“Wage war on racists” was the ringing call in the field of football, as uttered by the president of UEFA. That war demands many sacrifices—costly, lengthy, hostile and demands still more—decency, integrity and potency.
Do we have what it takes here in Guyana; those inclinations and the resolve inside to care enough, to be disturbed enough to desire to fight? To take no prisoners in this war? To confront and conquer man’s most troubling frontier that daunts him? We have to in this society for sanity, for safety and for continuity.
As an entity (not as a people or nation), we have had some continuity to the past; the near and distant memories of the past, of just yesterday, that plunges us always deeper. We never proceed by continuing beyond the past to the present (with its demands) and to the future (with its promises).
It has always been looking back to the past to find the fuels for the future–volatile, raging fuels, they have been.
They barbeque in brown and black, and with all those charred colours in the crust. Racism it is called. Except, it is called nothing here; nothing other than political democracy. Constitutional democracy, too.
If that is democracy, then the result has been only the racial supremacies and psychic adversities that are this country’s lot.
Every man, woman, and child has lived with those, whether winner or loser. Particularly the losers, for then the whip and wounds of racism run rampant. They may be subtle and offer grounds for rationalising. They may be blatant and indefensible, with not a leg on which to stand.
Truth is told; the victims scream, the champions take up the cudgels and beat the drums.
These are not soccer hooligans hiding behind the screens of crowded stadiums. These are not the uneducated riff-raff who curdle in mobs to taunt the ear and maim the mind. In Guyana, they are leaders in the shiny pageants of postures and rhetoric; of veiled messages; of saying one thing and meaning one thing only: they are against. They must not rule. They must not succeed.
Minds and hearts are destroyed. Not those people. Not this time. Not them, Not again. Those are the icebergs that reveal merely tips, with the bulk of bodies-hidden, solid, impenetrable–immersed in the iciness of what has frozen this nation in the netherworld of its darkest of impulses.
There is no melting, no moving, no massing of sentiment towards the warming and the fulfilling.
Leaders, supporters, foot soldiers, bureaucratic saboteurs, media guerillas, students without minds of their own, teachers lacking devotion to the distinguishing. It is the same story of Guyana’s racist strains through and through. It is not a strain; it is the head and the hormones that electrify and agitate.
These are the local hooligans in high and low spaces, in studied silhouettes of the severe, the sharp, and that which scorches–a vision, a strategy, a practice.
Guyana’s racism and racists on the public and private stages, the unofficial and mercenary platforms; the stigmas of more marginalised, more animus and more conflicts embedded.
This is what we must wage war against with all the power and principle at disposal. All-out war without hypocrisy or pathetic excusing or the ongoing cherry picking of time, people, place to prove points, which none listens to, possesses zero credibility, and only intensifies the injuries and passions that rage.
The playing fields in Europe live with a problem–many words, fewer deeds, little progress beyond studied proclamations.
Such, too, are the fields of coexistence in Guyana. Take a look, look at self, contributor or pretender? A helper and worker? There is the first test. If no recoiling, then the score is settled. Nothing needs to be done, other than to continue with what has served well.
It has served leaders, too; those who depend on that kind of mentality and fervor. Who will wage war against what withers? Manchester United may institute a lifetime ban on a fan for racist abuse against a visiting Liverpool player. What will political Guyana do with its racists?
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