Sunday, December 11, 2011

Young African Guyanese need appropriate role models

A drunken Corbin at a rumshop earlier this year
drinking Guinness

Christof Van den Broeck: The following is an open letter I wrote to Robert Corbin in January 2011, prior to the formation of APNU. I delayed the publication, and shortly thereafter, APNU was formed. I watched the formation of APNU, its conduct during the recently concluded Linkelections, and now the behavior after the election, and I must admit that I am even more dismayed. It is evident that a large portion of our population is seeking a leader. Will no one step forward?
Black in Guyana:

Dear Mr. Corbin,
It is with great anger that I write this letter to you. As the current leader of the political party that makes the greatest claim to represent people of African descent in Guyana, it is my firm belief that your party, and by extension you – have failed your constituents. As the leader of a political party, you are not only charged with seeking to wrest political power in order to bring about change, but you are expected to generate within your followers, a sense of purpose – basically, to be a leader in waiting. I have been a resident of this country for two years now. One of the first questions I asked, after being here for about six weeks, was – where are the strong black men? Where are the potential black leaders? Where are the black men that school boys can seek to emulate? This is not an attempt to say these people do not exist…I was merely asking for them to be pointed out to me, and to ask why they were not being placed on pedestals for the youths to follow. Please understand that this is by no means a racist rant. I merely believe that individuals should be able to find life examples among people who resemble them, in order to help them develop positive self concepts. It is difficult for me to understand why in a country where you can literally pick up gold and diamonds while walking in the bush, there is a large cadre of unemployed black youths in Alboystown who seem contented to break stones in the road, and ask for a handout. It is difficult for me to accept that the members of the police force, (which is comprised largely of people who look like me), would seek every opportunity to ask my drivers for a raise…unashamedly. A casual perusal of any newspaper on a given day will reveal a statistically disproportionate number of young Afro-Guyanese males being the perpetuators of crime. Again, this I can also support with anecdotal evidence, as recently, several female associates of mine have been victims, and in each case – the perpetuators have been young black males. I believe that your party needs to immediately undertake a program – complete with the appropriate media messages – designed to demonstrate to black people in this country the reasons to be proud citizens. Young black men (particularly from the inner-city) need to be told over and over that there is no shame in honest labor, for example, that there can be riches in farming. That principle and fairplay are the only ways to advance in life, and a life of crime can only lead to destruction, not only for themselves, but for everyone who is associated with them. Appropriate role models must be located, and promoted, with their achievements celebrated, giving the youth hope in trying times. It is my earnest belief that if your party, even while in opposition, began to address these areas, your party’s credibility would increase in ways never before imagined….and who knows, could wrest power from the incumbents on election day by the ballot, without resorting to post election protests. Thank you for your time

1 comment:

  1. Indeed young Africans need role model so that they could take pattern from its clear that Corbin and no one from the PNC could be that cause they are more corrupt among themselves.