Oct 27, 2020 Letters
Reference is made to the article titled, “Report: more than 30,000 Guyanese emigrate annually” (KN October 26). My thoughts follow.
More than 30,000 Guyanese leave here every year. This is a low number compared to the decades from 1970s to the 2000. Using that assumption as the baseline, it is likely that the overwhelming majority of the educated, adventurous, visionary, well-resourced, and resourceful citizens of this country have left for the north. Without venturing into the nearby Caribbean and Latin American regions, I interpret this to mean that, other than for a handful of aging fossils (like me) still around, most of the existing population are from a younger, less traditional, more modern generation. Its members are equipped with tools (technology) and resources (facilities) that position them and empower them to look at life differently, Yet what we have from the ‘Me Generation’ and the X and Y and Z generations is the Ice Age mentality of their forebears. To be specific, this one is a PNC man and that one is a PPP one. Despite all their advantages over ancestors, they cannot think for themselves, separate from the past, function on their own, depend on themselves, inclusive of standards and integrity and standing for something.
Arguably, but irrefutably for me, some of those same newer, fresher generations came forward in the past year and represented to the Guyanese world that they are of ideals and nobility and country; that they are patriotic to the bone. But they were not of ideals but of deals, as in self-dealing. Take a look at them now, those well-publicized, self-promotional pawnshop patriots. They bartered themselves in cheap exchanges to get ahead; most are now PPP men and women, with a few identifying with what is left of the PNC.
Editor, what I am presenting here is that, despite so many of our roots departing annually (or dying),we should have had a truly new citizenry in Guyana. One of a different character, one different political mindsets, one with less of the narrow self-serving that grooms their hidden ambitions. Instead, what we have is where they ended up: just where their forebears have been fastened futilely for all their lives. That is feathering their own nests, but failing their fellows and the future. This is the future of Guyana, pawnshop patriots making up the bulk of the population and fawning before local pawnbrokers (political exploiters) and foreign negotiators (business plunderers).
Since most of these folks are no good for what is in the interest of the wellbeing of the vast number of Guyanese, it might be better if they were among those “more than 30,000” leaving annually for other climates. All their presences here signify is the perpetuation of what has devastated this society and the perpetration of the same crookedness that has drained this place of its promise. Let me be clear: that oil is not going to make a difference for the rank and file Guyanese. Sure, there will be the trickledown of stimulus (handouts), low-level jobs for bottom feeding local content, and low hanging fruit for well-aligned Guyanese political, professional, and commercial powers. I point to the newcomers who discarded dignity and integrity and settled for the indecency of what is self-enriching. But, for the majority the reality is the edge of poverty. For the skeptical, I give Venezuela and Nigeria and Angola. To that one can add Guyana, as sure as those waves that daily batter the seawall.
I say this because in less than a literal handful of years, the native born here faces the high risk of being a numerical minority. For the longest while, the great majority has been a disempowered minority. So, Guyanese will not know the difference. It is because our leaders and their insiders scrambled for what was good for them (again) and grabbed what was dangled before them (again). I submit that we have no leader, no follower, no newcomer that is of Guyana first, Guyana alone, and Guyana always. These are the dregs left behind by tens of thousands exiting yearly. This is what must be lived with to eke out an existence somehow. And that is the reality. Democracy or no democracy. Oil or none. Transparency or no transparency. I deliver its twin: palpable skullduggery. I give the new Guyana. It looks just like the old.
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