(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 22 April 2011)
I heard a song this week that resonated with my core beliefs in a deep and meaningful way.
The song is entitled, “One Tribe” and it is sung by The Black Eyed Peas. From the first time I heard this song, I thought it would be a perfect anthem for this election year in Guyana.
The primary sentiment behind this song is about rejecting racial divisions and racial politics to work together toward a common goal for the good of all.
“One Tribe, one time, one planet, one race
It’s all one blood, don’t care about your face
The color of your eye or the tone of your skin
Don’t care where ya are
Don’t care where ya been
Cause where we gonna go
Is where we wanna be
The place where the little language is unity
And the continent is called Pangaea
And the main ideas are connected like a spear
No propaganda, They tried to upper hand us
Cause man I’m loving this peace
Man, man, I’m loving this peace
Man, man, I’m loving this peace”
I especially like the parts of the song that insist on rejecting leadership that promotes fear of others for selfish political agendas. The people of Guyana have to be smart enough to recognise the fear tactics of their leaders and adamantly reject those divisive schemes.
“I don’t need no leader
That’s gonna force feed a
Concept that make me think I need to
Fear my brother and fear my sister
And shoot my neighbor or my big missile”
“We are one people
Let’s cast amnesia, forget about all that evil
Forget about all that evil, that evil that they feed ya…
Remember that we’re one people
We are one people”
Anyone who uses race to separate a group of people (for example, the people of Guyana) is petty, small-minded and wicked.
In the 21st century, there are millions of enlightened persons who recognise the great harm done to us all by those who have divided humans into racial stereotypical groups.
These enlightened ones identify this divisiveness for what it is and reject it wholly.
Those who continue to encourage racial fear are either of a bygone era that refuses to embrace a human as a human or they have an agenda that can only be accomplished by the continued separation of humankind by ethnicity.
For example, there are politicians in Guyana who would not benefit from advocating for racial unity.
In fact, racial unity could mean the end of the easy ride they and their party have long enjoyed.
So they continue to encourage racial fear, something I find absolutely disgusting. In fact, racists like that make my blood boil. I choose a better way.
“One love, one blood, one people
One heart, one beat, we equal
Connected like the internet
United that’s how we do
Let’s break walls, so we see through
Let love and peace lead you
We could overcome the complication cause we need to
Help each other, make these changes
Brother, sister, rearrange this
The way I’m thinking that we can change this bad condition
Wait, use you mind and not your greed
Let’s connect and then proceed
This is something I believe
We are one, we’re all just people”
When Guyana’s leaders refuse to allow the Guyanese to be one tribe, one people and one nation, they are – in yet one more way – holding Guyana back from the progress taking place in the rest of the world.
As the rest of the world moves closer toward breaking racial barriers, Guyana’s leaders pin this country down to those racial divisions that will only benefit those in power.
The people of Guyana themselves are prone to racial unity, as is evident by the daily interactions of the races. It is only when their leaders tell them it is time to be afraid that the people start to fear each other. But there is a better way. Like the song says,
“Let’s cast amnesia, forget about all that evil, Forget about all that evil, that evil that they feed ya, Remember that we’re one people, We are one people.”
How is it that a mere rock band has a better grasp on this issue than those who lead this country? Sister, brother, do not let the power-hungry drag you down to their smarmy level. Do not give those who speak words of racial division even one second of your precious time.
They do not wish for your best, they only wish for their best and they will have it if you follow their wicked lead.
Choose the higher road. Let this song be your anthem for this election season.
“One world, one love, one passion
One tribe, one understanding
Cause you and me can become one.”