Tomorrow we celebrate. Tomorrow we will also lay bare some of what is real about workers and citizens in this society.
Labour Day, unlike any other national holiday, pinpoints how segregated Guyana is today. Amidst all the chatter and bustle, the political segregation, the ethnic segregation, and the social segregation stand stark for all to behold and understand. And when the rippling waves and roars of the day have subsided into uneasy unsatisfied quietude, a weary contemplation follows. It is contemplation as to the depth and distance of our apartness.
The appeals from earlier in the day would have been for loyalty first and foremost (a coded message if ever there was one); for a certainty, there would be no appeal to the individual imagination or for a truly national vision of now and tomorrow. Such is the hollow base of the palpable baseness that pretends towards leadership and workers’ interests.
It is apropos that red bleeds before onlookers. These are the workers who haemorrhage, so that others can drain them and then drink of their blood unceasingly. The former do not belong to the world of contracts, contractors, or the contracted. No, the moneyed tribe and financial top-guns have no need to march; they have overcome. Just what is still unknown, unless it is their ethics and now non-existent qualms.
The gulfs that segregate Guyanese now encompass more than colour and dollars and station. There is the segregation of the spirit, as best exemplified by a surging cacophony of myriad clashing conversations, and the inevitable embedded dissonance characteristic of incoherence, and an uncaring unruliness. Labour Day will bring this out from street corner to parade path to assembled gathering.
It must be admitted that political (and labour) leaders did work diligently to steer and incite local toilers to this bleak fractious realm of powerlessness. They should be well pleased with their handiwork; simply look at the results. Perhaps the cardinal sin in all of this is how willingly those who labour accept and embrace their sorry lot.