No comparison between election protests and behaviour at pageant

Stabroek News
August 24, 2001

Dear Editor,

I refer to two letters captioned "Behaviour at pageant symptomatic of new culture" and "Burnham must be judged on the effects of his rule" (l8.8.200l). [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ]

Both letters, to my mind, are, to use the words of the first headline, indeed, symptomatic of the muddiness that passes for thought-patterns, nowadays, in this land of "nuf nuf mediocrity" and the muddled presentations that ensue as a result. Possibly, this new trend is a reflection of our river-waters.

Let's deal, however, with the comment on the African Heritage Pageant at this time. The writer is one Albert David (if he exists; since so proliferate are the pseudonyms that clutter your letter pages) and he proceeds, in his wisdom, or lack of it, to lump together female-oriented pageants and voter-elections. He, not unexpectedly, compares our disastrous "silly-season" elections with what in essence, was a mild storm in a mini-teacup that overboiled at the very end of an otherwise smooth-running classy evening at our Cultural Centre, and which a section of the ever-sensation-hungry media opted to "go to town" with; and to overstate and sensationalise, as is their wont - even when their reporters never attended the function; choosing hearsay and distortion of the "true facts" over easily-accessible truths from available reliable sources. Some media verily behaved as if their intent was not to essay truth but to damage and to "dis" anything that Blacks attempt to fashion in this town.

The writer further goes overboard and proceeds to drown himself in folly, stating that this "new culture" that he sees as emerging was "nurtured in relation to the national elections since 1992, when it became an axiom (sic) of defeat to generate protest, mayhem and instability".

He runs further in this vein, positing that "grace has, since 1992, been sacrificed at the altar of greed". All of this is sheer "goobledygook".

For did not the protesting that visited every bout of elections since 1992 (and in 1997 and 2001) stem from a most valid concern, by countless many, about the multitude of problems that a certain section of the electorate found had visited their efforts to vote and their constitutional right so to do.

How can this compare with what occurred at the National Cultural Centre and which some sections of the media, one repeats, blew out of all proportion with caustic, pejorative words like "pandemonium" and "chaos".

What occurred (and the media had the facts presented to them but printed otherwise) was that a former contestant whose pride was hurt at her own comedic actions which had proved her undoing, let other, just as wilful, friends egg her on to her further undoing. She attempted to replace the truth, which she knew about, with blame and to attempt to "nasty" the show and the organizers who had help to create her as a queen. C'est la vie. That's how some people replace gratitude and get their kicks. More's the pity. She duly paid the price for such wanton disrespect for others and for the truth. The friends who pushed her to it cannot help her now in her disgrace.

Then, as is also known, a contestant, egged on by her family and following, felt that she should have been crowned queen this time around, and in a moment of youthful indiscretion, snapped under the pressure from those who should have known better. She also paid the price, being condignly disqualified. Bet, it will not happen again anytime soon.

Finally, as regards his attempt at "dissing" me about "transparency and accountability" which he terms my "hobbyhorses", and then associates this with his view that non-black people should also be judging black girls, one is sure that ignoring him on his point would be kinder than taking him on.

Yours faithfully,
Lorri Alexander