The ethnic dilemma


– An existing political tool towards 2020, rather than a group obsession

THE elections mode began in all earnestly with the plot of the no-confidence vote in 2019, driven by a deliberate economic/race-based putsch against mainly the non-PPP constituency who had endured 23 years of PPP aggression, covert plots, economic isolation and extra-judicial killings with no resort to justice. The reality of our newly acquired oil to the collective consciousness of the out-of-office political culture accustomed to abusing state powers and assets. This prospect was insufferable to bear, apart from the fact that not only the public servants but they and their business allies would also have to pay their fair share of bills and taxes. Also with Guyana under the APNU+AFC embracing the Anti-Money Laundering Bill, passing it and taking the country off the ‘blacklist’ and strange enough one of the contentions also lay with the APNU+AFC’s cohesion programme, according to a little frog whose croaking language I can interpret.

Witnessing the programme that the ministry conducted I clearly understood why that confederacy would find it offensive. It attacks the group stereotypes and arcane religious dogmas that have become proverbial in creating the negative perspectives on ethnic separation, executed by an audience of multi-ethnic citizens; the cohesion programme was not superficial, offensive or its intent unclear. But same as the election mode began with the conspiracy of the no-confidence motion, the decision to fester a national racial divide was invoked in 2016, the originator none other than Bharrat Jagdeo, leader of the opposition, who had decided that this venue was the only one that could provide him with continued relevance.

We owe the revelation of this dark declaration to Ralph Ramkarran via a publication ironically on August 1, Emancipation Day 2016, Kaieteur News. Quote “Jagdeo turned out several of his adherents, such as PPP General-Secretary Clement Rohee, Chief Whip Gail Teixeira and Member of Parliament Anil Nandlall as he usually does when under pressure to prove discrimination. But charges of discrimination which Mr. Jagdeo and the PPP have made are not new. What is new are his emotive appeals to defend Indians in these dark times and promise to take back Guyana for them.” And from Jagdeo’s extract from a video made in his address to the Queens, New York PPP diaspora-“Whenever the elections come again, we’re going to take it back from these people.”   I was astonished by this utterance, it was more than racist, it was ‘Evil.’ I belong to the “these people.”

Since when were my ancestors and I intruders to be determined “these people”? Where does this contempt come from? From what historical heritage, cultural status and national identity does Mr Jagdeo’s entitlement emerge? Isn’t teacher Payne from Buxton one of “these people”? Dishonesty, race hate and deception moulded into a tainted, but easily exploitive doctrine, drawn from the ancient origins of his .constituency. I saved this article and explored when will this witches cauldron of exploiting the racist mythologies brought here during indentureship was going to be looked upon with maturity and replaced with genuine ideas and put to rest. Freddie Kissoon in his column January 22, 2015, Kaieteur News, declared “The PPP has never won an election using ideas.” This article was up Freddie’s expertise realm.’ He definitely wrote that column unhindered and without external directions, and it should be sourced for its relatedness to 2020. In returning to the present, the manifestations of the PPP protests a mere 12 days ago demonstrated an exact surprising racist tone, similar to the 1960s, except this is the 2020s. But its trial was when the GECOM personnel, many of them young people went to PPP districts in the house-to-house registration drive and were racially abused and in some cases dogs were released on them.

I hope GECOM took reports from those young people and created records. It was initiated by Mr. Jagdeo’s call to chase them because the government was illegal. Fact is, he knew the government was not illegal, but the ‘2016 Witches Pact’([named so for the cartoon that accompanied the Kaieteur article in 2016) of racial division towards power experimented towards execution against the GECOM staff. It must be observed that none of the protests highlighted issues; they were driven instead by racist assaults against Afro Guyanese and physical assaults against children and the police.

The PPP’s campaign meetings were also driven by race-baiting innuendoes and mimicry of APNU+AFC declarations against proven and sound projections, even the idea from an ERC PSA was adopted. Nothing that can be accredited to an iota of vision was presented, so racism was substituted; thus, a reach-out to activate the 1960s became relevant and the consciousness and lives of people were to be sacrificed. The opposition leader did earlier attempt to create unsuccessfully a smokescreen, as Lincoln Lewis and David Hinds defined as “No Window Dressing” see Chronicle January 22, 2019, when he said that the PPP must learn to accept “black people” which in itself was an admission of the traditional irrational anti-Afro Guyanese position of the PPP unless they are the unusual abnormality like Sam Hinds.

ACDA had given me a presentation by Mr. Hinds for the 155th Emancipation commemoration years ago. They expected me to do a review of it. It was embarrassing, and I promised to do it but never did, because I had concluded, how could a man emerge from an oppressed people, and know nothing about their struggles, sensibilities or historical memory in the context of emancipation? That was my grim conclusion on reviewing that submission.

The way forward will require tact and the acknowledgement that no scriptures or ancient religions (mythologies) has ever indicated a fallen angel redeeming it-self. It is what it is, and it must be so contained in our consciousness. What must also be understood, is that the ways of the world have changed, but remain the same. There was a time when entities like ‘Executive outcomes’ and ‘Black Water’ would have been readily used to usurp and undermine governments. Today, their clerical alter egos present themselves in my opinion-Mercury PR & Planning.