For the past year Cuffy250 has been engaging the African Guyanese community in a conversation aimed at restoring a sense of cultural pride and self-activity among African Guyanese. We have made some small gains. But it has not been easy work; the challenges have been more than we anticipated.
The non-state media, with one or two exceptions, have generally not covered our events, particularly those outside of Georgetown. Our press releases have been generally ignored. One media house, which has taken us seriously is a publication aligned to the ruling elite. They have editorialized and commented negatively on every report of our activities. They present us as a threat to Guyana’s ethnic peace. They have maligned us and the speakers at our events at every twist and turn. But their latest comment on our recent Forum, held in Buxton in collaboration with the Buxton First of August Movement, crossed the line.
Commenting on Nigel Hughes’ presentation, one columnist said the following:
“And so we had Nigel Hughes, the once and future (secret) Company Secretary of the Amaila Falls Hydro – and not coincidentally, still the Chairman of the AFC – riling up the folks in Buxton-Friendship. You heard that right…Buxton-Friendship, where the audience was chock-full of the now grown-up “child-soldiers” from the days of the Douglas-Fineman gang” (Guyana Times: Saturday August 30, 2014).
So there you have it…an audience full of “child soldiers.” Reminds you of the editorials in the Chronicle about socializing Black youth as criminals? Remember the characterization a few years ago of Buxtonions by a top PPP leader?
For the record, Eddie Rodney was one of those grown-up “child-soldiers” at the Buxton-Friendship Forum. The characterization of African Guyanese in ugly terms is contagious. For me, it’s policy arising out of a familiar racist mindset. What needs to be said in defence of Buxtonions and African Guyanese cannot be said via this medium. So, I say no more—For Now.
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