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I write to you today with a heavy heart, for yet again, racism is being used as the primary tool for political attacks. Today we see the attack being meted out against APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Amanza Walton-Desir (AWD).
The representatives of PPP that time and time again have taken to various platforms to utter words of inclusionary governance and One Guyana, wasted no time, once again, in using the race card to stir up racial tension among Guyanese in their desperate attempt to tarnish the character of AWD. This is something that all Guyanese must reject.
The fact, at no point during her interview with Dr. Hinds on Politics 101, did AWD refer to “Indo-Guyanese” during her discourse. It was representatives of the PPP that placed the label of “Indo-Guyanese” to her remarks. The danger of this label was exaggerated when the Indian Action Committee (IAC) issues a statement addressing the label that never existed during her interview. Guyanese, we must not allow such race baiting to further divide us; we are a divided people because we were born into a system that benefitted from us hating each other. This system never helped us; it only harmed us – all of us.
The APNU+AFC coalition does not represent one race, and it is a shame that representatives of the PPP is proud to imply that their party represents one ethnicity. Guyana is a diverse country and all political parties should strive to represent every ethnic group. The fact that representatives of the PPP does not see an issue in labeling the PPP as an Indo-Guyanese party in order at attack AWD needs to be condemned at every level and by all, especially by people that supports and represents the PPP and who themselves are not Indo-Guyanese.
Guyana is at a cross road, we can either decide that we will no longer beat the drum of racism or we can decide to continue to beat that drum. But make no mistake, whatever path we choose as a people, we, and the generations that follow us, will either reap the benefit or bear the cost.
AWD, Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, is a brilliant young woman, and she never used race as a platform for political mileage. Let me remind you that when Guyana locked in a vote of NO at the 48th Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly, voting against “A global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, AWD did not at any time seek to use such a glaring act of incompetence to beat the drum of racism and call out the PPP as being racist, but instead, it was AWD that clearly articulated the facts surrounding the vote against and highlighted the steps being taken to correct same. The very PPP at that point referred to AWD’s comments to justify their “mistaken vote”, now less than a month after, representatives of the same PPP wants to paint her as a racist – this must not stand! It is an act of desperation. It is widely acknowledged that as Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, AWD – while being in opposition – gives the best representation on behalf of the people of Guyana in the department of Foreign Affairs.
I stand by Amanza Walton-Desir, my colleague and friend, a woman whose passion to represent all Guyanese, regardless of race, religion or political persuasion, cannot be questioned.
APNU+AFC Member of Parliament