Kaieteur News – Among my beliefs are two unshakeable ones. I firmly believe in the death penalty. I studied too much philosophy to believe there should be respect for the lives of some humans who are worst than predatory jungle beasts.
Such uncivilised species should be put to death for unspeakable crimes. They say never say never in life so I am not saying, never, but I doubt I will change my position. Secondly, I think some people carry deep psychological feelings that they believe are based on life’s truths. Some are racist, some are homophobic, some don’t think women and men are equal, some hate animals. They hold deeply to these beliefs when in fact they are irrational and not grounded in reality
We save pliable minds from these ignoramuses when we counteract their outpourings. One woman in another paper wrote a shocking discourse on race relations in Guyana but the editor allowed it to pass. I have encountered countless middle class folks who have rundown the Kaieteur News (KN) classifying it as second to others.
But this is what I know – some of the racist chants that I see published in other mainstream newspapers since the no-confidence vote in December 2018 and from the March 2020 election unto this day would not be accepted for print in the KN. I have known the current editor, Sharmain Grainger, for over 17 years now and I know how she feels about racist peddling.
Here now is an example of an incredibly large dose of mental strong-headedness. The woman noted that the PPP government has power over the lives of Guyanese. Then the woman went on to describe the unfair treatment African Guyanese receive in Guyana. Here now is the obvious question based on simple logic.
If the PPP government has power over Guyanese then logically the PNC regime from 2015 to 2020 had power over the society. Were African Guyanese treated unfairly before 2015? If the answer is yes, then, why was the ambience that nurtured that mistreatment not extirpated after 2015? But there are more rebuttals to this theory of hegemonic government in 2021. What description and interpretation you put to a government that has power over Guyanese and sacked 7,000 sugar workers thus affecting 42,000 people in a wider connection of dependents?
You read these narratives on lack of opportunities for African Guyanese and there is no holistic analysis on class and race discrimination in Guyana. Let me mention for the second time the story of the coconut vendor at Orange Walk and North Road.
From the presidency of Desmond Hoyte right up to the government of Donald Ramotar, the army bought coconut water from him. When the Granger presidency assumed power, his supply was stopped and a Black vendor took his place. This is what is meant by the power of the government over the citizens.
In an irrational rambling this woman by some strange logic sees one government in 2021 as having authority over the citizenry but the government from 2015 suddenly didn’t have that authority. There is no space in this column to examine the complete control the different PNC governments had over the lives of all Guyanese for almost 28 years.
One would hope that independent African minds would analyse these misleading narratives. My mind loiters on someone like Ruel Johnson whom I consider a multi-racial African Guyanese that would not pen the disturbing outlook that woman composed. Young minds like Johnson need to shape a higher profile where they can contribute to the debate on race and class in Guyana.
I believed from my studies of Guyanese society African Guyanese economic evolution has been a disadvantaged one. Two books have adequately documented this – Alan Adamson, “Sugar Without Slaves: The Political Economy of British Guiana, 1838-1904” and Carl Greenidge, “Empowering a Peasantry in a Caribbean Context: Land Settlement Schemes in Guyana, 1865-1985.” But that historical wrong cannot justify entitlement in the 21st century.
Since the 19th century, other ethnic groups have played their part in developing this country therefore the argument of entitlement cannot stand. I will look at the flawed thesis of entitlement in a forthcoming column. However, when one speaks of the lack of successful economic pathways for African Guyanese, it cannot be done without a methodological examination of the failure of the Burnham and Hoyte presidencies to support African opportunities.
Someone wrote that Jagan failed his Indian supporters. There can be no greater example of how a leader failed their ethnic base than in the presidencies of Burnham and Hoyte.
(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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