If there is anything in published form in the arts that I find utterly preposterous is the choice of the Rolling Stone magazine of the best 500 songs of all time. The writer is hopelessly incompetent as a reviewer of music. What he included and what he left out will render you speechless.
But he was smart enough to include, Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Any African in any part of the world that listened to Marley’s lyrics cannot, even at a superficial level, allow him/herself and their race to be used by African leaders obsessed with power. Sadly, and tragically, this has been taking place in Guyana since Clairmont Mingo attempted to rig the 2020 election and, through modern technology, the world saw him in action.
If there is anything I am absolutely sure about is that today, Emancipation Day, despite COVID- 19 restrictions, there will be emancipation limes where Redemption Song will be played. How can any person in Guyana who belongs to the African race listen to Marley’s words and grasp the conscious awareness that the PNC, an African-oriented party, is using them for naked power?
This party knew, as thousands of others connected with opposition parties and the election process in the early morning of March 13 that the PNC lost the election. From thereon, there has been a Herculean effort of frenzied consistency by this African party to lie, manipulate and abuse African Guyanese for the perverted reason of staying in power to have power for themselves and not for African Guyanese in general.
This tragedy can be seen in every part of Guyana and it becomes deeply sadder when you think that the lies have penetrated even the stratum of educated African Guyanese. There are educated people who believe with expanding conviction what the PNC leaders told them actually occurred. This includes the fiction that thousands of fake persons all over Guyana went and voted for persons who are dead or migrated. That thousands of ballots were tampered with by the PPP/C and other opposition parties. These hapless, helpless souls are going to risk their lives for a fortress built of sand but are told by their lying leaders that it is an edifice as strong as Fort Knox. And when they enter it, with passion and rage, they can be infected by the coronavirus. This is merciless exploitation of African Guyanese in the year 2020.
There isn’t space to describe the failure of this degenerate leadership of African Guyanese to liberate the low income classes of African Guyanese, and African Guyanese in general, since it came to power. I will pull up some examples from my memory from 2015 onwards. Almost 99 percent of youths incarcerated for possession of small amount of marijuana are Africans. Guyana has the most backward sentences for small amount of marijuana possession. This African party came to power and refused to amend the law. It was the multiracial AFC that spearheaded the change only to be stymied by an African president.
The entire public service and state sector are peopled by African Guyanese yet Guyana remains one of the few countries where retirement from state employment is at 55 percent. The pathetic failure of the PNC to raise the retirement age was cause for African Guyanese to vote them out in 2020 and many did not vote. The turnout of African Guyanese in Georgetown on March 2 was a stabbing knife blow to the PNC.
Most of the schools – nursery, primary and secondary – in Georgetown where African Guyanese predominate are in a dilapidated state. This was inherited from the previous government but the APNU+AFC hardly improved on the conditions in these buildings as they hardly improved on anything at the Georgetown Hospital. It should be noted that all of the prestigious private schools in Georgetown have a higher percentage of non-Africans than Africans.
Most taxi drivers are African Guyanese and they were the ones most hit when the APNU+AFC ruled that second-hand tyres are banned and all vehicular imports must be less than eight years old. African Guyanese constitute a majority of the students and staff at the University of Guyana. Yet look at how Granger’s personal choice for Vice-Chancellor used money.
Under Ivelaw Griffith’s tenure, more money was used for pomp and splendor while wages and salaries stagnated and basic infrastructural facilities remained in a state of decay. President Granger attended the first official installation ceremony UG ever held for a Vice-Chancellor, that of his friend, Griffith. The affair cost dozens of millions. Today, African Guyanese must listen with rapt attention to Redemption Song and then reject the monsters that seek to devour them.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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