BY: DONALD RAMOTAR
The July 9, 2020 issue of Kaieteur News carried a letter by David Hinds, in which he falsified history and totally misrepresented the man he called his hero, Walter Rodney.
He did all of this to try to instigate African Guyanese to defend the crimes of the PNC and their attempt to steal the government by attempting to commit fraud in the March 2, 2020 elections in this country.
In his attempt, Hinds transported the race relations history of the US into our Guyanese society. He said that his interlocutor will “never be a George Floyd” because he is not Afro, but this is just designed to mislead in our Guyanese context.
The post-slavery history of the Caribbean is very different from the post-slavery history of the United States. In the US, the form of relations was modified, and African-Americans continued to be confronted by racism. They had to resist segregation, and a lot of that kind of relationship lingers to this day.
In the post-colonial period in the Caribbean, Afro-Caribbean people were not segregated in the societies. They did face issues like the African-Americans did. Indeed, from a race point of view, it was Afro-Caribbean people who played the most prominent role in the region.
In our own Guyana, the PNC emphasised race to support colonial domination, and engineered racial clashes to cause the delay of independence and install themselves in power. They have since used racism like a knee on the throats of the whole nation, stifling social and economic progress of all Guyanese.
Make no mistake about it, the PNC/APNU/AFC does not represent the interest of the African-Guyanese working people. Even the African-Guyanese business people are not represented by the PNC/APNU. The PNC/APNU represents a tiny cabal that has accumulated great wealth during the Burnham period and now. Race serves as a smokescreen to allow this cabal to exploit the Guyanese masses, including the vast majority of African-Guyanese workers and farmers.
However, by using the history of Black people in the US, and by integrating it with lies like PPP/Civic killed hundreds of Black people, the PNC/APNU have succeeded in creating a false consciousness among a great amount of the African masses in this country about a ‘coolie domination’.
Actually, Indians, more than any other group, have been the victims of PNC/APNU racism. They were the ones that had to bear that cross, suffering both as working people and because of PNC use of racism.
But Hinds did not only mix up our history to justify his descent into the morass of racism, he criminally tried to ‘recruit’ Rodney in that diabolical attempt. The same Walter Rodney who spent his short adult life fighting against racism and for working class unity here and abroad.
Hinds, in quoting Rodney, took him completely out of context, and even tried to turn Rodney into a PNC man.
This is unpardonable. This is sick.
Rodney toiled tirelessly to show that Black Power analysis in the US and the Caribbean had to be seen differently. This is how he put it in one of his conversations, published in the book ‘Walter Rodney Speaks’. He said that while in Jamaica ‘…trying to formulate questions of struggle…. from time to time I did refer back to the Guyanese situation, trying to make it clear that the way in which one was using the word ‘Black’ in a West Indian context must of necessity embrace the majority of African and Indian populations. And the reason I did that was because I knew that the word ‘black’ could well be interpreted in a narrow sense to mean African, and hence anti-Indian…”.
He went on to refer to Stokely Carmichael’s visit to Guyana in the late 1960s/early 1970s. here is what he said: “…Brother Stokely Carmichael was in Guyana on one occasion – I wasn’t there at the time – and he didn’t help the situation very much by introducing what was essentially an alien, that is, a North American, conception of what race was about…”
Rodney was extremely clear and honest in his analysis, unlike David Hinds. He never believed that PNC represented African Guyanese interests. Here is what he had to say more than forty years ago:
“… African Guyanese who look around them today recognize that their material and social and political condition had not advanced. Rather, in many cases, it may have declined in spite of the existence of this so-called African Government”.
It sounds as if he was speaking about the Granger regime today. Unfortunately, Hinds is now one of the main defenders and promoters of the elite that has its knee on our throats. He falls squarely in this category that Rodney saw and expressed disgust within. Here is how Walter put it in his own inimitable style: “…For a small nation, Guyana has produced a discouragingly large number of lackeys and stooges who hide in the shadow of the ‘Comrade Leader’…”. This is exactly where Doctor David Hinds is, one of the ‘lackies’, one of the tools that PNC/APNU used to continue the rape of our nation.
I close with another important advice that Rodney left us, one that is of great relevance. “No ordinary Afro-Guyanese, no ordinary Indo-Guyanese can afford to be misled by the myth of race. Time and time again, it has been our undoing…”. He uttered those words at a public meeting at the corner of Durban Street & Louisa Row in defending a PPP activist, Arnold Rampersaud.
Today, it is in the interest of all Guyanese to heed that message and stand up and defend Democracy; to defend free and fair elections; to live in a country that operates with laws, and where the Constitution is respected. Those are fundamental pillars for social and economic development of the state and its people. Those are indispensable in moving towards a more just society.
We must frustrate the efforts of the likes of David Hinds, who seek to divide us and condemn us to perpetual poverty under the guise of ‘defending’ black people.
We must reject the imposition of another country’s history upon us, and must defend the stalwarts and heroes like Walter Rodney, and not allow their teachings to be taken out of context to achieve the opposite of what he, Rodney, stood for.