Behaviour at pageant symptomatic of new culture

Stabroek News
August 18, 2001

Dear Editor,

The entire Afro-Guyanese community both at home and in the diaspora must be miffed by the outrageous display of disunity at the recently held Miss African Heritage Beauty Pageant. Pageants, like elections, are supposed to be events governed by certain regulations, both written and unwritten, non-amorphous and non-dynamic. The rules are immutable to the extent that they govern the process and the outcome as determined by the judges, but different rules may be made for ensuing contests. This is the essence of democracy, justice and fairplay.

However, the controversy may not be so surprising after all in a Guyana context, and may very well be symptomatic of the new culture nurtured in relation to the national elections since 1992 when it became an axiom of defeat to generate protest, mayhem and instability. Youths look to their elders for guidance, and grace has, since 1992, been sacrificed at the altar of greed.

Permit me to raise the question of transparency and accountability, the hobbyhorse of Mr Lorri Alexander, one of the pageant co-ordinators. Could not the judges be more reflective of our national ethnic diversity or is it that we must be led to believe that only Africans could do justice in an `African' event?

Yours faithfully,

Albert David