I join the President and others in denouncing in the strongest possible terms the racially inspired attacks against Indians on the East Coast on June 28. There were so many victims – brutally beaten and robbed, vehicles destroyed, arson, looting, and destruction of properties — on account of their race, for being Indian. I feel the pain of what happened to the victims of June 28. It is inexplicable why the opposition politicians have been silent on this heinous bold attack on a people who were simply plying about their business. Public figures who refuse to condemn the atrocities ought to be ashamed of themselves. Silence, ambivalence and complacency – primarily from non-Indians – have allowed this feature of hate to remain a permanent fixture in our society, for which there such be zero tolerance.
The attacks brought back memories of periods of violence in previous years. I remember the haunting pleas of those beaten and robbed and their vehicles destroyed in September 2020 in West Berbice. I remember those begging to be able to pass through the blockade to get to the airport and to other destinations. June 28, 2022 was a repeat. Opposition politicians encouraged the violence in West Berbice and watched on with a cruel indifference – as members of one community pressed against the neck of another recalling what happened to George Floyd in Minnesota. They didn’t care what others think of their inhumanity.
This hate filled acts of racial violence in Guyana must be addressed. Strong actions must be taken against the perpetrators of the violence or else this sore will fester. There will be more June 28s unless there is stern reaction; law must take its course with compensation provided by the perpetrators as happens in other countries. And if we are to achieve the core ideals of equality and justice, then we all must speak out against hate and oppression and distance ourselves from those who engage in such advocacy.