Dem country coolie

by Imran Khan on Saturday, 3 December 2011 at 12:42
Mercifully Guyana’s bitter racial politics is beginning to show signs of dissipation but there are certain realities which are still prominent in how and why people cast their ballots. The truth must be laid bare for us to be set free.

Why dem always voting Cup?

Why dem holdin back dis country so?

Why dem country coolie so racist?

I don't know for certain that country coolie are racist, I know dem frikken. Blackman in power, coolie man in power is same sufferation fuh dem. Dem accept dat. But dem frikken. 1964 weighs heavy on their consciousness to this day. We might say but dat is almost 50 years ago and how dem could hold on pon dat so? Why we can’t move on? Now is a different time.

Is a different time fuh you. Not dem. The pain of their grandfathers and grandmothers has been meticulously passed from generation to generation subtly bludgeoned into their psyche. Race riots, rape, murder, contra-ban, bandit, choke an rob, mo fyah slow fyah, contempt. Dat ah wha blackman good fah. Yuh go vote fuh dem?

But coolie man run guvament now an yuh still ah punish and dem coolie wha ah run guvament ah thief more than Burnham.

Abi know abi ah punish but abi prefer fuh punish unda coolie man because abi go punish unda blackman too but unda blackman dem dominate abi and treat abi wid contempt. If blackman control tings abi cant walk ah town no mo. When blackman govern, abi frikken.

No matter how dem got to eat salt and rice and sleep in hammock, dem country coolie feel safer wid dem matte coolie in power. Dat is why when blood shed ah Lusignan de country coolie dem protest fuh Roger. Dem aint kay which coolie, dem want any coolie.

Blackman mek dem blood run, spoil dem daughta and tek all dem savings. Blackman mek dem afraid. More than food, is protection dem want. Protection is their freedom.

You may be horrified by the reality but is blackman got to tek a lot of responsibility fuh coolie fear. Blackman can’t erase the past but blackman can right the present.

When country coolie go to de hospitals, ministries, schools, post office, passport office, police stations where blackman dominate, dem treat coolie wid contempt. Country coolie are terrified because dem know de treatment dem gon get. Dem pass a raise not so much to get through but to get through without the disrespect.

Because dem country coolie can’t read an write too well you insult dem. You holler pon dem an snigger at dem, you mock dem an demean dem.

You are educated, can speak proper English, dress well and know who Martin Carter was so you mek ignorant country coolie feel ashamed and inferior. Dese same country coolie who toil in the sun from morning til night and plant and reap and feed the nation. They are made to feel like zero.

Country coolie are not prone to instinctive outbursts and immediate reactions. Dem built differently, dem recoil. Dem gon bear the shouts and insults and maltreatment but their revenge is de X next to de Cup. The Cup people know how you treat them and they exploit it at the bottomhouse campaign where you are absent but where country coolie are obedient and committed. In the meantime Cup people give you jump and wine and platitudes on the platform.

Congress Place can apologise and such apology may liberate them and be heralded by whatever is left of the intellectual class but to country coolie it will be empty.

Country coolie will never leave the Cup once the day-to-day contempt (which breeds fear) is prevalent. The change won’t happen in one month of campaigning. Change and trust, slow, painful and frustrating, will come when we make a personal commitment to treat each other with mutual respect, every day, no exceptions.