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To understand the PPP approach to governing African people in Guyana, one must come to terms with the fact that the racism, pettiness and undermining with which most Black people must contend is rooted in an unrelenting fear of Black success. The PPP and their cronies, in their souls, believe that they would not be able to compete on a level playing field with African Guyanese, so they work assiduously to rig economic and political outcomes in their own favor.
Black criminality was promoted for many years by PPP media and was a necessary component of the PPP plan to undermine African Guyanese. The devious messaging of African criminality is pure propaganda designed to justify police abuse and instill divisions among the Guyanese people. The truth is the vast majority of African Guyanese are hardworking individuals–police officers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs who work every day to provide for their families and to make a significant contribution to their country. An inescapable truth is that the rife poverty that pervades many African Guyanese communities is the direct result of more than 23 years of the PPP’s intentional plan for underdevelopment.
Although debatably in the ‘minority’, African Guyanese have always prioritized education, and therefore dominate the public service and the intellectual space, not just in Guyana, but across the Caribbean and in the developing world. It is not by happenstance that select PPP leaders questionably acquire doctoral degrees and allow the media to refer to them by their honorary titles. It is a path, in their minds, to fast track intellectual capacity that they just do not possess. Their behavior sadly speaks to a pervasive inferiority complex, that unfortunately for Black people, manifests in very abusive, petty, racist ways in Guyana.
A noted East Indian business leader recently stated in a public forum, in response to a question about the PPP government’s racist economic policies, that “Indians dominated commerce during Burnham’s time also…” Lost on him is the fact that wealth creation for the individual is not a pillar of socialism, the system under which the Burnham government led nor communism, the system under which Jagan led. It was never Burnham’s intention to single out a select group of African cronies to whom he would turn over state assets, thereby creating a beholden wealthy class, from which he could extort opportunities and favours. This approach is purely the domain of the PPP government.
Many African Guyanese who believe that subservience is the way to success do not understand what motivates the PPP leadership. Because they fear Black success, Black subservience alone will not lead to success. Only a lifetime of subservience, of soothing their insecurities, of attacking other African Guyanese, of total acquiescence to PPP power, will allow Black success and survival, but only a few African people are willing to engage this way.
Today, under the most trying circumstances, African Guyanese achievement and intellectualism are evident everywhere. The pervasive fear of Black success is why this ethnic group, although they make up the majority of depositors in the banking system, are least approved for loans. The pervasive fear of Black success is why African business persons have their proposal ideas stolen, often receive no response when they reach out to receive the same business considerations East Indian business men receive and receive less than 15% of major government contracts. The pervasive fear of Black success is why the African ministers in the PPP government appear subservient, seem to hold no real decision making power and are trotted out intermittently to deal harshly with African critics of the government.
To be African in Guyana is to live in fear and under the constant threat of retribution for independent thought. To be African in Guyana is to be a part of a social media whisper revolution as a way to share collective indignities suffered. To be African in Guyana and among the professional class is to mentally resign from any public struggle against racism.
Unfortunately Guyana is ruled by insecure, fearful men and women and that means that relief is not imminent. African Guyanese must recognise their situation and unite to insist on change or their situation will continue to degrade. We must bestow more than fear to our children. “Power concedes nothing without a demand”