Speaking the Truth to the Tribe

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The imbroglio which erupted immediately after the 2020 elections placed the conscience of every Guyanese on trial. Our socialization, unconscious and conscious biases, our beliefs, values and ability to separate from the tribe were all placed to the test. It was akin to the final interview at the pearly gates. When the cold hard facts were presented to the tribal crowd, they could only deduce what was in their interest. A large swathe of the Guyanese population could not agree that what occurred at the Gecom command center on May 3rd was unacceptable. Conversely, another section of the population could not accept that the national recount revealed widespread fraud on a prima facie level. In this, we see Guyana’s perennial problem and the source of its permanent morass. Given this regrettable circumstance, who is prepared to speak the truth to the tribe?

I shall venture to postulate, anecdotally, that every adult Guyanese possesses some amount of unconscious bias that borders on ethnic proclivities. Ounces of tribalism exist within our bodies. Some are aware, others are unaware and others just don’t care. Also, there are those who are supremely aware of the poison contained in their veins and they do everything to eschew the inclinations which will invariably manifest on a consistent basis. Once you accept this natural corollary of socialization within this polity, you are on your way to being healed. The ultimate consequence of what has been mentioned thus far is foggy and handicapped psychology which views everything through narrow prisms that prevent the acceptance of truth when it is not consistent with engrained myths, fables and legends. Invariably, once this enters the realm of political matters where the battle for resources culminates, it is intensified tenfold. Therefore, it is almost impossible for the tribe to accept the truth when it does not conform to what they want to hear. In such circumstances, how do you speak truth to the tribe without being ostracized? How do you tell passionate party supporters who are your kith and kin that their leaders really don’t care much without being called a ‘sellout’? It is near impossible not to face massive backlash once this is done. Despite this inevitable consequence, it must be done, it has to be done.

In his book, ‘Tribalism: an Existential Threat to Humanity’, Ron Newby (2020) asserts-tribalism is a collection of genetically inherited behavioral traits. Who dares to argue with this damning conclusion? If you have lived in Guyana for the past decades, it is difficult if not improbable to challenge this. How else can one explain the strange phenomenon of glaring indisputable and incontrovertible facts being laid bare and yet, those are subject to extremely different interpretations by Buxton and Cotton Tree. Exhibit A: the wall is undeniably blue but Buxton sees a white wall and Cotton Tree sees a yellow wall. I am not being facetious, the aforementioned ridiculous illustration is wholly necessary to reinforce the general sentiments of this intervention. He who attempts to convince the tribe of the inconvenient truth is laboring in vain. You are crying to the desert, chasing the wind and barking at a flying bird. However, if you want a country and not a jungle, you must speak the truth to the tribe.

Those who attempt to speak truth to the tribe, cannot achieve any hint of efficacy without the help of institutions such as the courts. This great repository of truth must stand firm in the face of marauding blood-thirsty tribalists as they seek to conduct their usual assault on truth. Forget other government branches such as the Executive and the Legislative Branch, those are normally afflicted with the disease of engineered truth. The men and women of the benches are the last defense against the blind culmination of interests that is not prepared to pay any heed to any narrative that does not mirror their convenient concocted reality. Without the ascertainment of the truth, the entire society is premised on lies and the dark forces and those with dishonorable intentions will never be known. Hence, they are allowed to continue to operate with impunity and the cycle of destruction is perpetuated.


On this consideration, it behooves the court system in Guyana to extensively ventilate what occurred at the 2020 elections, let the truth bare its bosom and may those who misled the blind loyalists be revealed.

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