Eyewitness: Race in the open…


…on Oprah
Your Eyewitness must confess he’s not at all enamoured about the extraordinary attention showered on the English Royal Family. He had parents growing up in BRITISH Guiana when Britannia ruled the waves, and he can still remember their excitement in recounting when Princess Margaret visited Guiana sometime in 1958. Ah! Her beauty! Her grace! Her charm! The tea mugs, with the Queen’s mug from “Coronation Day”, were proudly displayed in their china cabinet! They were good British subjects.

Queen Elizabeth herself dropped in just before Independence in 1966.
His exposure to history in his readings, however, quickly dissipated any illusions he might’ve absorbed (by osmosis?) about the “Royals”. Here were folks who were living in unimaginable luxury – funded by money sucked out of the blood of us “natives” in Africa, India and, yes, the West Indies. For hundreds of years, they were bred and raised to believe they weren’t only superior to all those “natives of all colours”, but even over all whites! However, they ruled the former “for their own good”, since we weren’t quite human!

So that brings us to the hot topic du jour after Megan Markle and her husband Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth, were interviewed. He’s just “Harry”, since “Royals” don’t need a last name, just a string of first names. Presumably following in this tradition, folks who’ve attained high status, like Oprah Winfrey, can also drop their last names. Seems that after some sort of estrangement from the Royal Family following their marriage, they traipsed off to Canada to get away from the hothouse that constitutes “Royal living”. And they were now being interviewed by Oprah to “tell all that had gone down back in old Blighty.”

Now, when the couple had gotten hitched up in 2018, they’d become the “talk of the world”. Why? It so happens that Megan, from the US and an actress, also happens to be what we call “Mixed”, or “Red”, in Guyana – with a white father and a black mother. In the US and Britain, however, she’s “black”, and this precipitated the very animated discussion. About what? Well, of course, about a member of the Royal Family marrying a black girl…who’s also divorced! Let’s not forget that a recent English King was deposed for daring to marry a divorced WHITE woman!!

So, after Oprah prompted him, Harry confessed that some member of the Royal Family – not the Queen or Duke – had speculated about “the possible colour” of their then expected child. Gasp!! And this is what has caused the firestorm.
Evidently, folks believed that because the marriage had been permitted, the Royals were now “post-race”!! Sure! Just like after Obama (single name!) became President, the US became “post-race”!

…with the PNC

Here, also, the PNC had proclaimed a “post-race” Guyana after they’d coalesced with the AFC to form the coalition that squeezed into Government in 2015. After decades of insisting they’d “won” elections with massive majorities under Burnham and Hoyte because of their support from all the races of Guyana, new PNC leader Granger conceded his base hadn’t ever expanded. He needed the Indian-Guyanese (11%?) from the AFC to make them “National”! Never mind that the AFC also insisted it was “multiracial”, like the PNC of yore!
And so the post-race PNC promptly hired predominantly African-Guyanese as Permanent Secretaries, Ministers, members of Government Boards, contract workers, contractors (excepting Harmon’s bestie, BK!) and finally fired some 2000 Indigenous Community Workers and 7000 mainly Indian-Guyanese sugar workers!! Why should people complain about that in a post-race Guyana?

These were just racist trouble-makers who were stuck in the past! Channelling Tina Turner, they snorted, “We are post-race!”
“What’s race got to do with it?”

…on breaking sugar targets

Gotcha! “Race” is also a verb!! And the race is on for a record-breaking year in sugar production. Not production records set by the (departed) racist “colonial plantocracy”.
But on our modest “native” ones!