of the PNC going back to his days as a card-carrying member of the YSM — which sent him off to the USA, but from where he’s only now come back to “do his bit”. But if you examine the “initiatives” of this man, you will find a common thread running through all of them — burnishing the credentials of one Ivelaw Griffith. Remember the UG magazine, “Renaissance”? That was all about “The Renaissance Man – Griffith”!!
The latest scam is a “Diaspora Engagement Conference”– to be held at the Princess Hotel from July 24-28 of this year. This, of course, follows his first venture, when he took a 14-member team — drawn mostly from his “Cabinet” at UG — to NY to “engage” the diaspora there! Your Eyewitness isn’t making this up! And their income’s more than the rest of UG’s senior staff combined!! He spent millions flying and living high off the hog!
Well, it’s clear Griffith now feels that if he couldn’t go to the “diaspora,” the diaspora may come to him — with all kinds of governmental access promised! His theme is “Dreaming Diaspora Engagement, Doing Diaspora Engagement”. Well, there’s no question Griffith is dreaming: the grand finale to this Conference ends in the installation of UG’s 10th VC!!! Who’s gonna come for that? His PR machine first said they expected “several hundred” participants, but now hopes for 100!!
This Eyewitness would like to know which faction of “the diaspora” would be coming down? Recently, we were exposed to a real messy catfight in New York, involving some new “diaspora” group — GUM — taking on the older one headed by Rickford Burke, with all the scratching, slapping, hair-pulling, and shirt-shredding that’s usual with these things.
Your Eyewitness is betting on GUM getting the nod — since this was the one that received the benediction of the local PNC big-wigs that flew up to NY — but not of the “diaspora”, which stayed away!!

…which diaspora?
Now, with Griffith “bringing home the diaspora” to help with UG’s and Guyana’s development, you’d think he’s dealing with the GUYANESE diaspora, wouldn’t you? Well, if you thought that, you just wasted a thought! The man is saying he’ll be able to rope in the CARIBBEAN diaspora, because he’s launching the “Caribbean Diaspora Engagement Centre”!!
What Caricom hasn’t been able to do since 1973 with all the Caribbean governments putting their shoulders to the effort — unity of purpose for their own development — Griffith will get them to do for Guyana!! But there’s a method to Griffith’s madness.
The Comrade Leader always hoped for the “Caribbean” to help with balancing the ethnic equation, by opening up TT to “Caribbean citizens”. It worked for Eric Williams’s PNM for fifty years, didn’t it? With us having oil in the offing, it shouldn’t be as difficult as it was in the 1970s, should it?
Watch out for Felix to play a big role after this Conference!

…the identity question
The Conference promised it would deal with “Identify Issues in the Caribbean Diaspora Experience”. Now, when phrased like that, it eliminates our local identity squabble, doesn’t it?
We ALL know what’s the CARIBBEAN identity.