I did not want to get too deep into this post-election racist trope currently underway in Trinidad and Tobago as I have been very particular about how my mental health is affected in this age of COVID-19. However just to add two of my very best shillings:
Racism is taught. Nobody was born a racist. All the thought-processes, stereotypes, judgements and discriminatory mindsets one may have against a particular race or races is as a direct result of INFLUENCE whether by friends, family or clan. When faced with this one may choose to go along with the flow because it is the comfortable, safe thing to do based on his current reality and experiences, or one may choose to re-examine his own personal stance and row against the tide based on his current reality and experiences. This may take a moment or it may take a lifetime (or two).
Our diversity is a blessing and a curse. I am a Trinidadian with African ancestry, socially determined as black and which is what I identify as and VERY proudly so. Yet, my life would not be the wholesome entity it is if it were not impacted by people of other ancestries. Because of the callalloo* that is Trinidad, my reality has allowed me to meet individuals from ‘Trini Whites’ to ‘Indians’, some remained as acquaintances, others becoming friends and even besties. I have experienced racism in this country but I am not stupid enough to paint an entire people with a broad brush. You know how many experiences I will miss and lessons I won’t learn if I keep that kind of mindset, especially when it comes to understanding why people are the way they are ? I’m a bit of a globalist. I am more so a strong, black Trinidadian woman and part of my strength lies in the fact that I am not threatened by the solid presence of any other race in the mix. Life is too short and variety is the spice of said life. (Besides, have you ever met a mind-blowingly, gorgeous dougla**? I have.)
ONE EXTRA SHILLING
This elections have people stupid.
Our political system isn’t racist. Racism fuels our political system. The system THRIVES on the fact that there is historical divisiveness which it can muddy up in order to satisfy its agenda (the march to power nah). It’s like the imagery of the puppeteer jangling the strings so he can make his money. So how will the change come if you truly want it? It’s pretty straightforward. Mindset. Unhook dem strings and stop being a racist asshole. It’s not a good look for you and it’s not a good look for the country you claim to love.
*Callalloo is a dish often used as a metaphor to describe Trinidad and Tobago as there are many elements in the mix
**A dougla is the term used to describe a mixed person who has one ‘Indian’ parent and one ‘African’ parent.