Blame the ‘haters’

By Raffique Shah
June 13, 2022

Raffique ShahBeing both a product and an architect of the age of love, peace and happiness, and belonging to a generation that opposed war and promoted peace, that even as I became a soldier, a highly-trained killer—we actively and successfully hounded America out of Vietnam and Cambodia, transformed colonised Africa into a battleground for liberation, and we set the world in motion such that generations marched together in countries across the world chanting, “All we are saying, is give peace a chance…’

The irony was that the peace movement was most alive at a time when there were scores of wars under way in so many theatres, we had choices, shifting focus by the day, literally. The common factor we identified among those who opposed us, who preferred war to peace, was that they were ugly in every possible way, but none more so than the hatred that consumed their entire beings. Their eyes were…well, satanic. They almost breathed fire. I used to wonder if they knew the word “love”, if they ever experienced that warmth that accompanied it. And the hate for all who disagreed with them was not merely palpable, but toxic. One got the impression that if they caught the peace-lovers in a suitable kill-zone, they’d mow us down with their guns as if we were pests that must be exterminated.

I want to focus on the words “hate” and “hatred” in my column today. Ah hate Keith Rowley… ah wish he could just drop down dead. Or, conversely, Ah hate Kamla… dat woman is pure poison. I am told by friends that if you peruse social media or walk through certain towns and villages, mix with the crowds, you’d think that all people do in their lives, I suppose, is harbour bitter hatred for the politicians whom they do not support.

In normal conversations some might quip: Ah hate bodi but ah love seim. Surely, that is hyperbole, much like saying “ah million people turn up looking for wuk on cruise ships last week”. But when they express deep feelings that fit the classic definition of “hate” and “hatred”, I feel compelled not just to note it, but to put it in the public domain for discussion.

It’s important to understand what citizens wish to convey by “hate”. Is it mere hyperbole that we use millions of times a day (there I go!), or are they ventilating real hate? The classic dictionary definition of “hatred” is “intense dislike for someone or something”. It is the opposite of “love”.

I recall when my two children attained what I thought was their age to reason around ten, I sat them down and we discussed “hate”. Like most people, they would often blurt out: Ah hate he! Or: Ah hate dem! I explained that if I hated someone, that feeling must be so compelling that I would harm the target if I knew I could get away with it. Does anyone you hate fall in that category? No, they confessed. Well, you don’t hate him or her: you merely dislike them. That’s easier to live with.

But there is some real hate going around in this country that bothers me because of who proclaims it, who expresses it on the information speedway, and what they hope to achieve from it.

The standoff between the “haters” and those who were blessed with an abundance of love lasted for most of my lifetime. In time, I and others who have done all we could to make the world a better place had lives to live, families to care for, communities to build. Interestingly, old memories of that phase of my journey through life stirred when I saw eruptions at schools here in Trinidad and Tobago, elsewhere in the Caribbean and, most notoriously, on school compounds in the US.

The current principal players have Hate writ large on their bodies, from Texas to Williamsville, and I thought here we go, round and round, in an ever-expanding circle of sub-humans, born to seemingly ordinary people who are themselves poster-parents for everything that is wrong with our schools, our communities and our countries. Children making children, without a thought as to how they would nurture them, educate them, make them upstanding citizens so they in turn can uplift the society in which they live.

Many from our generation and those we spawned have uplifted not just themselves but the country by producing some of the finest minds ever to be born here. Maybe I’ll get around to writing about some such achievers soon.

Overall, though, the thousands who live by the gun and often die by it are far too many. Blame them for the tragic state of the country. Blame the “haters”, their criminal offspring, not the society, not the system, for the impunity with which criminals operate in this country.

3 thoughts on “Blame the ‘haters’”

  1. “Many from our generation and those we spawned have uplifted not just themselves but the country by producing some of the finest minds ever to be born here.” (SHAH)

    The finest minds of your generation have emigrated and are contributing to the succes of countries around the world.
    Since Independence your generation of politicians and leaders have failed to produce a successful, thriving, integrated and nationalistic community with the abundance of ritches with which this country has been blessed.
    Do not blame the haters. Blame the system. Blame the corrupt leaders. Blame the failed leadership at all levels:political, religious, civic, business,education ,for the failed country multiple years after Independence.
    Is it hatred being expressed? Or, Is it frustration and disappointment and the lack of opportunity, caused by the failure of the generations which came before?

  2. TwentyTwo times was counted the word “Hate & Hatred in your post Bro Shah. It is well woven in every day Living regardless of where or who you are, the World over. The Peace Movement was directly related to the Civil Rights struggles, De-Colonisation and the Cold War that existed at the time, made things look peaceful. You tend not to Remember that Trinidad was Created in Crimes against Humanity, and that TRUTH, must be front and center of every and any discourse. Please , don’t sweep the Initiated past under the rug. The 7 Spheres of Life Dictates that Social-Personal-Health-Education-Relationships-Employment & Spiritual Development will definitely put a dent in the negative energy of “Hate & Hatred”, that have been part and parcel of European conquest the last 500yrs. Today, because of European Racism and Division, We live in lowered Countenance, Heavy-Hearted , and Dejected in Spirit. The Ancient Books and Sages continue to tell who are willing to listen, that LOVE, not the Canal and Emotional one that was Taught to the slave and Indentured Subjects, but LOVE from the Seated SOUL- SELF. The TRUE HEART. Is the only Shield needed to overcome HATE. Hate created by the Europeans, is the HELL we live in presently, and that must be clearly comprehended. “When We All Think alike, We Don’t Think Very Much” and that is HATE and HATRED in it’s place and Space .Trinidad’s Plate is overflowing.

  3. “Ah hate Kamla… dat woman is pure poison.” It was a balmy Saturday afternoon I was sitting by a table in a friend dining room, people were there for the family thanksgiving, birthday a bit of celebration. And I as I sat there things naturally turn to politics.

    The skinny self absorb Indian man in his early 50s as he sat there he blurted our with hand clasped and face grimacing “ah hate Kamla”. For the first time I was convinced that the PNM is a cult. He went on to sing the usually song, Kamla spend out the money, Kamla have a cabal controlling her etc etc. Of course none of us could say anything as he raise his voice in pontification over the Opposition Leader.

    One of things I admire from the PNM is they can generate a level of hatred out of nowhere. I may not like PNM policies but I could not grimace menacingly declaring I hate anyone. Hate is strong word to use. Nor have I seen that in UNC supporters.

    The cultist practices of the PNM is there for all. The jobs, housing, grants, food card is distributed in their constituencies for their supporters. In the 1970s the PNM encouraged their supporters to have at least 5 children. The purpose was to ensure the required support to stay in power in perpetuity. And so if election is called tomorrow the PNM will win again. EBC dances to them and set things in accord. What is few ballot boxes. Meanwhile the hate is real, having experience it first hand.

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