Sep 21, 2023 Letters
In an article in the Kaieteur news dated Sept 5 2023 and captioned, “16 protesting sugar workers, four others arrested to be slapped with charges” the following was stated, “The police protected by their shields and batons, were seen trying to remove the protestors from the road to have the flow of traffic return to a state of normalcy. The move by the police resulted in the protestors retaliating physically. Notwithstanding, the road was eventually cleared and 20 persons, including the 16 estate workers, were arrested and are to be charged.” This attitude of the police was seen on other occasions when it’s sugar workers.
Now I have no problem with the police acting against those who block and burn roads. I definitely do not condone this. However, a double standard is clearly visible. There have been so many protests by others in different parts of the country which involved the blocking and burning of roads. These protests involved the beating and robbing of innocent persons. Sometimes they last for days and the police arrested no one. They did not move in with protective shields and attack the protesters. I don’t know if they were afraid in those instances, or it is a question of kith and kin, as was said by Hoyte, but definitely those protestors were left alone to do what they want.
I recall the Henry Brothers protests where the road was blocked for days. The road was burnt, and persons were robbed and beaten. It was not ended by the police, but when a leader of the PNC went there and asked them to stop. Then the illegal protest marching from Golden Grove to Mon Repos. Blocking of the road and burning of the road was the order of the day culminating with the looting of businesses at Mon-repos.
I recently spoke to an Afro-Guyanese known for his representation of Afro-Guyanese. I asked him why whenever there are protests, no matter what the cause/ reason violence and robbery is directed against one racial grouping. He told me I should address this to the African Leaders. Apparently, he can represent Blacks if wrong is done to them, but he cannot find it in himself to appeal to his black brothers to desist from directing what could only be race hate violence against Indians.
Why not be equal opportunity protesters and beat Guyanese regardless of colour? Whenever there are protests, it is Indians who are fearful of going to GT or towards the area of protests, as they are the targets. I have been asked by a few of my Black friends why Indians hate Blacks?
In conversation with Indian friends, I try to tell them they should not hate Blacks and that the vast majority of Blacks like Indians are innocent law-abiding citizens. Many answer that it is after what happened during these protests cause them to hate Blacks. I advise them not to stereotype based on the actions of a few. But maybe someone, ACDA or one of the Black Organisations or Lincoln Lewis or David Hinds or even Ravi Dev et all can explain exactly why during these protests only Indians are beaten and robbed.
The Black leaders should say whether we can conclude they condone this by their silence or give some reason for not condemning nor appealing for this race hate crime to cease. A few in response points to what they claim as economic violence against Blacks. Well even if this is so, I don’t see how innocent Indians are to be blamed. Maybe someone can explain this.
When on social media I speak about this I am told by some I am condemning Black people. I am not. I make the point to them that whenever they are protests and Indians are being beaten and robbed in a particular area and even when there was the Buxton episode in other parts of the country Indians and Blacks were interacting peacefully. Buying from each other at the markets, drinking at bars together and laughing and gaffing as if nothing is happening.
I am accused by Afro-Guyanese for being biased against Blacks when I criticize the PNC. At the same time, I am attacked by Indians for being anti PPP when I criticize the PPP. I criticized the PNC and the dictatorship and I was beaten, locked up many times, and tortured. I was Personal Assistant to President Jagdeo but when the corruption became deep rooted, I criticized it and was fired. I was not beaten. I campaigned for the Coalition but when they started their jiggery pokery about 33 is not majority with some cock and bull story of rounding up half of a man. I resigned and campaigned against both parties and supported Lennox Shuman.
I am an equal opportunity critic. I keep preaching that the vast majority of our people, Indians, Blacks, Amerindians are economically marginalized. We need to unite in our economic interests. A united working class can hold any government accountable. We can close the country down. We do not have to use violence.
I am stating my opinion of things as I see it. I may be wrong with my perception, but I am going public to start a public discussion on this issue. I want to remind all that about 30,000 Indians and I went against the PPP and supported the coalition. I was a major writer and the host of most of the AFC TV programmes slamming the PPP.
I want to emphasize that Blacks, Indians etc. are not homogenous units. They are stratified with varying interests. In Africa, Blacks exploit Blacks and there is a very high percentage of poverty while some Black leaders squander the wealth. In India, while 20 families own most of the wealth, there are over 500 million Indians in poverty and deep-rooted corruption. Same in white dominated countries. In the USA, one % owns and control over 55% of the wealth while the bottom 80 has only about 2%.
We have a bunch of educated and uneducated workers saying this is the best humankind can achieve. We have here the poor and marginalized Indians and Blacks pitted against each other, ignoring our common marginalization. This hate and disunity will keep us in poverty.
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