Alleged Guyanese terrorists were arrested last week for conspiracy to blow up JFK Airport. This may be met with some degree of contempt if not outright hostility in some and perhaps many instances.Already 140,000 to 200,000 Guyanese live in the New York City area. Richmond Hills, Queens is called "Little Guyana." That's about a quarter of the South American nation's population of 775,000.
Guyana is experiencing serious economic woes and many flee the crime that has become rampant in that country. We live in a climate where immigrants are vilified as intruders here to take away jobs and other economic benefits that some Americans think only a few should be entitled to. Anti-immigrant sentiments have increased, especially after the WTC horrors and just as being Muslim has taken on a certain kind of onerousness, so now being an immigrant is rapidly becoming something many do not wish to be known as.
The alarming thing about this alleged plot is that, if it had managed to be carried through, it would have killed not only Americans (bad enough) but also so many other people including Guyanese from all over the world.
This would have been a most incomprehensible act made even more disturbing to Guyanese people because of the involvement of their own countrymen. Although the plot, thanks to the good work of the FBI, was never allowed to see the light of day, the mere thought of planning such a thing is horrible, crazy, stupid, and shameful.
Not since Jonestown, I think has Guyana been catapulted so ignominiously into the international spotlight. United States Congressman John Murtha expressed the thought on the George Stephanalous Sunday morning TV program that this kind of "home grown" terrorist plot comes as a result of US involvement in Iraq.
Whether that is true or not, I don't think it would be an overstatement to say that the Guyanese people involved have to a degree disgraced the name of Guyana and may well have, at least for now, hurt the honor and pride many Guyanese around the world feel to hail from that land.