Stop using jumbie; fear of black man – Nagamootoo
Speaking on the radio programme Hard Talk aired on 90.1 Love FM on Sunday, Nagamootoo said regardless of individual race, “we are all Guyanese” and should see each other as such. “We need to send positive messages to our supporters and in fact all Guyanese. We have to learn to live out the creed of who we are; we are Guyanese and we are not Indo-Guyanese, Afro-Guyanese, Chino-Guyanese, Amerindo-Guyanese…we are Guyanese. If you go to Trinidad you find Trinis, Jamaica, Jamaicans so we don’t have to emphasise our difference, we have to live with who we are and try to be able to understand the concerns collectively that all of us need to see our country move forward.”
The coalition PM candidate said as a politician he cannot identify any group or block of parties that requires damnation. “I believe that the PPP would attract sufficient votes to be respected after the elections even though it will go into the minority and in the opposition. I believe that the five parties in APNU combined with AFC will win a handsome majority but it will come from all sections of the Guyanese people. We must not go there appealing to their racial or prejudicial side. Appeal to their side that tells us we have an angel inside all of us that could do better if we allow it to do better,” he stated.
Concern remains about the resurfacing of racial animosity, particularly between blacks and Indians in some sections of the society at elections time. Some believe these sentiments are fuelled by the nature and tone of political campaigns which, in the past, seemed to focus more on race than on issues affecting Guyanese.
“We want to say that there should be no violence in the elections. We should have an end to race-carping and perhaps still using this jumbie; the fear of the black man because when we go the United States, we don’t ask who is Obama, whether he is black, blue or green. When we go to Suriname…Guyanese go there and they can live with Bouterse, or they go to any of the Caribbean islands…they run to countries that are literally ruled by black people so I don’t think that we should carp on this issue of race,” Nagamootoo said.
He stressed that a better system of governance is what the focus should be and more inclusiveness for young people going into the elections. Nagamootoo said he is offering a hand of friendship to all the political parties, even before the elections, to let them know there is room for all in the coalition.
Nagamootoo was appearing on the programme at the time with Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran