by Keith Williams
One of the most troubling questions or issues in all of this, revolves around the blatant double standard being practiced by the International Community. Guyana went through a period under the PPP where African Guyanese males were being hunted down by two gangs, one led by the them Minister of Home Affairs Ronald Gajraj and one led by Drug Baron Roger Khan, being tortured, executed, and their mutilated corpses thrown in the Durban Backlands. Before the loved ones of the deceased even learned of their deaths their corpses were emblazoned on the front pages of newspapers in Guyana where supporters of of the PPP responded in vicarious glee. There was no public moral indignation from the Government, from the Churches, from Civil Society, all of whom painted themselves as paragons of democracy, civility and equal rights. It is clear, that those bodies meant no more to them than road kill, and that they did not feel the need to even pretend to be offended.
The leader of the PPP went before a homogeneous ethnic support audience and told them that, “we will take our country back”, and that they must “chase them out”. We saw the reaction of “taking their country back” and “chasing them out” in the reaction to the election where crowds attacked and chopped police officers, attacked school buses with African Guyanese kids and injured some. I saw no condemnation of this by the International Community, and not even close to the reaction that came from the newspapers, from Columnists, from Civil society, when there were protests involving African Guyanese. We see people who described the leader of the opposition as an ideological racist and the most racist leader to emerge in the world in the 21st century working arduously to corruptly get this leader back into power. The Government obeyed the order of the Courts that went against them. The Opposition refused to do likewise, and this is being countenanced by the International Community. So they are being defined as and accorded the privilege of being more equal than their political opponents. The question is why.
Let me tell you why. What they see and reject, is the outcome that under the APNU/AFC the distributions from oil will be equitably shared, and can allow African Guyanese to grow and developed in a manner that us parallel with dominant commercial groups. That is not what they want. They want an uneven playing field where they can occasionally beat on their chest in public and make statements about fairness, knowing all the while that with the PPP in power they can do that safely without being taken up on it.
Kwame Toure and Charles Hamilton in their book “Black Power-The politics of Liberation in America” observed that “….when certain people have enjoyed the privilege of power over a long while, and have used this to secure wealth and prestige for themselves, to define the order of society, to determine who should eat and how much they should eat, after a while they come to believe that privilege is theirs by some divine ordination….” They could have been talking about Guyana in the future. Because that is exactly where we are, and the forces that are being deployed to ensure that resurrection. And we must stop seeing that reality in broad daylight and wait until night to get a torchlight to go look for it.