The “angry young man” wave was launched back in the 1950s by John Osborne’s ground-breaking play, “Look back in Anger”. It expressed the frustration of the lower-class British post WWI generation chafing at the stifling hypocrisies and restrictions of the pre-war mores and sensibilities.
For America, which was never so class-stratified but was certainly more racially divided, you’d think there would be an even more intense reaction by the post-war black generation, wouldn’t you?
Well, there was the explosion in the race riots in the inner cities, the Black Liberation Movement, and the “violent Black nationalist” movement represented by Malcolm X, with the Black Power Movement even spreading beyond America’s shores. But if the truth be told, even though they let off steam, none of the Black Movements really was geared to mass violence, and they were all overshadowed by MLK’s non-violent Civil Rights Movement.
But how did the Whites deal with their angst? From their position of power, they were buoyed upwards by the explosion of prosperity, occasioned by the pre-eminent status of the US state. They could just print money and have the world ship in their back-breaking-produced goods and services produced with blood, sweat and tears. But the contradictions of benefiting from a system based on both internal and external oppression had to create its own disorders.
And it certainly did, with psychoses and neuroses peeping out in all sorts of destructive ways. The most prominent being the mass killings perpetrated with increasing frequency in random states. The most recent being the one two days ago in a California bar where an American war veteran opened fire into a massed group of college students, letting off some steam.
When these gruesome acts are committed, the establishment is quick to point to “mental issues” of the shooter – this time Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of the young veteran who’d served in Afghanistan.
But the Western European countries, which most resemble the US in background and income, have the same range and rate of mental issues; yet, over the last 30 years, the Americans have had double the number of mass shootings that the 24 European countries combined have had!! So what’s the variable in addition to the collective repressed violent tendencies?
The availability of guns is highlighted, of course. While it’s true that guns don’t kill people, and it’s the people with the guns that do; if the guns weren’t there, maybe there mightn’t be so many killings. Maybe…but your Eyewitness doesn’t think so. The same guns are available to Black Americans, and while they’re constantly blamed for gun crimes, they’re almost never mass murderers.
These take a specific mindset of historic collective denial of violence.
…WITH ANGER AT MONUMENT’S NEGLECT
A couple of days ago, there was a very revealing news item from the Essequibo Coast. It showed the Monument to the Martyrs of 1872, at Devonshire Castle, all overrun with bush and weeds. Imagine that!! With all the talk of building monuments to the 1823 rebels, and India building one to Indian Arrival in 1838, one that was dedicated to the first rebellion, which directly led to our independence from Britain, those in power won’t even spend a couple of thousand dollars a week to clear a ten-ten space!!
They’ve obviously forgotten that Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo were united as one country – “British Guiana” – only in 1831. Before that, all struggle was against the Government of the COUNTY! When, in 1872, the Indian immigrants refused to work, and five were killed at Devonshire Castle, they were protesting the planters’ not honouring the contract on their hours of work — leading to continued protests culminating in 1948 with the Enmore shootings, PPP formation and independence.
How quickly the Government forgets!
…AND FORGETTING UNC’S LARGESSE
The Government boycotted the GMSA’s dinner at the Pegasus with TT Opposition Leader, UNC’s Kamla Persad-Bissessar. While feting PNM’s PM Rowley, however, they praised TT for cancelling Burnham’s debt.
But it was actually a UNC Govt! Ungrateful or racist?