Kaieteur News – There are no other words in the English language to describe the psychology of the Guyanese nationality than funny and stupid. The Ministry of Education produced earlier this year, a number of literacy booklets for school children age 6 and upwards titled ‘the Atlantic Readers’.
The instructions used local settings to guide the children. A flood of criticism emerged about the images used in the texts including a picture of the city of London, strawberries, etc.
I did not pen even one column on what these critics wrote because I was cynical of these observers and knowing how I feel about the Guyanese psychology, I abstained from reflecting on the pitfalls inside ‘the Atlantic Readers’.
So with the emergence of the Readers, some “astute” Guyanese began to ask why the Readers had an image of the Tower of London or strawberries and a plethora of things foreign. The writers came in for severe chastisement including a scathing editorial from one of the four dailies.
I kept away from publishing any word of a critical pen on ‘the Atlantic Readers’ because I felt the people who lambasted the writers for a foreign mentality possessed the identical psychic trait.
What did these judges of the writers of the Readers expect in a society where the Caucasian image is ubiquitous in most advertisements and foreign vegetables and fruits are frenetically devoured up by Guyanese supermarket shoppers?
Where were the critics that pounced last January on the writers of the Readers? Were they living in Timbuktu or were they so hateful of Freddie Kissoon that their ugly and jaded minds prevented them from lending support to my severe condemnations five years ago right on this page about Caucasian images in most of the advertisements in Guyana?
In my columns of the subjects, I referred to specific companies and specific products. I pointed to billboards that carried the same cultural insults. There were no denouncing editorials. There were no letter-writers in the four dailies.
Then in January 2022, some absentees who returned from Timbuktu to Guyana shouted eureka, eureka when ‘the Atlantic Readers’ were published. Why? You see you have to understand the psychology of the Guyanese people who crave the limelight because there are psychological voids in their lives.
Publicity soothes the ego. If they criticize a local company for the use of Caucasian images, they will not get the attention they desire. But if you attack the Ministry of Education then you are immediately catapulted into the limelight.
From the time I wrote those columns of Caucasian faces in all sorts of commercials in the newspapers and in television more than five years ago, not one damn thing has changed.
Whether is it cabbage, soap powder, baby milk formula, tennis-rolls, guava cheese, sugar cake, cane juice, ladies wear, men’s apparel, umbrella, shaving cream, pharmaceuticals, you name it, the face in the advertisement is a White one with straight hair.
Black images are locked out from commercials in this country but the PNC, ACDA, Cuffy 250, the TUC, IDPADA-G and other African-dominated organizations have never possessed even a modicum of obligation to African people in the world to say: “Hey, wait a minute, Guyana’s population has the African race as part of it.”
But Indian organizations have been silent too. Almost all, and I emphasize, the two words “almost all” the faces in Guyanese advertisements have light complexioned visages. You do not see dark-skinned Indians and Africans in commercials in Guyana.
I was driving my daughter yesterday to the optometrist and I usually discuss philosophy with her all the time. I told her what I said more than ten years ago in an interview on an early morning show on channel 9. Three things will be with civilization until civilization crashes out of existence – the belief in God; men’s infidelity in marriage; and the human preference for light skin complexion.
So we come now to the headline in this column. Yesterday, the Stabroek News printed an image of a Caucasian policeman with his traffic hat on informing persons like me who live on the Railway Embankment that from the Sheriff Street roundabout to Ogle, traffic in the morning from 7 to 9 will not be allowed to go eastward.
Why the image of a Whiteman? The answer is simple. It is the identical situation with the writers of ‘the Atlantic Readers’. People in Guyana compose a drawing based on what they see in their country. If the artist frequents the supermarkets and he sees Guyanese buying foreign fruits, then if the Health Ministry requests him to do a healthy eating commercial, he is going draw strawberries.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Jagdeo will make ayo sell ayo bodies to feed ya’ll pickney.
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