Letter to Uncle Sam
On behalf of folks here and on behalf of the family, allow me to extend our most sincere and deepest condolences to the bereaved families after the shootings in Arizona that left many dead and wounded. Our prayers are with them in this moment of grief and deep sorrow.
The fact that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was the prime target of the shootings has put Republican Capitol Hill out of business for some days to mourn this human tragedy.
Now the top brass of the GOP and Tea Party are both under attack following the hate campaign they started and were exploiting for sheer political mileage. So much so that the “toxic and vitriolic” language heard during the mid-term campaign — thanks to the patronage of Sarah Palin, a few TV commentators, the GOP and Tea Party — has almost transformed the whole political land across the US into a land where hate reigns supreme, and where revenge by all means is pursued as a policy.
Here, too, our young democracy has witnessed such hate climate. Slogans such as these – diamond cuts diamond or the Kreol one “si bizin marche lors kadav bizin marché” or the one like “bombe communale ambulante” or “kouzin kouzine” – carry heavy emotions and passion. Uncle, remember this. Had we copied the US to freely manufacture, import, sell and purchase arms and ammunitions, we would have witnessed many Tucson like tragedies.
In a public statement after the shootings, Sheriff Dupnik rightly decried the unprofessional behaviour of people in the radio and TV business who whip up the hate campaign. The other news item came up in the form of a recast of the GOP-Palin-Tea Party war words used during the midterm polls to excite everything related to the “animal instinct” within each man.
The past personal and emotional histories of people like the Tucson shooter naturally arouse their “animal instinct” to an uncontrollable level. The US gun culture makes every other thing easy.
Uncle, a couple of weeks ago under a sky blue festive night, a local VIP narrated to me how people attending a public meeting in Curepipe in 1989 wanted him to give them the “go” signal for carrying revenge through physical assault and destruction.
If the US has thousands of extreme right militants capable of inflicting pain and injury and deaths unto innocent lives, here we have our own gang culture where thugs are regrouped under the most respected signage of NGOs or companies providing security services or operating under its disguise to cash out protection money. When political campaigns hit the roads they convert simply to angels needed to keep the “baz” safe and secure.
But again, Uncle, how do you think the US will progress with the National Rifle Association now wanting to lobby to legalise the carriage of arms in school yards, restaurants and elsewhere? How will the US be at peace with itself when repealing the Health Care is now the Capitol’s top priority, which means reverting 40 million human beings into the chaos of the medical and insurance mafia? How will the US progress when it is now legally permissible for Corporate America to finance or donate as much as they have and want to parties or organisations without being accountable at all? How the US will progress when the financial crisis that has failed its economy and the world is rejected with disdain by some as being a government sponsored policy failure, quoting supervision and control as a “faute” and quoting deregulation as a promoter of growth, wealth and job creation and social justice. But we know it too well. Deregulation means the banishment of Government from Government. That is a Government in office but not in power. I will be honest with you Uncle. The US lobby industry, from every sphere of economic activity, let alone the Oil Sheriffs, has and is causing untold harm to the US inside the US and to the US outside the US.
Three issues bring out an astonishing paradox.
The US contributes billions, from American taxpayers’ money and American philanthropies, to help fight poverty around the world; but still Washington is happy to have 40 million US citizens deprived of proper or no health care for years if not decades.
The US has got money to finance the pursuit of futile wars but no dime to spend at home to temporarily support the have-nots until the economy is back on track.
Again Uncle, in DC, or right at your doorsteps, along Pennsylvania Avenue, there are some GOP-Palin-Tea Party activists ready to raise voices and take up arms to give teeth to their evangelical campaign for right to birth. But we see none to stand up against arms that take innocent lives as in Tucson. The right to birth and the right to life seem to have different meanings. As if one is God made, the other man made.
We take note that the US Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence and Analysis (Extremism and Radicalization Branch) had this to say in April 2009:
“The DHS has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.
Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists…
Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.”
The shootings in Arizona may prove the authors wrong.
In any case Uncle, we do not know how things will turn out and evolve for you from now on until the 2012 White House presidential race.
Uncle, am sorry, I need to remind you that the wisdom in the words “people’s power” has not grown out of fashion. There is still much truth in them. But Americans seem to forget that their enemies are within not beyond their borders when it comes to domestic policies that can make life better and happier for all. The people’s power is in the ballot box.
If you still believe that the US is the only country where your story would have been possible, then we take it that you will be able to energize your passion and intelligence and great oratorical gifts to talk to folks there and convince them that for the good of the US and the world, America needs no GOP or Palin or Tea Party marionette at the White House, and no GOP-Tea Party majority in Congress and the Senate. That is, next time folks go to the polls.
* Published in print edition on 14 January 2011