Kaieteur News – I don’t believe that there was a multi-dimensional argument that went into the rejection of the dangerous, racist rhetoric that Amanza Walton-Desir sprouted a few weeks ago. But what was satisfying is that she was pounced upon by several persons some of whom are well known in the society.
It doesn’t matter if the subject area is racism or rigged election or an area of lighter import, the point is, if you do not repudiate people’s false narratives and shameless fictions then honest, decent people could accept what they read, and it makes them possess false consciousness.
There is a section in this society led by the PNC, AFC, WPA, ACDA, TUC, the PNC GECOM Commissioners, the Guyana Human Rights Commission, certain women groups, certain civil society bodies, certain newspaper columnists that are inflexible in their conspiratorial mind to create false narratives with the insane intention of deceiving people who because of their youthful age do not know about Guyana’s recent past. Even those not so young, not schooled in the lessons of the past can be misled.
It is for this reason every concocted sermon must be confronted. It was shameful that a Stabroek News columnist wrote that there is a knee on the neck of African Guyanese. But even more shameful was that no one came out boldly to guillotine that depravity when it is the opposite that obtains throughout Guyana’s recent past. It is Indians that have endured the knee on their necks, and it is African Guyanese led by African politicians, that have perpetuated this physical burden on Indians.
You trace the post-Independence physical attacks on Indians from 1968 when the first rigged national election occurred, it has been relentless. The polemic of a knee on African Guyanese is simply a barefaced attempt at distorting history. It is historical vulgarisation. As recent as September last year in Region Five, the knee was on the neck of Indians when PNC supporters attacked Indians, burnt their houses and their cars and robbed them.
The repugnant vulgarisation that inheres in these factional narratives must be responded to. The facts to reject them are easily available. The rest of this column is relevant examples. There was a letter of Thursday June 18 by Mr. Jamil Changlee in the Kaieteur News in response to a newspaper publication by Tacuma Ogunseye.
It is these kinds of outputs that are essential for historical preservation. The more often they appear, the more precious they are for opening people’s eyes. Ogunseye had written that I wrongly blamed Clive Thomas for sugar estate closures. In fact, of the three WPA bigwigs in the APNU+AFC regime – Thomas, Dr. Maurice Odle and Rupert Roopnaraine – Thomas was directly in charge of the sugar industry and Odle indirectly through his chairmanship of NICIL.
If there wasn’t Changlee’s rebuttal, many of Thomas’ admirers may have fallen for Ogunseye’s fiction that Thomas did no grievous wrongs when he and Roopnaraine led the WPA presence in the government, 2015-2020. I was present on May Day at the rally in the National Park in 2019 when Lincoln Lewis said, dozens of votes should be needed for a no-confidence motion to pass.
When I quoted him, he challenged me to provide the evidence. It is contained in the May 1st coverage of the rally by Demerara Waves, which could be obtained by a Google search. It quoted him as saying more than 44 votes are needed. By publishing this evidence, people have the facts to make judgments and come to conclusions thus avoiding being misled.
Another example comes from UG lecturer, Sherwood Lowe. Writing during the tortured evasion of the constitutional requirement of the no-confidence vote (NCV) by APNU+AFC, Lowe polemicised that the NCV drove Africans to feel angry and betrayed that after coming into power after a long wait, there is an attempt to curtail their time in government.
Anger and betrayal also resided among Indians for many acts of betrayal by the APNU+AFC regime thus; they saw the NCV as justification for the removal of an administration that fooled them. Berbicians voted against their own party in 2011 and 2015 only to wake up to find that 28,000 Indian families were put on the breadline through the closure of the sugar estates.
Even if economic science could have been used to argue for closure, the financial entitlements of these retrenched workers were blatantly denied. The courts had to be resorted to and the courts ruled in favour of the workers. Those reading Lowe on how Africans felt about the NCV need to know about Indian feelings too.
(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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