These two parties have led us to an impasse
February 23, 2004
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The Death Squad and the George Bacchus episode have rendered both the PPP and the PNC unfit for governance. How many more incidents, events, situations of varying disgusting and disturbing magnitude do we need to see before we are fully awakened to the fact that our two oldest parties have grown horns, outlived whatever useful purposes they had, are decadent and cannot salvage our country? What is sadder is that the masses of our people, because of these two parties (remember they were one unit) continue to sink deeper and deeper in a bottomless pit because of the wrongs and recriminations, and correcting the dead past will constantly remain in front of us. Both Indian and Black seem to feel insecure when the opposite race is in control. One gets the feeling that race is genuinely being perpetrated secretly - institutionalised. Most of those in favour of the Phantom Squad are genuinely decent and want peace, they do not see the negative effects and repercussions down the road.
The acronym of Phantom Squad as captured by our perceptive cartoonist P. Harris in Stabroek News is on target: "People Have Applauded New Techniques Of Maintaining Safety Quite Unwittingly Applaud-ing Destruction."
We cannot doubt that crime did go to frightening heights, our national picture was ugly, many Indians and Indian businesses were the victims and targets, and our police force was achieving very little. Buxton, like Jonestown put Guyana once again on the world map. To be fair the Buxton scenario put a question mark against our police and army; both being predominantly black and yes! Our Police Force still remains corrupt, there are numerous reports around the country that can stand as testimony.
With the appearance of the Phantom Squad the killing became more horrid in manner, style and also became ethnic; it was summary execution (extra-judicial killings) of mostly black victims. As is widely reported the Phantom Squad is made up mainly of Indian businessmen who employ blacks; ex-cops and other types, all to the chagrin of the black masses.
As I see it blacks must not only clamour for the removal of the Phantom Squad, but must also call for law and order. Organise and make legitimate demands and protest on the Government, rather than have young blacks with weapons wantonly "taking down" whomsoever be-comes vulnerable to them. Buxton and the national footballers come to mind. Likewise, Indians too must be concerned about the blacks impoverished state/condition.
When from both sides we so behave, then we would have taken a decent national stand for the better. As it stands now both PPP/PNC lack the perspicacity of mind to deal objectively with our many troubling problems which can see us once again entering another dark time of "festival of guns and carnival of misery", with someone "watching you sleep and aiming at your dreams". It is no fairy tale, the land is becoming a dangerous and terrible place to live, we must salvage it. Young and old alike must be able to take a relaxing stroll at nights, our streets belong to us, not only to gangsters and police. Definitely the two parties have us between the devil and the deep blue sea.
It is said that justice not given one way, is taken by another. Also the saying that people get the kind of leadership they deserve rings true. We remain divided for the simple reason that we are steadfastly bent on clinging to our Indian/Black support; right or wrong, simply because "is we own". Wrong, supported and justified on the basis of race, creates uncontrollable monsters.
Whether one is black/Indian intellectual or numbskull, matters not, yes, we do have deep-seated distrust for each other, race seems to be the general trend of our thinking after fifty years of PPP/PNC domination. Even with the best of intentions of these two parties they are doomed to fail. The race factor within them is too overpowering.
The "milk drinking for blood letting" must stop. No government with good intentions who endorsed and encouraged such situation is any good. No opposition that encourages its supporters to do likewise in whatever form is any good. With the PPP/PNC we would remain on a 'long, long road from which there is no return.