Latest update May 28th, 2023 12:59 AM
Mar 21, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News – It is now 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) came to life. At the pinnacle of those human rights is the equality of all human beings. In its own words, the UDHR states that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as race and colour, among others. Rights and freedoms are not gifts of government, nor the timely handouts of political leaders. Rights and freedoms are what belong and are inseparable from human existence, regardless of the station in life of any.
Today, March 21st, the world still grapples, it seems mostly fruitlessly, with racism and racial discrimination. Guyana’s own tormented history has been of claims and counterclaims involving discrimination. East Indians in Guyana are unmoving that this has been their circumstances. Guyanese of African descent are now unwavering in their own stance that this is their experience. And Guyana’s first citizens, its indigenous peoples, have staked out their own claim about what has plagued their group. The common thread is racism, and it has been a long, ugly, and disfiguring one.
Indian and African and Indigenous Guyanese are staunch in the belief, their undiluted bitterness, that for 28 years (then more recently 5), and 23 years (and now two and a half), and that all the time respectively since our Independence, they have been discriminated against, made into objects of the most reprehensible forms of racism. Racism is reprehensible, degrades fellow human beings, and deals with them in a manner below that normally extended to animals. The burning issue for Guyanese is not whether racism exists here, but to what degree, and who are the ones targeted, who are the ones doing the targeting.
Political leaders are quick to distance themselves from any contentions that they are racists, practice discrimination in their policies and programmes. In Guyana, the PPPC, the PNC, the PNCR, and the APNU+AFC Coalition all put their hands on sacred texts and swear that they are not. At different times in the story of this country’s efforts at self-governance, huge segments of Guyana’s demographic have alleged, have lived with, and will always believe that they have been mocked and scorned because of their race. Their rights have been trampled upon, their dignity tarnished, and their self-respect torn into pieces.
One section of Guyana points to sugar, while another identifies bauxite, and still another speak of their lands and forests. There are elements of truth, with supporting facts, of communities paying harsh prices, through the forms of the uneven practices where jobs, public works, and much-needed assistance are withheld to inflict punishment, or awarded in an unfair manner. Despite the Guyana constitution glistening brightly with articles and clauses about rights and protections, the road of racism and discrimination in Guyana has been a long and rocky one. It has not ended, but continues to this day, when there is another Guyana that is coming to past before our eyes.
We have the most sparkling gem from the vault of our national treasure in our hands. It is oil by the billions of barrels, with many more billions as good as guaranteed to be ours. As the production of oil soars, so also do the cries of discrimination and racism, from those left out, by those feeling the brunt of local hardships. In today’s Oil Guyana, the poor is at the back of the line of consideration, political losers are given the back of the hand, and conscientious objectors to official mismanagement and malfeasances are backed against walls. Unfair actions at the hands of the State that impacts on a clearly unbalanced scale those who are at the bottom of the economic ladder, or due to political affiliation, or because they protest for social justice amount to forms of discrimination, no matter how rationalized. When the victims are largely of one set of people and their color, then there is justification for assertions of racism. On this ‘International Day for the Elimination of Discrimination and Racism’, the unfortunate fact is that both are present in Guyana, and they are noticeable.
No contracts cast in stone, except Norton and Jagdeo own!
May 28, 2023Kaieteur Sports – Two left-arm spinners Kevin Umroa and Dennis Legay spun webs around batsmen last Sunday at Centennial Park in another round of this year’s Canadian Commonwealth Cricket...
May 28, 2023
May 28, 2023
May 28, 2023
May 28, 2023
May 28, 2023
Kaieteur News – The PNCR has a new savior. And it is from an unexpected quarter: the PPPC. The PNCR is getting a little... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – The report on May 17, from the World Meteorological Organization, (WMO) that... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]