What about a Black Guyanese entrepreneurial class?

August 1, 2015 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon 

Let me be effusively unambiguous, graphically pellucid and illuminatingly clear – I would agree with any critic of the AFC-APNU Government who points to the consistent predominance of state appointments that is in one ethnic direction only. It will exacerbate the 60-year-old tragedy that is a country named Guyana. My revulsion against the rule of the PPP beginning with Cheddi Jagan in 1992 was that the PPP control of the state was premised on favoritism towards East Indians. The man, Jagan, himself had an employment bias towards Indians during his presidency. It is a stain that is written largely on the biography of Cheddi Jagan. Only a blind researcher or an indecent one would gloss over that fact. If Walter Rodney was alive to see Cheddi Jagan as President, Walter would have driven Jagan out to sea. The bitter sin that African-rights activists have accused Walter Rodney of possessing was that he was too obsessed with bringing down Burnham that he didn’t care about seeing the essential philosophical flaws of Jagan. Those flaws were nurtured and fertilized by Janet Jagan. Those flaws led Jagan to throw Bharrat Jagdeo upon Guyana. Those flaws made Jagdeo throw Ramotar upon Guyana. The rest is history. I long suspected that the PPP, but particularly Bharrat Jagdeo, (in another column I will deal with Justice Chang’s injunction against me which still stands but which I have been able to get around because you can use different words to convey the same meaning) were tilting towards ethnic cleansing in a non-violent way (but also in a violent way which led to the 2002 Mash Day jailbreak). At the level of the eyes, you couldn’t see it. I saw it when I spent two years researching employment and scholarship policies of the Jagdeo regime. I saw a horror story which I presented to an academic conference in the form of a paper titled, “Ethnic Power and Ideological Racism: Comparing Presidencies in Guyana.” What African Guyanese suffered under the PPP, we should of course never forget but to keep carping on it is psychologically unwise. Thinking about it leads to unhealthy thoughts. We should move on. Guyana needs to move on. One hopes that what African Guyanese had to endure under the PPP, Indians won’t have to under the coalition government. We simply have to kill the Medusa of racial suspicion that has frozen the future of Guyana almost sixty five years ago. Medusa was a monster in Greek mythology that when she set her gaze upon you, you turned into stone. And that is what race-based policies by past governments have down to Guyana – turned it into stone. Mr. Clairmont Lye, not known at all to be a supporter of the PPP when the PPP was in office, has complained bitterly of the low level of East Indian representation on the state boards. No doubt this will hand the racists inside the PPP an anti-tank weapon from which they can fire their salvoes against the Granger/Nagamootoo unity team. Whether contextually it was not possible to have an infusion of Indian faces, the claim of ethnic bias will cause reflections. Can you blame Lye if he sees it this way? The answer is no. But at the same time our sociological analysis must be methodologically holistic not ethnically slanted. Ravi Dev has consistently argued that Guyanese Indians have an ethnic security dilemma that could only be addressed by ethnic balance in the security forces. Mr. Lye wants ethnic balance on state boards. But Indians who have these fears have to be analytically objective. African Guyanese have an ethnic security dilemma too. Dev admits this but proposes solutions to the Indian problem. That is understandable- he deals with solutions for his community. But if we are to save Guyana we must examine the dilemmas all our ethnic communities have. What about ethnic balance in the economy? What about ethnic balance in entrepreneurial formations in Guyana? Go to any part, and I mean any part of this 83,000 square miles of territory, and you see the monstrous ethnic imbalance in the capitalist nature of the Guyanese formation. East Indians dominate the economy ninety five percent to one percent for African with other races making up the other four percent. Among other races in Guyana, outside of Indian Guyanese, land-holdings are extensive. It seems that the only race that does not possess vast plantations of land is African Guyanese. I know some Portuguese Guyanese who have countless acreage of land that the combined population of African Guyanese do not have. It is time for ethnic balance in Guyanese capitalism.

Original Post
Originally Posted by Mitwah:

What about a Black Guyanese entrepreneurial class?

