Provide proof instead of engaging in name-calling

Dear Editor,
In Guyana, it is most unfortunate that almost every discourse degenerates into race or a charge of racism no matter how well intentioned the commentator. Thus, one can never get into a constructive or serious discussion on issues even when it would benefit the entire country. Discussing matters impinging on race is even more divisive. And therefore, the country cannot make progress.
People make all kinds of idiotic claims even when they cannot be justified or supported with solid evidence. An Africanist makes a claim for 15 thousand square miles based on land development by his ancestors and when shown how the argument is flawed, he calls you a racist. If you show your ancestors developed more land and therefore are entitled that land, using the same logic as he did, he opposes your claim. Worse, he also accuses you of being a racist for making such a claim even when you accept his claim on the condition that he respects yours. Worse, he seeks to silence you and threaten violence – he will do a Rwanda on your people.
This only serves to inflate racial passions and won’t take the country forward on development as happened during the ethnic apartheid like dictatorship during Burnhamism.
Only those without much intellect and whose claims lack validity descend to name-calling and attacking a media and its highly respected columnists for their views on land issues and other unjustified claims. But such a strategy only works against the meek and those who cower in fear of being denied bread and butter if they speak accurately.
Rather than engaging in name-calling (calling people racists to silence them), a better option would have been to present incontrovertible proof to support a claim.
No commentator or columnist has a monopoly on public discourse. And merely giving your opinion does not make it a fact, no matter how many times you state it. Writers are entitled to their views providing they offer fair, objective, balanced and non-racist comments.

Yours truly,
Vishnu Bisram