Condemn racist remarks & call for violence against Govt, Indians

Dear Editor,
The public must condemn in the strongest words possible the remarks (delivered March 9) of a long-time African WPA political activist advocating violence against the Government and its traditional Indian supporters. Tacuma Ogunseye made claim of racial discrimination against his African kith and kin but offered no supporting documented evidence to buttress the claim. If there is some injustice against a group, the claimant must make the case – of how the rights of his kith and kin have been violated.
Discrimination against any person or group or entity must be condemned. Everyone must be treated fairly and equitably and be given equal opportunities. None must be favoured over another on account of ethnicity unless it is to redress a historic grievance or achieve a greater good or promote equity. But one cannot make wild willy-nilly allegations of discrimination without documented evidence.
Our country has had a long history of racial issues. Politicians bury our racial elephant under the carpet believing that if we ignore it, it will disappear. But merely saying there is racial discrimination against a group does not make it factual. It behoves anyone or organisation or political entity or claimant that believes there is discrimination to provide hard facts including data to back the claim. Indians and Amerindians claimed discrimination during PNC rule between 1965 and 1992 and again between 2015 and 2020. Evidence to support the claims were provided on varied outlets and organisations including by the churches and political parties and international agencies. If groups feel discriminated, their leadership should make a compelling case with supporting verifiable data. Tacuma failed in this regard.
It was shocking to hear the bile and biliousness coming from this distinguished member of the WPA who had a history of combating political victimisation and injustice meted out against his party and himself. He ought to know better not to spit venom against others. Dr Rodney, founder of WPA, Tacuma’s leader, would be turning in his grave hearing such remarks.
As an erudite scholar recently penned on a chat site in response, responsible public figures should promote social and ethnic cohesion and healing in this divided country rather than the kind of bile that was uttered last Thursday evening in Buxton. As the scholar stated, such bilious comments and hate speech will only result in greater disharmony, discordance, and dividedness that can only serve to further the cause for conflict in a country already reeling from political and social disorder.
We must praise media houses and politicians and everyone who condemn ethnic hate and who dissociated themselves and their political party from what was expressed last Thursday evening.
In particular, I commend the PNCR MPs Messrs Hon Ganesh Mahipaul, Hon Natasha Singh-Lewis, Mr Daniel Seeram, JP – Regional Chairman – Region 4, Pt. Ubraj Narine, His Worship the Mayor of Georgetown, for dissociating themselves from and strongly condemning the remarks of the WPA executive member and another person. They found the remarks derogatory, distasteful, and hurtful to the Indian community. They penned: “We want to make it clear that we condemn and distance ourselves from any attack on any race in Guyana, including our African brothers and sisters.”
The statement issued by the PNCR members suggests that they are independent minded and are empowered and confident and are not mere tokens of the party.

Yours truly,
Vishnu Bisram