As someone who studies race, ethnicity and politics, I am aware of the insidiousness of ethno-racial feelings, particularly in relation to politics and political power. I know how deep those feelings run among Guyanese. But, I am afraid that as a collective, we Guyanese allow ourselves to be so consumed by these feelings that we have become blind to reason and human decency.
The blatant unreason that I have read and heard from both sides of the political divide in relation to President Granger’s recent appointment of the GECOM Chairperson has led me to the conclusion that Guyana has lost its mind. The vitriol and hate that have been heaped on President Granger, Bharrat Jagdeo, Joe Singh, Christopher Ram, Henry Jeffrey, Ralph Ramkarran, Freddie Kissoon, PM Moses Nagamootoo and others are way beyond the pale. This is not how sane people disagree and debate—we have lost it.
There is no debate over issues—we are witnessing a carnival of hate. Just listen to Mr. Jagdeo carrying on at his press conference and then read the AFC’s response to him and you see how depraved our public discourse has become. Or read the vicious comments on the blogs and on Facebook and you realise that we are becoming a sick society.
Because a lot of the so-called defence of and opposition to President Granger’s action is based on pure ignorance of the law and politics, the proponents end up trading race hate and unreason. It is clear that we have learned nothing from our own recent history or we are ignorant of it or don’t care about how it has disfigured our country.
The PNC replaced Colonial dictatorship with Party Paramountcy and the PPP replaced Party Paramountcy with the Criminalized Ethnic State. And it seems that half of our nation don’t care where the present government takes us, so long as we keep Jagdeo and the PPP out of power while the other half don’t care what the PPP does to our psyche so long as they return to power at the next election.
And dictatorial governance thrives on the blindness and unreason of citizens. We are committing Guyana to becoming the saddest country on earth.