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Gov’t open to reviewing ‘colonial’ policing terminologies – Jagdeo

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Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has stated that the government is open to reviewing policing terminology with colonial connotations.

This comes after an attorney-at-law found an issue with the word ‘negro’ being used to describe his client, who was arrested for inciting persons through his talk show to murder several senior government officials.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

According to Dr Jagdeo, the government is open to consulting with people who believe that the terminology should not be used to describe Afro-Guyanese.

“If it’s time to change it, we’re all for changing it,” the vice president affirmed at a press conference on Thursday at the Office of the President.

The word “negro” has appeared in multiple police reports during the presidencies of the Peoples National Congress (PNC), including Jagdeo’s tenure and the coalition government.

The vice president, however, raised concerns that this old issue is being exploited by the opposition, particularly Nigel Hughes, to further a race baiting agenda and for partisan political gain. 

A public meeting has also been scheduled by the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana (IDPADA-G) to address this word usage, which Dr Jagdeo believes is an attempt to stoke racial tensions in the country.

“All they had to do was call the president and say we’re not happy with this [and] it does not fit into how people feel about this matter,” he said.

However, “They’re looking every day to resuscitate racism, it’s all that they have to mobilise people and so they’re looking for emotional issues now…and somehow blame the PPP. It’s been around since the colonial era. This is all that Nigel Hughes is capable of,” the vice president revealed.

Nevertheless, the government, he emphasised, is prepared to review and modernise these outdated ethnic terminologies.

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