The no-confidence vote (NCV) of December 2018 has taught me something about the collective psyche of this nation that I knew many moons ago, but still it keeps stalking me. I am not surprised at its appearance, but it won’t go out of my head. It makes me ask the question repeatedly and continuously – why are humans so flawed? That question will continue to be queried thousands of years from now.
A government that in essence and in reality was controlled by an Indian-oriented party was in power from 1992 to 2015. I opposed the type of governance I saw from Cheddi Jagan in 1992 until his party fell from power with the Ramotar presidency. My opposition was based on one determinant – as a philosophically-driven person, I could not agree with the exercise of power that was racially based, had frightening incestuousness about it, and was not democratic in the essential meaning of the term.
I grew up in a multi-racial district in south Georgetown, where in primary school (poverty prevented me from having the opportunity to attend high school) you could have counted the number of Indian students on your fingers. I grew up on D’Urban Street where you could have counted the number of Indian residents on your fingers. Four of my siblings married African spouses giving birth to children that looked like African-Guyanese, with the last name Kissoon.
Race never existed in me. It exists in only twisted minds. But it is there in Homo sapiens, and it is destroying many countries including the UK, the US, Guyana among others. I didn’t care about the ethnic make-up of the PPP under Jagdeo and Ramotar. They were terrible presidents, whose governance was not conductive to a stable Guyana, and whose hold on power weakened a placid future. I almost lost my life twice denouncing this Indian regime. My wife suffered too.
I campaigned vigorously (still think I spoke at more meetings in 2015 than anyone from PNC or AFC; maybe wrong) for the Indian-oriented party to lose the 2015 poll it did. I welcomed the new dispensation. But the dreams of countless Guyanese died after 2015. I didn’t care if the new kids on the block lost power. Their practice of power didn’t show much difference from the PPP.
After 2015, I saw racial preferences, incestuous administrative culture, corruption and terrible governance. A government which won the election by zero point three percent, behaved as if it owned the Guyana. I had a conscience that drove me to protect the future of my country. My struggle for a better Guyana continued with my open, consistent and determined criticism of APNU+AFC. More emphasis was placed on the depravity of the AFC, because I saw them as more evil than APNU’s mandarins.
Then came what I saw as the beginning of a new horizon. The NCV opened up endless possibilities for power-sharing, end to the domination of the political culture of the PPP and PNC, and a chance to change our constitution to dissolve fear and insecurity that dominated Guyana since the Burnham/ Jagan split in the 1950s.
The reaction to my support for the NCV and Charrandass Persaud included chagrin and anger in African-Guyanese, who saw me as abandoning APNU+AFC. They began to see me as moving towards the PPP. I expected this. This is sad, tragic Guyana, where people’s minds are morbidly closed.
My good friend, David Hinds wrote that he would encounter people who now see me as racist?
And why? I quote David; “And guess what, Freddie. Many prominent and not so prominent Africans who serenaded you when you were pounding the PPP, are now labeling your anti-APNU+AFC advocacy as racist bigotry. They see you as the Indian who cannot be trusted, even though you do not advocate for Indianism. I don’t bother to “defend” you, because I know the simplistic origins of that narrative.”
Everywhere I go in Guyana, African-Guyanese I knew from my struggle against the PPP and those I don’t know and never met, are not happy with my criticism of APNU+AFC. I haven’t met an Indian who doesn’t support my critical analyses of the APNU+AFC regime. I am not on Facebook. I do not have any connection with any form of social media. But people tell me how African-Guyanese are denouncing me.
But there is a strange twist to this anti-Freddie Kissoon narrative that David Hinds encounters and that my friends tell me about. These anti-Freddie Kissoon African-Guyanese never ask why this Indian guy campaigned to bring down an Indian government and now “their people” are in power.
(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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