Basic facts should be made plain

Dear Editor,

Having read my brother David Hind’s (any Walter Rodney companeiro is my brother) letter (‘Ramdin’s action is a manifestation of how far we’ve strayed in our quest for freedom’ SN, June 12) in the Guyanese press on the latest shenanigans enveloping Caribbean cricket, I’m reminded of the great Black Jazz Saxophonist Oliver Nelson’s1961 album Blues and the Abstract Truth.
David is singing the blues alright. With nuff imagination too about our cricket, our society (or what passes for our civilisation these days) and also about the historical quest for our liberation as African people since slavery.

But he does this in such a professorial high-brow exposition that the truth is not merely ‘abstract’ but under heavy intellectual disguise. So after reading it I had to scramble around on the internet for some time trying to extract the plain factual basis upon which he has erected this fancy superstructure of imaginative lyrics. At least as an intellectual pen dragon he owes us some small consideration to make plain the basic facts so that we can better decipher exactly where he’s coming from – to agree or not. Exactly what did Ramdin do? (I never heard, being out of touch – not a cricket fan), and exactly how did Stabroek News “cross the line” v Prof Beckles?

Anyway, in the process of searching I also saw his letter in the Kaieteur News.Wow!  Who is David really writing for? Can 95% of our Caribbean youth under 25, who do not, or struggle to read papers, really get their heads around it?

Dat’s why dey screamin for Vybes Kartel an Mavado and he still doesn’t seem to be able to get his own head around Ramdin and the rest who hail from the tenement yards. That surely was one of Walter Rodney’s great gifts – to bruk it down to the level of the ‘street forces’ dem without losing any intellectual ‘rigour’ to deal at the Ivory Tower academic/scholarly level.

Nuff respect to the brother Professor though.

I’m afraid that if David Hinds tried to speak to Caribbean youth in the manner of his written discourse he is likely to suffer a dread fate. But of course he won’t because he’s much too in tune with the youth and grounded for that. But I’m still wondering on what comparative basis David declared that Guyana’s Stabroek News is the “intellectual paper in the region?”

Of course in strictly Caribbean bourgeois WICB terms, Ramdin is much ‘worse’ than Chris Gayle shamin the region, the race and all the genkleman dem playin at home and abroad. But then as y’ll see Viv Richards says that – he Viv is now ‘on the other side,’ ie he has crossed the line. The Rasta man wukkin for the BBC now, so he put a lash in Ramdin over the British airwaves for all the white folks dem who invent the game an the idea of the West Indies itself.

“Jus look at the way he [Ramdin] is walkin back to the pavillon! He looks lost…” That’s why Ramdin on reaching his century pulled the placard from his pocket for all the media to photograph: “Yea Viv talk nuh!” chantin down ‘Vivi’, as they call him on the street in Antigua.

Now if Ramdin was a Bible student like Viv is a Rasta Man he woulda known that ‘Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall not be disappointed’, and stop playing these word games.
Having said that when I was a pen dragon at the South Bank University I used to play a similar word game with the Senior English big dragon dem.

I’d say: “You know I didn’t think about that at all; you think that is really ‘copastethic?’”and watch dem because it’s a bogus word, a play on a African-American street ghetto term  ‘copasetic’ (meaning OK or fine.) There was a soul group called the Copasetics. If they said ‘Yes’ I would say, “So what is this ‘copasthetic’ thing then?” and buss out a big laugh.

That’s why they got rid of me; I had crossed another line. But how could Marxist David Hinds really disagree with the Stabroek News editorial that Prof Beckles comparison of Sammy with the ‘Bolshevik Cricketer’ (CLR James’ term) Frank Worrell is an odious one? I suspect that the line David really had in mind which the editorial crossed is his own academic and professional affinities with the learned Prof Hilary Beckles. Here is the opening sentence in the editorial: “For all his titles and letters after his name, Professor, Sir Hilary Beckles, [B]A, PhD, etc, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, really does spout a lot of rubbish sometimes.”

Oh how I wish it was an African cricketer like Clive Lloyd in his day instead of Ramdin today doing a John Carlos and holdin up a big placard at Lords cricket’s heaven about stopping
the racial discrimination  against African people dem!

The Caribbean working people sorely needs many more Ramdins to mash down the bourgeois middle-class status quo which Prof Beckles seems determined to defend by crossing the line. But the right political, social and economic line.
Just like the great Professor Walter Rodney has done.

Yours faithfully
Errol Harry

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