August 1, 2015 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon 

Let me be effusively unambiguous, graphically pellucid and illuminatingly clear – I would agree with any critic of the AFC-APNU Government who points to the consistent predominance of state appointments that is in one ethnic direction only. It will exacerbate the 60-year-old tragedy that is a country named Guyana. My revulsion against the rule of the PPP beginning with Cheddi Jagan in 1992 (Your revulsion is anything Indian) was that the PPP control of the state was premised on favoritism towards East Indians. The man, Jagan, himself had an employment bias towards Indians during his presidency. It is a stain that is written largely on the biography of Cheddi Jagan. Only a blind researcher or an indecent one would gloss over that fact. If Walter Rodney was alive to see Cheddi Jagan as President, Walter would have driven Jagan out to sea. The bitter sin that African-rights activists have accused Walter Rodney of possessing was that he was too obsessed with bringing down Burnham (like alyuh with destroying the PPP) that he didn’t care about seeing the essential philosophical flaws of Jagan. Those flaws were nurtured and fertilized by Janet Jagan. Those flaws led Jagan to throw Bharrat Jagdeo upon Guyana. Those flaws made Jagdeo throw Ramotar upon Guyana. The rest is history. I long suspected that the PPP, but particularly Bharrat Jagdeo, (in another column I will deal with Justice Chang’s injunction against me which still stands but which I have been able to get around because you can use different words to convey the same meaning) were tilting towards ethnic cleansing in a non-violent way (but also in a violent way which led to the 2002 Mash Day jailbreak) (yea, spawning terrorism against Indians is an Indian making, how about terrorism in the 60's to mid-2000's). At the level of the eyes, you couldn’t see it. I saw it when I spent two years researching employment and scholarship policies of the Jagdeo regime. I saw a horror story which I presented to an academic conference in the form of a paper titled, “Ethnic Power and Ideological Racism: Comparing Presidencies in Guyana.” What African Guyanese suffered under the PPP, we should of course never forget but to keep carping on it is psychologically unwise (Clown. Guyana history does not start in 1992, barefaced liars). Thinking about it leads to unhealthy thoughts. We should move on. Guyana needs to move on. One hopes that what African Guyanese had to endure under the PPP, Indians won’t have to under the coalition government (jackass). We simply have to kill the Medusa of racial suspicion that has frozen the future of Guyana almost sixty five years ago. Medusa was a monster (that's you fool) in Greek mythology that when she set her gaze upon you, you turned into stone. And that is what race-based policies by past governments have down to Guyana – turned it into stone. Mr. Clairmont Lye, not known at all to be a supporter of the PPP when the PPP was in office, has complained bitterly of the low level of East Indian representation on the state boards. No doubt this will hand the racists inside the PPP an anti-tank weapon from which they can fire their salvoes against the Granger/Nagamootoo unity team (They firing salvoes at themselves fool). Whether contextually it was not possible to have an infusion of Indian faces, the claim of ethnic bias will cause reflections. Can you blame Lye if he sees it this way? The answer is no. But at the same time our sociological analysis must be methodologically holistic not ethnically slanted. Ravi Dev has consistently argued that Guyanese Indians have an ethnic security dilemma that could only be addressed by ethnic balance in the security forces. Mr. Lye wants ethnic balance on state boards. But Indians who have these fears have to be analytically objective. African Guyanese have an ethnic security dilemma too (spell it out in plain English and not in Greek jibrich) . Dev admits this but proposes solutions to the Indian problem. That is understandable- he deals with solutions for his community. But if we are to save Guyana we must examine the dilemmas all our ethnic communities have. What about ethnic balance in the economy? What about ethnic balance in entrepreneurial formations in Guyana? Go to any part, and I mean any part of this 83,000 square miles of territory, and you see the monstrous ethnic imbalance in the capitalist nature of the Guyanese formation. East Indians dominate the economy ninety five percent to one percent for African with other races making up the other four percent (And what and who stop Blacks from building business, the "owned" Guyana since 1966.  Black controlled, and got rich in the first gold rush.  They also had a big hold in the latest gold rush, let then do their thing). Among other races in Guyana, outside of Indian Guyanese, land-holdings are extensive. It seems that the only race that does not possess vast plantations of land is African Guyanese (Why, I remember PNC giving out blacks large land plots back in the day.  The held it for the minimum and sold it to Indians for a quick buck, land was too much wuk).   I know some Portuguese Guyanese (and good for them) who have countless acreage of land that the combined population of African Guyanese do not have. It is time for ethnic balance in Guyanese capitalism (Go forth clown, dust off Burnham playbook and read not only the part with torturing Indians) .

