Eyewitness: What’s it to be…


…for the youths?

Before he died in 1961, Franz Fanon made some of the most amazing insights on the condition of the colonised. And if you were to read any of his books, “The Wretched of the Earth” or “Black Skin White Masks”, from the jolts of recognition you’ll get sixty years later, you’d think he was a prophet. And maybe he was…a prophet for the world to come out of the bowels of the fight for liberation.

One of the things he said that your Eyewitness remembers is, “Every generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” It was from The Wretched of the Earth. So, the question he poses to the youths of today is, “What’s it to be? What’s your mission? Have you discovered it? Are you even searching for it?”
At every election cycle, we hear that almost two-thirds of Guyana are “youths”. And this isn’t stretching things any – these include just those up to thirty years old.

Franz Fanon wrote Black Skin White Masks when he was just 27, and had his mission (during the Algerian War of Independence against the French in the 50s). Here, we had Jagan returning to Guyana from the US at the age of 25, ready to launch an independence moment against the British! The PAC – which would become the PPP – was launched just three years later. Burnham was 27 when he was made Chairman of the PPP in 1950. And so it was with most of those early leaders…they were practically all youths. Out of relative obscurity, they discovered their mission, and it’s up to us to decide whether they fulfilled or betrayed it.

So, when we wring our hands about what are the youths doing about changing our toxic political culture, we’re not being unfair. This should be their mission. They have the benefit of hindsight – and we’re assured that’s 20/20!! They can look back at what got us into our mess and just try something different…for a future they can see from their perspective that’s not too clouded with betrayal and ambushes.

How come we don’t have a political party launched by youths? Can’t they put together a Manifesto? They should certainly have the energy to go up and down the country to rally the people to their banner. And, of course, they are much more au fait with this social media business – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TicToc etc – that gives them the ability to reach the world without even leaving their beds!!
With no such movement on the horizon, your Eyewitness has to sadly conclude that this generation has decided to betray its mission.
So they have to “tek wha’ deh get!”

…on local elections?

We’ve been hearing for over a year that local government elections (LGE) are due this year. But here we are, with October nigh upon us and we don’t even have the GECOM Secretariat sanitised to conduct the elections!! Now, what’ll most likely happen is the Government will have to postpone the elections. And that’s gonna bring down another big political drama.
The PPP will need the Opposition to go along, or else they’ll be dragged over the coals for “killing democracy”!! And you know the PNC ain’t going to go along! In addition, they’ve been demanding a new elections list, knowing full well that’ll take at least six months. So, even if the PPP restaff the GECOM Secretariat, the PNC will be kicking up a storm.

One way to handle the conundrum would be to announce here and now that, because of the COVID spike, LGEs will have to be postponed!!
Let the PNC fight that while insisting the PPP aren’t firm on lockdowns!

…for GuySuCo field workers

Back in the days of slavery, there were field slaves and house slaves. The house slaves insisted they were better that the field slaves – they were near Massa!
Seems that, on granting gratuities, GuySuCo’s reviving the distinction.