Ethnic Stocking

By Winford James
December 13, 2012 –

ParliamentUntil I heard the term from a WinTV reporter, I had never heard “ethnic stocking” before. The reporter called to find out what I thought about the Jamaica Observer’s observation in its editorial of December 11, that ethnic stocking was a very serious issue in Trinidad and Tobago and that, worse, it was a “centripetal” force “tearing the increasingly fragile political coalition that constitutes the Government of Trinidad and Tobago” and “(o)ne of the egregious aspects of corruption”.

So what is “ethnic stocking”? Let’s go to the Observer editorial for an answer: “the appointment to public office, including overseas posts, on the basis of ethnicity to ensure ethnic monopoly of political power.” In other words, where this government is concerned, it is the appointment of Indos simply because they are Indos so that the government can achieve political control over public offices and institutions.

The editorial goes on to develop its viewpoint by charging that the current Government “has systematically practised ethnic stocking: rewarding individuals with positions even though they (are) not qualified, either by professional training or by pertinent transferable work experience.” It states that the instances of local ethnic appointments are “too numerous to discuss” and that there is an embarrassment associated with overseas appointees that “poses reputational damage.” In regard to the latter, it reminds us that Therese Baptiste-Cornelis was fired from her job as ambassador to the United Nations for making inappropriate remarks—(she resigned in disgrace, didn’t she?).

It proposes that “many people in Trinidad and Tobago do not want to tackle ethnic stocking because persons who raise the issue are accused of being racist in a society guilty of self-delusion about racial harmony” and it closes by recommending a parliamentary review of appointees to local and overseas posts “to ensure that they possess the necessary qualifications and years of pertinent experience, and establish a transparent selection process free of ethnic bias.”

If you want to read the entire editorial, go the following webpage:

Now, assuming the editorial writer lives outside of Trinidad and Tobago, probably in Jamaica, we can agree quite easily that we, living here in this blighted country know far more about the matter than he or she. We know that in the vast majority of cases the appointees to the headships and memberships of state boards and committees are Indos, with a smattering of Afros and others as mostly convenient tokens of ethnic diversity. It’s in our faces every living day!

The question is, How can we change to a situation of appointment by merit and ethnic evenhandedness?

The editorial suggests a parliamentary review, which I think is a good starting point. While allowing that, given the Government’s majority in Parliament, the ethnic disproportion is unlikely to change in a hurry, what the review would do is

i) focus political attention on the issue and ease the reticence in most people about publicly debating what quite clearly is a very sensitive issue;

ii) force the consciousness of the people more in the direction of a constitutional reform that subjects certain appointments to oversight by a meaningfully constituted senate—in brief, a senate not dominated by the Government.

The value of such reform is that it would impose on the Government an attitude of carefulness in its appointment of people to manage the business of our public offices and institutions. It would restrain the ethnic impulse to both make reckless and scandalous appointments such as that of Reshmi Ramnarine and to make appointments that are preponderantly and disproportionately Indo or Afro.

If there’s one thing that our political experience should have taught us over the years, it is that, if we want good governance, we need to constrain the selfish and tribal biases of our executives through the establishment and exercise of effective governance structures—like the People’s House or Senate that I have been talking about in this space for some time now.

Ethnic stocking has never done us any good as different peoples seeking to build one society out of our diversity. It did us no good under the PNM, and it isn’t doing us any good under this UNC Government masquerading as a People’s Partnership.

Only noise and the worst vibes from the excluded can come from such a ruse.

• Winford James is a UWI lecturer and a political analyst

38 thoughts on “Ethnic Stocking”

  1. I prefer to call it “affirmative action”. “Justifiable affirmative action”
    When the PNM for some fifty years methodically discriminated against Indians, did Winford James object?
    Did jamaicans object?
    Where does Jamaica get off by complaining about corruption in T&T when Jamaica is ranked lower than Trinidad on the world’s corruption index?
    Once again the rumblings continue against what is being perceived as an Indian government. Ferocious racists!

    1. “I prefer to call it “affirmative action”. “Justifiable affirmative action”
      When the PNM for some fifty years methodically discriminated against Indians, did Winford James object?”

      This has to be the most fantastic piece of fiction that I have read on this site. I have just a simple rebuttal for you. If the Indo-community has been so discriminated against while the PNM was in power, how is it that people of East Indian descent have dominated the professional classes within Trinidad and Tobago for such a long time?

      I am sorry, but I cannot find any shred of logic in your assertion. It is this type of historical revisionism that it going to result in the ultimate demise of our twin-island republic.