People like these are scourges on Guyana.  They make excuses for Afros as if their are somehow "helpless".  Afros have everything to do their thing, if they chose to.  Burnham used to say, mi bring the water to alyuh, but instead of drinking, you turn around and kick it over.  Burnham was a frustrated man at seeing the wanton destruction of assets when he place control his people's hands.  He said it many times.  Why do you think Burnham eventually gave in to a national unity Govt but was assassinated by radicals.  He ended up admiring the spirit of the Indian.  Those radicals are still there today.

 

Why does Africa and Afro dominated nations have Afro entrepreneurs, simply because they cannot/do not point to anyone as an excuse.  Afro Guyanese have done and it does them no good.  And these fools perpetrate the problem.

 

Why are Indians less represented in the GPF/GDF/Civil Service.  Because Blacks have a preference, Indians prefer to try their hands at business.  Some make it, some don't, those who make it, become rich and those who did not, end up working for those who made it.  If Afros take the same approach, the result will be the same, but they don't, at least not in the numbers Indians do.  This is not to do with racism but two groups of people who take differing paths to personal economic development.

Originally Posted by VVP:

Does this jackass understand what capitalism is or does he think it has to be fostered by affirmative action?

Well, what would a 2nd rate lecturer at a 3rd rate college would know about that??

Burnham gave them lands and they sold out to the Indians. Whom do you blame?

 

Only communism would have brought equality to the races.  Jagan did more for Africans than he did for Indians.  Indians could not get jobs with the Government unless they became renegades and changed their religion. So the Indians turned to the Professionals for their living. Doctors, Lawyers, accountant, Engineers and other jobs.  They turned to business and was successful at it.

 

Jagan had an employment bias towards Indians..  What does that tell you?

Jagan  favoured  Brindley Benn over Balram Singh Rai for the Chairmanship of the PPP.

 

 

Originally Posted by baseman:
 

Why are Indians less represented in the GPF/GDF/Civil Service.  Because Blacks have a preference,

I find you amusing.

 

1. Africans aren't involved in business ownership, to the extent that they are even in Jamaica and Barbados, because of their innate inferiority.

 

2.  Indians how ever are under represented in the armed forces because of African racism.

 

 

Well explain why then were Africans dominant in the armed forces as early as the late 19th C?  The commanders were white English men, who had distinct memories of slave insurrections, and would have resented the fact that by that period Africans had began to see British Guiana as belonging to them, and saw the Englishman as a foreigner.

 

And please don't perpetrate the fraud that some one starts a business because they aren't allowed to be a soldier.  So is a non corrupt cop as affluent as some one who owns his business?  You are so simple!

 

 

The reasons for both phenomenon is rooted in Guyanese colonial history, and how it differs with Jamaica. 

 

The first employment avenues which former slaves sought out were as small business people, and as peasant farmers.  The colonial authorities had no interest the development of an independent African business class, so set out to destroy these ventures. Africans then were allowed upward mobility through roles as low and mid level civil servants.

 

Jamaica and Barbados had a labor surplus, and in fact the colonial authorities sometimes encouraged the former slaves to migrate to places like Panama and Cuba.  Not so in labor short British Guiana (and Trinidad), where labor was in short supply, so the colonials wanted two impoverished groups, both battling each other. A prosperous African peasant and business class would have reduced the need for blacks to be used as scab labor.

