Wasn’t the fight for independence supposed to end these imperialistic attitudes?
Independence day came and went and we heard many speeches. This missive is not against that fight to break the shackles of the colonist back in day.
This is about that journey from 1966-2012. This is the independent view of a young, 28 year old African male, born and living in Guyana. I can only share my views based on my perspective.
What does independence mean to me? What should independence mean to me? In this current time and with this current social, political, cultural atmosphere, independence means nothing to me. It is sad to say, but it is my truth. Living in Guyana in 2012, I am really not sure what it should mean to me.
I speak to my elders and I read history books about life in Guyana before 1966 and I strongly believe that those architects of our independence would be extremely disappointed at Guyana today.
As an African our history takes us back to our glory days as rulers of the world to our slip and fall into slavery under the cruel Europeans to colonial times. Guyana’s independence came out of these times.
Today, Indians are running the country. In colonial times Africans faced discrimination while persons with lighter complexions were given preferential treatment in terms of jobs and accessing goods and services.
Has that changed? Today, it would seem as if only Indians are preferred for the top jobs. My family would always be amazed when we see on television all of the various heads and directors of the various state agencies. In our eyes –we may be wrong- it seems so blatantly and deliberately one sided.
The top ranking government official in the court of law saying that they were no African Guyanese qualified for ambassadorship overseas really hits home my point. Do you think this mentality may be applied for inland jobs too? I sure think so.
Wasn’t the fight for independence supposed to end all of these imperialistic attitudes? Today, if we want to build a school, bridge or road (none of which are built correctly, anyway) we go into excessive pleading for funds from USAID,EU etc former slave masters and colonists. Aren’t we free?
Jamaica got its independence since 1962, yet only last year did the Prime Minister say they will no longer recognize the queen as the Head of State. What were they doing all this time?
It seems more like these colonists tricked us with this thought of independence? I think in Guyana and the Caribbean the ‘hard, roots minded’ leaders of the past have been undermined by these new-age, modern minded, totally disconnected leaders.
Then there is this tourism thing. Tourism is just another form of us bowing and serving our masters all over again while diplomatically brushing aside our own local people. Who are the vast majority of the tourist? We are training our people to cater to the whim and fancies of the whites.
“may I take your bags, sir”
“let me get that for your sir”
“let me clean up your drunken vomit for you sir”
In so many independent, developing, non-white countries they are places that are out of touch to locals as the pricing and policy caters for only that “foreign clientele”. I thought independence was suppose to put an end to white supremacy in our country. Look at who is driving the air conditioned, huge SUVs with the yellow number plates enjoying their immunity.
The fact is Guyana is sitting on an agricultural and food goldmine, we have been blessed with so much green, so we really don’t to expend all that resources for tourism. Other Caribbean nations are not so blessed, unfortunately.
At the end of the day when we calculate all the facts the colonists are still running the show and calling the shots.
Africans have suffered at the hands of British but Africans are suffering at the hands of this small group controlling the ruling party today. What is the difference for Africans? I would choose the post-colonial Brits over these current leaders; at least we had a much cleaner country then. Am I crazy for thinking like that? In all fairness, the mentality of many Africans has been less than wise and is shares some of the blame for our current predicament. We should be ashamed.
With all that is said and done the natty had got to keep on riding, strengthen his spirituality with the Creator and live according to the Holy Laws.
The natty has got to continue being patient, stand still and admire the architectural skills of the Father as he goes into the discarded heap and picks up the stones that have been thrown away by the current builders of this so called independent nation.
Then the natty will watch as the Father uses these stones as the main pillars in his majestic house.
Who knows, maybe my feelings will change next independence.
Montgomery A. Chester