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Oreo comment racist

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar referred to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as an Oreo biscuit in her Monday night forum meeting recently. We may have made great progress as an independent nation for the past 56 years but throughout T&T, ethnicity is still a critical factor in elements of social importance and everyday activities and is restricting us from making further progress as an independent nation. We will never reach our full potential as a nation because racism has been deeply embedded in our thinking. It is a major factor in politics as some people vote and make their decisions solely based on race.

It is a known fact that people vote for leaders that look like them. This is especially true of such underdeveloped societies in the Caribbean. Sadly, race permeates every aspect of social life in Trinidad and Tobago. Race can determine your access to wealth, status, political power and prestige. Some young men and women are still advised to marry people of their own race, even within Christian circles. The Bible teaches there is only one race, which is the human race, but some old fashioned Christian parents still prefer their children to marry the same race.

Some, not all, Hindu parents teach their children to marry based on race. If they go against this, some “know it all” mothers withhold money and shun their daughters completely. They treat them as though they are outcasts. One group of people in T&T is constantly being portrayed as better than another. Most people do not realise they harbour very prejudiced views and wrong beliefs about themselves and other people, especially black people, with an unwarranted admiration for people of lighter shades.

Historically, the issue of race is deeply embedded in the human psyche and has been used as a means of controlling and division and to disrupt unity in T&T. The dominant political movements of the region have remained sectional and instead of narrowing gaps between classes and ethnic groups, politics as we know it, have widened them.

Until we can all unite and discard the colonial mentality, which plague us, “Trinbagonians” will not be considered as peacefully cohabiting. Many of us in Trinidad and Tobago tend to celebrate our differences rather than our similarities. We need to realise the fact that your race does not change the person who you are. We all share one race: the human race, but many people will never accept this, therefore racism is here to stay.


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