Green objects to ethnicity reference in CWC ticket brochure
January 29, 2007
City Mayor Hamilton Green is calling for a public apology or an explanation for what he considers an offensive statement in reference to Guyana in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 ticket brochure.
The statement on page 6 "12 stadia… 9 Fascinating countries" describes Guyana in this way: "With Guyana's distinct Indian heritage, you are sure to experience the fusion of West Indian and East Indian culture."
In a letter to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ICC CWC WI 2007 Inc., Chris Dehring, Green said that the Guyana facility was the only one where specific mention was made of ethnicity.
Meanwhile, public relations functionary attached to the LOC, Richard Haniff told Stabroek News when contacted that the letter had been sent to ICC CWC WI Inc. for a comment. The LOC is currently awaiting a response. Meantime, he could not provide additional information.
Green said the separation was clear, "and taking into account the imbalance of ethnic programmes extant in the state-controlled media, this distinction cannot be ignored."
He added that "apart from its obvious implication, it ignores all other ethnic groups that make up the population of Guyana."
Stating that "we boast we are a land of six peoples, and to asservate as contained in the above statement appears to be an attempt to recognise a dominant group and a separation of West Indian culture in Guyana."
Green said, too, that by a copy of the letter he was asking CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington to bring it to the attention of all CARICOM Heads of Government.
He said that if a satisfactory explanation was not offered, then the "offensive statement" on Guyana should be excised immediately and a public apology, or explanation given.
The letter, which was also copied to the Chairman of CARICOM, the media, all political parties and the Ethnic Relations Committee, followed a letter to the editor of the Stabroek News of January 23, 2007.
The letter writer, who signed as Abbyssinian Colin Carto and who first highlighted the issue in this newspaper, said that the statement in the brochure was "unfortunate."
Carto, who says he lives in the United States and tries to visit Guyana often said that none of the paragraphs on the other 11 stadiums says anything about race, including the paragraph on Trinidad and Tobago.
He said that over the years both majority parties have at times shown major indifference to the sensitivity of race, and he could not determine if the wording of the paragraph on Guyana was a result of indifference or oversight by those who wrote it.
He described himself as a mixture of African, Indian, Portuguese and European "which in the real world" means that he was "Black."
Carto said that he knows that Indo-Caribbean people often refer to West Indian culture as a "Creole" culture which excludes them and/or is rejected by them.
He has also heard that the "Creole" culture referred to as the culture of Black people with no recognition of how anti-African it really is, was also anti-Amerindian. While some might identify by one grouping or another, Carto said that the brochure is an official document.
Whatever the intentions of the person or persons who wrote the sentence of the fusion of West Indian and East Indian culture, he said, "here is what that sentence actually means: 'That West Indian and East Indian are two separate cultures. That West Indian culture has nothing East Indian in it but (it) is made up of the cultures of the other groups - Africans, Amerindians, Portuguese, Chinese, Mixed, not one of whom has a distinct culture.'" (Miranda La Rose)