Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Examination of the treatment of African Guyanese by the PPP regime reveals a “one Guyana” that is conceptualised, articulated and implemented to deny social, economic and political equity to the community. Notably this strategy is state financed to support public displays that would attract ridicule with the intent to demonise, debase and justify efforts to marginalise the group.
The government’s use of our money (taxes) to lure foreign artistes, as they ignore matched investments in local artistes, then purchase tickets and distribute to patrons is not the best use of our money or time. Some commercial banks are colluding with the government to provide unguaranteed loans to those desirous of attending these shows, but when the same people approach the very banks for loans to do businesses, they are turned away on the pretext they do not satisfy the requirements.
These banks and governments are communicating to African Guyanese that they are only good enough to get money to numb their troubles through jollification but not good enough to be given opportunities for business, decent work and pay.
Admittedly daily living is not without challenges but even in the face of these, life must never be reduced to dulling another’s pains and stomping on their valiant efforts to swim against the tide, and rise again, by accepting temporary emotional releases in quagmires refer to as “stink and dutty.” The stink and dutty is not the African way because it is not solid ground to stand on and grow from.
Further, there is nothing stink and dutty about the African man, woman and child, not even on the plantations. The enslavers could not have broken our pride and sense of worth even with whips reigning across bodies, children wrenched from their parents, families torn asunder, and all other acts of inhumanities we suffered for hundreds of years. We fought back. Our determination to be treated with dignity and respect, saw a people that never let up or relent from the fight for our freedoms, dignity and respect.
African Guyanese, wake up! Do not allow yourself to be stripped of your dignity and self-worth.
To the young generation, I look you in the eyes and say, “you are better than what the Jagdeo/Ali regime is offering you!” “Stink and dutty” words in our society depict whether you are good or not good; whether by your conduct you are setting yourself up to be marginalised and stomped on.
There are local artistes who could be just as good as the foreigners who receive tremendous support from their respective governments that have launched them into mega stars. The Government of Guyana is engaging in no similar acts. Their reason is not that money can’t be found, but it is an industry that attracts talents primarily from the African community. Challenge the regime to financially invest in local artistes so they can compete on the same level with the foreign artistes as they earn a living.
Avoid the traps of settling for a false reality and have others portray you as unworthy.
Look at what is happening to ancestral lands. Africans with thriving farms are being forced off their lands to facilitate national development. These persons are placed in situations to abandon efforts at economic self-determination by moving to house lots in other areas where they can’t even plant or rear animals. The economic wellbeing of the family and community is under threat.
The question should be asked- Are Africans’ lands the only earmarked for national projects or deserving to be taken away? This nation is yet to see one East Indian area facing a similar situation.
In the cash grant distribution, many African households are still holding pink slips. And whereas they receive only one $25,000 per household in as much as the home comprises more than one family, in East Indian communities every adult member in a house was considered and given the grant.
In the continuous ploy to create a ‘one Guyana’ fashioned in Jagdeo/Ali’s image and likeness they are not only ignoring the Opposition that represents half of the society, whose majority comprises the African community, but they are moving to disband the organisation established under the aegis of the United Nations (UN) Decade of People of African Descent.
The International Decade of People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G) is in a struggle for its survival. Bharrat Jagdeo attacked first. He attempted to criminalise the leaders and make society feel they were misappropriating funds given by the state to carry out work consistent with the principles adumbrated by the UN in observance of the decade.
When the organisation produced the evidence to account for its spending, rather than the government accept the folly of its action they demanded audits they had in their possession. Now they are moving in to kill the work of IDPADA-G by withdrawing state funding.
African Guyanese, wake up! We are worth significantly more than the PPP is trying to make us think. Their assault on us requires responses befitting the wisdom of our ancestors to repel what is evidently a clear and present threat to our survival as equals in society.