Sep 29, 2022 Letters
On September 26, I wrote a very brief (three lines) criticism of Mr. Lall. He had accused the PPPC government of treating public service workers like the ‘enemy’ whose ‘human rights died,’ and suggested that African Guyanese were “being deliberately run into the ground.”
The very next day, September 27, GHK Lall responded with an exhaustive, condescending and confusing letter.
GHK Lall’s writing is symptomatic of the most dreaded curse for a writer…he has become predictable. Too predictable. Mr. Lall’s essays almost always centered on at least one of four topics (a) he is complaining about the PPP/C government (b) he is accusing the government of racism and racial discrimination (c) he is attacking supporters of the PPP/C government and (d) he is defending African Guyanese.
GHK LALL’S RESPONSE
First, Mr. Lall offered his ‘evidence’ of the PPP’s racial discrimination against public servants. He put forth two names that he said were friends of his, and they were fired by the government. That is the totality of Mr. Lall’s evidence to prove that the PPP is treating public servants like the ‘enemy’ and killing “their human rights.” Two names. Charging on, he wrote “I offer these snapshots so that all Guyanese could have a glimpse (a glimpse only) of what is happening to Black public servants in this country.”
In his haste to indict the PPP government for alleged racism, Mr. Lall exposed his own. Mr. Lall neglected to acknowledge the many hundreds, if not thousands of public servants who are Indians and presumably PPP supporters. Surely, Mr. Lall does not think that the PPP would treat these folks as the “enemy”, and take away “their rights.” If GHK really was interested in exposing racism, all he has to do is look at writings and spoken words of some of his associates. They slander and slimed Africans Guyanese for being employed in the PPP government, with the inglorious racial slur, “house slaves.” Mr. Lall’s seeming inability to criticize this and other racist behaviour by supporters of the coalition, gives the appearance of silent condoning of it. The Guyanese people are smart, and they know who the real racists are.
Every incoming government always seeks to install their own operatives. Terminating two employees is not racism, it is common governmental policy. Three weeks before he assumed office, U.S newspapers screamed the headlines, ” The incoming Biden White House tells thousands of political appointees that they have to step down.” In every election cycle, there are approximately 35,000 people who are let go by an incoming U.S administration to make way for their own appointees.
This common practice shatters GHK Lall’s argument that the firing of two public servants represents racism, and is an example of racial discrimination by the PPP government.
Second, in successive paragraphs, Mr. Lall went from being the defender of Afro-Guyanese to the attacker on Indo-Guyanese. Mr. Lall justified the firing of 7000 predominantly Indians, by claiming their earned income represents a slush fund, with the expressed intent of securing their votes. Two African employees being fired means much more to GHK Lall, than 7,000 Indians and their families being sent to the breadlines!
The obvious question then, is: should Mr. Lall be the one who gives us lectures on racism, justice and equality?
Third, and last. GHK Lall ran the gamut and emptied his entire quiver of arrows. Without evidence or context, he insinuated that the government is acting in a manner where “vengeance is now extracted, and vileness perfected.” Mr. Lall accused people like me who do not agree with him of, “who wish everyone to see their partisan world through their racial prism.”
Mr. Lall’s writing is punctuated with sweeping conclusions, without the necessary supporting documentation or facts.
Is Mr. Lall even aware that there are more Africans employed in this PPP government, than there ever were Indians employed in any previous PNC led administration?
Consider the world today: in America, a non-black person would lose his job and likely be persecuted for a hate crime for simply uttering the N—– word. In Iran, there are deadly riots because a woman said she is not wearing a headscarf. In Saudi Arabia, a blogger was recently jailed for 34 years for writing for women to drive. And in Russia, citizens could be jailed for up to 10 years simply for uttering one word – war.
In Guyana, the past dictatorship of President Burnham did not tolerate any acts of disagreement and defiance. As a 19-year-old teacher, I was fired for refusing to enroll in the PNC and get a party card. My headmaster was transferred 40 miles away for criticising the government. He would die of a heart attack nine months later, two months before his scheduled retirement. Others were dealt with more savagely and sometimes with extreme brutality, like the alleged murders of Minister Vincent Teekah and journalist Fr. Bernard Darke.
GHK Lall should thank his lucky stars that President Ali is not Burnham.
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