Dear Editor, For years, I have asked myself and those closest to me, what was wrong with this country we call home, where our people are fed racism, hate and lies. Our people are rapidly losing their identity and there seems to be no stopping it. We are alienated to the point where it is now brother against brother and sister against sister. I asked myself, why in a country of so much wealth, we are so poor and even in the 21st century, Guyana is in one of the most detrimental states it has ever been. After pondering these questions for short periods, I would quickly come to the conclusion that the government and the people were to blame and I had no part whatsoever to play in this.
My thoughts never went further than this and my opinions, though strong, were never voiced because I had never seen myself as my brothers or my sisters’ keeper. I saw politics as something alien. Something the foolish meddle in, because to meddle in such a system was asking for trouble. I did not wish to question such a system, being so young, unknown and not anywhere in the world as yet. I did not wish for the trouble that would be brought on me for speaking out on the matters and decisions that hurt us as a people.
Age I believe surely brings wisdom. As an 18- year- old Guyanese citizen, I’ve learnt that I can no longer dish out the blame on others. I can no longer blame the people, not even the government. I have to blame myself.
I have to blame myself for not being my brothers nor my sisters’ keeper. I have to blame myself for witnessing injustice and never taking action against said injustice. I have to blame myself for our failing country and everything that goes with it. I have to blame myself for the rapidly increasing crime rate in our country.
I have to blame myself for even our failing education system, the Marriott fiasco and the BaiShanLin embarrassment because I’ve read about them, seen the effects of them and I have remained silent on them.
By remaining silent, I have unwittingly agreed to support a failing system where foreigners are treated better than one’s own citizens. I have to blame myself for being an embarrassment to my country, my family and myself for saying more than once that I have no interest in politics or world affairs.
I recognized my ignorance and saw how my continued silence was slowly sinking this already sinking country. I blame myself for being a coward. What do others blame themselves for?
Akola A Thompson
University of Guyana student