DPP must ensure justice is done following Munir murder acquittals by Albert Baldeo
On Saturday (21/5/21), the Government of Guyana hosted an Inaugural Virtual Diaspora Conference under the theme “A New Era of Engagement for the Guyanese Diaspora.” At the head table was Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President of Guyana, the man who reportedly runs the administration of President Irfaan Ali.
In his speech on Saturday Jagdeo boasted that the police, army, navy, the Judiciary, the Public Service with all of its Ministries, and the administration of education right up to the University of Guyana (UG), have been controlled and numerically dominated by Afro-Guyanese. The lecturers at UG – thought-leaders of the society – for example, are about 90% Afro-Guyanese.
Jagdeo gloated about this fact in the wake of accusations by the Afro-dominated Opposition People’s National Congress (PNC) that his ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government is racist towards Blacks. Jagdeo explained that the accusations have no basis in fact, that the PPP has never attempted to change (“interefed”) this institutional ethnic bias during its 25 years in power. He himself served as the President of Guyana for 12 years, from 1999 to 2011.
By making such as an eye-popping statement publicly, Jagdeo has painted himself into a corner. The 2012 Population Census shows that People of East Indian descent constitute the majority ethnic group in Guyana: East Indian 39.8%, African descent 29.3%, mixed 19.9%, Amerindian 10.5%, Other 0.5% (includes Portuguese, Chinese, white).
In his address at the conference, Jagdeo has clearly shown that for 25 ongoing years in power, his PPP Government has been selfishly exploiting the mind of the Indian community to extract their votes so that the PPP can ascend to power to satisfy the personal interests of its politicaians.
The PPP has been practicing “reverse discrimination” against Indo-Guyanese by not allowing them to get an equal opportunity in having Government jobs. For 25 years, and counting, the PPP Government did nothing to remedy past PNC discriminatory practices against Indians in the police, army, navy, the Judiciary, the Public Service with all of its Ministries, and the administration of education right up to UG.
By his own confession, Vice-President Jagdeo and his PPP have done nothing to give non-Blacks in Guyana their fair share of Government employment, end racial discrimination in the Public sector, and facilitate equal opportunities in the workplace. Jagdeo and his PPP should have ensured that policies of equality of opportunity have been enforced.
In effect, what Jagdeo and the PPP have been doing and saying to young Indo-Guyanese is: “All you, don’t look for Government work. Instead, go and cut cane, plant rice and catch fish in the back-dam.” No wonder the rate of out-migration is still increasing under the PPP Government.
There is no future for non-Black youths in Guyana under the PPP, except in the private sector.
In light of this virtual apartheid system, a policy of “affirmative action” in all Government institutions should be TEMPORARILY adopted and enforced to bring an immediate end to this pervasive, institutionalized racial discrimination in Guyana. Jagdeo and his PPP must take the bull by its horns for the sake of equality in employment and social justice.
Affirmative action policies in the United States in favor of African-Americans, who have been underrepresented and disadvantaged in public and private institutions, are a model to follow.