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A racist in my book is someone who without any plausible reason dislikes, detests or hates another person who is not of the same race as that person. The conclusion that someone is a racist is a matter of perception based on their observation on an individual’s words and or actions. My experience with Aubrey Norton, whom I have known since 2008 does not lead me to conclude that he is racist.
It was the late Winston Shripal Murray who asked me to join the PNCR but before he did, Gail Teixeira asked me to join the PPP/C. At that time, I knew none of them properly and didn’t commit myself to any of them. When I did decide to enter national politics, I chose the PNCR because of the democracy that existed in the party which includes, the membership of the party electing its office bearers and recognition of its membership from the group level.
The first office I held in the PNCR was Group Secretary of the A Field Sophia GYSM and during that period I openly supported the late Winston Shripal Murray for Presidential Candidate of the PNCR. It was Aubrey Norton who approached me and requested of me to join the Winston Murray Team. It was a team consisting of names such as Richard Van-West Charles, Ronald Austin (Snr.), Kadeem (Kads) Khan, Jeffrey Thomas, Mervyn Williams among others and Winston Murray’s campaign manager was Aubrey Norton. We travelled the length and breadth of Guyana campaigning for Winston Murray. We laughed together, ‘gaffed’ together, ate together and strategized together.
Unfortunately, Winston died and to the best of my recollection it was Aubrey Norton who engaged Carl Barrington Greenidge as Winston’s replacement. A fitting, suited and respectful replacement. The team campaigned again, laughed together again, ‘gaffed together again, ate together again and strategized together again. Before I forget, mention must be made of two powerful women who supported the team. Mrs. Clarissa Sabita Reihl and the late Mrs. Deborah (Debbie) Backer.
Our team lost the elections and Mr. David Arthur Granger emerged as the Presidential Candidate for the PNCR. I remember vividly Aubrey Norton, Kads Khan, Mervyn Williams, Clarissa Reihl, Debbie Backer, myself and all others from the team licked our wounds and rallied around David Granger who was and still is a best choice when compared to Donald Ramotar, Irfaan Ali and the entire PPP/C.
As I matured in politics, Aubrey Norton was a good teacher. I learnt a lot from him and I never saw him display racist behaviour. I participated and continue to participate in social activities with Aubrey Norton. While Aubrey Norton and I may have disagreements from time to time and we do have disagreements from time to time, the basis for those disagreements are certainly not race.