      1. One of the indirect consequences of PNM discrimination against Indians in the public service areas is the desire of Indians to succeed in education acquisition and entrepreneurship.
        Indians could not rely on secret PNM scholarships, appointment to government positions or employment in all public service area.
        It was well know among families that success came from individual effort and excellent work habits.

    2. Hey TMan, there you go again! Why perpetuate racism? Someone has to take the lead in putting a stop to what has been going on for 50 years….why not now? It takes a Jamaican to broach the subject because guys like you are too poop-scared to do it yourselves. You know what he says is true! Time to put “Freedom” into practice!

  2. “The editorial suggests a parliamentary review, which I think is a good starting point. While allowing that, given the Government’s majority in Parliament, the ethnic disproportion is unlikely to change in a hurry, what the review would do is”

    I strongly agree with Winford. We need to change the long practice of ethno discrimination. During the PNM years 80 percent of civil servant jobs went to the Afro population. Now that the PNM is out of power it is time to give others a chance. I would agree with Winford that 2 years into the Partnership that they must make an end to ethno imbalances by correcting years of discrimination practiced by the PNM.

    Review all government practices and seek to make jobs available to all but acknowledge PNM wrongs and correct it. In an office where 90 percent of the employees are African or Indian that should be corrected to population ratio. Army, police, coast guard and all government institutions must begin to reflect population where it is possible. It should be part of partnership policy. For instance if there is a high percentage of Afros or indos in a government office then immediately the hiring of the majority group must stop until some semblance of balance is achieved. I think that is what Winford meant and I support him.

  3. Does this apply to doctors and lawyers? Why did the PNM not do the same for doctors and lawyers?

  4. Who cares? Certainly not Afro Trinis , who over the past 24 months ,remained the victims of ‘Guyanese-like pogroms,’ politically orchestrated purges,by a what appears as a culturally depraved ,bunch of ungrateful, country hating triumphalist- who many much wiser than my self ,are concluding ,only appreciate their land of birth, when things go their way.
    For all their failings ,we still appreciate the fact that our Jamaican cousins ,can highlight the obvious facts for the world to see.
    Now here is the bigger question for fellow bloggers to consider: If de Observer’s interpretation of de truth could offend so much -to the extent that tribal elites ,ardent regime supporters ,and diabolical party hacks ,are coming out of de woodwork in such mammoth outrage , just imagine what would have occurred if this editorial was written by a member of de scared ,T&T 4th Estate, YES? Luv country over tribe folks, as failure so to do can have dire consequences! Trust me on this .History will prove me correct.

  5. Surely the problem is that these appointments have to be made at all. By which I mean, why should the directors of state boards change after an election? The best person to run Petrotrin would presumably be the best person whoever was in power. And I would go one further and suggest that most of the state boards are pointless. Half the state-owned enterprises are completely pointless, don’t make money and solely exist to hand out jobs for the boys. Why not have an appointments commission which is entirely independent, over which the government of the day has no influence? And why not stop making political appointments to be heads of diplomatic missions. What’s the point of having a professional diplomatic service if we appoint these jokers to head those missions?

  6. Let them balance every area. Let resources be based on population distribution, and let sacrifices such as serving in the military be based on population distribution. As the ranks of the public service are balanced, the vacancies in the private areas will increase and create the environment for balancing in those areas. We need to be doing what all others do, and spending our money in house first before going outside. Since we are the greatest consumers there are, the benefits will be enormous.

    I want this trend to be expanded across the globe. Let us begin to kick out some companies from Africa and begin encouraging and arranging for them to be replaced with people who are more connected to Africans. Let us take a look at neighbourhood business in the US, along white plains road and other dense black communities, and balance that too.

    Me, I believe that we can survive on our own any time any where. I believe that we are dragged down by this stupid predisposition to heal the world and bring together. Let some other group take on that responsibility, and if none want to, well, the good lord saw it fit to bless us with what we need to exist on our own. It is time we begin using it for that purpose.

  7. Mamo, that 80 percent of civil servant jobs was in the North, while in the South it was the reverse. How do you propose we give the others a chance, just remove people willy nilly? The PNM did not do that.
    What the PNM did was ethnic stocking. What this present Government is doing is ethnic re-stocking. The are allegedly replacing all the old heads with new ones of a particular texture regradless of qualifications or experience. Reshmi was only the first.
    The thing about the PNM is that although they are being accused of some sort of racial bias, it is now obvious that the people who benefitted the least from the PNM reign are those people who the PNM was supposed to favour. Strange.
    It might be safe to say that everyone of the folks who are now complaining about the PNM benefitted from the PNM to reach where they are at present, even Mr. Mouth himself, Jack Warner.
    It can be argued that the wrongs that it took the PNM 30 years to commit, this Government is running a close second only after two years.

