…Govt’s mindset on sugar workers
Over the last year, the inhuman treatment meted out by the Government to sugar workers has revealed a most despicable and deep-seated mindset. It should remind us about how treacherously the ‘mental slavery” which Bob Marley warned us about has percolated the psyche of our ruling strata.
To use human beings as beasts of burden to maximize their profits, the sugar planters and their cohorts in Europe created what today we call “racism” when they introduced African slavery to the New World.
Even though our present ruling strata may have the same pigmentation that the Europeans used to mark the invidious badge of slavery, they are willing to put up with the permanent cognitive dissonance created when they are racist to “their own”. Back when we were entering our era of decolonization, the psychiatrist/revolutionary Franz Fanon described them as having “Black skin, White masks”.
With the present lot, the “white masks” they insist one wearing prevent them from identifying with the travails of the sugar workers. The racism inherent in the rulers is revealed every now and then in little slips – in addition to the broad relations of exploitation they oversee.
Recently, after making NO provision for paying all (legally mandated) severance to the fired 4000+ sugar workers, the Minister of Agriculture pretended they’re doing the workers a favour because they are prevented from “spending it out all at once”!! And that’s just how the old planters who invented racism insisted people with black skins would act if they were paid wages — they would just waste it away on frivolities.
People with dark skin, of course, were incapable of planning ahead; they’re incapable of deferred gratification – so why bother giving them money for their labour? Give them a (thatched) roof over their heads and some provision grounds and they would be as happy as…well…Sambo!! This was the stereotypical “darkie” in the fields smiling widely even as he was “jiving and shucking” to throw the massa off scent.
In the Guyanese present, the fired sugar workers can’t possibly want their severance in one lump sum, because they might want to open up a stall in a market, or put a down payment on a used hire car, or start a cash crop farm. Naaaah! That’s not possible. All they want is to drink rum till they die. So licences for opening up rum shops even in the bottom houses have now been facilitated (as another favour).
But Fanon did warn that to every action there is a reaction.
…The Parking Scam
Old people say, “Mout’ open, story jump out”! Well, on the Parking Meter scam which the Mayor and her Gang of Four (MG4) attempted to pull on the City of Georgetown, the mouth is as open as if a dentist had commanded, “Open wide!!” And all who have ears (and have had need to enter our Garden City with their cars) let them hear about how narrowly they escaped being flayed alive.
After citizens took to the streets (MAPM) and protested the contract that practically demanded they give up their first-borns to get parking, the MG4 refused to rescind the contract as demanded, but were forced to have a committee of Councillors relook at the contract, along with the Smart City smart flies. And lo and behold – a new contract has been hammered out, even though the Gang of Four predicted Smart City would rain hellfire and damnation on us from the courts.
Your Eyewitness believes the contract should now be discussed with MAPM. And the PNC demand their Mayor resign!
…on “good culture”
The PNC places form over substance when it comes to culture. When the Speaker gagged the PPP in Parliament and they protested, the President called them “vulgar”. The gagging wasn’t?
Now, after firing 5700 citizens and trampling their legal contractual rights, the President says appointing Senior Counsel reflects the “culture of a good society!!”