Justice and rights are not about race and gender

Dear Editor,

I would like to add my pen in response to two letters Minister Priya Manickchand has written in relation to the interpretation by the opposition AFC and APNU and the Chairman of Transparency Guyana,  Mr Anand Goolsarran, that the wife of the Minister of Finance is in a conflict of interest situation because of the position she holds at the Auditor-General’s Office.

What Minister Manickchand has done and believes she has gotten away with is that she extracted one dimension of the story of the Minister’s wife and made it into the main argument. This is not only silly but poor reasoning. The core of the employment is a conflict of interest matter, not gender bias. By extension, if an Amerindian does a wrong and we speak out, are we targeting the Amerindian people?

Ms Manickchand hoped by introducing male chauvinism into her attempt at being polemical, she would save the Minister’s wife, and she completed a piece of competent PR for the authoritarian government she works for. In other words, she hopes to shut the mouth and break the pen of male critics by accusing us of picking on a woman. Justice and rights are not about race and gender. They are about just that – justice and rights. There are terrible Africans, Chinese, East Indians, priests, women in this world. What has that got to do with race and gender and religion?

I will leave the Minister with a fine piece of journalistic investigation by the newest newspaper in the world – the International New York Times (INYT) which has replaced the iconic International Herald Tribune. INYT found out that women comprise more than half of the membership of Neo-Nazi, far-right groups in Germany. According to the gospel of Manickchand, we, men should not adversely comment on that because we would be denying women their rightful place in politics. Never mind that such women kill innocent human beings and one of them, Beate Zschäpe is currently on trial in Germany for multiple homicides in which the victims were non-white immigrants.

Finally, the Minister should be the last to talk about people trying to deny the Finance Minister’s wife the right to employment. This Minister’s government has a track record of such denial of employment. Maybe Ms Manickchand may want to comment on the Genevieve Whyte-Nedd travesty at the Ministry of Education?

Yours faithfully,
Frederick Kissoon        

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