 

In the colonial era Indians did not enter the police force in large numbers.  Indians also did not enter on large numbers between 1992 and 2015.  Africans and Indians find themselves placed differently because of their respective histories in Guyana.

 

And if APNU/AFC were to engage in preferential treatment of African ventures to allow a much larger black business class to develop, what would you do?  You would squeal about Indo genocide and appeal to Maduro to send ships to rescue Indians from the "Final Solution".

 

At the end of the day people make their own choices. Afro Guyanese are risk averse, even when compared to their fellow creole black Jamaicans, Grenadians and Barbadians.

 

Indians don't see the armed forces and offering the type of work that they wish to do.

 

Should more large ventures be owned by Africans, or should more Indians enter the armed forces?  Yes, but you cannot force people to do what they don't want to do. All you can focus on is ensuring that there are no barriers of institutional racism which prevent people from achieving their goals.

 

 

BTW the vast majority of Indians are employees, or engaged in petty hustling,  just as are the vast majority of Africans.  You get twisted by the fact that a 5% (or less) of the Indian population pretty much owns Guyana.  Other than a psychic "ahbe pan tap" emotion, I am not sure how much this benefits the average Indian.

Originally Posted by Ramakant-P:

Burnham gave them lands and they sold out to the Indians. Whom do you blame?

 

Only communism would have brought equality to the races.  Jagan did more for Africans than he did for Indians.  Indians could not get jobs with the Government unless they became renegades and changed their religion. So the Indians turned to the Professionals for their living. Doctors, Lawyers, accountant, Engineers and other jobs.  They turned to business and was successful at it.

 

Jagan had an employment bias towards Indians..  What does that tell you?

Jagan  favoured  Brindley Benn over Balram Singh Rai for the Chairmanship of the PPP.

 

 

So Rama why are Chinese and Portuguese rich, and the vast majority of Indians not much better off than the vast majority of Africans.  These former slaves who had their entire being severely damaged by slavery, and whose efforts at economic independence completely undermined by the full force of the colonial elites, who seemed less hostile to Indian property ownership.

 

You are too stupid to engage in this chatter, but this is just to show you that Indians also have problems, and have failed when compared to other groups who entered Guyana as indentures.

Originally Posted by VVP:

Does this jackass understand what capitalism is or does he think it has to be fostered by affirmative action?

It wasn't capitalism.  It was a concentrated focus by the colonial elites to have Guyanese divided based on access to occupations. 

 

Indians were encouraged to be property owners, and barred from joining the armed forces, or the civil service, or becoming teachers.

 

Attempts by Africans to be self reliant and independent of the plantation system was thwarted by the colonial elites who feared this group from becoming economical powerful, given their larger numbers, and the notion that had developed that Africans and mixed Guyanese were entitled to playing a strong role in the governance of the colony.

 

So when Africans failed at farming and small business, ambitious parents taught their children to work hard and get an education or a trade, and then secure a good safe job.  Seeing the poverty of the rural black peasant and the failure of black business middle class Africans developed a risk averse attitude.

 

I cannot help but compare Jamaicans and Guyanese.  In NYC 10% of Jamaicans are self employed vs. 7% of Guyanese. Aside from the fact that this exposes the lie of the supposedly "entrepreneurial" Indian, it also shows that Afro Guyanese are considerably less entrepreneurial than their Jamaican counterparts.

 

Meet many Jamaicans and they will boast about their "piece of ground".  Jamaicans were more interested in "planting yam dan heducation" which they said any "mek people fool fool".  Same history in slavery, yet different outcomes.  The black peasant in Jamaica forms the bed rock of their agricultural sector.  Ditto in Grenada, St Vincent and Dominica.

Originally Posted by baseman:
Originally Posted by VVP:

Does this jackass understand what capitalism is or does he think it has to be fostered by affirmative action?

Well, what would a 2nd rate lecturer at a 3rd rate college would know about that??

 More than you who use this to  spew your usual vile propaganda about blacks.

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:

Does this jackass understand what capitalism is or does he think it has to be fostered by affirmative action?

