Who is independent? Editorial
Stabroek News
July 3, 2003

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We are in danger of arriving at a situation in which no oneís independence and integrity will be accepted by all sides. It will be assumed that because of oneís ethnicity, occupation, opinions expressed from time to time or party or other affiliations one is incapable of discharging a public office fairly and to the best of oneís ability.

It is a symptom of the ethnic pathology under which the nation labours. Everything is suspect, even the most straightforward action is given a devious interpretation. Conspiracy theories rule supreme and the most fantastic hallucinations are repeated as fact. Nothing is ever what it seems to be. The situation would be ludicrous if it were not so serious.

A momentís thought will tell us that things canít be as bad as they are sometimes made out to be. If every action was biased, malicious or corrupt things would grind to a halt. There are thousands and thousands of persons who every day take up their cross and try to do the right thing, be they doctors or nurses, teachers, civil servants, businessmen or workers.

But letís get back to people and their integrity. There are still a very large number of persons in our society who whatever their ties or sympathies have a strong sense of justice and decency. Indeed it is the underlying theme in nearly everything that is written or said. All those angry or tortured letters, however partial or immature some of them may be, would have no rationale unless they were inspired by a sense of what is right and wrong. That is always the unspoken premise. It is that ideal, however utopian or obscure or even wrongheaded it may sometimes be, that gives people the moral energy to worry about things. There is a core of hope, of truth, in even the most despairing cry.

People can and are willing to serve with a sense of duty and impartiality on committees, commissions and other bodies. They do it every day. They may not always have the experience or the level of accomplishment that one might ideally desire. They may have said things in the past that suggest they hold certain views. But within such limits it is time to stop being so cynical. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Donít assume there is some machiavellian reason for every action or commitment. Resist the ethnic pathology before it suffocates us all. Quite a few people are still trying to do their jobs with dignity, integrity and self-respect.