…race baiting

Now your Eyewitness is in a quandary. How the heck are we ever going to get out this messy trading of invectives on “race baiting” if the leader of half of the country can’t even speak of what he considers to be factually based racial discrimination? Is it that when it comes to matters caused by, or contingent on, race, we have to invoke Ludwig Wittgenstein’s aphorism, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”?

What’s going on? Are we living in such an upside-down, la-la land that we’ll pretend “race” isn’t the elephant in any room (or park) where Guyana’s politics is being discussed? It’s not as if our politicians are all vulgar Marxists who insist that “race is an epiphenomenon” and as such, is not worth discussing. Nowadays, you can’t turn on your TV or read any of the dailies and not have “race” jumping out at you.

Now your Eyewitness isn’t completely oblivious to the reality that “race” hasn’t been exploited in some counties – such as the US, right at this moment – to stir up violence by one race against another. In places like Rwanda – the same dynamics operated with folks of different ethnicities and resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being slaughtered.

But surely Jagdeo saying that his constituents – Indian Guyanese – are being discriminated against by the new Government can’t amount to “race baiting” when he, along with several other prominent leaders in his party, have been saying the same thing at various times in Guyana when specific incidents occurred.

In January of this year, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo addressed an Alliance For Change audience in Neresa Place in Queens, NY and complained about “the Opposition resorting to protest, picket and petition” on “racial discrimination”. So right off the bat, we knew that Nagamootoo, whose office issued the recent denunciation of Jagdeo’s statement in New York, knows that Jagdeo and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) have been invoking claims of racial discrimination against Indian Guyanese.

But he then went on to lambast the PPP to the New York crowd, “So this claim of racial discrimination in Guyana or political discrimination in Guyana is not founded in fact, it is founded and rooted in racism!” Was he engaged in “race baiting” when he accused the PPP of engaging in “racism”?? Should he have been censured?

But even if he honestly thought back in January the PPP was “race baiting” – he would know it didn’t lead to any racial incidents back in Guyana. So why does he repeat the charge once again? And we KNOW it’s him!

This Eyewitness really thinks he “protesteth too much”! And maybe he IS indulging in “race baiting”!


Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Or this being Guyana, the cart before the donkey. A year after the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU)was launched with great fanfare and its head Clive Thomas making all sorts of threats against members of the previous Administration, the legislation that actually proposes to form such a body has NOW been drafted. They say!! In which other country would you find such ass backwardness, so to speak?

It’ll be called an “Agency” and not a “Unit” so SARU will become SARA. Wow!! But apart from the change in nomenclature, we can understand why the “legal” authority was so long in the making. Firstly, Thomas will now become a bounty hunter: “25 per cent of the value of recovered property will be credited, with the remaining 75 per cent credited to the Consolidated Fund.”

With Thomas being able to use his 25 per cent bounty as he sees fit, his motto might very well be: “Go ahead: make my day!”

…the bounty hunter

The legislation also says Thomas will be able to issue “search and seizure warrants which enables an authorised person to enter and search the premises specified in the application for the warrant, and seize and retain any material found there.”

No need to call in SOCU, eh?