The African Cultural & Development Association (ACDA) strongly condemns the rampant and growing intolerance in our society most recently exhibited by the attack on journalist Freddie Kissoon. We would like the intellectual authors to know that nothing goes unnoticed.
Only two weeks ago, President Obama signed into law the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act, which expands efforts to identify countries where press freedom is being violated.
The law is named after Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was beheaded by militants in Pakistan in 2002. The law expands an annual report on human rights practices to include information about media treatment, and identify countries where the media is being repressed. Guyana will certainly be watched.
This wicked and conspiratorial act and human rights abuse of Freddie Kissoon was well planned by the intellectual authors, many of whom, the public are aware of.
We stand in solidarity with Freddie Kissoon regardless of the fact that he never says anything good about our organization, and purposefully refuses to acknowledge when ACDA and other groups fight for justice.
He normally mentions the other groups and leaves us out, even when we led the activity. ACDA is one of the few organizations that publicly call for a peaceful multi racial, multi ethnic, multi cultural Guyana through the process of shared governance
Nevertheless, this was a despicable act and highlights the state of “indifference” the country has now plunged into.
For years now, ACDA has been speaking out about the “indifference” of many in our society to the plight of Africans in Guyana. Today, we see this indifference spreading to anyone who opposes this Government. Now, perhaps, many will revisit our concerns that Guyana is a modern day political, social, economic and cultural tragedy.
It was Elie Wiesel who spoke about how indifference led to the Jewish Holocaust when he said at a speech at the White House on April 12, 1999.
“In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering (the Holocaust) is what makes the human being inhuman.
Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative.
One writes a great poem, a great symphony, one does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the justice that one witnesses.
But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is no response.’
Elie Eiesel continued to say “indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor – never the victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees—not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own”.
ACDA is a member of a sixteen-organization All-African Guyanese Council (AAGC). I am certain each of the members of this organization supports our indignation at this willful act. Some of the members of ACDA have had their lives threatened on many occasions and we have seen the indifference to this. No one condemned these threats.
We hope the indifference shown to Freddie Kissoon by the less than human perpetrators serve as a wakeup call to him and all of us in Guyana about our “indifference” to some Guyanese in this country. The Westminster system in Guyana is about “indifference” to many Guyanese.
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