The Ethnic Relations Commission has announced that it has launched an investigation into racist statements made by well known social media personality, Mikhail Rodrigues aka “Guyanese Critic”.
The ERC said it is investigating the video in which Rodrigues is heard making racially insensitive remarks against Guyanese of African descent and Christians and even claiming in the video that Indians are known for drinking cow urine.
“The matter is currently being pursued by the investigative team of the ERC and its potentially harmful effects to ethnic harmony”.
Under Guyana’s Racial Hostility Act, “a person shall be guilty of an offence if he wilfully excites or attempts to excite hostility or ill-will against any section of the public or against any person on the grounds of their or his race by means of words spoken by him in a public place or spoken by him and transmitted for general reception by wireless telegraphy or telegraph; or by causing words spoken by him or by some other person to be reproduced in a public place from a record”.
In the video which remains on the Guyanese Critic’s Facebook page, he could be heard repeatedly attacking Afro-Guyanese as a group that can’t read and are afraid to open books. He also attacked the Christian community accusing church leaders of having to read for Afro-Guyanese. He also mimicked how indo-Guyanese speak and said they drink cow urine.
The statements by Rodrigues led to widespread condemnation across social media including from some of his followers. His statements have also triggered a boycott call and has led to a change.org petition to “Cancel Guyanese Critic”.
That petition has already pulled in more than 9900 of the 10,000 requested signatures. The petitioner said “we will not allow Guyanese critic to further add salt to the wounds of black Guyanese. If BlackLivesMatter outside of Guyana, those lives are to also matter in Guyana”.
In a statement on his Facebook page last evening, Rodrigues said his statements are being used “out of its intended context by persons seemed bent on creating false narratives at a very sensitive time in our country. Let me say that having seen the clips in isolation, I can understand how insensitive my comments appear and for that I apologise”.
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