Your Eyewitness thinks it might be safe to come out of the bushes he’s been beating around and talk a bit about the “unity” or lack thereof – now that some of our “returning Guyanese” have pointed it out. It did take a kid who didn’t know better to blurt out the Emperor was stark, raving nekked, didn’t it? And ditto for the overseas Guyanese – especially from Stateside. THEY know the sky doesn’t fall and hit them over the head when they discuss things like “race” and “exclusion” and such like.
Here our political leaders have taught us well… we should only let down our hair on “race” under the bottom houses. And there we can be as nasty as we want to be… or, more accurately, how nasty the politicians want us to be. In Guyana since Independence we only know the “politics of tokenism” because that’s all we’ve been exposed to by our leaders. Quick now – who was the leader of the PPP or the PNC outside their “traditional base” that EVER stood a realistic chance of becoming leader?
And you noticed how your Eyewitness used the euphemism “traditional base”? Unfortunately he too is a product of years of socialisation that plunges him into a catatonic seizure if he were to speak of “PPP’s Indians” or “PNC’s Africans”. Well, our Overseas Guyanese did point out they might as well’ve been watching shows in Dominica or St Vincent – which don’t have no 40% Indians.
One fella wondered whether the AFC was supposed to’ve provided the token Indian support couldn’t have arranged for some variety in the audience – if not on the stage. The dissing of the Opposition Leader and his MPs was excused as the result of “poor planning”. Did this “poor planning” permeate >>>EVERY<<< official event? Naaah! Even before the festivities kicked off for real, Henry Jeffrey bucked the local “race” censorship and asked whether this was “Jubilee Celebrations or an African Fest”.
Well, on this “unity question” your Eyewitness has to echo that Jewish rabbi of old and plead, “If not now, when?” If there’s any hope for mankind – not just us in Mudland – we have to believe we’re rational creatures, nuh? So can someone please say what’s rational about excluding half your population and still boast about having a “national” event?
Look, your Eyewitness knows there ain’t no easy answers. But surely, even for their own self-interest in getting re-elected, shouldn’t the government reach across the divide? It’s not enough to say “we told everybody to come”.
In a small society like ours, “everybody” has already been bombarded with ads showing how the wind’s blowing.
Frankly, your Eyewitness believes one of the problems with this goal of “unity” is because it’s been trumped by the goal of “equality”. In today’s world you dare NOT tell someone they’re not equal to you. Even if you’ve been lifting weights for the last decade and the other fella’s the archetypal “97 pound weakling” who’s been lifting beers to his lips during that time. You get to be the guard at the Bank’s front door, and if the other fella’s of a different race, he’ll immediately scream, “Discrimination!!!” And wipe out any hope of “unity” with you after he starts casting dark looks your way.
So with everybody demanding “equality” and expecting it to be their birthright… we’re doomed unless we change our thinking. At some deep philosophical or religious or mystical level we may all be equal… but in this world we’re in… there’s no real “equality”. What we should insist on is “equality of opportunity”.
But “equality of results” – which is what we demand – depends on what we put out.
Another reason why “unity” might be so elusive is ‘cause we think it’s equivalent to “unanimity”. But we’re not produced by cookie cutters are we?
Even Chairman Mao said, “Let a thousand flowers bloom”!