I’ve been trying to put my finger on a particular feeling that has been gnawing at me for quite some time…since the SoE actually. And it hit me this morning. I feel endangered. Not oppressed or marginalised, but endangered.
You see, prior to the SoE I thought Kamla’s Small Goal Side was merely inept at governance and similar to the average MTV Real World Media Whores. Happy to be in front of a camera even if they had nothing of value to say.
But as the months have passed I have begun to feel more and more that this government isnt simply inept, it is insidious and evil.
The first thing that bothered me about the SoE was its ad hoc implementation and punitive tenor. To date we dont know why it was called. Numerous reasons given and almost 8000 people detained, mostly Afrotrinbagonian. 9% of the black male population tossed in cells with no evidence or reason for their arrest. This SoE showed me that this govt was very comfortable relying on stereotypes to run the country. It also showed me that a significant portion of the population: members of the middle and upper classes, many of Indo or Euro origin were quite happy to believe that the crime problem was caused strictly by young, single-parent men who resemble John Sandy, and that crime and criminal behaviour had nothing to do with them.
As the months have passed since that SoE there have been numerous other onslaughts that have ethnic undertones. The firings in the public sector that have nothing to do with getting rid of redundant workers and everything to do with rewarding friends and family: none of them ever seem to resemble Sandy.
Within months of this govt getting into power we heard Nizam Mohammed call for ethnic parity in the police force. Not promotion on merit….but ethnic parity. As early as 2005, Kamla Persad-Bissessar had called for more Indians on the CCJ. A regional court in a Caribbean that is demographically 80% afro-descended, and her concern wasnt the calibre of judges, but their ethnicity. Clannish much?
It seems that this is a government interested only in the promotion of Indians, because make no mistake, whenever the comments about ethnic parity are raised it is only in relation to an imbalance or under representation of Indians. You nevet hear talk about not enough Chinese, Europeans, or Arab Trinbagonians: groups that are truly under-represented in the public sphere.
In the 2yrs and 2months that Kamla’s Small Goal Side have been in power they have shown us thst there is no equal place for every creed and race….just the one in power.
I had hoped that tribal politics and ethnic marginalisation wouldnt be a feature under this regime…unfortunately it’ s their only governance strategy. It’s reflected in the composition of state boards and the appointments to all the most influencial positions in the land.
When you speak out about this the stock response is, “Well it happen under the PNM…” Two wrongs make it right..the politics of retribution.
Now we have our country’s history being rewritten before our eyes. Eric Williams, whether you like him or not, was the architect of our Independ3nce, yet on our 50th Anniversary his contribution is being ignored….George Chambers, ANR Robinson’s, Basdeo Panday’s and Patrick Manning’s too. This govt is trying hard to promote itself as the genesis of Trinidad and Tobago. Nothing came before Kamla. Tassa is more indigenous than pan; Chutney more appropriate for celebrating our 50 years in song than the locally created calypso. They want to privatise The Mas without so much as a feasibility study or consensus gathering. Nothing indigenously created by the Creoles here sacred enough to survive.
And that is why i fraid for myself. I was created here. I dont identify as East Indian or Hindu or African or European. There is no Kamlaesque ethnic parity in me. I am a sum of all of the things that influence this space: indigenous and endangered.
De Vice Cyah Done!