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1941 was the year, when Joe Louis was involved in the fight of his life, against a lighter, fleet-footed Billy Conn. For Conn, an accomplished fighter, was unleashing a barrage of punches, using superior boxing skills, to keep a distance between Louis’ devastating punching power, and himself. Then came the thrilling 12th round, where Conn landed several telling blows, which had Louis in serious trouble, on jelly legs. So much so, that at the end of the 12th round, Joe Louis trailed on the score cards of two of the three Judges.
In fact, he was being outboxed and outfoxed, on the receiving end of a good pummelling, from the quicker, lighter Billy Conn. However, overconfident was Conn, by the 12th round dire straits of the champion, that he ventured trading punches, in the final rounds. Such that, with the bell signalling the beginning of the 13th round, Conn abandoned his stylish boxing, exchanging punches with the Champion. But the consequence was devastating, Conn was brutally knocked out by Louis with seconds remaining in the 13th round.
Notwithstanding, consistent with world championship fights, this Louis-Conn matchup came with a rematch clause. With the much-anticipated rematch, delayed by World War 2, occurring in June 1946. However, with the bruising first fight fresh in the memories of the boxing pundits, they rightly posed the question to Joe Louis, how he would contend with the faster and cunning Conn. But Louis wasn’t only a champion boxer, for he was also a champion orator. Thus, to the question posed to him, on the faster Conn, he responded, “He can run, but he can’t hide.”
In fact, this narrative, 77yrs and counting, was expounded to remind the fleet-footed PPP, that they can run from this US Delegation, but they certainly can’t hide from their hard-hitting findings of fact. As a matter of fact, the findings will prove inescapable, hitting PPP where it hurts, their international standings. For they can run from their discriminatory practices, however, will find no hiding place, when faced with the evidence.
Where the evidence underpinning racial discrimination, will be lay bare, for all to see. Such that, Public Servants who were fired without due process, will be provided a voice and an attentive ear, to express their concerns. So much so, that those who had their properties bulldozed and flooded, will finally have their grievances highlighted and investigated. For these are the facts that would be shared with the Fact-Finding Mission. Facts that PPP would rather have buried.
Thus, when we raised our concerns, rather than addressing them, as a caring Government would, they instructed us to provide the evidence. And when we provided irrefutable evidence, such was dismissed, without much of a cursory examination. Therefore, confronted with such disdain, we were forced external, to articulate our truth to this US Delegation. Articulate our truth on discrimination. Articulate our truth on poor governance. Articulate our truth on marginalisation. Articulate our truth on inequality. Articulate our truth on human rights violations. For with the examination of our truths, none but PPP, would argue, we are receiving our fair share of the pie. A pie that is only benefiting PPP Friends, Families and Favourites.
Having said that, it goes undisputed, this 12-member US Delegation, headed by Dee Dawkins-Haigler and Rep John King, has been proven unbiased and beyond reproach. For their presence in our 83000sq miles, is one, where they would lend an ear, in the process of fact finding in various sections of our society. Where on engaging diverse groups, they would address thorny issues, which include, but not limited to, rampant discrimination against Afro-Guyanese. Furthermore, on their busy agenda, they’ve availed themselves to meetings with the installed Government, Opposition and Civil Society. But fearful of being under the governance microscope, PPP has manufactured excuses not to meet the Fact-Finding Mission, wrongly labelling them as an appendage of the CGID, despite evidence to the contrary.
For this the reality, of which PPP is cognisant, the US Delegation will be asking very difficult questions, as it pertains to their governance, discrimination and marginalisation. And not wanting to be confronted by such difficult questions, PPP has stirred up controversy, where none exist. Stirred up controversy, in accusing a link, without credible evidence, between the CGID and this US Delegation. Where such an accused link, represents the classic smokescreen, serving the purpose of obscuring their true motives. A classic smokescreen, that we the populace can visualise clear, to recognise their Fact-Finding Fear.