Home Letters In modern societies, Ramjattan would be called on to resign
Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan is quoted by an online news agency about the scourge of prostitution, as “A lot of these big men go there and they say how they want to feel up these girls because they said they never eat a white meat yet and they pay a lot for the services. So it is all a trade of immorality and it is unhealthy for my country”. This statement is racist and sexist in equally offensive measure and should be retracted immediately and an apology to all Guyanese offered forthwith.
Editor, in modern societies, Ramjattan would be called on to resign; the fruitlessness of such calls forbids such impotent action. Guyana is often described as ‘a land of six races’, Europeans or ‘white’ people are listed proudly in all of our heritage documentation, as such, they should be entitled to equal protection by the Ethnic Relations Commission which was established in 2000 and whose constitutional functions offer such protection. Minister Ramjattan has openly referred to one of our ethnicities as ‘white meat’, this should not go unchallenged. Acceptance of any official derogatory descriptor is the thin edge of the wedge.
Guyana is about to undergo rapid change, we already have people of all ethnicities and genders coming here to invest and work in the extractive industries (think oil), do we want the females of European ethnicities to be greeted or treated as ‘white meat’? The challenges posed by a sudden influx of moneyed people of other ethnicities are well documented in the Caribbean, it is not going to be an easy period of transition, statements such as this, made by a Minister, makes it even more so, it does our image and character much harm.
Minister Ramjattan is on a campaign to boost his profile in a bid to make himself an attractive prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming general elections and pronouncements on every aspect of Guyanese life have been pouring forth – dogs and horses were needed by the GPF; late night parties are the cause of crime and domestic violence; tint was the major culprit in crime; crime is not as bad as in neighbouring countries; whorehouses are posing a security risk for Guyana; the PPP is preparing to meddle ‘Russia style’ in the elections. Ramjattan is yet to provide a mildly successful solution to the crime problem and as to the last, the PPP has no need for specialised public relations, all that is needed is for Minister Ramjattan and his colleagues in the Granger Administration to keep talking; the Guyanese public can easily see how dense, backward, racist, sexist and fossilised they are by their actions and pronouncements.