Political party A New and United Guyana (ANUG) has issued a call for citizens to break the cycle of generational race hate plaguing the country by rejecting racialised politics.
Its message was delivered in recognition of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which was observed on March 21. This year’s theme was “Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies”.
The statement from the new party noted that Article 149 of the Constitution of Guyana offers Guyanese protection from Discrimination on the grounds of race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed or disability.
Furthermore, it stated that racial division has only served to benefit those in power and the friends of those in power, and that tribalism has resulted in corruption, which is most evident in practices of nepotism and cronyism displayed within the public and private sector. Consequently, many Guyanese have been left “disenfranchised or fearful of being disenfranchised whenever the party of their ethnicity is out of power,” they stated.
“So race baiting and racial politics become a justiﬁable mechanism for quelling those insecurities. But there is a social and economic cost to race-baiting campaigns and racialized politics, rooted in the triumph of identity over competence. We the people, born out of the suffering and sacriﬁce of those who came before us are paying the price for the perpetuation of generational race hate. Let us break the cycle now and allow a New Guyana to emerge. A Guyana rooted in respect, solidarity, cooperation, equality and justice,” the party said.
It noted that deaths, property damage and damage to the country as a whole as a result of racial tension has been prevalent throughout our history. Therefore, they condemned all forms of racial discrimination and urged all Guyanese to keep a watchful eye on politicians, civil servants and media houses which call for and support divisive messages and actions.
“We call on political leaders to desist from the well-known and age-old demagogic tactics which have been centred on race and aimed at propagating and perpetuating fear, particularly at election time. Our strength as a nation lies in our diversity and we must call our leaders out and hold them accountable whenever they seek to exploit our differences as a matter of weakness or grounds for mistrust,” ANUG asserted.
“We live in a society that takes pride in the unique features of its diversity with many of us having hyphenated identities in an effort to embrace our history. We can cultivate and embrace Guyanese identity whilst acknowledging our ancestry of enslavement and indentureship,” they added.