One more protest…one more ethnic violent encounter wherein innocent Guyanese — this time, as has happened on the West Coast of Berbice, Indian Guyanese — were beaten and robbed while their properties were looted or burnt and destroyed. After the attempted rigging-coup in 2020, there were some Indian Guyanese riposte along these lines, but let’s face it: those are few and far between. When it comes to being at the receiving end of ethnically-directed violence, it’s Indian Guyanese down the line!!
Now, that’s a subject that should’ve received a lotta attention over the decades it’s been happening. But obviously nothing meaningful has been done about it, since it keeps on happening with numbing regularity. In these matters, there are two things those who unleash violence have in their minds. First thing is: what is the downside risk when they go after any group? If they know those groups would retaliate with force, they would think more than twice before they act.
In Guyana, if protestors know there’s a strong likelihood that Indians are armed – with cutlasses, as in the old days, or with guns nowadays – it is very unlikely they would attack. They played the odds right, and no one stood up to them. The solution is clear: be armed and ready to defend your body and property. Once you are attacked, no one can charge you for acting in self-defence.
The other thing is the “protestors’” idea of what the reaction of the Police and other upholders of law and order gonna be to the mayhem they create. In Guyana, they know that in most instances they’ll be treated with kid gloves, and so they’ve got absolutely no fear. Even if they’re arrested – as some were after the Mon Repos Mayhem – they know that at best they’ll get a slap on the wrists. One person wrote that, rather than punish these miscreants, they should be trained, given jobs, food, the community should be counselled etc!! OK…then what?? What about that thing called “deterrence”?? Just like all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, all carrots and no stick make rioters into hard-core criminals!!
And now for the Indian Guyanese folks at the receiving end of the sticks at Mon Repos. OK…They’ll be compensated for their loss of goods – and hopefully for their stalls and cars etc that were vandalised. But what about the trauma they had to go through?? “How many more time, Bhagwan?”, they must be wailing. Who’s gonna compensate them for the uncertainty they’ll face about their lives for the rest of those lives?
But most of all, will the handful of Wild Men pay for stirring up hate among African Guyanese?? Guess not!!
…for the Chinese Dragon??
We had four hundred years of colonisation by the West – never mind Gabriel Marquez’s “One hundred years of solitude”. We were never cut off from the tentacles of western power through the myriad forms assumed – art, culture, language, politics, economics and so on. But, in all those years, we in the south were never “settler colonies”. The bottom line was, the British, for example, would live here for a while, crack their whips, but in the end return to Old Blighty to end their days.
Even when the Americans took over from the Brits – after they installed Burnham in power – they never descended on us like the proverbial swarm of locusts. And even before that, when they built our Airport and stationed troops there during WWII, didn’t they get out before Sparrow could say, Yankee dollar bill?? Well, there’s a new coloniser in town – the Chinese. But unlike the West, they send in their folks to actually settle here.
How’d we deal with locusts??
Remember that old saying, “Peter pay for Paul and Paul pay for all?” Well, it looks like, in Guyana, Indian Guyanese are the incarnation of Paul, and they’re supposed to pay for whatever sins are cast their way.