I have known Eusi Kwayana for a very long time, long before he migrated. This is a person for whom I have unlimited respect. This is a person whose presence in Caribbean politics has taught me a lot about politics itself. I am extremely glad that I interfaced with someone as unique as Eusi Kwayana.
I have heard untold numbers say that he is an eccentric man. In fact, Dr. Makepeace Richmond was bold enough to write such an opinion in the letter pages of the Catholic Standard. Despite the large numbers out there that perceive Kwayana as an odd human being, I have never accepted that evaluation.
There is a logical and a rational explanation for everything Kwayana does. The problem with human beings is that when others are different and operate outside of the mainstream, they will say that you are mad, crazy or peculiar.
They never use the word “different”, but crazy. I know persons have said that just looking at the way I walk, I am crazy. In life you are normal only when you are a conformist.
One of the things about Kwayana that I heard often when he was still living in this country was that he carried around one of those $50 salt bags rather than a briefcase. Why is he eccentric because he does that?
Kwayana knows exactly what he does and why he does what he does. He has never written a letter to the Kaieteur News. Only one time, his name appeared in a missive in this newspaper and he was one of many signatories.
He has never published a correspondence in this newspaper with his name only. And we are talking about years. Why is that so?
He replied to one of my columns about Andaiye and sent his opinion to Stabroek News. Last week, he responded to the Ravi Dev column by sending his comments to the Stabroek News. This is both unacceptable and rude. You read an item in the Kaieteur News, disagree with what was written about you, and send your rebuttal to another newspaper.
I am telling Eusi quite frankly that this action of his is unheard of anywhere else. Is he eccentric in truth? The answer is a reverberating no. Kwayana has his reason.
Before penning this article, I asked Adam Harris for an explanation. Harris said that he couldn’t think of any. Harris told me that as editor, he has had no quarrel with Kwayana and he knows of no bad blood between Kwayana and the publisher of the KN, Mr. Glenn Lall.
My analysis is that Kwayana at a Freudian level is a victim of upper middle class values. Let me make it evanescent here – I am not saying that Mr. Kwayana is conditioned by bourgeois values. I know in my heart that Kwayana is not. But as Marx and Freud explained, people can be subconsciously influenced by values.
Marx calls this false consciousness.
Kwayana does not see the KN as a mainstream newspaper. He has his definition of what a mainstream media house is and the Stabroek News meets his criteria.
One cannot quarrel with Kwayana for this conceptualisation of his. But this I can tell Kwayana; no amount of learned argument from him can convince anyone that the Stabroek is a mainstream organ and the Kaieteur News is not. I would love to see how such an argument can be shaped.
I mean, you can debate which newspaper is better, carries a more competent journalism and is more interesting. This can fall into the ambit of individual choice. But it is stretching it far, very far to say that the Stabroek News is a conventional newspaper and the KN is not.
I read both. I look at the layout of both. I examine the contents of both. And I know who buys both. I may not be as erudite as Eusi Kwayana but I fail to see what is so terrible about the Kaieteur News that would make Kwayana so contemptuous of it that he would read an item in it, and reply to what he read and sees it fit to send his thoughts to another newspaper?
Mr. Kwayana needs to be reminded that the same people that buy the SN buy the KN. The same personalities that are interviewed by the SN also speak to the KN. The same people that allow their names to appear in the SN do the same for KN. The exception is Eusi Kwayana. Maybe after all, Mr. Kwayana is indeed eccentric and life is mysterious.
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