A display of racial and political bias To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
May 24, 2002

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I refer, if I may, to a letter in Kaieteur News of Thursday May 23rd, 2002 headed “ Ethnic composition of labour force has long history” by a regular contributor, C.R. B. Edwards.

In his letter Mr. Edwards is in fact commenting on first of all something which he said that the President had said that 75%of all Public Servants are Afro-Guyanese and is also attempting to reply to an SN letter 18/5/02 by Rohan Sooklall and also one by Sabrina Edwards (maybe a relative) in SN of 18th May, 2002.

According to many people if His Excellency said that 75% of all Public Servants are Afro- Guyanese then he used rather a low figure as they feel it is more like 95%.

They point out that in any Government office you go, you see only Afro- Guyanese; for example in all institutions such as the National Insurance, the Public Hospital and other Hospitals throughout the land, the Police Force and the Guyana Defense Force also teachers, Customs and Immigration Officers.

So many Afro-Guyanese are in fact seen in all offices that these people say foreign visitors ask why is Guyana known as the land of six races, when mostly one is seen. Where are the other five races?

CRB Edwards then goes on to allege that the PPP/C, since its accession to office has diminished the perceived hold, which Afro-Guyanese have over the Public Service. According to him they dismissed hundreds, “even made entire sections redundant in order to lay off blacks.” This in spite of the Guyana Public Service and other Unions. He goes on now to say that “ numbers do not necessarily translate into either authority or domination”

To justify this point he takes off for South Africa where he points out the minority of six million whites wholly dominate twenty two million blacks. Where is the relevance and basis for such a comparison?

Edwards also tries to denigrate the important role that Public Servants play in any society including this one by alleging” uncompetitive salary allocations, the possibility of being required to work at locations away from home and family and the damnable rut of routine into which public service employment can plunge the individual’s initiative.”

He is obviously uncomfortable with being faced with the fact of the large number of Afro-Guyanese actually gainfully and reasonably remuneratively employed in our circumstances and the only door left open to him now is to try to minimize the importance of the jobs.

He then takes up the question of graduates from UG and how they are employed according to race and claims that” 92% of all Indo-Guyanese graduates of 1998-2001 are either employed or have emigrated” while “62% of their Afro-Guyanese counterparts are either not employed in spite of numerous job applications and interviews or are employed in positions which are well below their level of qualifications.”

And then he claims “ this latter situation being in particular evidence within the Public Service.”

What he did not say is that 92% of those attending and qualifying at the University of Guyana, the brainchild of the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan, which Burnham and the PNC had once dubbed Jagan’s Night School, are Afro-Guyanese mainly from Georgetown and other urban centers and the rest are from other races from the rural areas.

One has to also wonder why Edwards refers to emigration by Indo- Guyanese and does not do the same in reference to Afro-Guyanese. What about all the teachers and nurses who are applying for jobs abroad in response to recruitment drives being carried out by foreign countries.

Clearly CRB Edwards like certain other writers can’t help displaying their racial and political bias no matter how they try with their verbiage.
Melissa Isaacs