Sep 30, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Cricket in Guyana and the wider Caribbean region is like a sacred space. Club teams are one thing, but national teams are in a category all by themselves. National cricket teams are about the pride of a people that were taken advantage of, beaten into the ground, and kicked around for any purposes that pleased. Nations don’t take too well to their national cricket teams being made the subject of cheap corporate salesmanship, and sleazy leadership maneuverings. Like the treasured family jewels, cricket is one such heirloom that should be left to remain in that untouched state.
So, there was the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) earlier giving the other teams in the competition a run for their money. We understand that times have changed, and that money is the biggest gamechanger. We understand also that the GAW is made up less of players who are of Guyanese origins, and more of those from the international cricketing circle. All of that is taken in stride, with good cheer. But we can’t be of good cheer, when the wicked stepmother, that wicked witch of the West, shows her presence in that precious national space that is cricket.
The unwelcome stepmother, and witch that is rightly feared, is none other than American oil superpower ExxonMobil. What is ExxonMobil and its peoples doing near to our national shrines? Why are some Guyanese proudly (or shamelessly) wearing the clothing of our enslavers, exploiters, and predators? We say proudly, as if they are not aware of the callous disregard for our wellbeing that the people of ExxonMobil harbour in their hearts, notwithstanding their smooth, practiced deceptions. And we say shamelessly, without any intention of embarrassing any of our local brothers and sisters, given the self-destructive nature of their thoughtless surrender to those who use us, after first making fools of us.
Even though national and regional teams, once conquerors of the world, have not done as well as before, or as good as they could have, cricket still retains a treasured place in the hearts of many Guyanese. With that, there is the greatest reluctance, the most intense objections, that outsiders could be so arrogant and so self-serving as to help themselves to a slice of our cherished culture. For their own clever concoctions about how much they mean to us, how well they have done for us, and how much more is in store for us, with this oil.
In the middle of our cricket excitements, ExxonMobil had the audacity to profane the special place that cricket occupies with Guyanese. First, it was their apparel, and then in their technology powered salesmanship about the amount of money that ExxonMobil has given to Guyanese for their oil that it steals, for our future that it drains so cruelly. While we appreciate the role of sponsors and their money, Guyanese should make an exception. We don’t want ExxonMobil money under the circumstances that they tell us are heaven sent for us.
This is what the slavers in their boats used to tell the African tribal chiefs, who sold their own into generations of misery for cheap toys, flashy ornaments, and leftover goods that the foreign exploiters had no use for anymore. American slaveowners loved to tell the world of the education, housing, and civilising that they gave to their African slaves. What they conveniently left out was how much more treasure they were getting from their blood, sweat, and tears.
In this 21st century, amid CPL cricketing celebrations, ExxonMobil does the identical thing, behaves in precisely the same manner, like the old slave masters. It is of how much the company has done for Guyanese, while covering over how many countless hundreds of American millions it carts away at our expense. These are the people who give us the trinkets of today – a jersey with ExxonMobil painted on it, a billboard brainwashing with the great ExxonMobil Guyana story, with an emphasis on how much Guyana has collected.
This country never knew about so much money before. Now, thanks to ExxonMobil’s paternalism, the children of Guyana can jump for joy with their shiny new gifts. This is criminal capitalism and it’s most repulsive, and some Guyanese fall for it.
Exxon has to put up a sign board across the Demerara Harbour Bridge to tell Guyanese what % of revenue we are getting from the Stabroek Block!
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