By Keith Williams
Everyone would agree that the PNC Government made many errors. That has never been a point in issue, and we can examine and deliberate on those errors. However, to claim that the policies of the PNC were racist, and then are unable to tangibly demonstrate this, is no different than the right wing in America shouting reverse racism in order to silence exposition of active racism against black people.
There are no logical and balanced examinations of Burnham’s policies in comparison to what obtained under the PPP in the early 60s and 1992 onward. I fully endorse Karen’s comment that, “..Many Africans take pride in some unrealistic principles of fairness & democracy which requires them to unequivocally denigrate Burnham & agree to the lies of Indian victimization during his presidency. Some sort of perverse self flagellation for stated or perceived sins of an African leader…….”. It becomes a kind of deja vu symbiosis with the outpourings of the Herman Caine’s and others who find commonality with the outrageous postulations that emanate from the Tea Party and other Right Wing racist organizations in the US, that argue that Barak Obama is a Nazi, while draping themselves in the ideology and anti black antipathy that defined that description.
If Burnham’s policies across the board were were racist in its effect and impact on the lives of Indian Guyanese, why has the PPP not reversed his national recognition of the religious and cultural festivals of that group. Why have they not reversed MMA, the giving of legal recognition to marriage ceremonies performed by Pandits and Imans, the Enmore Martyrs Monument, the Demerara Harbor Bridge etc. They revel and enjoy to the ultimate benefit policies enacted by a President that favors the constituents of his political opponent, while attempting to displace and project their racist traits upon him.
We always seem to exude pleasure over the writings of some who paint Burnham, the PNC and Africans as the devil by implication in their so called “new found” objective examination of the Politics of the nation without taking cognizance of such implications. It demonstrates how dangerous the playing field has become for African Guyanese, when those from our midst who lay claim to seeking change based on equal opportunity and access, agree to a condition that Africans are the guilty party, and by extension rationalizes all of the venal and horrible actions that has come from the PPP during both of its power eras.
Willie Lynch is reported to have said that the circle of racial stratification that permanently imbeds African inferiority into the society will be manifested by Africans acceptance of this status, and them exhibiting repugnance and disregard for themselves that matches what obtains in the majority white population. No where has this become more of self fulfilling reality than in Guyana.
In an era where African Activists have been assassinated and there is clear cut evidence linking that assassination with the ruling party, where the same relationship obtains in the kidnapping and lynching of hundreds of young black men, where there are two distinct approaches to the occupational areas of the Sugar Industry and the Bauxite Industry, the treatment of black citizens at the hands of Law Enforcement, and a slew of other clearly exhibited actions and policies that are blatantly racist in every aspect of their manifestations, we compliment someone for implying that such actions were rational, because after all, Africans are the devils, and Indians are the angels. I tell you folks, to paraphrase Winston Churchill in his extolling of the Royal Airforce in the Battle for Britain, albeit presenting an opposite image of the subject matters, “never before in human history has a society of Africans been more ill-served by those who ostensibly represent them, speak on their behalf and the rest of the nation, and adorn themselves with the halo of “new thinkers”, “a new kind of young leadership”.