Facing backlash over a statement he made on radio that in the black community in Guyana, black children are in need of lots of examples of success, Minister of Culture Charles Ramson Jr. attempted to clarify his statement this afternoon.
In a video message posted to his Facebook page and reading from a prepared statement, the Minister said his earlier statement did not say there are no black role models. He said there are many Afro-Guyanese role models and many of them have shaped his political and legal life.
“Of course there are many Afro-Guyanese role models and in this context, a role model is a law-abiding and productive member of society who carries himself or herself in a respectable way. For example, my Godfather Ashton Chase who was one of the persons who helped raised me. He is a role model and he is Afro-Guyanese and in fact, he is one of the most distinguished and respectable men I have ever known. There are thousands of Afro-Guyanese professionals like Doctors, Judges, Lawyers, and Engineers and our men and women in the Disciplined and Public Services, all of whom are role models and our Prime Minister is an example”, the Culture Minister said.
Mr. Ramson went on to explain that during his interview on the Afternoon Lockdown radio programme, he was defending the award of a contract for the construction of a school to the recently formed, Statement Construction company, which has the Directors of Hits and Jams Entertainment and the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation as its principals.
The award of the contract to the company has come in for some criticism as questions were raised about the procurement process and the award of a large contract to a new company.
He said he was giving an opinion as a politician and also sharing his view about the APNU+AFC’s time in office and some of its perceived failures in the Afro-Guyanese community which forms a large part of its base.
Ramson came under heavy criticism over the weekend from several prominent Afro-Guyanese who saw his statement as prejudicial and one that was meant to gaslight racial issues.
Earlier today, a well-known businessman and civil engineer Charles Ceres chastised the Culture Minister over some of his statements with regards t wealth and the Afro Guyanese community.
Mr. Ceres said if Mr. Ramson is so concerned about the wealth gap in the Afro Guyanese community, then he needs to ensure his government puts policies in place that would close the gap and create real development in the Afro Guyanese community.
Ceres said he has not seen any such move.