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Commentary: Of Racists Rants, Plagiarism

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By Alicia Chamely

DEAR medical students of Trinidad and Tobago, I invite you to go on a journey of introspection.

As you delve deep into the recesses of your inner conscience should you find even the tiniest spark of discriminatory thought, especially if it relates to race, religion, gender or sexuality, then I suggest you disappoint your parents and find another career.

Perhaps botany or veterinary science where you have limited human contact and your inner racist won’t be inclined to rare its ugly head.

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Likewise are you thinking of going into communications? If so I challenge you write a congratulatory social media post without having to rely on using another writer’s work as a “template”.

Having a hard time?

Tempted to do the whole “copy and paste” with a few words tweaked here and there? If so, again, I urge you to reconsider your path.

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I mean not to discourage you from achieving your future dreams; I am simply trying to save you from having to give an “apology” when your inadequacies come to light.  I chose to put in quotation marks the word apology because we all know these sort of apologies tend not be rooted in remorse, but are simply transparent cover-ups for misdeeds the offender never thought would be made public.

Recently we have had to deal with two “Sorry I Got Caught” kerfuffles; one involving a doctor who never ascribed to the “Every Creed and Race Has An Equal Place” belief and the other some poor soul who probably got hired on the opposition leader’s communication team as a favour to their aunty or uncle.

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In the case of Dr Avinash Sawh, had he received my aforementioned advice he probably would not have found himself in the position he is in today.

Yo, you cannot be a doctor and a utter racist comments.

Do I think his medical license should be revoked? ABSOLUTELY! A person with the same train of thought as him cannot be trusted to give unbiased treatment to his patients and therefore is in direct conflict of his Hippocratic Oath.

Cry me a river, but take comfort in the fact that you weren’t the only one who made a fool of themselves this week.

I’m beginning to grow seriously concerned about the opposition.

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I can understand things are probably a bit hectic with the internal elections coming up and Opposition Leader Kamla Persard-Bissessar may be feeling threatened with Vasant Bharath and Devant Maharaj rolling up hard, guns a blazing, eyes on her spot.

You would think with her leardership in the balance the people under her employ, especially those who may get their walking papers if she loses, would make an extra effort to do their job right.

Additionally when it comes to putting out public statements during this precarious time you would think Mrs Persard-Bissessar may have wanted to take the extra time to ensure anything that is being put out in her name or as a representation of her thoughts is… well… not blatantly plagiarised.

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Unfortunately the opposition communications team is either completely underqualified/incapable of performing the simplest tasks or they really don’t give a rat’s bam bam. Sadly, I believe it’s a combination of both.

If it had not been for that meddling Devant they would have gotten away free and clear with their sad attempt of congratulating President Elect of the USA Joe Biden by copy and pasting British MP Sir Keir Starmer’s eloquently worded Facebook post.

Thanks to the communications team, which apparently cannot produce a Facebook post without using someone else’s post as a “template,” the overworked crisis-control team was bought in to issue a series of apologies. An “Administrative Error” was blamed, a relative of Persad-Bissessar was blamed, lots of “apologies” to Sir Keir were issued, none of which could soothe the burn of humiliation.

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Hear me nah, if you are fighting to be taken seriously as a leader of a nation one thing you have to do is gain the confidence of your people.

If your people cannot trust you to write a simple Facebook post without ripping it off from a foreign MP, you too may want reconsider your career choices.

Again the apologies were taken with a grain of salt because you cannot convince me that no one in that office knew the post was direct copy of Starmer’s.  So again, not sorry for what I did, because I knew what I was doing, I’m just sorry I got caught.

Then again we tend to live in the land of fake apologies. None of these “I’m so sorry” statements is ever taken as genuine and frankly I think the public is rather fed up.

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So hear what all you general bigots, corrupt officials, plagiarisers and in general crap characters, next time your blunders become public just be honest. Just come out say, “Yeah hard luck there, I knew what I was doing, I know who I am, I was aware of my actions, sooooo… #sorrynotsorry. I’m just sorry I wasn’t slicker and got caught”

I assure you, people will still greatly dislike you, but they may still hold a tiny speck of respect for you.

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