Harmon urges push back against Ramson

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—warns Hits and Jams that supporting oppressors comes at a heavy cost
Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon has urged African Guyanese to mount an intense campaign against Culture Minister Charles Ramson jr for remarks he made denigrating black Guyanese saying on Saturday said that they lack role models.
“I think that in the black community, young black kids also need lots of examples of success because they have to be able to see that there is a pathway in order for them to live that successful life. And it bothers me a lot when I hear people who just came out of government, who spent 1.4 trillion dollars in this country and failed the black community and still are walking around the people as if they were capable of giving the leadership to help to create wealth in the country and in the black community”, Ramson said.
Reacting to the views expressed by Ramson Harmon in a statement Sunday said a number of Guyanese took to their facebook social media platforms, to call out the very disturbing act by Minister Ramson Jr. He noted that Ramson appeared on the popular 94.1 Boom Fm radio station and decided that he had the moral right to offer the African Guyanese community a lecture. “His lecture was one that was biased, prejudicial and laced with racial undertones,” Harmon stated.

“As leader of the Opposition, I strongly condemn Ramson’s verbal lientery. The belief by Ramson that he has the authority to speak on such matters in the manner in which he did is not limited to him but rather this mindset is pervasive in the PPP. It is a paradigm that stems from the belief that they are better than African Guyanese and somehow they have credentials which afford them the right to denigrate the African Guyanese community in Guyana,” Harmon said.
Harmon said likewise “I strongly condemn 94.1 Radio Station for allowing a Minister of Government to use their platform to incite racial tension with his vile prejudice of the African Guyanese community. Sad to say that this is what we can continue to expect from the PPP. We have always said that the PPP is racist by nature and the guise of having a few African and Indigenous Guyanese as ministers will not erase that central aspect of its nature,” Harmon asserted.
“I will not be asking that Ramson or HJ apologise to the African Guyanese Community, rather I am calling on the African Guyanese community and all who are appalled by Ramson’s sentiments to unite and push back against those who seek to define the African Guyanese reality within a nanoscopic and inglorious context. I call for us to take action, file petitions, seek Ramson’s resignation or removal from office, they will ignore it but let our disapproval be heard and felt in more ways than one. Let the world see the PPP for who they really are,” the opposition Leader said.
Harmon said too that 94.1 Radio Station must take note of the views of the majority of Guyanese who listen to their station daily. “This disrespect to a large section of our Guyanese community will not and should not be tolerated. Supporting those who are emboldened to suppress and oppress others comes at a grave cost and no one should be willing to be used in such a manner.”

Stoking divisiveness
Meanwhile, In a Facebook Post, Professor Vibert Cambridge said that “It is most unfortunate when Guyana’s Minister responsible for the nation’s cultural development is consistent in stoking divisiveness and not promoting or encouraging solidarity. At one time I excused the behaviour as exuberance and inexperience. Now it appears as unacceptable patterned and deliberate behaviour,” Professor Cambridge said.

Shadow Minister of Culture, MP Jermaine Figueira said in a letter that the minister’s very condescending and berating views of the African Guyanese community and its leadership were not even recognised sadly, by Kerwin Bollers- who was hosting the programme/ free talk. In fact Bollers shook his head in agreement with Ramson, who has been frequenting the radio station since becoming minister.
Figueira said Ramson’s attempt to lecture the black community with his ill-informed and very disrespectful rhetoric, has certainly come from a place that is foreign to his very sheltered and privileged life. A life bestowed to him from the politics of the PPP that is still in practice even more glaring today, speaks volume. “Anyone listening to his empty rants without having background knowledge of the PPP’S 23 years of discriminatory and intentional economic marginalization of the black community; would probably try to make sense of his charlatan views,” the Region 10 MP stated. He added that the Minister posited several points of view that are not only confusing, but what many of his colleagues and supporters of the PPP would strongly disagree with.
Firstly “politics don’t create wealth for people” , secondly, being a leader in the political sphere you “encourage people to create wealth for themselves”, and thirdly, “there is a difference between land that is land and land that is an asset”
“Clearly, this guy is not only confused but is far from reality and doesn’t know what he is talking about.

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This guy is the son of one of Guyana’s former minister and Attorney General who was exempted from paying taxes on his salary, over two million dollars a month, unlike the many underprivileged hard working Guyanese public servants who work twice as hard to make ends meet while paying their taxes.”
Figueira continued: “Many of us are still trying to grapple with his government’s imposed 7% after not receiving anything in the last two budgets and have to deal with this ridiculously high cost of living.
This little boy’s failure to realise that many of the political doings and wealth garnered, were on the backs of many tax payers. Some of those actions done by the PPP for wealth creation were not garnered from encouraging words young Ramson, it was from politics and the political decisions, be it good and bad, legal or otherwise and policies/ attitudes of the ruling cabal that created such an environment.”

Another Member of Parliament, Amanza Walton-Desir said Ramson needs to stop trying to lecture Guyanese. “Charles is a chap who was literally born with a gold spoon in his mouth. He took his first minibus ride at aged 30 and had to have a film crew on hand to capture it. He doesn’t have a clue about the struggle of hardworking Guyanese, nor does he care. To him Guyanese are mere pawns in his rich-boy game of chess. So, to hear him speaking in a most condescending manner about the lack of role models for, as he put it the “black community” is unacceptable and he must be called out by all and sundry.”
According to Walton-Desir: “For your information Charlie Boy, I grew up with role models all around, in my family and in my community. My mother Joy Walton was a teacher for over 40 years and shaped the lives of thousands of Guyanese from all walks of life. From her I learnt compassion and the value of hard and honest labour. My father Ovid Walton was a military officer and served this country with distinction. He instilled in me the importance of integrity, love of country and love for the Guyanese people, irrespective of race or creed. They both have left a rich legacy that I wake up to every day and proudly walk in. So, no, you do not get to diminish them, because they were not financially wealthy, nor do you get to diminish any of the hardworking Guyanese who get up every day to work to keep this country going for that matter. You do not get to pretend that you care about bettering the lives of the ordinary Guyanese. You will not lecture to us, nor will your weak attempt at manipulating us to divide us, succeed.

And while it appears that in your books, the attainment of wealth is the foremost criteria to be met for one to be considered a role model, and since you like to strut around pretending to be “roots”, I will remind you of the words of the immortal Bob Marley who said “some people are so poor all they have is money”.



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