Apr 01, 2023 Letters
Saturday, April 1 has been celebrated universally as April Fool’s Day. Origins of this practice and the pranks are not clear, but I grew up where my mother had lots of fun on All Fool’s Day. Today, in Guyana, we have our two senior Executive Officials practising pranks every day of the year, somehow confident that we, the ordinary people irrespective of race, colour or creed can be fooled by the protestations, and paltry provisions.
The latest from President Ali and Vice-President Jagdeo is that the PPP is the only multi-racial Party in Guyana and as we heard at Victoria and other places, this delightful duo complimenting each other is saying that they are overcoming racism and ethnic discrimination in our country. The old folks say ‘wha mouth nah load’, which means what you say is not the same as what you do.
Every sensible self-respecting and genuine patriot wishes to rid our country of this scourge, this cancer and this debilitating curse of racism. To do this, we require a leadership that is capable of disseminating the truth of our history. With that knowledge, we’ll identify the reason for existence and ethnic and racial problems, not unique to Guyana, but something that every nation-state in every continent has had to deal with. The education and knowledge must help all of the so-called six races plus the delightful ‘douglas’ and mixtures which defy description to understand why the distrust that has lingered on and what role the Europeans who enslaved us made our Amerindian brothers into human head hunters and brought immigrants from Madeira, China and India to replace the freed African, what role they played in Guyana’s difficulty of race.
These are serious issues and unless and until you have an Administration with the acumen to deal with the issue of race holistically, we’ll continue this march of folly with the fulminations we heard at Babu Jaan and elsewhere from our illustrious President and Vice-President Bharat Jagdeo. You may fool some of the people some of the time and with the massive sums available to the two gentlemen, this may seem an easy project, but every day is not All Fool’s Day and you can’t fool all the people all the time with as we say ‘crumbs from the Master’s table.”
To avoid the tedium, I merely note as follows:-
Due to events which you are aware of, the Post Emancipation period saw Afro-Guyanese with their cultural and other roots completely severed, compelled to cling to European cultural responses, including the names we bear and our turning to the public service, police force and military. Evidence that those who opted to serve in the two world wars from Guyana were more than 90% Afro-Guyanese. Our other brothers turned to other areas for solace and development, and they did so admirably but you have a Government today that talks about ending racism.
The focus of course has been on the two largest groups, Indo and Afro. The President and Vice-President with some sophistications are employing the same strategy and tactics employed for generations by our erstwhile masters. You will remember when the African slaves were fed-up with the cruelty and drudgery of life on the plantations, and ran away, our Amerindian brothers were paid handsomely to hunt them like animals. This letter must avoid the painful details of that period, but I ask this administration as they proclaim the interest in bringing to an end racism in this country, to answer truthfully the following (1) Is It true that they have requested that future recruitment into the uniform services must be based on ethnic balance?
Today, we boast that we are the fastest growing economy in the world, with substantial sums coming into the Government’s coffers, but note the multi-ethnicity that Jagdeo spoke of recently of those who control the receipt and disbursement of these funds. President, Dr Ali, responsible for Finance assisted by Ashni Singh, Vice-President Bharat Jagdeo in charge of among other things oil and gas, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, responsible for lands use and distribution, Vickram Bharat, Min. of Natural Resources and Ms. Sonia Parag, Minister responsible for the Public Service.
The President and VP must come straight. There is only one All Fool’s Day in the year. Dear Editor, our saving grace and our good fortune is that we have a group of men and women of every race and creed who are publicly and privately, relentlessly trying to fulfill the dream of our founding fathers who had inscribed on our Coat of Arms – ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny.’
PNC demanding answers for smuggled chicken early Sunday morning after church!
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