Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
…activists say recent attacks aimed at discrediting her
…create non-existent baggage
A clear threat to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), the recent attacks on A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament, Amanza Walton-Desir are meant to discredit her from being an upcoming leader within the opposition, political activists have said.
A Legal Counsel with more than 18 years of experience in the practice of international law, public policy and administration, Walton-Desir, who was elected to Parliament in 2020, is seen as a force to be reckoned with. In recent days, Walton-Desir has come under attack from supporters of the PPP/C, who have claimed that during a political discourse, she described Indo-Guyanese as mentally lazy. “In their haste to excoriate me for a statement I made during the course of a one -hour discussion, the PPP/C has not only misrepresented my words, but they have unwittingly demonstrated to this nation, in no uncertain terms, that race baiting and the promotion of ethnic insecurity remain the chief weapons in their arsenal to control their supporters and continue their dangerous divide and rule politics,” MP Walton-Desir said in her defense. For the record, she made it clear that at no time did she say Indo-Guyanese are mentally lazy.
“During the course of a discussion [on Politics 101], I made the point that the maintenance of true freedom requires that each citizen must be willing to assume the responsibility and the work that comes with being truly free. I said that in this regard we have mentally lazy people and that the PPP/C understood this very well, counts on it, and continues to capitalize on it. At no time did I say Indo-Guyanese are mentally lazy.”
Chairman of the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G), Vincent Alexander, who formed part of a panel discussion on Politics 101, said the attack is another attempt to interfere with her credibility. “You can’t interfere with her credibility based on baggage, so you are creating the baggage for her,” Alexander said.
Alexander appeared on the show alongside Political Scientist, Dr. David Hinds; Trade Unionist, Lincoln Lewis and Leader of the New York-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) and Political Commentator, Rickford Burke.
Weighing in on the issue, Buke said the attack is part of the PPP/C’s strategy. He said Walton-Desir, as a rising star within the Opposition, is a clear threat to the PPP/C. “It is a very racist party, it is the most racist and violently oppressive anti-black political institution in the western hemisphere,” Burke said while noting that PPP/C is running scared of Walton-Desir.
Lewis, a veteran trade unionists, said there is nothing wrong with the statement made by Walton-Desir, noting that the term mentally lazy is used by psychologists in their evaluation and analyses of behaviour. “Some are saying Amanza use of the term in speaking about PPP supporters meant she is talking about East Indians. The Indian Arrival Committee has since lodged a complaint to the Ethnic Relations Commission making a similar allegation. What this is confirming is that those who are interpreting the term as referring to East Indians are accepting the PPP is an East Indian party.
I note the PPP leadership has not sought to debunk the sole race alignment, nor have the non- Indians in the PPP made any announcement that the PPP is not an East Indian party. Where then do they fall, or do they see themselves as honourary East Indians? I would like to hear answers to that. The silence the PPP leadership is also sending is that it sees itself as an East Indian party or cares only about this group,” Lewis reasoned. .
Lewis said all political parties, including those in the Coalition, have supporters who accept what their leaders say and do not question them. “This is a culture we have to wean ourselves off because leaders are elected to represent the people and should therefore be questioned by the people. Leaders are only successful when held to account by universally acceptable principles, laws and duty,” he posited.
He noted that in places like the USA, the term “Low information Voters” is often used.
“These voters are not unique to any party but present in all. I say to this nation those who today seem to take offense to what they consider an offending term, they take offense not out of compassion or caring, but because of the political mileage they could make,” he posited.
Turning back the pages of history, Lewis said it was the PPP leaders who called supporters of the PNC mobsters, thugs and hooligans during the 1997 protests.