Prior to the 2010 General Election I was a very vocal voice against the People’s National Movement and their way of governance. I wrote many blogs which are still circulating in cyber space because I never took them down, I wrote many letters to the Express editor all of which I have copies. I attended political meetings of the United National Congress, the signing of the Fyzabad accord between the Partnership Parties and I voted for the Congress of the People. The interesting thing is, despite being well in my 20’s, 2010 was the first time I have ever voted or have been so actively involved in politics and as a consequence the first vote I have ever cast in Trinidad and Tobago went to the Congress of the People, a member of the People’s Partnership Government. I say the above in light of the nasty, vicious, divisive and hateful comments made by Minister of National Security Jack Warner concerning the march last week Friday regarding Sec 34, that seem to indirectly accuse people of African descent in this country of having a racist agenda against the shadowy government of which he is a member. Jack Warner claimed that he only saw Africans marching on Friday. Firstly this could not be so because I marched alongside my co-worker who is predominantly of Chinese descent, I saw persons of East Indian descent and I also saw few Caucasians and many persons who were patently of mixed ethnicity.
In Trinidad and Tobago politics has always been predominantly along the lines of ethnicity. When I attended the UNC political meetings back in 2010, despite there being a few other persons who “seemed” to be of African descent, I was engulfed in scores of East Indian supporters of the United National Congress, and it has always been that way just as the People’s National Movement crowds have always largely been of people who seem to be of “African” descent. Jack Warner as Chairman of a political party whose core supporters comprise 90% of East Indians is in no position to speak about the ethnic composition of any other political party in Trinidad and Tobago. Furthermore the COP is the party which gave the People’s Partnership the appearance of a multi-ethnic political party not the UNC, the UNC is still by and large a party supported predominantly by persons of East Indian descent. But to further analyse the illiteracy of Jack Warner’s statements, where does someone like me fit in to Trinidad and Tobago’s society? I am dark skinned like Dr. Rowley but my mother has a fair complexion like the wonderful Denyse Plumber and I have a Hebrew Surname. If I am an African according to Jack Warner because I took part in Friday’s march, notwithstanding the fact that I voted for Jack’s Government, Jack Warner needs to tell me from which African nation I came. There are 57 recognised countries on the African content so Jack Warner need to tell myself and the other Africans from Friday which country is our mother land. Are we South Africans? Zimbabweans? Angolan? Ethiopian? Somalian? Am I a Hutu or Tutsi? Which one of these African countries will take me in, and would they consider me African especially if they see my mother?!
While T&T’s politics has traditionally been along the lines of ethnicity, as a people we have historically come together to vote out a government that we perceive to be a threat to all of us as happened in 2010, and which I suspect will happen in 2015. Many young individuals like myself are no longer falling for the racial divisiveness of people like Jack Warner and as Political analysts Derek Ramsamooj has pointed out, asinine statements like the one made by Jack Warner only serves to anger persons like myself who know exactly who and what we are i.e. TRINBAGONIAN! Jack Warner has some gall to level such an ugly accusation against persons in this country who may have some measure of African ethnicity in their DNA make up. Who does Jack Warner think helped give his government a Parliamentary majority in the 2010 general election? One would think that it was only Jack’s core supporters of East Indian descent and some race from another planet in the universe voted in the 2010 general election because his ridiculous utterances and vulgar conduct as a government minister are pretty much out of this world.
By his statements Jack Warner has only confirmed to me as a citizen that he still harbours racist beliefs that belong to an era before I was born. He has also confirmed to me that he thinks he can drum up support for his government by playing on the ethnic sentiments of his core supporters. Rather than denigrate persons of African descent, Jack has simply exposed the policy that still exist amongst some in the United National Congress, a policy of playing on the ethnic sentiments of my fellow East Indian brothers and sisters to support his government even when his government is engaging in gross miss-governance. That Jack Warner should find support from this country’s most controversial figure regarding race relations I can only say mission accomplished Jack, you have successfully roused the support of those who would blindly follow you in your anarchist quest for unbridled power. But make no mistake, Jack’s racial card is a two edge sword as he has earned himself a political red card from many like myself and we have already disqualified him and his government from the next election world cup in 2015!
Poor COP, they are drowning in the cesspool of incompetence and ethnic division of the UNC that is being bandied about as good governance. Leader of the COP Prakash Ramadhar has speedily distanced himself from Jack’s comments and rightly so, but I say to Mr. Ramdhar that you are guilty by association. Despite the many missteps of this government including the Reshmi Ramnarine fiasco, Section 34, nepotism in the distribution of legal briefs and now Jack Warner’s racial comments the COP has remained a steadfast member of the PP Government. The COP is now tainted with the rot of the UNC and has lost all credibility. I assure all parties concerned that no matter what name they call me, they could call me African, Martian, Alien, Cling-on, whatever they choose to call me, as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago irrespective of whether they got my vote or not in the past I shall continue to demand good governance and transparency! Sticks and stones may break my bones your words can never harm me, however your poor governance will destroy my country!