I spent four years studying history as an undergraduate at the University of Guyana. Before UG, I was exposed to plenty philosophy, because I worked as a sixteen-year-old youth at the Michael Forde Bookstore, where I stole philosophy books and carried them home. My philosophy insatiability was heightened when I met a Guyanese Catholic nun who was the foremost historian at UG, Sister Mary Noel Menezes.
Something is terribly wrong with that bunch of people who gives out national awards. How can Dr. Compton Bourne be given the Order of Excellence for his work in economics and not Clive Thomas, who I need not say anything more on his talent and Sister Mary Noel Menezes?
I honestly mean nothing personal, but excuse me, Compton who? In front of Clive Thomas and Mary Menezes! Anyway, let’s get back to philosophy
Professor Menezes taught the course, HST 102: The Philosophy of History. I never looked back after that course. I was craving to do philosophy. From Sister’s course onwards, all my essays had a philosophy dimension and I poured out my soul into studying Nazi Germany as a history student at UG.
My daughter grew up in the home hearing about Nazi Germany and Hitler. For two consecutive years, 2008 and 2009, my gifts from my daughter and wife have been on Nazi Germany and Hitler. In 2011, one of my Christmas gifts was “The Third Reich: In Colour” by Jill Stephenson. In 2012, another of my Christmas presents was, “Tyrants: History’s 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators,” by Nigel Cawthorne. No need to mention whose visage is on the cover; Hitler of course.
I was fascinated by the nature of the Third Reich, because of the inexplicable level of racist evil that swamped that government. How can a human being hate another race with such bestial passion? I went on to do a Masters in History with philosophy as a minor and my thesis was on slavery and the racist motives behind the enslavement of one race by another.
Sad to say, hundreds of years after slavery, its racist evil was repeated in Nazi Germany and sadder to know that in the 21st century racism is one of the aberrations of the human mind that is endemic in modern society. Slavery and Nazi Germany are still lurking in the shadows of today’s world.
There was a nice, neat, cozy Creole restaurant, Supreme Food Court, next to the Camp Street jail that was destroyed in a fire two Thursdays ago. Leonard Craig of the People’s Parliament and I ate there quite often. One day we invited a prominent African rights activist to have lunch with us there. This is a woman I like very much.
As the conversation continued, she said to us about a friend of hers, “I had to tell him, leave Mugabe out of your conversation, don’t go there, leave Mugabe alone. The white man is out to get Mugabe.”
Leonard looked at me with his eyeballs popping out of his head, I responded with equal ocular acrobatics. The first thing that came to my mind was to tell her that Joshua Nkomo, an equally respected African freedom fighter when Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, said to the world that he was never persecuted under the white man, Ian Smith, as he was under Robert Mugabe. Nkomo died a broken man.
I chose to be diplomatic and let her continue her Mugabe thing. I still like her, but I know where she is coming from. That I cannot accept.
What lies inside the mind of a human being that can justify the crimes of a leader all because he is of the same race? I have seen that too often in this world and it sickens me. I am an East Indian by no fault of mine. Two Indian persons made me. But it begins and ends there.
The supposedly great, Guyanese, Indian leader, Cheddi Jagan was not my hero. He was immensely flawed and helped to destroy my country. His party came to power in 1992, and I see its rule as one of destruction. I cannot accept that when Indians were being discriminated against in the seventies and eighties, they cried racism, now they are silent when Africans are being made to face marginalization.
Forbes Burnham led a government that did very bad things. He must be condemned for it. I believe a great, excellent human being, Walter Rodney, died because of a conspiracy involving a government that spoke in the name of Africans all over the world, but planned the assassination of this fantastic Guyanese who is widely respected on the African continent.
Racism may be the world’s saddest instinct. I hope one day we judge each other for what we essentially are and not on what is inside our genes.
Sep 15, 2019Briton John stormed to victory in the feature 35-lap race of the Triskits Biscuit, Midwest tea biscuit cycle event which was contested yesterday at inner circuit of the National Park. John took an...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]