Anything and everything ever said at one time or the other is fair game to attack and minimize, even liquidate opposing positions. In the climate lived in today, it would appear that no adult has ever uttered a misplaced word; has never called anyone a fool or idiot. By this standard, it would be criminal to call someone a racist. That is reserved for only the so-called pure and clean people – the rarefied intellects, the extraordinary spiritual agents – to weaponize and unleash against those who stand against their agendas.
Something is wrong with that picture, lots of things. Courtesy, yes; studied hypocrisy – well… Correctness taken to an inhuman level, definitely; but the height of unreality, beyond a doubt.
By such standards, no honest and outraged citizen, no well-meaning and objective public commentator, could speak to anything about rigging or corruption or incompetence. By such yardsticks, it could be a crime to opine that this country is riffled and bedeviled with racist politics that discriminates and marginalizes. Rudyard Kipling could have written about the “White Man’s burden”, and onetime American Governor General of the Philippines (and later US President) William Howard Taft spoke of “our little brown brothers” requiring some “fifty or one hundred years” heavy guidance to begin to come remotely close to something approaching and “resembling Anglo-Saxon political principles and skills.” President Taft was speaking of Filipinos, but he might as well had been speaking of Guyana and Guyanese, who have already squandered 50 years, and so have another 50 to go before acquiring the basics of sound democratic governance and the individual obligations that come with them.
In today’s world, it would be quickly condemned as racist or paternalist. But what is our reality right now? What has been our vulgar political and governance history? Too often truth hurts because it lays bare the incestuous nature of what passes for intellect. As usual, there is coverup and pretense and the prioritizing of keeping up appearances. If nobody sums up the courage and the conscience to call things as they are (truly are), then what takes charge are the worst of hypocrisies. We end up living a lie, many of them. It is what we Guyanese have been good at doing for the last sixty years when we content ourselves to sweep our racial problems and divisions under the carpet.We who, through the motions of being a nation, stand weakly under the limp flag of One Nation, One People, One Destiny that buries all in the deep ground of deviousness. Speak to that here and there are stretched in denial: we are one. We are liars and frauds. Our leaders lie, our friends and neighbours lie, and when we go along with the charades, we end up being the biggest liars around.
No! We will not kowtow to the crowd of comforting public sentiment and gloss over with cosmetics what are the hard facts, what is the real truths of our times. The coalition has committed electoral fraud. The opposition did engage in one bureaucratic and governance fraud after another. And many of our fellow citizens, from both sides of the racial divide, participated to the full, and enjoyed themselves with gorging from the national treasury.
It is why we expose shoddy work and contractual cost overruns. We have no friends when wrongdoing has to be presented to the public. We look for neither allies nor benefactors when the Guyanese political crowd mangle the public trust and engage in behaviours that diminish the national promise and drain both individual and national hopes. We at this paper do not owe either the coalition or the opposition. We owe them the favour of pointing to the chronic errors of their ways. And we owe the Guyanese public and our own consciences to speak accurately and sharply, but always in a measured manner, to the truths of our circumstances, particularly, the political, racial, and professional.
This business of trolling through mounds of past materials to extract an errant word or an out-of-place phrase and wave like a pickaxe over the head to cower and stifle must be resisted. We will speak to fact and truth, as they are, and let the chips fall.
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