EYEWITNESS: More…

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… differences the merrier

Imagine if all the creatures in the world were the same, think of how dull life would be!! Heck…we wouldn’t even be able to distinguish between us and the hyenas and tigers! We would be like some massive, humongous undifferentiated ocean. Excepting we’d be losing body parts to creatures that look just like us!

Fact of the matter, variety isn’t just “the spice of life” – it is the foundation of life. Each living creature forms a part of this world and plays its part in making it go around. And today, folks have finally accepted that diversity in the plant and animal kingdom is something we should work at to preserve – if not actually increase. “Bio-diversity” is the going thing. We’re told the more diversity there is in any one species, the better chances it has of surviving in different circumstances.

But when it comes to us humans – somehow everyone’s complaining that there are too many differences. Take this last Emancipation Day celebrated on Tuesday. There were actually folks saying why should people emphasise cultural differences. We’re supposed to be “One People; One Nation: One Destiny”, weren’t we?” they asked your Eyewitness.

Well, yes and no. “One People” doesn’t mean that all peoples have to be IDENTICAL to each other. We’re all “people”, aren’t we? Well in that sense, we ARE “one people”. In Guyana, it should actually be seen as a blessing that there are peoples who practice so many cultures in our “one nation”. Like a rainbow, these cultures may be different but together what a beautiful sight it is to behold!

The real problem is that when folks talk about all of us being “one people” and complaining about our differences, they want everybody to try to become like THEM. They’re the ones who will then be in a superior position because everybody else outside of THEIR GROUP will be in an inferior position since they’re all trying to imitate the “uniformity” brigade. The bottom line, as it usually always is, comes down to the question of power and privilege.

When the Europeans dragged us from all the continents of Earth (Australia isn’t REALLY not a continent, Is it?!!) they insisted we had to become like them. In cricketing terms, we automatically placed on the back foot. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t ever become them. When we got close, they simply moved the goalpost!! In cricket, for instance, when our fast bowlers became too good (dangerous!) for them – then they forbid more than two bouncers per over!!

Anyhow, back to our diversity in Guyana, let us now salute our good fortune in being the “land of six peoples”!!

…boondoggle

It’s practiced wherever there’s democracy. Over in the US, it’s called “boondoggling”. The Government spends money hand over fist either for its supporters. In Guyana, the coalition Government accused the PPP Government of spending money on sugar just to keep its supporters employed.

The PPP’s riposte that the workers paid taxes into the Consolidated Fund; brought in massive foreign exchange the country needed to purchase essential stuff from “outside”; kept its massive drainage and irrigation going – benefiting the villages on the front-lands etc, didn’t cut any ice. Whether it was a boondoggle or not, the present PNC Government sure put an end to that by chopping the sugar industry in half!

But that didn’t stop them from massively investing to prepare lands behind several villages dominated by their supporters for agriculture. They insist the investment will pay off since the agricultural produce would do all that sugar couldn’t.

But how will their unemployed supporters from Lombard Street upkeep their boondoggle new homes at Barnwell?

…jobs for ex-armed forces personnel

Some complained that too many ex-armed forces fellas snagged cushy Government jobs under the new Administration.

What’ll they say now when they overwhelm the Prison Services with applications for “warden wuk”? Patriotism!!

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