Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
The horrifying spectacle of Guyanese residing in Caneview, an informal settlement situated just next door to Mocha/Arcadia, experiencing the indignity of evacuation from the place they called home for more than thirty years, has left, even the hardened citizen, mesmerized, and aghast that a caring, loving, Government, as the PPP cabal describes itself, could actually perpetrate such evil acts against legitimate citizens while barefacedly clinging to the sanctimonious tab of being a caring government.
In what could only be described as horrendous and terrifying, citizens tuned in to social media platforms were justifiably horrified as bulldozers and other heavy-duty machinery were deployed to reduce those residents to zero after maliciously mowing down their homes and other property into rubble. One of the affected residents, Ms. Schevon Eastman, a shopkeeper, was forced to lie in soggy mud for extended hours even as the modern-day slave masters bulldozed her property, including goods and equipment, to smithereens.
The situation was further amplified after hundreds of poultry and pigs, reared by young entrepreneurs were buried under the rubble leaving the owners devastated and literally shell-shocked. The brutal, insensitive treatment meted out to Guyanese by the central government and its agents is reprehensible and unjustifiable and undoubtedly has worsened the already shaky race relations. The destruction was not only directed towards the purported illegal houses but also livestock and pigs reared by young entrepreneurs for their livelihood.
This brutal, high-handed approach by the government to resolving such sensitive issues is certainly not isolated as the nation has witnessed similar actions at Linden as recently as last year. The commonality of both incidents is that the residents have made significant investments and are predominantly of African descent. On the contrary, residents of other informal settlements in other parts of the country were treated differently, having their status regularized and even receiving funds from the national coffers to enhance their livelihood. The distinct difference between these two groups is their racial affiliation. Clearly, the government’s handling of these two cases is starkly contrasting to that of those citizens perceived to be of their constituency. Small wonder, many are adamant that the current regime is racially insensitive and strongly embodies the characteristics of an apartheid government.
The strange thing is that even amidst such compelling evidence, the PPP cabal, presumably under the stewardship of President Irfaan Ali, insists that the policies are even-handed and provide across-the-board opportunities for all racial groups.
I have posited in a former article, and still, adamantly assert, that this government is on a deliberate mission to dehumanize and emasculate African Guyanese. The stark evidence is there for even, the most myopic among us to see. This, I believe, provides the basis for a juxtaposition of the cruel, insensitive ploys of this cabal with the Critical Race Theory (CRT) associated with an emerging apartheid state.
The CRT provides a sensible rationale for the theoretical basis of racism that has shaped public policy or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people. The concept originated in the USA and is relevant and applicable to our society. Notwithstanding, from a local perspective, CRT should be examined in the context of African – Indian relations and public policy and governance. Interestedly, CRT informs of institutionalized racial disadvantage and systemic racial inequality. There have been systematic attempts over the past two decades to foster racial unity but these efforts were undermined by political greed, insensitivity, and insanity.
The PPP labeled their return to office in 2020 as a bold step toward the strengthening of democracy but while chanting these words, there has been no discernible effort to promote national unity. The ‘One Guyana’ mantra bellowed by government insurrectionists can only be regarded as a charade compounded by a plethora of empty words. Obviously, such lukewarm efforts have not, and will not, promote racial healing.
The crux of racial unity lies in addressing institutionalized racial disadvantage and systemic racial inequality through the implementation of public policies. Most specifically, immediate actions should be taken to dismantle institutionalized policies that are unfavorable to specific racial groups. If President Ali truly cares for every Guyanese, as he so boldly pronounces, he will be concerned with the efficacy and outcomes of policies on the livelihood of disadvantaged racial groups, in this case, Africans. The issue must be thoroughly analyzed and concerted measures must be implemented to enable the equitable distribution of developmental benefits.
Arguably, the extant public policies are influenced by the ruling cabal’s philosophical position on resource allocation and the national distribution of wealth and are not necessarily underpinned by a utilitarian theoretical position. This skewed understanding has led to Indians being the favored race and the greater beneficiaries of developmental benefits. Even a surreptitious glance at the allocation of benefits and resources over the past two years will clearly show that Indians are the main beneficiaries in every sector including mining, agriculture, public contracts allocation, formation of businesses, recipients of financial assistance and loans, and regularization of informal settlements among other benefits.
Conversely, the ruling cabal’s philosophical approach toward African Guyanese is crass and hostile and seemingly tailored to allocate minimum developmental benefits and resource allocation. They have tampered with the effective and efficient functioning of the public sector in favor of their ‘kith and kin’ and then have the temerity to feign astonishment and disgust at the concomitant result.
The evidence of blatant discrimination is clear for all to see; the meager allocation of resources to African communities, the maligning of Africans coupled with the stubborn reluctance of the government to negotiate with unions that represent public servants, are indicative of the regime’s contempt for Africans. Moreover, we have seen senior members of government blatantly confronting members of African communities in the most disrespectful manner as in the case of Minister Sonia Parag’s recent visit to Belladrum West Coast Berbice, and Bishop Juan Edgehill’s sojourns in Albouystown and other black-populated communities. Undoubtedly, these actions are part of a diabolic scheme designed to further emasculate and subjugate Africans. Yet when the Africans regard the situation for what it is, they are labeled with unsavory vernacular.
The pundits are envisaging serious problems that could trigger civil unrest as a means of balancing the ethnic scale. This is indeed a frightening proposition but it can be averted if the so-called leaders of the people conduct a rain check and fix the many problems that are derailing unity among Guyanese.
The African existence in Guyana is under imminent threat and one thing is certain, irrespective of class, religious belief, or political affiliation, this group must endeavor to unite and strategize, not merely to defeat the ruling cabal, but to foster unity and love among the various ethnic groups. Though our ancestors were enslaved by white planters they were highly valued for their physical prowess, yet, even with that, the current regime refuses to value it. Africans must reinforce this stark reality if we are to live as one people, one nation with one destiny!
It is no longer a figment of one’s imagination as the evidence is clear for all to see; the treatment meted out to Africans is designed to humiliate and destroy them while keeping them in their place.