    1. Frontsman, I remember as a child going to government office in the south to pay land tax, forming a line and waiting for our turn to pay. There was one primary ethic group managing things even though another group predominated the area. I observed the PNM appointed employees busily chatting with each other instead of dealing with the customers. When our turn came after waiting for sometime in the line, a man came and told my father “come back tomorrow”. My father was angry but left, next day when he returned it was the same response. That was how the PNM cult treated people, lest we forget. Their sins are pursuing them because of the justice of God. Ultimately He decides….not us. The PNM unfortunately has become a blight imposed upon the nation. Under their watch crime, corruption and ethnocentric stocking was the rule of the day. Frontsman you need to take the blinders off….

      1. Mamoo, We have had different experiences. I am no PNM lover. I hold no brief for anyone.
        I remember going to the Casualty Department of the Sando Hospital where all the doctors where Indo. The doctor attending to me got angry because of something my mother said and scratched up my card. My mother had to apologize and say she was just making a joke. He then told her to come back in three days, during which time I had sleepless nights with pains for my blistered toe.
        The Licensing Office was another horror story, where I got attended to only after I asked the clerk if I had the wrong hair.
        I have had an Indo-Trini supervisor/manger at every job I held in Trinidad. In one case it was stacked so the succesors for the top position would go the to the Indo staff.
        I could go on. Brother man if it was stocked, it was not stocked in my favour.

        1. My first real experience with racism was when I went to Service Commission. They had a fat African lady sitting there. Myself some Indian girls came in and sat at the front and waited and waited. Soon some Afro boys came and they were let in ahead of us. This continue for some time.

          Finally as a 19 year old I mustered the courage to challenge the woman, she asked for my qualifications and I told her how many O Levels I had. The other Afros were not asked anything. I gave her the information she took it and I am quite sure it found a garbage can. The Indo girls looked at me and smile. I was their hero for a day.

          When my wife went for employment she was fully qualified but the interviewer said to her “with a name like that you will not be employed” At least he was being honest. But I could go on, I am sure you get the picture of where I am coming from. Racism was institutionalized under the PNM.

          Thankfully today I have achieve great success where failure would have been the only option… had I depended on the PNM government at the time.

          1. Mamoo, there was racism on both sides. I, like many others, have stories to tell also.
            Don’t for one moment think that what happened to your wife did not happen to someone with a non-Indio name in another setting.
            So let us look at ‘institutionalized racism.’ I will begin by taking the words of the present Prime Minister, “prove it.”
            Recently, a high official in the present government boasted about the wealth of a the Trini Indo. This wealth was not acquired during this administration or the past decade. How could instutionalized racism manifest in so much wealth for one race, when the people of Laventille, Sea Lots and Beetham are still stuck in a time zone?
            Do the names Mootilal Moonan, Seereram Bros, and Goopeesingh ring a bell? Talking about names, these are the names that grew big under the period of instutionalized racism. Its your turn, so give me a name of any Afro which grew in similar proportion during the same time.

        2. @ Frontsman,

          Thank you for restoring some sanity to the discourse. This fabricated siege narrative has persisted long enough. Somehow, I cannot help but think that there is a deeper agenda that is lying behind the constant repitition of the siege myth.

  8. Jamaicans should keep their ketch arse noses out of the business of the most enlightened and prosperous country in the carribean.I lived through the decades of blatant pnm nepotism and afrocentric ethnostocking. To the “victors go the spoils” Put that in your pipe and smoke it!! “Jamaican Observer” Jamaican Observer! Instead of attacking duly elected politicians in T&T, why don’t you try to figure out why the vast majority ofthe non-white prison population in Canada is comprised of people of Jamican origins and try try to do something constructive about it. Don’t waste your time criticizing T&T. Do your own self-examination. I am sure what you ponder will traumatize you.

    1. Look at how far the nation declined when the PNM was in power because of such practices. Are you saying that if Kamla and crew continue down their path that TNT will not onl reverse the wrongs of history, but not make the same mistakes while employing almost identical tactics?
      Perhaps something new should be tried and that new thing would be to find the best and brightest talent to lead the nation forward instead of sticking to tribe over country.
      It’s embarrassing to even have the need to have this discussion. You would think that a country like TNT would be far beyond this mess instead of pretending with every blasted holiday, formal ceremony, and or function to be a unified country.

