Columnist should be sanctioned

first_imgDear Editor,Most days I take a glimpse of what Frederick Kissoon says though everything is taken with a grain of salt. I never expected Kissoon would stoop so low and pen that 09-24-17 column, “Context rules life Ms Nicholas-Garrett”.Kissoon has been known to exaggerate, twist and manipulate stories so that he can look good in the right light. (A case in point is his story about Dr Dennis Leblanc’s visit to Guyana. I exposed Kissoon’s lies in my KN letter after engaging with some cursory research about Dr Leblanc. The medical doctor sought me out and thanked me for giving an accurate picture of his mission and perception of Guyana).To a degree, Kissoon is right about his view that “context is everything in life” – especially when it comes to racial sensitivities. Most blacks of the United States, for example, are quite divided on the use of the N-word; a simple Google search will turn up umpteen articles on the subject. Some argue it is okay to use the term – depending on who says it to whom, when, where, tone of voice, and so on; in other words, it depends on the context. Some vehemently argue that it is okay for Blacks and Latinos to use the term whereas it is ‘no-no’ if a white person utters it on their lips.It is downright despicable for Kissoon to defend a senior Government worker, Lloyda Nicholas-Garrett, for her racial tirades –- especially since she works in the Office of the President. The columnist should be sanctioned for that missive since it gives tacit approval for office (or any) worker to cascade racial slurs. Defending racial slurs is unpardonable at its worst and repugnant at its best, for it sends the wrong message to the Guyanese people when they are in the throes of racial insecurities. In a highly charged racial atmosphere as in Guyana, there should be zero tolerance for racial harangues – whether that is directed to fellow workers or to the public. The hallowed Office of the President ought to be the touchstone on how Guyanese should behave towards each other.The incident brings back a memory of an episode that took place in 2003. I was in the process of organising a show for a foreign artiste at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) when I heard one of the staff howling at the top of her voice about “coolie people” and “black people”. These terms in themselves could be very harmless or harmful; it depends on the context of what was spoken. Suffice it to say that that incident was a clear case of the woman spewing her racial rant – directed at me. Her tone of voice, her emphasis, her stares and her anger told the whole story – even though it was the first time we encountered each other.Being a target of racial hatred was bad enough. What really hurt was where and when this hatred was unfurled. It took place at the NCC – which was apparently built by Indian immigration fund money. My blood was boiling at the thought that I was a racial target at an institution where my fore-parents paid with their sweat, blood, and tears to build.Again, it all comes down to context. Some will go to the depths of any sleaze hole to punctuate the frame of reference so that the writer could look good – as in the Dr Leblanc citation. Many are aware that certain columnists will stretch to the abyss, if necessary, so as to retain their fan base. Pity!Sincerely,Devanand BhagwanBrampton, ON, Canadalast_img

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