It wasn't capitalism.  It was a concentrated focus by the colonial elites to have Guyanese divided based on access to occupations. 

 

Indians were encouraged to be property owners, and barred from joining the armed forces, or the civil service, or becoming teachers.

 

Attempts by Africans to be self reliant and independent of the plantation system was thwarted by the colonial elites who feared this group from becoming economical powerful, given their larger numbers, and the notion that had developed that Africans and mixed Guyanese were entitled to playing a strong role in the governance of the colony.

 

So when Africans failed at farming and small business, ambitious parents taught their children to work hard and get an education or a trade, and then secure a good safe job.  Seeing the poverty of the rural black peasant and the failure of black business middle class Africans developed a risk averse attitude.

 

I cannot help but compare Jamaicans and Guyanese.  In NYC 10% of Jamaicans are self employed vs. 7% of Guyanese. Aside from the fact that this exposes the lie of the supposedly "entrepreneurial" Indian, it also shows that Afro Guyanese are considerably less entrepreneurial than their Jamaican counterparts.

 

Meet many Jamaicans and they will boast about their "piece of ground".  Jamaicans were more interested in "planting yam dan heducation" which they said any "mek people fool fool".  Same history in slavery, yet different outcomes.  The black peasant in Jamaica forms the bed rock of their agricultural sector.  Ditto in Grenada, St Vincent and Dominica.

You going back all the way to colonial days?  It is people who make themselves who they are.  

 

My mother side took to the fields in the 50s and they are wealthy.  My father side remained cancutters and some move to civil service and remained poor/average.

Originally Posted by VVP:
 

You going back all the way to colonial days?  It is people who make themselves who they are.  

 

My mother side took to the fields in the 50s and they are wealthy.  My father side remained cancutters and some move to civil service and remained poor/average.

And yet most Indians aren't wealthy business people, and will never be.

 

Your point.

 

Now discuss why Chinese and Portuguese did much better than their fellow indentures, the Indians.  After all they arrived in Guyana under the same circumstances, and had similar backgrounds as peasant farmers in China and Madeira.

 

I bet that you will discover its because of the same culture which emerged during the colonial era, given that Indians remained more mired on the estates than was true for the Chinese and Portuguese.

 

Think also of this.  If every one was a wealthy businessman who would be the police, teachers and nurses.  Its always interesting when some show nothing but contempt for those vital occupations.

 

In fact there was a time when Guyanese teachers, nurses, and policemen were much valued throughout the Caribbean.  Yes the same Afro Guyanese who you spit on, because their value systems focused more on social honor, and less on the pursuit of cash then yours does.

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:
 

You going back all the way to colonial days?  It is people who make themselves who they are.  

 

My mother side took to the fields in the 50s and they are wealthy.  My father side remained cancutters and some move to civil service and remained poor/average.

And yet most Indians aren't wealthy business people, and will never be.

 

Your point.

 

Now discuss why Chinese and Portuguese did much better than their fellow indentures, the Indians.  After all they arrived in Guyana under the same circumstances, and had similar backgrounds as peasant farmers in China and Madeira.

Much smaller population but in fairness, they do strive to succeed academically and business wise.  BTW, there were poor Chinese/Portugese buried in the background of Chinese/Protugese run businesses.

Originally Posted by baseman:
.

Much smaller population but in fairness,

Nonsense.  Chinese also did better in Jamaica where the Indian population is also small. 

 

Indo Jamaicans, who are descended from indentures, are not better off then your average black Jamaican. So  much so that they are assimilating into that population.

 

The point that I am making is that in Jamaica as well, Indians remained trapped on the estates longer than did Chinese, with all the negative factors that this entails.

 

The descendants of Indian indentures in Jamaica are no more entrepreneurial than are black Jamaicans.

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:
 

You going back all the way to colonial days?  It is people who make themselves who they are.  

 

My mother side took to the fields in the 50s and they are wealthy.  My father side remained cancutters and some move to civil service and remained poor/average.

And yet most Indians aren't wealthy business people, and will never be.

 

Your point.

