Oct 04, 2019 Editorial Comments Off on The usual story of the underclass
All the ingredients are present. In fact, all are being repeated over and over at different times. What was done, and did fail, gain more strength, through the creation of a teeming, simmering underclass. It is partly self-created; the sometimes-stoic badge of the unjustly treated and injured outsider.
Still, we proceed along the same troubled paths that only bring acute anxieties and animosities.
From public service school to law school to an overwhelming number of schools of local thought, it is the monotony of the usual story. Who is in and who is out? As in left out by the political powers deliberately; and the current building version of leaving self out, also deliberately, in keeping with the directions of competing powers.
It could be called constructive boycott that inflicts personal and group pain; sets the stage for repeating the past.
Work, opportunity, presence in this or that field of endeavour are limited; few come forward; most are left out and left behind. A new generation of the frustrated and furious is spawned all over again. It is an easy birth, with not much of a hand required, as the roots are already sewn by ancestors and instigating surrounding cast.
It could be familial or political or tribal; for certainty, some combination of the three, with many willing disciples. In this way, even the irrational and unjustified get a hearing, the burning satisfaction of the support and spiritual identification of things gone wrong, and those responsible for the outsider status of marginalization.
Jobs and scholarships and contracts are among the more visible, the thorniest of controversies. Who is cheated; who are squeezed out unfairly among the searing sentiments shared? Who has got acceptance to one of the better, more recognised, institutions of learning? And, by default, who had to pay a price because of some real or perceived injustice?
These have never been soluble matters in Guyana. More bluntly, they have never been found to be addressable. Never the time; never the interest; never anywhere near the priority that such roiling, and simmering, matters belong in the range of authentic political considerations.
It is because after all the talk–spirited, declared as real, meant-to-be encouraging–about nationhood and people, and destiny (and the indivisible nature of those), there is reality.
These are the unfaced, unbroken, undeniable truths that are such an inseparable aspect of Guyanese politics. First, is that in keeping with traditional best practices, rewards must be extended to the faithful.
Second, and no less unspoken, is the grim truth that space must be cleared to provide openings and slots for the crowd of incoming. It is they, their children and all those friends who were unflagging in energies and devotions.
For new, hungry, victorious people must be given something of recognition, something of substance. In turn, this means that toes will be crushed, heads rolled, and bodies removed. The cycle repeats itself, a resentful and raging underclass of the displaced (from staying) and the denied (from entering). And yet we talk in this country of unity and harmony and destiny.
In twenty-eight years of black rule, rightly or wrongly, the Indians left in the barrenness of the desert sulked and steamed. In twenty-three years of Indian rule, the hat found a new head, with Black Guyanese, now the ones boiling in anger at the emptiness of their meager enduring existence.
In both instances, there was more than enough time to observe and absorb and curse. Curse the nothingness that accrued from hopelessness and the desperateness of being on the outside and being without a believed rightful share of whatever there was in the mix.
From the standpoint of this publication, this is the harsh, unforgiving milieu in which one set of Guyanese or the other has lived and live. They hate it; and hate the adversaries believed responsible for their lot.
This is what we maul each other today to continue into tomorrow.
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