Searching for… discrimination

Your Eyewitness is a true believer when it comes to equal opportunity. After all, who but a bigot would try to justify discriminating against others – just because they’re “different”. But we know it happens all the time, don’t we?? There are all sorts of lines along which discrimination’s practised – gender, sex, age, weight (obesity), beauty, skin colour, “differently-abled” – and in Guyana, the grandaddy of them all – race and ethnicity, which is practically one here.
Well, the Women & Gender Equality Commission (WGEC) just announced a campaign to gather data on persons who’ve been subjected to gender-based discrimination. Now, that’s a very good thing. We can’t hope to fix problems if we don’t have hard facts to back up claims on their existence. After all, when rejected for something or other, it’s human – especially when it comes to jobs or benefits – to believe that the fault doesn’t lie in us, but in those making the decisions. And from the other side, we also know that folks have all sorts of stereotypes and prejudices that colour their decisions in situations when they’ve been given power and authority.
Good for us, we already have laws against discrimination on the books. But these are for specific instances, where the individual claimants must take recourse to the Courts and prove the facts they are asserting. Which, for most persons, is a rather high mountain to climb. So, we have these inquiries where official bodies investigate whether there is SYSTEMIC discrimination in any one area. And this is where the WGEC’s initiative falls. The question in your Eyewitness’s mind, however, is: after the inquiry, what then?? For instance, we know women aren’t represented at the top of the corporate or any other ladder – even where they are numerically the majority. Like in medicine.
So, on the quota for women MPs…we have the one-third rule – will it now be mandated to be upped to half?? Your Eyewitness waits with bated breath – but wonders about the elephant in the room – race/ethnicity!!
Parliament last month approved the new Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) that’s supposed to look into discrimination in this area. For your information, dear reader, the members are as follows: Christian bodies – Rev. Rodwell F. Porter; Hindu bodies – Pandit Krishna Deo Sharma; Islamic bodies – Mr. Moeenul Hack; Labour Movement bodies – Mr. Norris Witter; Private Business Sector bodies – Mr. Charles Ogle; Youth bodies – Mr. Dwayne Adams; Women’s bodies – Ms. Chandrowtie Sarran; Cultural/Ethnic bodies Indigenous/Amerindian bodies – Mr. Ashton Simon; Afro-Guyanese bodies – Mr. Deon Dick aka Ras Khafra; Indo-Guyanese bodies – Mr. Neaz Subhan.
Right now, we have all sorts of declarations – some actually amounting to declarations of war – about ethnic/racial discrimination. Shouldn’t the ERC get cracking to find if its real or just race baiting??

…student discipline
Here we go again – another teacher’s assaulted by a student, and a parent involves himself in the assault!! We hope the authorities don’t just deal with the incident, but realise we have a systemic issue on our hands. And as such, if there’s to be even a smidgen of a chance of resolving the issue, it gotta be addressed systemically!! And systemically, installing distilling discipline in Government public schools has absolutely broken down!!
And why does your Eyewitness confine the problem to GOVERNMENT schools?? Cause that it’s here where the most egregious instances of student indiscipline occur. Take an example of a school that has come to symbolise discipline – the new school on the block that was just declared the top CARIBBEAN school for CAPE!! Has anyone EVER heard of disciplinary problems at SVN?? No siree Babolall!! One look at that pic of the students sitting in neat rows and columns ON THE FLOOR – should tell you it’s not the students – but the SYSTEM.

Members of US VP Kamala Harris staff just dropped by here. Over in Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia are getting a visit from Kamala herself!! What gives?? The US is playing catchup with China – and Africa’s over the edge??