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Commentary: Crying Over Spilt Peanut Punch

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By Alicia Chamely

 

THERE is no need to cry over spilt milk, unless that milk is peanut punch and racist.

Personally, I’m really disappointed in us, Trinidad and Tobago. It seems that we have forgotten what makes TT truly amazing – a thick melting pot of culture, colours and religions that through time have created a unique, vibrant society.

Politics, especially around elections, tends to bring out the worst in us and this year was a classic example. It is truly mind boggling that after all we have been through as a nation we can still be so divided by colour, religion and socio economic standing.

The Ramsaran’s debacle seemed to have been the pinnacle of a disgustingly divisive election season. I get it, Ms Ramsaran, you were pissed your party didn’t win, but to refer to people as cockroaches and to suggest forced sterilisation is despicable on so many levels.

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To sit and cry now about how sorry you are doesn’t really cut it, because let us be honest in moments of anger or fear we often speak our truth. Your truth is unfortunately one that is brimming with hatred.

Sadly your rant has affected your family business; a business they fought to build, it has made you a social pariah and I hope you have learned the lesson to keep your mouth shut or rather think twice about making a Facebook post if your emotions are getting the best of you.

Ms Ramsaran wasn’t alone in derogatory fury, a teacher from Bishops East, went on a tirade of negative stereotypes about Afro Trinidadians. A woman who appears to work at a freight forwarder made a joke (I think) about charging Afro Trinidadians extra to clear their items.

It wasn’t just from one side though. A DJ on a popular radio station made some rather vile comments about Indo Trinidadians only wanting UNC to win to get a bunch of handouts including laptops, while not paying taxes. Like Ms Ramsaran he needs to be held accountable and I am waiting for that action to commence.  I saw comments about “curry bumcys” and “greasy heads.”

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What the hell happened! Election results came in and the racists came out raging. It isn’t surprising though, election campaigning was ripe with hate this year.

This is my problem with politicians in TT, they encourage this division and very rarely do they condemn it. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, love him or hate him, seems to be the only one who spoke out in condemnation of racism during elections.

While admirable, the PNM is also guilty of race baiting. Anyone remember that wonderful skit from a few years back where a yellow sari was stripped off of a woman wearing a UNC shirt?

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Then in the outfield we have Phillip Edward Alexander and the PEP, who claim not to encourage tribal or racial politics, yet regularly attack the Syrian Lebanese, the Asian and Venezuelan communities. Because as we all know a great way to get two groups to stop fighting is to give them a common enemy.

Sadly Trinbagonians continue to gorge themselves on this antiquated, backward racial rhetoric and I have to ask, how has this helped us in any way?

Thanks to Ramarsan’s verbal diarrhea her family’s business will most likely have to cut down on staff during the Supermarkets Associations’ boycott, which has now ended.

As such it’s the employees of the business who will suffer. We live on a small island, people won’t forget what she said and it may haunt her for the rest of her life.

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To those pulling the good old freedom of speech argument to defend those who publically express their vile racism, let me make this clear… again… freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence. If you are going to let your ignorance fly freely, don’t expect to do it without paying the price.

2020 has already been a catastrophic pile of hot crap and the last thing we need is to be turning on one another. As we move forward can we please try to do it together? We all want a better TT and the only way we are going to get it, is to start working together. Let us put aside our differences and use our voices to fight for a better nation. We all know Trinbagonians have big mouths, so let’s use those big mouths to spread positivity, love and hope.

Again…I’m really really disappointed. All of all yuh need to pee and go in yuh bed.

 

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