Indians are watching the hypocrisy of African Guyanese – By Freddie Kissoon 

Indians are watching the hypocrisy of African Guyanese

March 23, 2018 – Features / Columnists, By Freddie Kissoon

David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis have a huge track record of fighting for the rights and survival of African Guyanese under the PPP government from the time the PPP won the presidency in 1992. David Hinds’ political evolution began in an African cultural organization founded in the late sixties by Eusi Kwayana – ASCRIA.

Dr. Hinds is a founding member of the African rights group, Cuffy 250. It was out of the annual forum entitled, “State of the African Guyanese” that President Granger requested a plan with concrete proposals of projects.    

The annual forum handed Granger a 187-page plan.  Both Hinds and Lewis played essential roles in the composition of that document. It was Lewis who enraged President Jagdeo when he accused the Indianized PPP Government of committing economic genocide against African Guyanese. 

These two African rights icons are not allowed to be critical columnists in a newspaper controlled by a government that has a majority PNC input. The last time I checked, the PPP was heavily Indianized and draws its support from Indians and the PNC is the African version of that. The obvious implication here is that of the existence of irony. Two African rights icons are ousted by a government run by a party that gets its embrace from African Guyanese.

Do we have a reenactment of 1974? Walter Rodney in the late sixties and early seventies became a globally recognized scholar for his work on Africa and its history. One of his books became a hit in most courses on the history of the Third World in most universities in the world “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” was on the reading list of most universities in the world.

At the same time, Forbes Burnham was universally recognized as one of the leading heads of government to champion African liberation movements fighting white colonial domination. So there we had in 1974 the irony of Africa’s leading historian being denied work at the University of Guyana in a country ruled an African head of state that believed in the liberation of African people.

Enter the role of African Guyanese. I stood in the picket line with several African rights activists in front of NCN during the reign of the PPP regime. I could distinctly remember my placard stated, “NCN is not owned by the government.” So in 2018, is the Chronicle owned by the government? That question African Guyanese must answer.

If the state media are financed by taxpayers then why should the government of the day shut out opinions that the hierarchy of the administration doesn’t like? But it gets worse when you become aware that the opinions that are shut out do not come from some rabidly Indian scholar who doesn’t want to see Black leadership in Guyana. But from two of the most famous political names that are involved in the struggle for African people’s rights since the early seventies, making it almost fifty years of activism.

We come to another question. If it was wrong for the PPP to dominate the state media, why is it right for the current government to do so? Out of this comes another question – where are the voices now that shouted down the PPP cabals that acted as if the PPP owned the state media? Where are the voices of those who in 2012, 2013, and 2014 cut from the national budget the allocations for the state media? The reason for cutting was emphatically told to the nation – the government was using the state media as if it belonged to the PPP regime.

In this milieu of hypocrisy by African Guyanese, those Indians who watched how the PNC, AFC, ACDA and other African rights organizations criticized the way PPP regime ran the state media, must be asking themselves countless questions, of which one stands out – why did people like Freddie Kissoon write countless columns accusing Indians of giving blind support to the PPP, now African Guyanese are doing what Kissoon and so many others accused us, Indians, of doing?

It is getting into two weeks since Hinds and Lewis were dropped from writing in the Chronicle, and the African guns are silent. The same guns that fired relentless salvos against the walls of the PPP’s fortress have fallen silent. From every corner of Guyana where Indians live, my name is more than likely being stamped upon.

This man, Freddie Kissoon used to lambaste Indians for their Pavlovian support for an Indian government, now look what African Guyanese are doing. So how do I respond to that? This column is an assertion of where I stand. And there will be more articles like this one here from my keyboard.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 03/23/2018 at 1:18 pm

    When we silence our critics, we risk losing our grounding and direction.

  • Chris Prashad  On 03/23/2018 at 2:16 pm

    The imperialist poison administered to the citizens of Guyana in the early sixties has infected the genome of our people and it seems that generations emerging from that era are still showing symptoms of this divide and conquer mentality. Our education system was and still is a vehicle of this racial curse from primary to university . Words such as coolie, blackman, buckman, chiney, putagee, dugla, are still common missiles used by our children and adults alike to demean each other. In some cases parents encourage this instead of scolding their children for doing so. Yes, many still behave like retards and their ignorance and stupidity comes out in the clear after imbibing in hard liquor. Perhaps a dougla President may be able to erase this scourge in our society given the unbiased support needed. This is just scratching the surface. There’s much more to be done.

  • Mark  On 03/24/2018 at 7:05 am

    IMO Hinds and Lewis were conveniently dropped out of Chronicle for Exxon-Mobil because the corporations fear a populist/trade unionist style uprising against multinationals exploiting and oppressing the locals.

  • N.I. Narine  On 03/25/2018 at 5:05 pm

    So Freddie! In as much that I do blame the PPP for not doing the balancing act and propping the African Guyanese to their acceptable levels, during their last tenure as the Government of the people, how do you explain the Indo-Guyanese Genocide that is occurring presently and will continue for years to come and just to think that you were a contributor to that narrative in the past!!.

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