We could just settle for one race - human
Stabroek News
September 11, 2001

Dear Editor

Whilst we naturally endorse the eponymous theme of Mr M L Hackett's letter [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] in Monday's Stabroek News, captioned `Respect the ethnicity of others,' we really must challenge the logic behind his conclusions (ie, that there are 63 genotypes in Guyana). First of all, the "six historical groups" are in fact only five - "Portuguese" being a mere subdivision of "European." On the other hand the term "African" embraces many different racial groups - the only common feature is that they are mostly Black. If Portuguese and other Europeans are to be counted separately then we should at least see Bantu, Nilotic and other Africans - and Mandarin, Cantonese, Han and other Chinese - and Carib and Wai-Wai and other Amerindians - and Tamil, Sinhalese, Lascar, Pakistani and other Indians. OK, so we know which parts of Africa, India and China our ancestors came from, but then what of the mixed ancestry of the "Europeans" (not to mention the multitude of merchant seamen of many other races who, over the years, have `spread themselves around a little' whilst visiting our shores)? So, for example, you can add Arabs, Jews and other Semites to the equations. And then, of course, there will have been the odd Melanesian, Maori and Australian Aboriginal, from time to time - and maybe a Mongolian or two ... No, dear friend Hackett, you will not get away with your mere IMPs, CAPs, PIEs, PEAs, ICEs, MACs, CAMPs, MICEs or CAMPIEs (tasty as some of them may sound). Far from 63 you would need to go into the millions - and to know a lot of facts that the mamas never told the papas - to typify accurately all the wonderful racial combinations which have gone to make us Guyanese such beautiful people.

Alternatively, of course, we could settle for just the one race: HUMAN and then, together, get on with the business of making Guyana once more a fit place in which all we lovely people can live.

Yours faithfully

Peter Pernival-Luck
Manmohan Singh
Alan Segayah