The crisis of incitement vocabulary


– that translates to hate and murder, uttered by opinion makers

OUR search for social balance and accountability, especially in respect to those political and social personalities who have excessive access to media and have mesmerised sections of society into believing half-truths with dangerous subliminal messages, is a complex one that does not match our laws in respect to demanding accountability through the courts.

The vocabulary of incitement is in most cases not descriptive in the actions that follow, whether resentment, social conspiracies and unspoken laws of deceptive conduct in respect to persons defined as the other, the language is subliminal and is left to the imagination of each listener- at times a mob- to process and interpret what is said and how to apply it.

Our own John Orr, the famous Angel Gabriel, with fanatical hatred for Catholicism had returned home to British Guiana to preach specifically to his folk on the evils of Catholicism in the 1850s. But he came at a time when the foundation of the Catholic church was made up of the Portuguese indentured, and they were inveigled by the Euro planter-controlled colony administration into a conspiracy to destroy the business sector of the emancipated African Guianese citizens/British colonial subjects. John Orr was an African man of mixed heritage. His father was said to be a Scottish planter, while his mother an Afro-Guianese woman. Based on already strained feelings of injustices, his preaching ignited the largest riots and lootings against the Portuguese ever, though he did not instruct anyone to do so.

Propaganda, coupled with the body language and tone used to deliver what is said to transmit a message through human conduits of different capacities, thus varied outlet expressions. I have relatives who lived in Mahaicony during the ‘60s and they were saved because a participant in a close political meeting where their family home was identified to be burnt while they slept, came and warned them to leave immediately after he was safely out of the area and could not be identified as having warned them. They hurried and departed with what they could, and as warned, the house was burnt. There is no document I could put my hands on, or witnesses, to verify that this political leader had instructed his armed supporters to do what they did in that area in the days that followed. But something had to have been said that construed that fatal extremities were to be executed. Here again the indirect ‘Vocabulary of Incitement’ was most likely in effect, and more likely interpreted at the bottom-house level.

The vocabulary of incitement is real, and it has to be placed within our laws as a functional paragraph, to shift to beyond while relevant to Guyana. I wish to relate to the elements of cultivated prejudices inserted through religion, pseudoscience as with the eugenics champion Charles Davenport and his fraternity, and mythologies that demonise others within superstitious borders of provincial consciousness that becomes innate and fossilised. The vocabulary can become even more enticing to this alternate reality of suspicion and hate, not supported by bad experiences but by doctrines of prejudices. The only duel methods to unmask and diffuse the vocabulary of incitement lie with the understanding that cultural differences are tied to the sensibilities of individual and group freedoms. In this respect, there must be definitions of what constitutes ‘the national culture’ in its plural form with a frank discourse on differences that are encouraged to harbour prejudices, as these differences resonate different private group languages, and have constructed a different vocabulary.

After WWI with the defeat of Germany, France stationed some colonial troops along the Rhineland area. Most were West Africans from Senegal, (Tirailleurs Senegalaise) in the years leading to WWII Goebbels concocted a line of propaganda that these soldiers were violating German women. This was untrue, but it was a propaganda that appealed to where the European and White American consciousness was at the time. When WWII started, these soldiers when captured faced execution based on the assumption that there was an order from Hitler to shoot all West African prisoners of war. The assumption was not true, “Major General Hans Hube, distributed a pamphlet to the men of his unit specifying how they should respond to French officers asking about the German treatment of Black POW’s “ The deployment of black and coloured troops against the German army contradicts the conception of the white race’s master role towards the coloured peoples. We perceive it as a shame and dishonour, all the more so because our division has had to wage the hardest fights against Negroes” Raffael Scheck-‘HITLER’S AFRICAN VICTIMS’.

The condition that prevailed was facilitated by the mythical dogma of vilifying another human variation through racist political cult fictions. In Guyana, a similar foundation of religious tales exist, coupled with an allowed transference of group guilt to the other between political groups which also carry identifiable abbreviations that define political parties, but are also collective inferences of an ethnic group. During the last elections in Guyana in 2015, a senior minister made an announcement that members of his constituency upon passing Afro Guyanese villages in Berbice were pelted, upon investigations by the police it was found to be not so. The members of his constituency denied his claim, but he never apologised.

Defamation of character is enshrined in our laws, thus, collective defamation must be held accountable. The ‘Vocabulary of incitement’, must become a character with clearly identifiable features, and it must include all of what it implies. No falsifications and mythologies must be allowed to develop unchecked, freedom of speech must be treated as a responsible right, our laws must envelop both utterances and narratives. Henry Jeffrey wrote in Stabroek News on November 14, 2018: “Guyana has never been the home of all Guyanese.” The perspective of the article was based on a certain logic of balance, but failed to acknowledge that the political leadership of one side was rooted in a political perspective of irrational racial entitlement that included the stealing of the other’s transported lands, other blatant violations, even murder with an expectation of a blind eye to these activities by the law, because their perceived government is in place.

Of the varied humanity that constitute the population of CARICOM only one group in the modern history of this former colonial group of nations that held an international conference -2005 hosted by a credited academic to determine how the group should relate to biracial children, this is the acknowledgement of a deep seethed problem driven by a vocabulary of hate.

What must accompany legislation on the ‘Vocabulary of Incitement’ is a functional Heritage Commission that must facilitate for researching minds as an alternative for ‘dual national loyalties’ let us begin the conversation. It is obvious that Guyanese are moving forward in a conservative movement away from cultic indoctrinations, the State must support this movement.