Elevating the conversations

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No matter how upset people are it is always better to strive to express feelings and opinions in a manner befitting public decency. There are a lot of things going wrong in Guyana and could be said to be wrong with Guyana. But there was a time, regardless of how poor or rich one was, there was a common appreciation for decency in the way people interact with each other or speak of each other.

Those au fait with religious teaching know what cometh out from the mouth of a man defiles the man. People did not have to be educated or in public office to speak in a manner that spoke to being raised well or as some would say “breeding.” The conversations in the public sphere are degenerating. It is more disturbing when leaders, notably politicians, are part of the degeneracy.

The well-respected cliché of leadership by example is apparently becoming a thing of the past. It is not good for society when hate and intolerance become the means of conversation. These are not the language or word choice that should be used one towards another when we are all Guyanese. Everyone should be assured of the basic rights and freedoms afforded with citizenship and nationhood.

The language is so chilling it reminds of similar language used to justify wars as in Rwanda and elsewhere.  In the situation of Rwanda, the leadership in the then ruling Hutu party called the Tutsis, a minority ethnic group, cockroaches. History shows that the name calling (linguistic dehumaniation) incited the fighting in Rwanda which led to the genocide of the Tutsis and the need for the intervention of the United Nations to end that war.


A mosquito is a pesky insect. In Guyana we do not tolerate mosquitoes and should any land on us or come near there is an effort to kill it. Some also spread diseases such as malaria and dengue. There is a Vector Control Unit that is supposed to eliminate mosquitoes, and people in their own way try to do this too by using mosquito coils, etc.

In Guyana to disagree with the government or any leader in the government does not make the ones who disagree “mosquitoes.” Nowhere should such a word be uttered by any Minister of government, be it on his Facebook, or elsewhere. It is inappropriate language and should not have been used by Minister Charles Ramson Jr.

The Ali Government should seek to dissociate itself from such language and denounce the use of the language by the minister to refer to those who disagree with the government’s policies.  Minister Ramson Jr. has responsibility for Youth, Sports and Culture. These are important responsibilities and include an important demographic, the youth. Neither is the debased name calling culture something that should become mainstream and acceptable.

Mosquitoes are dangerous insects in the Guyanese culture. To be called a mosquito is not only not complimentary but suggests the concomitant treatment that would meet such pesky insects. The Minister’s language is not only an example of inappropriate word choice but with the dehumanisation and past history associated with the use of inappropriate language will not be good for Guyana. There is an urgent need to elevate the conversations.

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