  9. Afro-Trinis are making complete asses of themselves as they try to paint the PP government in a racial corner.The reality is that they are having a real difficult time coping with realities of the political situation in T&T. How do you continuously deny the emergence of the majority of the population? IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TRIUMPHALISM, it is all about equality.Some of the most ardent racist are within the bowels of the Peoples National Movement.Your days of feeding from the public trough are restricted; it is making you delirious and disenfranchised.
    Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has challenged the Jamaica Observer to bring evidence of “ethnic stocking” in T&T, saying the allegation was “foolish, malicious and false.”

    Speaking to reporters after distributing hundreds of toys to children in central Trinidad, Persad-Bissessar said her Government was one of the most diverse governments in the history of T&T. She said the establishment of the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration was geared at building racial and ethnic harmony in T&T. She noted that the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism brought religious harmony while the passage of the Equal Opportunity Commission ensured that those who were discriminated against could get justice in the courts.

    Asked to comment on the matter, Persad-Bissessar said, “This is total foolishness in my respectful view. I have heard all the comments but I am still very strong. I intend to stay strong and keep strong but the allegation that worries me the most is that of ethnic stocking.” Conceding that newspaper editors were free to write because of press freedom, Persad-Bissessar expressed disappointment that the Observer would make allegations without any empirical evidence.

    “To attack my Government as being one that is being engaged in ethnic stocking, is totally not true and should be discredited in the highest regard,” Persad-Bissessar said. “If you are saying I am mismanaging then fine, but when you talk about ethnic stocking that is engendered to inflame the passions of people who may not know better or may not want to know better. I find it strange that this happened when we have the THA elections within the next couple of weeks and the main allegation being made by the Opposition party in the THA election is that of race.”

    Asked whether she expected an apology from the Observer, Persad-Bissessar responded, “In my life I expect nothing and I expect everything.” However, even though the Prime Minister said she totally rejected the Observer’s allegation, she had no plans of writing the newspaper personally.

    “I am not of the view that I would want to write to the Jamaica Observer, maybe the Foreign Affairs ministry would want to deal with things like that. I don’t know what may have led them to conclude that and this is why I say show us the evidence to say ethnic stocking is happening. This is a serious allegation against my Government which is constitutionally elected as the majority government of a country.”

  10. One of the most pressing problems facing Afro-Trinis of the PNM persuation is that they genuinely believe that they have the divine right to rule T&T and determine the cultural and social future of the nation. Historically they assumed some sort of Afro-cultural superiority and determination of the course of cultural expression of the entire nation.This is exactly why we are now faced with the continuous criticism of Penal, a place which they have lambasted as some sort of primitive backwater. Meanwhile the good people of Penal spent years instilling in their children the values required for good citizenship.They are now having the last laugh in their multicultural community.

    1. Perhaps the culture that has represented Trinidad and Tobago in the eyes of the world for the last 100 years or at least the last 50 should be the one to prevail. It was not entirely African or anything else. The merittless change of the cultural norm in TNT would cause xenophobia at best in any nation.
      Perhaps it was the fact that the overall cultural norm in TNT didn’t represent India that is the driving force behind Kamla and her race based supporters to try to erase the worlds memory of what is “Trini”.
      A stroll through PIARCO makes a foreign traveler feel as though they arrived in New Dehli or Calcutta instead of the Caribbean. Then again, most foreign travelers to the Caribbean visit islands like Jamaica, Barbados, etc… which are less likely to be undergoing this identity change.
      Perhaps that is why there has been no change in tourism? How could TNT explain this “new” identity that could be considered flattery to India, but out of place in TNT or any other nation in the Western Hemisphere.
      Yeah, there is a resentment being delt with in TNT while creating another resentment and all the while the beloved royal family of England is probably laughing at their disfunctional creation.
      Two wrongs is not how you grow a nation.

  11. I will also relate a personal anecdote that will hopefully put this anti-Indian legend to rest. My mother told me that the first time she visited the island in the mid-70s, she was almost taken aback by the preponderance of the people of East Indian descent working at the Piarco Airport and she observed this at other government places also.

    So to whoever wants to maintain this vicious and mischievous lie, please “cease and desist” as the Yankee law enforcement officers like to say.

  12. “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    So ain’t I de intelligent one!

    Oh ‘AfroBuddahSunGod ,’who resides in our hearts, please have mercy on our twisted souls if you may! ”
    So her Majestic , along with handlers, and ever so grateful minions, is getting quite steamed by the comments of some obscure Yardee ,opinion page author,who endured the likes of neo colonial , divide and rule ,political bozos ,such as de late Edward Seaga, and Michael Manley, the Boston Yankee stooge, and de Socialist Castro wannabe clone , which allowed Uncle Sam CIA ,to put the nail in de coffin, of any chance for sustainable development whatsoever, in Jamaica- thank you very much for sectarian rule.
    All I can say is let the inconsequential distraction politics continue in La Trinity, but hopefully good sense would prevail and Her Majestick Queen K , can get on with de more important business of trying to elevate the lives of our people- irrespective of color , creed, class , or tribe, hmmmmm?

