My friend David (Hinds) in his column yesterday wrote that I misquoted him as adumbrating support for the present regime because it is the lesser of two evils, the other hellish entity being the PPP. David informs readers that he never penned that position.
I stand corrected. What is factual is that he has openly endorsed the ruling formation for the 2020 elections. Then David drifted off into murky waters. He observed that I let “the cat out of the bag” because in my reference to him being an Africanist activist/ actor, and showing support for the reelection of APNU+AFC, I am positing that his embrace for the APNU+AFC 2020 campaign is because of race sympathies.
His source is my column of November Sunday, November 24, 2019 captioned, “Deconstructing words: The lesser of two evils. There is not a scintilla of evidence in that analysis that is connected to what David said. I quote from that column of mine; “Do Gibson and Hinds agree? Does Nandall agree with Gibson and Hinds? The problem is obvious here. Nandlall is Indian. He bats for the Indian PPP. Likewise, Gibson and Hinds are Africans in praise of a regime seen as ethnically biased towards Afro-Guyanese.”
Let me drive home to readers my definitive words, “Gibson and Hinds are Africans in praise of a regime seen as ethically biased towards African-Guyanese. Nowhere in that statement, Frederick Kissoon is saying that David Hinds and Kean Gibson support the current government out of race sympathies. I stand by my perception that many African-Guyanese would see Nandlall’s preference for the PPP because he is Indian. Likewise many Indians would see David as cheering for the ruling formation because it is predominantly African in make-up.
This is what happens to Guyanese Indians and Guyanese Africans who are involved in cultural activities. Perceptions are naturally born that because you are a cultural activist with strong ethnic attachments, your holistic outlook has race determinants. The reality will be vastly different as with people like David and Eusi Kwayana but how can you stop the birth of perceptions that are the opposite of reality?
When Ryhaan Shah was offered to President Granger to be GECOM chairman, can David honestly look people in their eyes and tell them he would have approved of Shah. It was David ho wrote that Jagdeo should have offered more African names Granger. I certainly rejected her name and did so in one of my columns. My reason still stands – I am unhappy with such a figure with immense immersion in ethnic binaries as GECOM chair. For the same reason I would oppose Eric Philips or Barrington Braithwaite being GECOM’s chair.
Here is where I apologize to Shah, Philips and Braithwaite for accepting to be a victim of the inevitability and influence of perception. They may be very fair GECOM chair persons without input from their cultural, ethnic deterministic worlds. But I am not willing to take that gamble and have an overt ethnic activist as chairman of GECOM.
I respect the rights of Indian and African Guyanese to fight for all that is healthy in the totality of the dimensions of their ethnic worlds and their religions and cultures. People are naturally inclined to want to preserve the world they belong to.
But I should have the right to be uncomfortable with people administering state institutions that impact on my life and those of my family, relatives and friends and these people are huge participants in the demands for ethnic this and ethnic that.
I have never voted for the PPP. As a student of philosophy, I could not have voted for them. It would have been a betrayal of my multi-ethnic genes. I never voted for the PNC. I believe it is an ethnically driven organization that East Indians are fearful of. Only once I voted for the PNC. It was in 2015 and my only mental motive was because the multi-racial AFC was part of a broader coalition with the PNC. After 2015, I have come to regret that decision. My vote for the APNU+AFC is one of the agonizing, tormenting regrets I have in my life. But I have put that aside, exorcize the Freudian ghost and I am a happy human.
Come 2020, I am rejecting the PPP and PNC. For me, the AFC is the worst of the three so I no longer think of them even for an ephemeral reflection. I believe both formations –PPP and APNU+AFC – are not going to change their spots. That is a genetic tragedy of race-driven organizations. I am voting for one of the third parties and I am hoping desperately that they merge soon.
(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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