Last Updated on Monday, 10 October 2022, 14:39 by Denis Chabrol
Minister of Public Affairs Kwame Mc Coy on Monday heaped scorn on the Leader of the People’s National Congress Aubrey Norton’s criticism of government’s apparent endorsement of music that promote “lawlessness”, suggesting that he was engaged in double-standards.
“How does he justify the use of the very concerts during the time of APNU+AFC (A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change) in office and even recently they have boat cruises and they have all these different activities…He is contradicting himself,” Mr Mc Coy told Demerara Waves Online News.
Then PNCR General Secretary Amna Ally had in May 2019 said her party had spent its money on the purchase and public distribution of tickets for the Beenie Man concert.
Mr Norton told a GYSM youth symposium at the weekend that certain Jamaican songs were promoting immoral acts against women and other forms of lawlessness.
Pressed on the PNCR Leader’s concern about certain types of music engendering deviant behaviour, Mr Mc Coy said it boiled down to a matter of choice. “People have choices. Across the world, you have people who produce music. I’m not a fan of many people who sing. I don’t like their music, I don’t embrace it. I don’t embrace music that has violence, that is vile and denigrate women and so forth, I don’t embrace it but there are other people who like music for whatever value it has, whatever it has. That’s their choice. At the end of the day, it all comes down to choices,” he said.
At the same time, government rejected the PNCR Leader’s assertion that the People’s Progressive Party Civic administration was promoting wrong or unlawful behaviour. “We are not promoting immorality through the hosting of concerts. We are creating the environment for entertainment,” he said.
Mr Mc Coy said the music industry is about culture and entertainment which is part of a wider plan to diversify the economy. “Look how many people of all racial origins benefitted. Look how the small vendors, corporate companies all benefitted from the Cricket Carnival period- all the concerts. They all made a good buck off of this and that is what it is about: bringing and creating opportunities for people right across,” he said
The Public Affairs Minister said, in contrast to the then PNCR-led coalition administration spending millions of dollars on concerts, the PPPC administration has generating “triple digit millions” of dollars from such events through sponsorship. Mr Mc Coy said government was seeking to build a carnival brand and capitalising on cricket.
Though the overwhelming majority of concert attendants often being Afro-Guyanese- the bulk of the PNCR-led opposition’s support base, he rubbished suggestions that government was using that form of entertainment to break into that stronghold. “It is not about breaking into this stronghold or that stronghold. Concerts were produced for every Guyanese who wants to be part of it so we don’t sit down and segment and say ‘we’re going to get into PNC stronghold’,” he said.
Mr Mc Coy said the concerts were part of government’s One Guyana national unity initiative.
The minister said he was upset that efforts were made to classify the People’s Progressive Party Civic administration as racist and offensive against Afro-Guyanese. “I’m a Black man. I’m in this party. I never knew that I ever made any policy to oppress fellow Black people or anybody else. In other words, you’re questioning my moral integrity as a national leader in this whole construct of a government,” he said.
Dismissing Mr Norton’s concerns as “pure nonsense”, the Public Affairs Minister accused him of attempting to fan the flames of racism.
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