ACDA took a principled position on its non-engagement with the state in relation to IYPAD

Dear Editor,

The letter by Jinnah Rahman on August 26, requires a reply (ACDA and all of us must set up a new form of politics’). On the question of time spent on debating African culture it must be understood that a negative world philosophy of Africa and its descendents was cultivated from the eighteenth century onwards. It covered the history, religion and culture of Africa and became the orthodox perception in the psyche of the western world and wherever else their influence prevailed. There were voices in the wilderness that rebuked the pseudo science and academia, but they were not the mainstream. It must be understood that from Carthage to colonization the cause of the victor was to create a doctrine to justify destruction. Thus when ACDA was at its embryonic stage it was a consensus that re-education would be a necessity, as Guyana is but a microcosm of the condition of self-hate and self-contempt through ignorance visible among many Afro-Guyanese.  A nation can only evolve and be strong if its people are able to understand the archetypes of their origins and reject the falsifications.

Concerning the perception of whether ACDA knows where it’s going, I would refer to the fact that ACDA is an organic entity and will face philosophical upheavals on principles and the application of principles. Unlike many religious and political organizations we are not in receipt of annual stipends, though with the school and the ideals behind its genesis there are bills to be paid.

This brings me to the question of Brother Stanley Cook, who is mandated to function in the interest of our educational thrust and who knows first hand our challenges in that area. He can through enthusiasm easily be lured into the devious entrapments of politicians, however, he remains one of our earliest members and a hard worker.

I should add this: ACDA is neither a corporate entity nor a political party. It has members, founder members and is administered by steering committees; it has no president, executives, CEO or managers.

Politically, we have always advocated the principles of executive shared governance, as we recognize that the marginalization of numerous talents through this current

Westminster political arrangement has placed unsuitable persons in charge of many of the engines of growth. We do not think that Mr Jagdeo owns this country, though his ego-tripping seems to suggest that image. This is the International Year of People of African Descent (IYPAD).

The budgetary allocations of this government did not recognize IYPAD, thus disbursements to responsible groups relating to the expression of this year have to be acquired hat in hand according to the mood of the President. ACDA took a principled position on its non-engagement with the state on IYPAD, due to its insensitive posture on the year.

Consider also that during an election year negative perceptions must be guarded against. Public funds belong to the nation and we have considered attracting such. Organizations mimicking ACDA have been developed and receive public funds, thus we have a right to what our ancestors have made considerable contribution. Method and clarification must however guide us. We know where we’re going and we understand that in every organic garden, weeds and vines will evolve; these factors will test our fortitude, but we will pass a respectable organization on to a young generation literally or through posterity.

Yours faithfully,
Barrington Braithwaite