Weigh­ing in on Pips’s anti-Guyanese Re­marks!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Toni Ni­cholas

On Tues­day evening, as I was head­ing out of my of­fice, the STAR’s manag­ing di­rec­tor asked what I planned to do with the rest of my evening. “Watch more of the de­press­ing news and the po­lit­i­cal silli­ness,” I half-jok­ingly re­sponded. Lit­tle did I know what awaited me courtesy of CHOICE TV; cer­tainly it was noth­ing short of em­bar­rass­ing.

The news item that al­most emp­tied my stom­ach just af­ter an en­joy­able sup­per fea­tured the MP for Castries East Phillip J Pierre call­ing out the UWP can­di­date for Anse-la-Raye/ Ca­naries, whom he re­ferred to as “Guyanese-born Do­minic Fedee”.His arms swing­ing in the much ridiculed fash­ion of Bernie San­ders, the Castries East MP de­nounced Fedee, seem­ingly on the ba­sis that he was al­ready prov­ing a liar de­spite that he had not yet won a par­lia­men­tary seat. Did the MP re­al­ize what he was say­ing?

Ac­cord­ing to Pierre and the SLP’s Castries Cen­tral MP Stan­ley Felix, it was im­pos­si­ble to em­pathize with, or have sym­pa­thy for, Saint Lu­cians with­out be­ing flu­ent in Cre­ole. But that was only the smelly lid of the garbage can. Pierre went on to sug­gest brains and in­tel­li­gence resided only in the heads of tall peo­ple, not in in­di­vid­u­als be­low five feet six inches. Ob­vi­ously he forgot Ro­manus Lan­siquot stood well be­low six feet and was known through­out his ca­reer as the coun­try’s hard­est work­ing MP un­til Pierre re­placed him in East Castries in 1997.

Pierre also forgot his SLP col­league and cur­rent MP for Anse-la-Raye/Ca­naries, Des­mond Long, is prob­a­bly a bit shorter than Do­minic Fedee. Then again, maybe Pierre was de­liv­er­ing a dis­guised rea­son for Long’s de­ci­sion not to con­test the next general elec­tions. Long had de­clared him­self un­able to de­liver the goods he promised the folks in Ca­naries and Anse-la-Raye. Was Pierre say­ing Long’s in­abil­ity was rooted in his lack of height?

Com­ment­ing on the Guyanese ref­er­ence, lo­cal busi­ness­man Lokesh Singh, the leader of the Saint Lu­cia Guyana As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “Why would one go out of their way to re­mind peo­ple where one is from and make such a state­ment at a time when we are pro­mot­ing CARICOM and the free move­ment of peo­ple? In the spirit of Caribbean unity we should not be brand­ing any­body.”

Singh was asked whether the MP’s state­ments sug­gested an of­fi­cial at­ti­tude to­ward Guyanese, de­spite his as­so­ci­a­tion’s ef­forts against prej­u­dice based on race or place of ori­gin. He said: “On the ques­tion of in­su­lar­ity, it has ma­tured, but it hasn’t gone away. It is still there and some­times we are re­minded of it by such in­stances. But we have earned our space and we just want to play our part in that space. Whether it is us as a com­mu­nity or the Ja­maicans as a com­mu­nity, we have been talk­ing about One Caribbean for the past forty years and we need to rec­og­nize that!”

Iron­i­cally, one of Pierre’s dear­est friends was the de­ceased pub­lisher of Vision mag­a­zine, Tony Austin. The two were al­most in­sep­a­ra­ble, de­spite that Austin was Guyanese and hardly a six-footer!

Phillip J Pierre (left) with prime min­is­ter’s press sec­re­tary Jade Brown. Ap­par­ently the min­is­ter has a pref­er­ence for a dash of Jerk in his pot

as op­posed to creek wa­ter.

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