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OPINION: “Rigging, Raging, Rupturing” should be Guyana’s new national motto

by GHK Lall

I think that since certain things are now so much of an inseparable ingredient in our DNA, so much of an unremitting aspect of our character, and so much of an undeniable element of our individual, communal, and societal existence that our National Motto should be changed to: Rigging, Raging, Rupturing. For that is what we think, what we are about, and what we manifest in our past existence, and now for any semblance of a future that may be in store for us. No court decision could conquer this.

As I am crafting this writing, I received this saying of Albert Einstein from someone attached to a hospital in Long Island, New York, “A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other individuals, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” This is deep and timely reminder to those persons subjecting themselves to high risk as they care for others during a global crisis. It is a powerful reminder for us, too, as we brace for whatever lurks and menaces. Regrettably receiving, giving and sharing are not part of the Guyanese mentality. Giving of self is the farthest distance from us here in stricken, near paralyzed Guyana.

Warring Guyanese have become so full of themselves, so sure of themselves that they scorn such profoundness. For there is a word that flies in the face of such thinking, that overpowers our consciousness, maybe our nightmares: rigging! The other side and other people are accused endlessly of rigging; it is always the other man, while there is the pretense that our own hands and clean, and pristinely altruistic in the reciprocal barrages pelted.

Our intellect and conversations are rigged this way. We will brook no other considerations; there is not an inch of area left to think any other way, to explore another avenue, to find something, anything, that may be remotely workable. We have so much rigged our thinking and positions that nothing is listened to, nothing else matters. This is how twisted we are, and with which I come to grips firsthand.

For I come to grips daily with the sophisticated and the ordinary, as the jostling for any thread, any edge, is what reigns in the paramountcy of the rigged mindsets and outlooks that overpower us. I detect the inhospitable in the chain of 750,000 human islands populating the near and distant dividing lines that render us non compos mentis. We are in the worst of shapes mentally and nationally. We are in no shape at all.

I did this amateur, rather crude, survey that conveyed and confirmed the worst: deh teef! Dem dah teef tuh! Dem teef mooh! And on and on from every slice of the six-sided divide. I ask Indian people, I ask Black people, I ask all the other peoples and that is what I hear about the other folks, of which there are only two. I shake my head and seek to conceal my flinching at how we have rigged our minds in this most terrible of environments, where the nastiest of unmoving suspicions, the greatest of distrusts prevail and pummel and pierce finally.

I listen and read as we engage in endless raging about “fraudulent” regardless of what comes from the courts, which only lays the table for more uninterrupted raging with daggers in our eyes and still worse in our hearts to not let any such perversities come to pass. To what single and singular destiny can we go? As persons? As communities? As a knitted society when raging is the only passion at this time, and which is sure to be maintained in whatever years are left for us in this lifetime, be they for people or for this patria of ours? To where can any society that is so constructed and so consumed proceed?

As if the claims and contentiousness about the electorally fraudulent are not enough, those are now, incredibly, extended and leveraged into the dangerous realm of the coronavirus pestilence.

Now there are sentiments and positions over the actual existence of the virus in Guyana. The whole world recognizes and accepts its uncontrolled life-threatening presence, and all that matters is that we interpret this same COVID-19 as being misused to threaten the sanctity of life and death elections, by thwarting its still hidden truths. That is also part of the narrative which circles and imprisons in the continuous raging over the strategies and believed tricks being brought to bear so that one group could prevail and rise in triumph from what is the toxic and radioactive landfill of our well-cultivated and flourishing elections minefields.

I find it is indicative of how far we have gone. I shrink from thinking that the coalition could be so barbaric, so unpatriotic, as to magnify and misuse COVID-19 for political supremacy purposes. I can imagine of no more unpardonable, no more treasonous, development than such. I must give it the benefit of the doubt in this instance. I do so, even as I am familiar with some of the prior atrocities that have heaped upon the inhabitants of this land by frail men, from either group, molded and made into the mightiest and noblest of political gods by those bowing before in unconditional homage. Amidst the clamors, there is the chatter about not cooperating, but only about contributing to, maintaining, and intensifying the unbridgeable rupturing that tears this society apart and into mounds of political and racial madness.

Rupturing, better known by its more common vernacular of divide or division, is where the tortured traffic of words and postures has led. It has been the journey, now the cul-de-sac destination. There is no way out, since few are interested in anything but where the rupturing has brought us and dumped us. There we lie prostrate and pitiful, a petroleum people punished by our pride. I believe that we like where we are; it is why we prance in the streets before courts, Gecom, and ballot boxes. What a spectacle we make of ourselves! While the world is in lockdown, this nation rushes towards a showdown and a bringdown. A once senior man in this country shared a high-level draft of a structure that has unity in it. Like Carthage, that ground is sown with salt. We like where we are, have fallen in love with what we have become.

Like never before, rigging, raging, rupturing have become so much a part of the identity of each and every Guyanese that those words and loving associations should be made into the first, middle, and last name of each and every Guyana; they should be embedded in large embossed letters in our national identification cards. For they represent the sum of who we are, and through which we provide walking, breathing, speaking bodies of evidence.

The circles of wastefulness and helplessness continue.

Mr GHK Lall is a Guyanese author, columnist and former financial analyst on Wall Street.