I write to take issue with Freddie Kissoon’s column published in the Kaieteur News on August 1st 2019: captioned, “Trotman‘s attack on Jerry Gouveia is intellectual fraud”.
Kissoon, in supporting the Private Sector Commission (PSC) President, Gerry Gouveia, sought to frame Desmond Trotman’s polemical response to Gouveia’s obnoxious letter to GECOM’s CEO, Mr Lowenfield, as a matter of academic correctness, which Trotman I believe, had never intended it to be. This is a deliberate effort by Kissoon to ignore the offensive nature of Gouveia’s letter.
In my opinion, the main reason for Kissoon writing the column at reference has more to do with him being provided with what he sees as another opportunity to attack and throw “stones” at the WPA, which activity has become his major life obsession than to criticise Trotman.
Kissoon in demanding intellectual correctness in the polemics has established the basis for the examination of his contribution to the debate. His utterances in the column demonstrate that is a standard he is unable to stick to in his discourse. Secondary school students are aware that in attempting to analyse a situation or an issue, one needs to uncover and address the main reason or reasons for conflict or dispute. Kissoon, the intellectual and academic, cannot plead ignorance of this core principle of objective examination.
Not unsurprisingly, he failed to do what he demanded from Trotman. This specific shortcoming of his underscores why he is recognized in Guyana as the master of the art and practice of double standards when he debates in public. Readers should note that he is opportunistically silent on the reason for Trotman’s missive that rebuked Jerry Gouveia. Nowhere in his column did he seek to addresses that reason. Why? I will contend that it is because he sees no offence in Jerry Gouveia’s letter and supports Gouveia’s language and tone as acceptable professional conduct. It is also obvious that his silence is a calculated attempt to fool the public that his intervention in support of Gouveia is as a result of what he will attribute to his “superior” intellect. The public should know that Kissoon’s response to Trotman, represents the extent he is prepared to go to as he commits intellectual fraud. He set out deliberately to obscure from the public’s view the real purpose of Trotman’s, arguments, which are contained in his letter.
While Kissoon, on the one hand, quoted extensively from Trotman’s letter, pointing out what he found to be objectionable: on the other hand, he did not reference any of the issues, not one, which Trotman deemed as obnoxious in Gouveia’s letter. So much for Kissoon’s intellectual fortitude, dishonesty and perverse character.
Kissoon has a problem with Trotman’s slave/slave master analogy in relation to Gouveia’s behaviour, hopefully, he will have no difficulty with my observation that Gouveia’s response to Trotman indica0ting he represents more than 60 business entities, is inferring that his words have the backing of a significant section of the business elite. And that this privileged position gives him the right to “talk down” as he pleases to those who don’t have substantial stakes in the economy. In short, his words were intended to give the impression that he enjoys the support of the rich and powerful in society. This is class and ethnic tyranny.
Trotman’s choice of words and his analogy has caused some discomfort in some quarters, on the other hand, it is being celebrated in a large section of the society as a fitting condemnation of Gouveia and the PSC. It is seen as a welcome and spirited defence of Mr Lowenfield, with some persons advocating that Trotman’s efforts should be replicated by others.
I am not a betting person but if needs be I will put my money that Gouveia sees his ethnicity more in keeping with Trotman’s observation than that of Kissoon. In fact, he might have felt diminished by Kissoon placing him among the category of persons who Kissoon said he resembles.
In conclusion, I believe that even the casual reader is aware that Trotman’s response to Gerry Gouveia was not intended as a challenge of the right of the PSC and its President to publicly object to GECOM’s house to house registration exercise, but, to have Gouveia and the PSC assume a more objective, non-partisan position in matters of national interest. The matter of credible election in Guyana is one of national interest that requires all of us to put Guyana first. The record will show that many letter writers, via the various media houses, have objected to GCCOM’s house to house registration exercise. None, except Gouveia’s, has attracted a response from Trotman. It is Gouveia’s manner, tone and language that have been rejected. On this, Kissoon is silent. Why?