On misusing marginalisation

Frankly Speaking
... By A.A. Fenty

Stabroek News
June 1, 2001

Believe me friends and foes, after the controlled responses to my offering last Friday - on the Urban Guerrilla programme, which sought to indicate the structured, organised incidents of violence, part of a programme some deemed as "spontaneous" - after that, I had vowed to take time out this week. To be relatively frivolous today.

But then I read Desmond Hoyte's May 27 Sunday Stabroek "justification" for the "resentment" on the East Coast villages and a letter in SN the next day by a resurgent and potential upstart who dared to imply that I "rage" irresponsibly and am hypocritical. You know what? Determined to maintain even a modicum of equanimity today, I shall let that pass - except to mention, for what it's worth, that my support for certain efforts of the PPP/Civic is personal, unsolicited and sometimes, not even appreciated by those who should. I am however, steadfast to my own principles, born of some experience and (even) once being in the "belly of the beast".

Happily too, as I was wondering whether the abler letter-writers would allow Hugh Desmond to go unanswered, a Desmond Morian responded competently to his defence of his Party's cover for the robberies and assaults of innocents on the East Coast. For it is manifestly obvious that whatever the reasons for the pauperisation of people anywhere in this country, it couldn't be any systematic marginalisation of one set, over the past eight years. As both Morian (in the Chronicle) and a Stabroek News editorial (SN, May 24) ask; when did this marginalisation begin and what was the role/response of the PNC Alan Munroe Region Four administration? I know the debate will continue. Which is what the PNC wants. And which might be good. A blessing in disguise.

Munroe's marginalisation

Which compels me to sneak in this brief item concerning one of my former PNC friends with the first name like mine.

It would be interesting, even useful, for Region Four Chairman Alan Munroe to document the allegations of discrimination by the Government against his Regional Democratic Council. I mean, even as he seeks to justify his exclusion of all PPP/C Councillors from the Chairing of Committees - they represent 40% of the Region - Dear Alan should respond fully and competently to the following from the Stabroek.

"In any event, it is surely desirable in principle that given the kind of co-operation now being shown at the national level in terms of dialogue, joint management of the business of parliament and the co-chairing of several important committees, the same sort of thing be replicated to some extent at regional and village levels. It seems wrong that councillors representing forty percent of the electorate in Region 4 be totally excluded from the chairmanship of all the committees. The Chairman should surely also feel obliged to respond in detail to the claim that the council had performed poorly as regards those areas on the East Coast which claim to be marginalised and were a prominent part of the recent protests and which fell within the council's jurisdiction. Why wasn't more done to address the numerous problems that have been raised by the residents? Was it a lack of funds, did the sub-committees meet to consider their respective portfolios, did they meet the people to ascertain their problems?"

Well-reasoned queries, I think. But then, I'm sure friend Alan is up to essaying reasonable responses

(Next Week: The marginalisation of Amerindians and Black Rice-Millers)

Andrew - and Ali

Just my parting jab - for now - as Andrew Six-Head Lewis returns to defend his title and fly the flag in the USA once more.

Oh but wasn't it heart-warming to experience the African homecoming afforded him this past Monday at the Afro-centric Headquarters of ACDA. African-descended legal luminaries, Terrence and, finally a business-person from the "Black Community", expressed their admiration, appreciation of and aspirations for the Champion fulsomely. Fitting!

Politicised as everything becomes here, the government was damned if it did and damned if it didn't, where Six-Head's presence was concerned. I must record though my own appreciation of the young man's balance. More in an upcoming Supplement on boxing in Guyana, where we'll explore from Beharry, Shaw and before to Agricola, Albouystown and Ali.

Yes, I know someone who knows the real Terrence Ali (Halley) story. How Forbes recognised champions but how little else was done. Why Ali ended up how he did; and what the first Andrew World Championship must always mean.


1) Remember now, the dialogue must not hobble decision-making by the elected majority. Unprecedented inclusion notwithstanding, there should be only one Government.
2) The "Taximan's Tales", next week.
3) Only now friend Cassandra? That you've realised that the Teleactivists "Hosts" indulge in public "blackmail"? I like your realisation "What we have here is the media as an instrument of Blackmailers"
4) But look out! By now that'll be interpreted as "Black Males"!
5) Lest you forget: A long list of crimes and criminals will go free under the guise of protests.
6) Recall I had called for black groups to rehabilitate the decaying 1763 Monument and Square. Consistently every February and in between. 1998 Politics saw it finally done. I also lamented destructive protests with no constructive efforts to promote black business.
Enter, at long last, 2001 Politics. And segregated markets. And attempted Boycotts. And ACDA and Clarence! But even all that could constitutive a start(?)
7) Catch Fenty's Candid Conversation this week-end.

'Til next week!