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“Send Her Back” – US President’s Campaign Rally – North Carolina/USA – July 17, 2019
Photo Credit: HuffPost, YouTube Video

 

I know about divisive racist politics. I have experienced it up close in Guyana, the land of my birth—one of the “shithole countries” that our president loves to denigrate. Divisive racist politics has crippled my birthplace over the past fifty-three years since its birth as an independent nation. As a multiracial woman, I know firsthand the ways in which hate, rancor, fear, and distrust can splinter families, communities, and relationships in public spaces, such as our schools and workplaces.

Caught up in what Guyanese call “the racial disturbances”—during the years leading up to independence in May 1966, between the two major population groups of descendants of African slaves and Indian indentured laborers—I became a marginalized citizen. Beginning in adolescence, I learned to navigate the racial minefields, to dodge and take the blows.

In my debut novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, to be released in the coming months, I tackle the roots of Guyana’s divisive racist politics and its impact on the lives of my racially diverse characters. You can learn more about my motivations for setting out on this literary journey in my article “The Making of Under the Tamarind Tree.”

While the chant rose to “send her back,” during a recent presidential campaign rally, America’s transnational corporations are sucking Earth’s natural resources from all those “broken and crime infested places from which they [non-white immigrants] came.”

Guyana’s Constitutional Crisis – President & Opposition Leader – July 2019
Photo Credit: Guyana Times

 

In Guyana, ExxonMobil is set to begin producing up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day in early 2020. “Guyana is projected to be among the world’s largest per-capita oil producers by 2025,” predicts an analysis from The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects June 2019.

Meanwhile, Guyana is facing a constitutional crisis. The two major political parties—representing the Afro- and Indo-Guyanese populations—are at war again. This time, it’s not about who will take the reins of a British colony on the lead up to independence. This time, it’s about who will first get their hands on the oil money.

An article by Sara Bharrat—a Guyanese journalist and social activist of African and Indian descent—unsettled my troubled heart for my native land. On the eve of Guyana’s Independence Day 2019, she asks, “Will Guyana Survive?

As America’s president stirs up the racial enmity that still festers among us, we should be wary. When we the people allow the minority power elite of Corporate America to hijack our democratic government with divisive racist politics, we allow them unfettered access to plunder our nation’s natural and human resources and to destroy the ecological systems upon which our lives depend.

Whenever and wherever the One Percent have succeeded, the people of the exploited so-called “shithole country” suffer the consequences of their greed. Oftentimes, these people are forced to flee to America and other Western nations for succor, creating the refugee debacle we in America now face at our southern border.

Should the One Percent succeed in dismantling America’s democratic institutions, we the people would all be at risk—especially the most vulnerable among us, regardless of our race. Will America survive?

 

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