Posts Tagged ‘trinidad politics’

Let’s Talk About Race, Trinidad

September 15, 2015

In the aftermath of the elections 2015 outcome, there has been plenty talk about race and racism in Trinidad and Tobago. This piece is an attempt to add to those much needed on-going conversations considering what we can do collectively to improve race relations in Trinidad and Tobago.

The difference between prejudice and racism is the latter means having the institutional power to enact the former upon others. For Trinidadian purposes of discussion, I am really not making strict distinctions between the two. Because if you freely indulge in the categorization of black people as sub human on social media, and given some of the degrees of separation on the island or the connections you might be able to influence, then the power to employ that thinking in some tangible way, is highly plausible.

The state — the island’s governance — even when filled with black and brown faces can act in collusion with global systems of  black and brown oppression and violence. Colonized people can pass on some screwed up thinking about people who look exactly like themselves or are a few shades off of their own. Internalized race and skin shade messiness doesn’t go anywhere but into wider society or another generation if it was never dealt with seriously at all. And that’s not even touching on the white and white-by-proxy (not incumbent on a particular ethnicity) social elites who exist outside of and away from machinations of the state in some ways, but are there, at the same time.

Diversity doesn’t always equal tolerance or true love and acceptance of people who look or live differently than you. While it’s common to hear some Trinis say it’s the older generation promoting racism, lots of those people posting racist opinions and epithets weren’t looking a day over 30, most of them. Children can be immersed in a racially and ethnically diverse cultural environment on paper, from small, and still grow up to be racists.

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hashtag SOE

September 15, 2011

i purposefully hadn’t bothered to comment on the trinidad and tobago government’s state of emergency all this time because i think it’s a load of crock and save for that, i really didn’t have anything constructive to employ in the conversation initially. who goes pulling states of emergencies all willy-nilly from out their backside like it’s nobody’s business? & sorry, but i also don’t trust the average local officer to not exploit the SOE — i feel like some might be gorging themselves on power, beating the pavement like giddy overlords drunk on the high of tossing alleged miscreants into the backs of pick-up trucks with no recourse. the whole thing just doesn’t sit well.

also, i’ve mused on crime & race before on here and though jack warner doth protest too much — images do tell a perspective, a slant, that is all. the whole discourse in parliament and outside is often full of fail. first of all, coming from the presupposition that black males in trinidad are posited, innately, as The Criminal — that in and of itself is a flickin’ problem! all the hand-wringing is coming from these problematic, patronising places from atop a moral high ground that makes some of us feel good about ourselves and meanwhile, root issues and inequity aren’t being solved. the kinds of insensitivities being spewed also makes me shiver to my core: “lock dem up” — “all ah dem” and things of that nature, when you don’t even know the hows and whys. bet your talk change when they come for you or someone you love though.

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