All over the world in democratic societies people vote race

Dear Editor,

Mr Mike Persaud in a letter in the SN of March 28, titled ‘A legacy in tatters’ seems to believe that he alone has all the answers to Guyana’s political problems. He would solve the race issue by placing someone of different race as the symbolic head of the major political parties. What is there to support Mr Persaud’s  fulminations, that allows him to dictate that his, rather than the national interest and consensus should guide Guyana’s destiny?

I am suspicious of Mr Persaud’s revelation from this phantom “organizing committee member [who] also told me President Jagdeo was in New York, so why wasn’t he here? ‘He would be too ashamed to show up here,’ said this long-time supporter of the PPP.” Mr Persaud amplifies uncorroborated misinformation and makes these Jagan-event admirers into faceless cowards. Is this how they portrayed themselves during the event? Why is the member ashamed to be named?
Mr Persaud’s personal trek to Congress place to advise PNC leader Mr Robert Corbin to change the PNC leadership and replace it with an Indian leader ended in failure with the selection of former GDF chief Mr David Granger.

The claim that “Colin Moore had long been known to be a supporter of the PPP going back to the 1950s, and over the last 15 years. I had seen him numerous times attending events in this largely Indian-Guyanese community. (I had last seen him two years ago at a memorial service for Prakash Gossai)” is so superficial and boggles one’s mind. Does Mr Moore become PPP just because he visits Richmond Hill, NYC, and mixes with a predominantly Indian-Guyanese community?  Mr Persaud himself admitted to living a few blocks away from the event, and is no PPP supporter, so what makes all the other Indian-Guyanese committed PPP because they live there and are visited by Mr Moore? Didn’t the AFC launch their NYC campaign in the same community? There have to be African-Guyanese and others living in Richmond Hill as well. By Mr Persaud’s logic they should be PNC, but that will have no validity.

It has become obvious that Mr Persaud seeks a solution to Guyana’s problems. But he is a little late in his efforts. Mr Vishnu Bisram and Mr Frederick Kissoon are way ahead of him in this quest, and surprisingly the former did not enlighten us about the event. This “ponder[ing] with sadness the unravelling of Jagan’s true legacy” is also revealing. What has become of Jagan’s  “uncorrupted and incorruptible” ethos of running a government Mr Persaud asks? He should check the man’s lifestyle and ideology. The Jagans’ incorruptibility is not diminished by all who claim inheritance to his legacy, nor is corruption their orchestration or pride.

When Mr Persaud has proven the source for touting this “deeply held belief by many people that his successor would have been an African-Guyanese, as a way to demonstrate that his party is non-racial.” he would have greater credibility. I always believe Mr Persaud is his own source. He should not be ashamed to tell us his source. NACTA? The Jagans were public communists who believed in the supremacy of class over race, and Mr Persaud has unfortunately forgotten this.

One must commend Mr Persaud for his “activism for free and fair elections in the New York area (1990-92).” But he must re-examine the historical record to be reconciled with his statement that in all elections since 1992, Indians and Africans have voted straight race. “I have always maintained that what passes in Guyana for democracy is nothing but a mirage – all fake,” he writes. Well democracy is evident in Guyana, and the entire world votes race through democracy. The African-American population overwhelmingly supported the first black New York city Mayor Mr David Dinkins, as well as President Barack Obama. Maybe he can explain why the majority of Africans supported the PNC at the 1992 elections after they were also subjected to the same starvation with the rest of Guyana and joined the exodus. At least he knows the PNC targeted PPP Indian supporters and hence their support for a change.

Yours faithfully,
Sultan Mohamed

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