 

Now discuss why Chinese and Portuguese did much better than their fellow indentures, the Indians.  After all they arrived in Guyana under the same circumstances, and had similar backgrounds as peasant farmers in China and Madeira.

 

I bet that you will discover its because of the same culture which emerged during the colonial era, given that Indians remained more mired on the estates than was true for the Chinese and Portuguese.

 

Think also of this.  If every one was a wealthy businessman who would be the police, teachers and nurses.  Its always interesting when some show nothing but contempt for those vital occupations.

 

In fact there was a time when Guyanese teachers, nurses, and policemen were much valued throughout the Caribbean.  Yes the same Afro Guyanese who you spit on, because their value systems focused more on social honor, and less on the pursuit of cash then yours does.

I cannot think of one prominent Chinese family that came as indentured.  They are very few wealthy Portuguese also but they have massive wealth and do employ other Portuguese...I see nothing wrong with that.

Originally Posted by VVP:
 

I cannot think of one prominent Chinese family that came as indentured.  They are very few wealthy Portuguese also but they have massive wealth and do employ other Portuguese...I see nothing wrong with that.

The Chinese and Portuguese came to Guyana as indentures.  Most Chinese and Portuguese are at a minimum, middle class.  Most Indians are poor.

 

Of the groups which arrived as indentures Indians have done the WORST.  In fact there are many who will claim that the average Indian isn't better off than the average African.  The 2001 census suggests that they also remain less educated.

 

As you cease your silly response and do some digging you will find many of the same forces from the colonial era responsible for this disparity.  What is evident is that Indians remained on the estates longer, and so many became trapped in poverty as a result.  Together with other ills of estate life.

 

So cease your racist prattle about Africans and understand that Indians have serious issues too, like being responsible for Guyana having the HIGHEST suicide rate in the WORLD!  Happy and successful people do NOT kill themselves.

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:
 

I cannot think of one prominent Chinese family that came as indentured.  They are very few wealthy Portuguese also but they have massive wealth and do employ other Portuguese...I see nothing wrong with that.

The Chinese and Portuguese came to Guyana as indentures.  Most Chinese and Portuguese are at a minimum, middle class.  Most Indians are poor.

 

Of the groups which arrived as indentures Indians have done the WORST.  In fact there are many who will claim that the average Indian isn't better off than the average African.  The 2001 census suggests that they also remain less educated.

 

As you cease your silly response and do some digging you will find many of the same forces from the colonial era responsible for this disparity.  What is evident is that Indians remained on the estates longer, and so many became trapped in poverty as a result.  Together with other ills of estate life.

 

So cease your racist prattle about Africans and understand that Indians have serious issues too, like being responsible for Guyana having the HIGHEST suicide rate in the WORLD!  Happy and successful people do NOT kill themselves.

What's the population of Chinese and Portuguese that have original roots in Guyana thorough indentureship? 

 

In what way the "The 2001 census suggests that they [Indians] also remain less educated."  I know you do not understand to interpret statistics but I am willing to help you out for free...just today though.

Originally Posted by VVP:
 

What's the population of Chinese and Portuguese that have original roots in Guyana thorough indentureship? 

 

In what way the "The 2001 census suggests that they [Indians] also remain less educated."  I know you do not understand to interpret statistics but I am willing to help you out for free...just today though.

You can look at various regions.  Compare region 6 with 10 as an example.

 

You have a complete inability to interpret data concerning socio economic or political factors, so I don't need or want your help.

 

100% of the Portuguese Guyanese are the descendants of indentures, as are the vast majority of Chinese Guyanese.  But you have difficulty understanding this, as their circumstances have moved so vastly beyond that of Indians.

 

So rather than worrying about Africans, focus on Indians, who have serious problems rooted in the same colonial history.  Indo Guyanese have the HIGHEST suicide rates in the world, higher than their counterparts in Suriname and Trinidad, so you cannot ascribe this phenomenon to culture.  Its is the specific circumstances of rural Indo Guyanese.  Happy people do NOT kill themselves.

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