I go early on the Eve Leary seawall with man’s best friend – my dog. Friday morning, I was driving in Kingston and encountered someone from the extended leadership of the AFC that I respect deeply. I invited him to breakfast at a nearby restaurant, “The Cottage” besides the Demerara River.
As we analyzed the current political situation, he told me African Guyanese are expressing to him deep chagrin at my present perspectives; they are painting me with two brushes – I’m supportive of the PPP and I am ethnically inclined.
The revelation was not a revelation at all. I knew about that attitude two years ago when the APNU+AFC began to show its dirty slip in public and I wrote about that. Its slip was showing as early as 2016. What was told to me over breakfast last Friday, I anticipated because I know how flawed the nationality known as Guyanese is.
If certain sections of the African Guyanese community are disheartened by my current political positions, I am sorry they have arrived at that pathway but they know absolutely nothing about me. I see life through philosophical lenses. Through those lenses I see one race group only – Homo sapiens commonly referred to as humans.
I don’t care for ethnic foundations. I am not a fan of the Indian Prime Minister because I think he encouraged genocide against the Muslim people of Gujarat during riots there when he was Chief Minister of that state. My favourite American presidential candidate is a white man – Bernie Sanders. I chose him over Kamala Harris of African/East Indian/Jamaican stock. Of my two preferred composers of pop music, one is Black, Bob Marley, the other white – Burt Bachrach. Heading my list of 21st century novelists is an East Indian woman from India, Arundhati Roy.
Three of my favourite Guyanese are Portuguese – Fred Philips and Andrew Morrison (both deceased) and Catholic nun, Mary Noel Menezes. Four of my siblings married African spouses.
Those are some of the multi-racial facts of my existence. I have absolutely no interest in supporting any group or any government because of ethnic loyalty. I love my country. It has countless faults, but is it my home. It gave me birth. It gave me the parents I loved dearly. It gave me a wife and daughter I cherish. I am not going anywhere. I will die here.
I almost lost my life twice in my activism against an Indian government in Guyana. I fought against that government because of profound philosophical and moral reasons. That government was flawed. The present government is equally flawed. If certain sections of the African Guyanese community think that I am looking like a PPP supporter and that I am leaning in ethnic directions they are wrong but I will not spend an ounce of energy in attempting to placate them or explain myself or apologize. That is not who I am. That will never be me.
I berated the PPP presidents and I am presently berating the APNU+AFC leaders including Granger. I do not think Mr. Granger is an acceptable leader. I don’t think he has leadership qualities. Looking back in hindsight, I think the current PNC and AFC mandarins were not the people we should have entrusted with the future of Guyana.
Indian Guyanese were inflexibly angry with me for confronting the PPP. I got abuse from countless numbers over the 23 years the PPP ruled. That never ruffled me. I am too crazy to get emotional about insults hurled. Now African Guyanese are annoyed at my critiques of what they see as an African administration.
People are impossible to understand. It was fine and nice when I confronted the PPP. The same people chastising me at the moment for exposing the APNU+AFC’s depravities liked what I was doing against the PPP. Such people ought to be ashamed. Why should I support a regime that is destroying my country because I belonged to the same ethnic group as the leaders? I didn’t behave like that back then and I will speak out against the APNU+AFC government. If I am seen as a PPP supporter or taking ethnic sides then I honestly don’t know what I can do about that. I am not concerned in the least.
Our political culture is rotten. My breakfast friend asked me not to reveal his identity because the AFC will question his loyalty. It happened the other night when I met a person of similar standing in the AFC’s leadership. We had a fast food dinner and he asked me not to identify him if I was writing about our chat. The PPP, PNC and AFC are not good for my country.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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