Six Head Lewis' achievement a triumph for race relations
June 19, 2001
When "Six Heads" Lewis arrived at the City Hall for his initial reception he made a significant,surprising, sobering and timely introduction.There he was, a black talent, introducing his Portuguese managers and identifying an Indian man,Fiesal Ali, as the person responsible for him reaching the USA. Note, were it not for his training and campaigning presence in the USA his chance at becoming a world champion would have been extremely remote. Privately, Mr Ali said to me that the credit should really go to several persons who were in the background, such as the late Robert Gangadeen, former leader of the United Republican Party.
In essence, Lewis' achievement is a triumph for race relations among other things. It demonstrates what could be achieved individually and collectively if the people of this country focus on building political, economic and social linkages for the common good, and disengage themselves from their "racial stupidities", "racial backwardness" and "racial utopia". We cannot hope to destroy, marginalize, frustrate, nor oppress others without inducing the same deeds towards ourselves. We do not have to love each other, to cooperate with, learn from, support and respect each other. In real life, even in the church ,temple, mosque and the family, people are not generally motivated by love but interests. In real life, the people who often impede our aspirations are those of our own kind.
As Lewis spoke I also reflected on my engagements with the late Professor J.O.F. Haynes, widely considered the premier West Indian lawyer. Unexpectedly, at the University of Guyana, about nine months before his death he called me into his office and said "Young man you have a problem , what is it?".As I pondered on the whys and buts of his question he subtly suggested that I am an intellectual talent that was either indisciplined or flippant. Then suddenly he remarked, "...if it weren't for a Portuguese man I wouldn't have been a lawyer today." He did not elaborate but insisted that we hold at least bi?monthly meetings. His commitments to the Maurice Bishop case in Grenada significantly affected those meetings but from our limited interaction I deduced that he held a sense of gratitude, like Lewis, to persons unknown to me. Yours faithfully,