No racial slur intended
May 27, 2002
Letters on race
Guyana is a country of numerous colours; but many of its citizens seem only capable of seeing things through the narrow lens of two colours. Citizens apparently perceive each other's opinion mostly through skin colour. This is a most unfortunate and degrading situation.
Mr Sherwood Lowe could not have detected a racial slur in my letter titled 'Not in my name.'
He could not, because none was there (SN,18.5.02) Mr Lowe may have imagined he read one and that is forgivable in these times considering that everyone's opinion gets painted in a colour. I am not about to apologise to Mr Lowe for what he imagines, but I will assure him that I intended no racial slur.
I am puzzled by his assumption that my reference to "reprobates" applies only to a certain race.
Throughout my letter I referred to Guyanese, meaning of course all the people of the six races that make up this beautiful land. Is Mr Lowe implying that only a certain race, the one the criminal Andrew Douglas claims to represent, bears the title "Guyanese"? How can I imply a racial slur against one specific race when I say all Guyanese? Come, come now.
I hope Mr Lowe noted my letter which was published in the same issue of SN. My last sentence read, "...beneath the skin we are all the same: Human Beings."
I am not so naive as to believe that the "bunch" of five are criminals because of their race.
I do believe, however, that these criminals and others are exploiting their race as a cover for murderous and other nefarious and indecent activities perpetrated against innocent citizens. These "reprobates" have hijacked their ethnicity and are using it towards criminal ends.
That is why Andaiye's letter was so important. It shredded the deceit and exposed the hijacking exercise for what it is: unscrupulous people, clutching at the last straw - their race - to achieve their narrow personal ends. No doubt, Andaiye is one of thousands who clearly know that the hijack and the activities following are not representative of their ethnicity; they are not afraid to say so and I take my hat off to her and the others who refuse to be used in such a way.
Finally, Mr Lowe, it is not the "Gossai's of this world" who preach that Guyana is doomed as a nation. I am not among those on record as saying that this country "will not exist" if they don't get their way.
If we are "doomed as a nation", it will result from activities inspired by the invidious rhetoric coming from the political opposition, or to be more precise, if we are doomed (and I doubt we will be) we will most likely have to thank the leadership of the PNC.