I have lost touch with the political attitudes that now exist

Stabroek News
May 21, 2001

Dear Editor,

Replying to Mr. Walter Jordan's statement (2l.5.200l) that I have "lost touch" with the inner dealings and maybe aspirations of Guyana, I must admit that he is right. For I am unable to comprehend the new political attitudes that have now cloaked the nation.

It is irrelevant that I return to Guyana at least every one or two years, and sometimes twice a year. It does not matter that I have noticed the decline and decay of the cities and other infrastructure since the early seventies. During the seventies, most of my friends disagreed that Guyana was on the decline and considered my mode of thinking eccentric and blinded by my absence away from home.

Guyana today is far more economically deprived than in my youth. Today, I have seen more than half of the people I know living outside of Guyana. Many of those that disagreed with my reasoning are now living outside of Guyana without the knowledge of whether they will, or could, ever return home, due to the constant upheaval during and after the national elections.

Most Guyanese that I have spoken to are uneasy about the new attitudes that have become an acceptable practice. Such as the right given to the police to shoot down unarmed suspects. The proliferation of guns in the arms of the man in the streets. The racial intolerance that interferes in all aspects of life. The disdain for those of differing opinions especially when they refuse to cow tow to the thinking of others. I have lost touch with the thinking that I am supposed to have a racially insensitive attitude if you are of a different race. I have also lost touch with the fact that almost all sickness needs an external specialist to save one's life. Mr. Jordan, I will refrain from continuing the list.

To say that I have lost touch is an understatement, for I am searching for acceptable answers that may contribute to the infusion and a change in the national thinking. The thinking that if one has differing views then they "are not one of us". That thinking that if you are of a certain racial persuasion you are of a fixed political affiliation. I whole-heartedly disagree that the current happenings in Guyana, which are politically influenced, is necessary. I have lost touch with the fact that burnt out buildings which have become part of Georgetown's decor are acceptable.

I have also lost touch that impeding traffic and harassing commuters is a national right. Many of us who made the sacrifices to educate ourselves, with the intention of returning to Guyana and make a contribution to Guyana's development, are now caught in a serendipitous quest, for America offers us sanctuary, but our preference is to be at home at some point in time, but home is in constant turmoil?

So you see Mr. Jordan, anything/anyone or statements that does not contribute to the development of Guyana, anything/anyone or statement that creates confusion in Guyana will be vigorously opposed.

Yes I have lost touch, because as supposedly intelligent people, certain behaviors are not consistent with the Guyana I grew up in. To have one disturbance, the sixties, is regrettable but to have constant disturbances burnings and killings signifies a lack of leadership at the top. Yes Mr. Jordan you say I have "lost touch", then I have lost touch with everything that is wrong, unnecessary and avoidable in Guyana.

Yours faithfully,
Patrick Barker