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Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation. Here in Guyana, it does not take much for a citizen of Guyana, (in the past, African women), to find themselves on the receiving end of an angry verbal tirade from the commander in chief. One is left to wonder whether this anger, this seething resentment, is reflective of his frustration with his ineffective public policy of trinket bartering in exchange for the public adulation he seems to crave.
Psychologists say that there is a fine line between constructive anger and verbal abuse. Shouting, demeaning remarks, name-calling, insulting, and offensive or vulgar language, as well as harassing remarks due to political preferences, gender, religious faith, or sexual orientation, is defined as verbal abuse in a professional environment. The public consensus is that the president’s behavior often crosses the line into the realm of verbal abuse, and especially because he seems not to care about the power imbalance between himself and his victims.
The president seems not to care about being perceived as little more than a bully, considering he often displays this disrespectful and brutish behavior when he is surrounded by 10+ security staff while the people he chooses to berate are often powerless, albeit courageous for sharing their opinions or asking him tough questions. One often wonders what would happen if one day, a citizen decides to respond in kind with the same level of vitriol and anger at the president? This behavior is baffling and one is left to wonder whether the public adulation the president craves reflects a fundamental insecurity born of a life of mediocrity.
Interestingly, to observe the president around any of the ABCE diplomats is to note a smiling, jovial, almost subservient man, even following a public rebuke of his administration, he maintains the highest level of decorum and civility while interacting with those he clearly views as his superiors. To witness the president’s behavior in both environments is certainly a lesson in contrasts.
The president’s advisors must help him to understand that his anger comes across as bullying, as abusive and as nothing more than disdain for African women with whom he seems to constantly engage in this way. At the very least he should be afforded counseling for his anger problem, additionally, a few lessons in public decorum and diplomacy would also serve him well.
Politics is a game of addition and the president’s frequent tirades only fuel the impression that he either has very little ability to control his anger or he just does not care how he treats members of the Afro-Guyanese community. Neither of these options will serve him well in the long run. His behavior indicates that he seems to enjoy playing the game of subtraction with the Afro-Guyanese community.