My father always told me that there are three types of people in the world; those who are great, those who imitate and those who hate. He also believed strongly that the differences that existed among those who form these three groups were easily recognisable: great people rise above effortlessly, and take others on the journey with them, those who imitate struggle and fight and try anything and everything to become great, and the haters, well they have no interest in being great based on merit, their only concern is to demean, defame and discredit those who do have a legitimate claim to greatness. Today, Editor I will leave it up to you and your readers to categorise the infamous columnist Freddy Kissoon and the many fallacies presented in his outrageously seditious article published in the newspaper on November 18, 2016 titled “ Guyanese messengers of death from Cuba have returned.”
Editor, I believe in the freedom of speech, I believe that it is a basic and fundamental human right but I also believe that with every right we claim there are responsibilities attached, that are just as fundamental. Journalists in particular have a huge responsibility to the masses that depend on them for timely, honest, factual and evidence based information that can ultimately guide decisions and influence behavioural patterns. Mr Kissoon failed miserably in this task when he published that article berating both Cuba and Cuban trained doctors, claiming among other vile and repugnant things, that we “have killed many poor people.”
I’ve read many of the ramblings of Mr Kissoon and I dare say there is nothing impressive about his constant criticism of others (any one can be a critic), his feigned bravado (hiding behind a pen is an act of cowardice) and his facade of equanimity (sir the entire nation saw u engage in an unsavoury verbal exchange with a certain embattled female ex minister of government some time ago and no Mr Kissoon make no mistake, no self-respecting public figure and lecturer would engage in such a terribly quotidian act), and you sir think somehow you have the moral high ground? That you somehow have leverage to try to discredit the hard work and sacrifice made by us all with your grossly inaccurate mass generalisations? On what grounds? To what end? What have u gained from this vicious and manic attack? How has this improved your already derisory public image?
Editor, we have grown accustomed to the constant attacks – by our Government, by our minister, by random strangers, by patients, and so many others – frankly it feels like its targeted, personal and vehement. It can be intimidating and many times we feel helpless and we retreat into a state of apathy because many of the so called inadequacies that so many talk about are not due to lack of knowledge or appropriate skill set, rather these are largely due to lack of resources ― we have the knowledge but knowledge alone is useless if the tools needed to adequately apply it are missing, we are willing but willingness alone doesn’t cut it, we have to be able to do ― but how can we when the tools needed are not provided ( I cannot in good conscience do a laceration repair if I have no gloves or sutures or iodine, no matter how willing I am or knowledgeable I am).
But as Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high,” and going high and rising above by no means signifies that we will be silent in the face of their onslaughts, it by no means signifies that we will ignore how irate and undervalued they make us feel, instead we will unite and respond with pride, dignity, joy and laughter in the face of their ignorance, we will turn up to work every day and continue to do what we have always done.
And Mr Kissoon will be floating around in his same bubble of mediocrity, writing his same articles desperately trying to inflate an ego that that has obviously been stretched to its limit.
I encourage all my Cuban trained colleagues on this day that Freddy Kissoon went low, let us all go high! High above his lies and half-truths, high above his prejudice, high high high above his ego!
Dr Adoniyah Benjamin,