It has just been pointed out to me that of 35 persons just announced as chairs of State-appointed boards, only seven have Indian-sounding names. I find it intensely painful that in my country — indeed in my world — qualifications of personal worth and potential contribution have to include racial division, and that responsible people would actually make a count like that.
But recent history forces us to use concepts like inclusiveness and racial unity. Perceived discrimination on grounds of race seems more offensive to Guyanese than that on grounds of gender, ability or performance record. So I am dragged into a nasty arena, to say to the Cabinet (though we know they’re not listening), “Ow, man, look bad… look so bad….”
Of course there are many rational arguments for the choices made. And the Government will no doubt survive the foaming at the mouth in hastily called press conferences in Robb Street. But even idealists have to face up to the degraded nature of our political environment. We and our unaccountable decision-makers have to remember the power of filthy racialism, and the long and winding road we have taken towards its elimination.
Should I say, the road I hope we have taken?