Ban of the ‘N’ word

Dear Editor,
The flyer screams “Banish the ‘N’ word, there can be no respect without self-respect” and features Nigel Hughes and Winston Felix amongst other speakers, it caught my attention because the ‘N-word’ is internationally recognized as offensive; imagine my surprise, therefore, to learn that it was not the traditional ‘N-word’ (nigger) but instead this group was trying to score cheap political points by referring to ‘negro’ as the N-word. It is a transparent attempt to sow discord in Guyana and, the idea of the PPP administration as racist in the international community.
A sad and tragic move made by expedient political players. We should also examine the word ‘Negro’ and consider the implications of a law that bans the use of the word in our nation as suggested by Nigel Hughes et al.
“But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty amid a vast ocean of material prosperity…” These are words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King in his historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and would be considered ‘hate speech’ under Hughes’s suggested legislation.
How then would we teach history? Do we simply ignore the words, accomplishments, and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, W.E.B Du Bois, and other inspirational leaders of African descent and what do we do if/when ‘Of African descent’ graduates to the realm of the offensive? Have the proponents of this change considered the confusion this will cause the next generation of students? Can we expect essays on how racist Malcolm X and MLK were based on their repeated use of the word ‘negro’? And, who is the United Negro College Fund? Are they a bunch of racists raising funds to prevent people of African descent from going to college in America? The confusion will be real for the next generation of students.
Nigel Hughes responded to criticism of his timing of the call to remove the word ‘negro’ from our lexicon since it was in use since colonial times with a Facebook post saying he was only two years old in 1966, I will posit he was therefore in his fifties during the APNU+AFC administration where as Chairman of the AFC and Husband of a Minister who had the power to summon the Prime Minister to her office, He (Nigel Hughes) was perfectly positioned to influence the banishment of the word Negro from Guyana; lest we forget, Nigel Hughes made a tremendous impact with his ‘half-man’ mathematical formula…
In closing, I suggest we be careful with the ‘woke’ and ‘cancel’ culture and its constant revisionism of what is acceptable or we may find our heroes have become villains overnight. I close with the words of Malcolm X (while I still can) “Our people in the Negro community are trapped in a vicious cycle of ignorance, poverty, disease, sickness, and death.
There seems to be no way out. No way of escape. The wealthy, educated Black bourgeoisie, those uppity Negroes who do escape, never reach back and pull the rest of our people out with them. The Black masses remain trapped in the slums” and ask my brothers and sisters of African descent to examine those who purport to have their best interest at heart but do nothing to uplift them when they have power and every opportunity.

Robin Singh