I owe no apology for saying support your own first

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My recent call on African Guyanese to support their village economies by among other things buying what they produce in their communities has not unexpectedly brought out the firing squads. Led by a certain columnist, there are calls for me to be jailed and perhaps murdered like Ronald Waddell. How dare David Hinds call on people to buy black pudding in their villages? That is racism of the highest order. Ask his employer to fire him.

Let me say upfront that I make no apologies for my call. This is not the first time I have made such a call and I am not the first public person to do so. And so long as the African Guyanese community continues to feel the whip of economic violence from the State and other commercial forces, I will call on that community to defend itself by being strategic about how and where it spends its money. Economic self-reliance is as old as the world and if it is good for some it must be good for others.

My latest call on African Guyanese to support their own vendors and entrepreneurs and to withdraw their patronage of businesses which enable the PPP government was triggered of course by the scandalous 7 percent “top up” given to public servants which according to former Finance Minister Winston Jordan amounts to less than a dollar per day. This from the same government which gave huge tax breaks and other benefits to big business, an unknown sum to farmers as flood relief and a hefty $250, 000 to severed sugar workers in addition to their severance pay. It must be stressed that all of those categories are dominated by Guyanese of one ethnicity. But when it comes to the public service which is dominated by people of another ethnicity, they are given a pittance.

If that is not ethno-racial economic violence, then what is? Here is a government that is using its control of the national purse strings to distribute common resources in the most discriminatory manner. That is called institutional racism. The fact that PPP supporters in high places support or remain silent in the face of such blatant discrimination makes them culpable. They already got more than their fair share of resources from the government. So, they don’t care if others do not get. They have been repaid for their political support of the PPP, so they don’t care about the supporters of other parties. Hence my call for a boycott of that sector.

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In making that call on my program on Monday November 22, I asked for the exemption of small vendors and small businesspeople who support the PPP. Those people should not suffer because they gave their votes to the PPP. No group should. They do not directly influence PPP policy towards African Guyanese. Many of my listeners and viewers disagreed with me on this issue, but as I told them even on matters of race, social class matters. The PPP firing squads didn’t circulate this in their video. And the born-again, closeted Indianist columnist didn’t get that memo.

On that very program I denounced ethnic violence as a solution to our problems. I also denounced PPP’s provocation of ethnic violence. And I called on African Guyanese not to be provoked into violence. Ethnic violence is the worst form of violence. Just look at the unending violence in those ethnic hotspots around the world. We in Guyana have had our share of violence. At the end of the day violence prolongs the conflict rather than ends it. They didn’t circulate that in their video and that columnist didn’t get that memo either.

But non-violence should not mean cowardice and surrender to injustice. Never. Hence my call to undermine the government and its enablers. In the first place, it is the PPP which has been undermining the rule of law and those who did not vote for the party. I make no apologies for my call. Those who today call me racist did not raise their voices when there were calls by others to put poison in food to be sold to the opposite ethnic group. There is a viciousness that accompanies this government that is trickling down to some of its supporters. They are ever quick to deem opposition people racists and to call for them to be jailed There have been calls for me to be killed. And the columnist has put it out there that I am the reincarnation of Ronald Waddell—to be killed?



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