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The Queen’s College (QC) Old Students’ Association has this morning, on its Facebook page, posted an apology for its promotional (promo) video which has caused public uproar.
The Association was running a promotional video lauding the school’s 178 years’ history, among other props. Notably in the promotion are presenters who do not accurately reflect the diversity of students that attended the college over the years.
Guyanese have been calling for the promo to be pulled, expressing displeasure with the pictorial misrepresentation of the school’s history, and drawing attention to the fact the school had and still has in attendance students from all ethnic, political, social and economic backgrounds.
The video, in flaunting the school’s legacy of “promoting Guyana and the world’s finest leaders in all areas,” appears as though only some groups were/are so privileged and have so achieved.
Criminologist, Mr. Mark Benschop, last evening on his programme ‘Straight Up’ addressed the matter at length and called for the video to be removed. Apart from it not representing QC’s tradition of enrolling diverse students and accepting that intelligence/smarts is not unique to any group, Benschop said he finds the promo sad, racist and heartless.
He attributed the manifest lopsided representation of the school’s history not to carelessness and insensitivity but to what he said is President Irfaan Ali’s failure to improve race relations and foster social cohesion, evident by the regime’s policies and dismantling of the named institution put in place by the David Granger/Moses Nagamootoo government.
In May 2015 the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government established the Ministry of Social Cohesion which was “responsible for nurturing individual and community relationships in building a unified Guyana. ” When the People’s Progressive Party/Civic returned to government in August 2020 the ministry was disbanded.
Refer to the apology text below
The offending video