If we must die– Let it not be like Hogs
If there were any doubts that Guyana has once again become a sick place, they were washed away last Wednesday morning when the country awoke to the news that Orin Boston was shot to death in his home by members of the police SWAT team. Yet again the family of an African Guyanese man must watch their son, husband and father being gunned down by a law enforcement officer in a country where the value of Black lives is very cheap. Only in our Guyana would a search for contraband items necessitate a killing squad kicking down the door of a citizen with guns drawn in the dead of night. Only in our Guyana would the police leadership tell the nation that a sleeping man is cornered in his bedroom by a team of armed men but had enough time to reach for a gun and confront the armed invaders of his home.
I am one Guyanese who cannot take it anymore. I am done. I have watched too many African Guyanese women and children weep for their loved ones, bury their dead in rage and holler and beg for justice. Its too much for me to stomach. The very police who run away when faced with rage in another ethnic community under another government is ever ready to shoot on sight in the Black community under a PPP government. Where is the love? Where is the consideration for human right to life? I don’t care how much contraband you suspected Mr. Boston had in his home, there was no justification to kick down his door at fore-day morning and invade his home with obvious intent to harm him. This is madness.
From the shores of Africa through the Middle Passage and the Plantation to the present, Black people have had to face trigger-happy death squads of one kind or the other. We have asked God to intervene but even if he did, it is not enough to stop the shedding of our precious blood. What’s wrong with me, asks the Mighty Shadow. Where is the sweet love to be found, asks Bob Marley. And Martin Carter asks : Who comes walking in the dark night time? Whose boots of steel tramps down the slender grass? Carter answers: “It’s the man of death my love/the strange invader watching you sleep and aiming at your dream.
The dream of Orin Boston has been shot in the dead of night. Another beautiful Black life snuffed out in a land where the living stands up for “democracy” and “mandates” but sits down for Black lives—a land from which loud condemnations erupt over the name-calling of a Queen-Minister of Government, but hardly a whimper over the execution of a Black “commoner.” We cannot be sicker than that. And, in any case, where were these voices of condemnation when another MP of another race was assaulted in the halls of the National Assembly a few months ago? We live in a land where shame is unknown to many.
Dartmouth mourns in agony and rage in the open space. Their faces are “strained and anxious” to again quote from Brother Martin Carter. The businessman of another group tells them to clear the bridges so that his goods, the source of his wealth, could pass. How cold and soul-less are we? While the PNC. AFC and WPA stand with the Bostons and their community, the PPP and its gang of democrats are silent. The forked-tongued men of letters write about Obama and AFC instead of death at the hands of their beloved regime—their beloved regime. For me, there are no more tears. I am done. I invoke our Caribbean Claude McKay to speak for me and I send these words to the family and the community with much love and clenched fist in the air.
If we must die—let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die—oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!