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If you are here for another tribal rant, you will be disappointed. I remain convinced that there exists a large swathe of Guyanese who have refused to succumb to tribal inclinations. They are like the captive people of Judah sitting by the rivers of Babylon awaiting leadership to take them to the promised land. They are tribe-less. They have been ostracised. They refuse to bow to the green/yellow or red flag. Currently, they have no place to seek succor with their reasonableness, love for country, regard for the truth and rationality. They are constantly chased by the tribal crowds on both sides of the divide.
The 2015 Reprieve
In 2015, those considered progressive, insofar as the Guyana context shall accommodate this word’s intent, found an oasis in the barren desert. For the first time in the nation’s history, hope sprang eternally. The political jargon, the sound bites and constant play on the word ‘change’ displayed an unmistakably transformative thrust.
There was the promise of the reform of the constitution, the end of intractable politics, new unheralded standards in political office and the end of endemic corruption. Consequently, the tribe-less found a home. A refuge appeared. However, the oasis quickly metamorphosed into a mirage. Hope turned to despair. The tribe-less lost their shelter and were once again scattered all across the polity. Their worst fears were realized. It appears, there is no hiding from tribalism.
Unlike the pre-2015 period, this current circumstance presents regression beyond the pale. The masters of tribalism are back. Nebuchadnezzar is back. The ultimate perfection of ethnopolitics has resumed. Without a doubt, those who refuse to subscribe to a tribe are in more trouble than those who labor under the yellow and green flags. There is nowhere to go. Civil society has fled. Independent voices have gone on mute. The independent media shivers. An opera silence sweeps across the land. In such circumstances, the loneliness of the tribe-less is unparalleled. Like orphaned kids, the progressives are desperate to be rescued in the land where there is no space for them.
WHAT MUST BE DONE
My main business here is not to offer strategy or proclaim any rallying cry. Any such conclusion betrays the purpose of this intervention. It is merely a lamentation of the heart. Despite this posture, it follows that such an engagement demands some direction. As you may have gathered by now, the author is tribe-less. Given that all the progressives have been ostracised from the main parties and there is no organisation that can accommodate the ideological stance of those who refuse to kowtow to the cultural orthodoxy in this social space, I cannot tell you what must be done. I strongly recommend migration or holding your nose as you operate in the midst of the stench from a rotting nation.