May 17, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – We at this publication are going to take a hard and a sharp stand because we are so disgusted, so incensed, and so insulted with what is going on in this beloved country of ours. It is going on, compliments of our feeble and helpless leaders, our collaborating leaders, who sell us out repeatedly, through the inaction and incompetence of one government after another. We say it loud, and we say it clear from the rooftops so that all can hear us: what we have in Guyana today is a growing state of apartheid.
Apartheid is a dirty and ugly word that took hold and became the harsh and degrading reality of South Africa. It was that system of horrid imbalance and injurious inequity that kept black South Africans as virtual chattel. It was that apartheid system that downed Steve Biko and many other stalwart men and women like him. It was that same brutal and oppressive and exploitative system that jailed a man called Nelson Mandela for many a long decade.
Fellow Guyanese, we repeat those words that are worth listening to and absorbing and appreciating for the fullness of what they are worth and what they are coming more and more to mean in this country. Look at how we are, where we are, how we are being treated, how we are being misinformed and misled by our own, who are in cahoots with the outsiders, who rip our guts out. They seek to take the heart and spirit and soul out of us, but that is not going to happen here. No! Not while we at this newspaper have the breath of life in us. And not if we can help it, so help us God: it is not going to happen in this country, and to the peoples of this society.
The words are ‘dirty’ and ‘ugly’ and ‘degrading’ and oppressive’ and ‘exploitative’. Is this not what is happening here more and more daily? If no Guyanese leader, if no other Guyanese citizen, dares to say it, then we will. It is happening here, in what is a subtle but undeniable system of apartheid in its many features. We furnish some examples for our fellow citizens to digest and turn over in their minds.
For starters, that lopsided contract is a glaring example of economic apartheid. It is of one set of values and benefits for Exxon (the whole hog of it almost) and the tiniest of trickles for the coloured peoples of this lowdown Third World country. It must be called out for what it is: it is a racist contract, one that is paternalistic and patronising. Just like how the good ole boys in the Old American South, the South of the slaveholding Confederacy, used to go to their churches and pray for more riches off the backs of their fellow humans reduced to a subhuman level of beasts of burden but all the time defending their cruel oppressions and unparalleled exploitations of slaves as being so good for them, as being the best thing for them.
Is this not what we are hearing? That as Exxon and the other American and European companies come here and fetch away our richest natural resource prizes, we are being patted on the back, and told how good we have it, and that we have never had it so good, and will not from anyone else. The top people of Exxon itself are careful not to say anything that will draw attention to them; the fellows from Texas are too slick to stain their hands with such contaminations. They have Guyanese leaders to do that heavy lifting and dirty work for them. Just like they had powerful tribal leaders do in Africa and the cooperating maharajas do in India several centuries ago.
The outsiders (British, American, Spanish, Belgian, French, and Dutch) all had their time and did their dirty inhuman deeds to our peoples before in their ancestral lands and with their ancestral riches. Their suppressions of the spirit of the people, their economic predations, and their cunning machinations and manipulations of local lowlife losers that operated under the name of leaders stand as unsparing and inarguable testimonies to their rapacious handiworks. This is what the foreigners did every time and in every place where they went before they now come to Guyana in this 21st century to do exactly the same, if not worse.
They do so with how they travel (by themselves), where they live (by themselves), how they separate themselves from us locals, how they hold themselves aloof from us, while holding their noses to prevent them from sensing that we are around, and we are terribly angry. These are all a part and parcel of a ballooning system of apartheid that is taking firmer and larger holds on Guyana and Guyanese life. We invite the world of Guyana to take a close look and see if there can be nothing but the fullest agreement. Last, we invite the rest of the world and say that there it is: the ways of Exxon and others, and the ways of complicit Guyanese leaders, in fostering a system of pure and perfected apartheid. No skillful public relations defences, no distracting propaganda gimmicks can conceal what is really going on here. It is the newest form of apartheid, and of that there can be defending, no dodging, no denying.
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