I never advocated relying on an African racial plurality for electoral success
Stabroek News
March 16, 2002

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Dear Editor,

On Friday 15th of February, your columnist Mr Fenty made a particularly obnoxious allegation about me, to wit, that I had advocated that the PNCReform should depend upon an African racial plurality as a basis for electoral success. I do not read Mr Fenty's column and it was the columnist himself who drew the offending piece to my attention. I found it not only libellous of my moral position but also insulting about my intelligence. I have delayed my response because I suspected that he was making his libellous conclusion on a flawed and incorrect recollection of an article on population changes that I had written in the Stabroek News in my professional capacity and I had some trouble identifying that piece in my records. Now that I have found it, I write to clear my name of any imputation that I am an incompetent geographer or a racist. What I wrote in 1995 should be quoted in full.

"The number of people who describe themselves as East Indian in the 1991 census shows a decrease from 51.8% in 1970 to 48.3% in 1991. Africans increased from 31.2 to 32.7. Mixed race and Amerindian persons showed increases from 10.3 to 12.2 and 4.9 to 6.3 respectively. The experts explain that the factors which have caused the decline in national population i.e. falling birth rates and emigration have affected rural communities more dramatically, hence the decline in East Indians as a percentage (and in real terms)". I drew no political conclusions in that article and any reasonable use of the census figures should generate precisely the opposite conclusion to that imputed to me by Mr Fenty.

Yours faithfully,

Deryck M Bernard