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I read with some concern, a letter by Mr. Samuel Hinds, Former Prime Minister, Former President, in the Stabroek News today titled “Errant GECOM Employees acted as prisoners of the country- view held by many Afro-Guyanese of the 1950s. We must turn the page.”
Mr. Hinds is calling for the prosecution of what he has already determined errant or guilty GECOM Officers.
The burden of his letter seemed to be, that these terrible Officers are Afro-Guyanese.
My first comment is since when Samuel Archibald Hinds, a very nice fellow, can speak on behalf of the Afro-Guyanese community and have a genuine, I repeat genuine concern for that section of Guyanese.
Second, he harks in his letter back to the 1960s.
Mr. Hinds seems oblivious to the pressures and dynamics of Guyana caught in the midst of an all-consuming Cold War, and in the post 1970 global oil crisis; no one can attempt an analysis of this period without an understanding of these two significant events.
I will avoid a lengthy response to Mr. Hinds’ lamentations and personal references but simply to publicly ask him when he held the highest office in this land and the second highest, what did he do to really lift up the Afro-Guyanese?
What did he do when he held the political power (sic) to save the lives of the hundreds of Afro-Guyanese men, who were slaughtered while he held high office.
Painfully, I remind him that at an Emancipation Day celebration, when there was a call by the descendants of brutalized and dehumanized African slaves for Reparation, Hon. Hinds advised the group that we must forget the past.
I was flabbergasted that a black man holding high office and purportedly in a position to help his kith and kin should be so insensitive to tell the gathering that they must forget the brutality and dehumanization of the Descendants of Manumitted Africans celebrating Emancipation Day.
At a subsequent event, I had cause to observe as Professor Ali A. Mazrui said “the Jews have managed to turn their suffering under the Nazis into a religious doctrine, as well as a political resource. But Blacks have neither sacrilized their suffering into a sacred doctrine nor exploited it as a political fund.”
I felt a sense of pity and shame that Samuel Hinds should publicly demand the prosecution or is it persecution of GECOM Afro-Guyanese Officials in the execution of their duties, yet not a word, not a whimper, not a whisper from my Honourable Former President and Prime Minister when Gocool Boodhoo of GECOM was fingered allegedly manipulating votes in favour of one particular Party at the 2015 Elections.
Samuel Hinds has the audacity to make snide, sarcastic and unpleasant remarks about the likes of Lincoln Lewis while sheltering behind his personal experiences, failing to tell us what action he took and even now can take to help a group of people who come up with some justification feel they were being marginalized by a government that he was a part of.
Finally, it may be apposite while thinking of Hon. Samuel Archibald Hinds the words of Isaac Watts, which said” And while the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return.