UG says will ‘work’ with student in viral video seen as racist; warns other students, staff against bigotry 

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The University of Guyana on Friday reminded staff and students of its values against bigotry and discrimination and said it will “continue to work” with a young student after a video of him, uploaded to Facebook, was condemned as being racist.

The video has him placing money on the ground and waiting for an Afro-Guyanese person to pick it up, since, he claimed Indo-Guyanese would not do that. The student attempted to apologise and said he was making a joke, but many have rejected the apology as he was dismissive of those who thought he was being racist.

“Our staff will continue to work with him and any others to identify the triggers and any underlying factors to be addressed which could have led to this outburst,” the University’s interim management committee said in a statement released to the media.

It added: “The University notes that the student has already voluntarily recanted his statements and apologised publicly.

“We would hope that he would now be allowed to reflect and consider the consequences of his actions and to grow past this moment.”

The University, in the statement, reminded that its values include: mutual respect and sanctity of all cultures and groups; commitment to social inclusion and protection of all forms of life; upliftment of mind, body, spirit, and of the vulnerable; adherence to the principles of fairness, highest moral, ethical and professional responsibility, and a total rejection of all forms of bigotry and discrimination.

The University said it will also explore other interventions to address such issues.

“We had been planning a series of internal and public interventions for the next few months and this incident has now brought them back into sharp focus.”

The University said that these incidents do not emerge in isolation and said its scholars have been interrogating this persistent national problem for many decades.

The University has urged others not to share the video.

“Sharing such content may have the unintended negative effect of unintentionally perpetuating those utterances and behaviours which we rightfully decry in Guyana.”

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