Guyana Resource Center
Set like a gem in the crown of South America, nestled on the North-Eastern shoulder, defying the raging Atlantic Ocean, Guyana's many waterways reflect the source of it's name "The Land of Many Waters"
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Monday, April 24, 2006
Like you, I have been following the horrific death of Sash Sawh and others. I was touched by the Minister's wife question on: why (this had to happen)? Why? Why are we in such a situation where crime, racism, corruption, and hypocrisy reign supreme? Are we getting closer to the abyss? Why?

Over the past few hours (as I have done all my life), I have been looking for answers... all over. I looked at the PNC, the PPP, the unions, the Americans/CIA, global imperialism, our history...and I cannot come up with a definitive answer. And then it dawned upon me. I was searching the wrong places. The reasons for our situation is not the PPP. Not the PNC. Not the drug lords. Not the Buxton "resistance." It's us. All of us.

We have for one reason or the other turned a blind eye on corruption, maladministration, political terrorism, drugs, prostitution, and, racism. Yes, racism. Our tribal politics have driven us to defend the indefensible at times. And I plead guilty. We generally associate good and bad with one's race. We see race in everything - common entrance results, who gets scholarships, who makes up our cricket team, who dances at Mashramani. Everything. We laugh at racial jokes. We ignore claims by Afro-Guyanese that they are discriminated against, that they do not get construction contracts, that they are denied jobs, that the system is stacked against them... sometimes just because we belong to another race. We sweep evidence under the rug that Indo-Guyanese are murdered for political reasons, that the PPP is in government but not in power, we claim that Indo-Guyanese are involved with drugs...because we belong to another tribe. And the claims and denials go on...and on, ad nauseam. We do not take time to wear the shoes of those who are different. We see what we want to see. We hear what we want to hear. Maybe, the game is over. Our future is at stake. Sash Sawh's murder should not be the cause for self-reflection but the reason for it.

I have said it before, and I will say it again, the root of Guyana's problems is not racial politics. History dealt us a cruel blow in the 50s and 60s as imperialism laid the groundwork for local war and the resulting malaise. And then our economy just kept stuttering, and created an environment for discontent. But whilst our problems are not caused by racism, it would be ostrich-like to deny that it has raised its ugly face. No, not just raised its face. It laughs mockingly at us, especially those who have fought all their lives to confront and defeat it (if that is possible).

Tomorrow Sash will be cremated, and I pray that his soul rest in peace. As the fires on the pyre shoot to the skies, let us not allow them to take away our dreams and hopes. Let it not foster more division because this is what those who dealt us this beast want. It is their intent. Both Waddel and Sawh, and many more along the way. Let us use his death to self-reflect on our own weaknesses and prejudices.

The police and army may go after the killers with haste. And they should...with precision. But as they comb the backlands or wherever these killers have sought refuge, let us realize that maybe, maybe, they are not the only enemy. We are all guilty. And as we confront this reality, I hope and pray we come to the realization that peace can only be secured if there is justice ... for all.


(Courtesy of WGML)