A society that sees and hears only what pleases

A society that sees and hears only what pleases

Dear Editor,

I look at what passes for individual wisdom and political discourse here and recoiling comes. We only see what we want to see and hear what is pleasing and serves our purposes. Citizens laud what is favourable and the messengers; the knives are unsheathed when the disagreeable surfaces. I write generally, to none specifically, and as I do this, I wonder why, given the appalling shallowness and narrowness of this land. My recent personal journey (public and private) should illuminate what inspires.

Early in the elections clock, I wrote that the coalition’s position looked unfavourable and I would only support a result which meets my criteria for fairness, my conscience. Despite the clashing claims of who won, my stance remained unchanged. It was asserted that I was aiding coalition rigging, which was corrected publicly. After the disputes over count, recount, observers, reports, and the CEO, I presented my own conclusion: the coalition lost; there should be graceful retreat. Immediately, fire and brimstone poured: damnation to hell. This is not a national cesspool, but an overflowing societal sewer.

Editor, a few choice tit-bits emphasize what the politics (racial) in this lovely country do to good folks: ‘I see like you ‘switch’ and yuh ‘change.’ From which one to which one; to the groups that make monsters of us, that we lose ability to reason, the wisdom to rise above the noise of our bellowing? Publicly, I have articulated that I do not trust the PPP’s leadership, and that I find it, with few exceptions, unsavoury and unacceptable. So to where I go. That has not changed. If anything, I think the ‘big ones’ will be worse this time around. Notwithstanding this, I can think and say that it has won. While, everybody is raging about who won, my position is that when the PNC or PPP wins, all Guyana loses. That is final. I/we have talked about the lesser of two evils, now there is no evil.

On the latter I disagree strenuously, since what I am privy to what happened in the era of the PPP, I think is beyond redemption; the coalition’s standards were slightly different only. Then, as I examine the racial milieu, my assessment is that this time we are too far gone to return to any degree of sobriety and temperateness; we are trapped in a veritable civil war of words; one that promises the real thing. Yet we chatter mindlessly about who won. And because I see, sense, and know this, I reach for this temporary oasis of shared (inclusive or whatever) governance that, in my calculation, offers a pathway out of our seething racial cauldron. In a nutshell: we so hateful racially, so bigoted and biased against one another, that no PPP or PNC administration could succeed. They may survive and languish, but not succeed. Therefore, from around 2000, I repeat -national and diverse.

All groups will feel that they belong, have a seat, have a say in theirs and the national destiny. Look at us: how do we sell when poisoning is feared? How do we buy when sellers turn their faces? How do we work together when deep-seated animosities sizzle? For how long can police or army hold? How long before phantom squads and freedom fighters? As I considered this and share again, I asked my Maker: what am I doing here? Do I even belong here?

Naturally, this is interpreted automatically that I want something, feathering my nest. Given my history, what is there here, in this impoverished, forsaken place, that could be found rewarding, lucrative, spiritually enhancing? For the record, last year, I shared with Minister Trotman and the staff that I would not be returning. I said to him also that, should the government change, under no circumstances, would I serve. For those reading, politics is not paramount for me. That is upstairs; that is the hungry, hurting, and helpless around. This brings contentment.

Editor, permit this: I am the way, the truth, and the life. That is my only truth; not Mr. Granger’s, not Mr. Jagdeo’s. And: the truth shall set you free. Since May 1966, Guyanese are more enslaved, to racial prejudices, a money culture, to falsehoods and deviousness. Elections are Exhibit 1. There is no country, only party. When I hear talk of switch and change and the rest, my response has been unambiguous: what kind of cheap whore do you think I am? So I present and plead for the national and the inclusive. That is the biggest heresy, blasphemy, and evil in Guyana today. One of these days I will find wisdom and leave this alone.

GHK Lall

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