Response to Vishnu Bishram: Ethnic conflict in other societies does have relevance in Guyana

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter by Vishnu Bisram captioned “Ethnic conflict in other societies does have relevance in Guyana” (KN 2014/01/08) and would appreciate the opportunity to comment. We have met both Mr. Persaud and Mr. Bisram before, and, as I read through Mr. Bisram’s latest letter above, some questions arose since he advocates that “… the purpose of queries is to make a theory or model better….” with due attention to fact, truth, detail, evidence and inconvenient data! We can, and will, return to those previous meetings with Bisram later. For now, however, these questions persist given the implications of his “analysis” … How, exactly, did the current president of the USA win election … and re-election … if Whiteethnic or even Hispanic-ethnic, voting was prevalent? If 96% of Blacks in the USA supposedly voted for the incumbent President of the USA, then which group, exactly, votes “ethnically” in the USA’s elections? If we consider the implications of arguing that the Republican Party in the USA is a “White Christian Party”, then how significant is it that it was the Republicans, and not Democrats, that advocated for the freedom of slaves and the abolition of slavery? ( ) If the USA’s current President “gave poor Whites medical care”, then how does one interpret the letter showcased in the Wall Street Journal of July 12, 2013 in which James P Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, validates the story-caption “Union Letter: Obamacare Will Destroy The Very Health and Wellbeing of Workers”? ( ) If, as Bisram suggests, we should interpret “racism in America” as being commentary and actions by Whites that are opposed to Blacks (and/or their leaders) irrespective of its merits, then what does he think of Dr. Ben Carson’s denunciation of Obamacare as “the worst thing that has happened to America since slavery” at the Values Voter Summit in 2013? ( ) Where, outside of the “USA’s constitution” and the Bible, would we find a comprehensive “… permanent institutionalized solution that respects the distinctiveness of the groups and grants them equitable participation in governance and the distribution of resources …”? How do the imperatives of the Guyana Constitution compare with these two other “ … permanent institutionalized solutions …”?

Relative to tokenism, if the concept of “One People, One Nation, One Destiny” was inherent in the concept of a “Cooperative Republic”in Guyana previously, then what, exactly, has replaced it since 1992 (or even before 1992), and what, if any, is the relevance of the detail of “tokenism” outlined in Dr. Kean Gibson’s “The Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana”? (Summarized initially in 2004 in the article “The Case for Scholarship in Kean Gibson’s Book”: ) How, exactly, are the interests of the “poor whites and Blacks” being “championed by Democrats” in the USA? (see a possible counter-argument by Dr. Ben Carson again at, say, point 10:00 and onwards at ). There is more, but we should pause here, and end with Mr. Bisram’s own words: “… My pointing out facts and presenting supporting data … does not mean I support ethnic politics. Academia does not operate that way. The purpose of queries is to make a theory or model better….” So we begin to build our mode … knowing full well that there is a fundamental difference between casual “hypocrisy” and enterprising “academia”! Yours faithfully, Roger Williams January 8, 2014

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