Crude and contemptible
Stabroek News
January 19, 2002

Dear Editor,

A friend showed me his copy of the latest Christmas Annual and we talked about the short story done by the PNC's Haslyn Parris which I was surprised to see Ian McDonald praise in the last Sunday column [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] in Stabroek News. Mr McDonald called the story "outstanding". We were wondering whether this referred to the story written in very bad, artificial language or the title which is "Coolie Tom Puss". I wonder if Mr Ruel Johnson and all the Janus group of young writers think this is funny (what good grounding for the future of literature!) as Mr McDonald and Mr Parris do. I and my "coolie" friends will write a story called the "Nigger Jackass" and submit it for next year's annual. Will it be published?

Since Mr McDonald shows off his prejudice against all non-white people clearly in his book "The Humming Bird Tree" which is autobiographical, he does not have any trouble with words like "nigger" and "coolie". (A group of us has photocopied the book and we are passing it around for reading here and abroad.)

Mr McDonald shows Indians as crude and contemptible and in the story he is cowardly and turns his back on his Indian childhood friends and grows up to "enter into the inheritance I was born to." His white "inheritance" is to patronize the brown and black peoples. On page 148, he writes that "An unthinking racial distaste had been grown in me out of sight. Knowing about it I hid that distaste and was too polite, too kind, to Indians or negroes that I met one day or the next."

On page 162, he says that "It would not be right to sacrifice the correctness of behaviour to the other emerging way; the correctness was something to contribute to its raw spirit. So I kept correct among the wharf and village folk." Well, well, well.

Knowing his distaste for us why do we honour this man so? In Stabroek News he gets lavish room to continue his patronage and contempt. Why?

He does not say why Kyk's last publication was in 2000 though Mr McDonald is chief "bottle washer" of that publication. He even uses the AA given to the publication behind his own name!!!

Yours faithfully,

R. Sukhraj