    Did I hear her say she questioned the timing of this article, in light of another useless , upcoming ,THA Election, and did Uncle Suraj Rambachan ,echo these sentiments, about Jamaican interference/ collaborations with domestic political trouble makers, re this article? Come on guys , you are better than that!Much ado about nada , your Majestick, and not worth your Royal time.
    Tell you what , some might not know dat your subjects ,who often don’t give a hoot , ‘if Good Friday falls on a Sunday,’ are quite sophisticated when it comes to politics, and understand , that ‘to de victors go the spoils.’
    Let the PNM political machinery, get their acts together, so as to convince the electorate ,that they deserve to be back at the helm , and so they can rectify any ‘alleged wrongs,’ they , or a Yardeee Editor ,think your PP government initiated, yes?
    Let me add that ,’A lil bit or purging ain’t too bad an idea! History dictates such, as Red China Mao, did it , and definitely Josef Stalin , aka de Butcher ,believed in this theory, as can be attested in post Revolutionary Russia ,back in de day.Just look where both countries are today as far as global power, hummm?
    On a more serious note however folks, remember dem Greeks ,and Trojans, or de context in which de now famous quote was made ,of “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts?
    The ulterior motives of ‘dem Frenchlike,insecure Yardee folks,’ along with the ‘Tobago flying fish stealing , gas/ oil envious , Bajan , little England ,upstarts,’ always have me on my toes. I luv dis land , and it’s myriad of 1.3 and counting people, so Long live de Republic of T&T.

  13. I am an indo-trinidadian ( dont let my two first names fool you).
    I do believe that there has been “ethnic stocking ” by the PP…..and maybe that was the case under the PNM also.
    But I really do think that it is time to put a stop to this nonsense. So here again , this People’s Partnership has an opportunity to show that they really do intend to live up to their promises which they made om the campaign trail. Will they do it?…I hope so, but…I doubt they will.
    I hope that one day, we will have politicians who see people as citizens of this country rather than as “supporters”.

    1. Hey John Scot, not sure who your response was directed at , or really care for dat matter, but let me dissapoint you/ throw a monkey wrench into yours ,and similar misguided others, well crafted, ‘we , me ,all ah us , of a certain persuasion ,are really important machinary,’ buddy. No cares about your tribal, ethnic, or racial origins. All we are concern about is your level of patriotism.Here is de test:- Do you luv your country during good , bad , and ugly times? Do you possess any V. S Naipaulish ungrateful bones in your body? Otra Vez,are you a European adoring, sometimish Trini, who only appreciate your country when thing seemsto be totally in your favor,but during de political reign of others you not so secretly despise ,choose instead to whine/ complain about every concewivable happening, like a constipated Tom cat in heat?There are many traitors aboard dis Trini express, and just let uknow we ‘de progressive ,nationalists,’ are examining horns as we speak. Think beyond de self, and make a difference, hmmmmmm?

  14. Whether it is Fiji, Guyana, T&T or Kenya, the strategy is the same. They bring these caste prejudices into the societies and then attempt to avoid scrutiny of it by accusing those who do of racism.

    What they hope to do is to guilt trip you into silence. It is deceitful ploy that is exposed easily. It does not alter in format regardless of the geography in which you find it.

    Our societies have always been welcoming, that is why there is always a greater flow of Indians to majority black nations than vice versa. I love the web, because now you can take the evidence from one theatre and present it in another theatre, thus spreading the message for enlightenment.

  15. A surprising objective view by Michael Harris.

    There were many in this country who took comfort in the bashing the Government received in a Jamaica Observer editorial about two weeks ago.

    The editorial stated, in part, that “The real problem in the energy-rich republic is not substance abuse, but the abuse of substance. By that we mean the abuse of the substance of government business because of the ethnic stocking of public offices and the widespread perception of corruption.”

    Although I am among the fiercest critics of this Government, I could take neither comfort nor joy in that editorial. Rather my reaction was one of deep concern, both at the fact that such an editorial could be published and at what it actually stated.

    The editorial was an open, blatant and completely subjective attack on the T&T Government and made no pretence at objectivity or analysis.

    The fact that the Observer does not speak for the Jamaican government makes its actions only marginally less serious and reprehensible. The newspaper is not, or purports not to be, a tabloid rag. It is a serious newspaper whose considered views are read in capitals around the world.

    From such an institution there is expected to be a far greater sense of responsibility. I cannot recall another instance in which a major newspaper in one Caricom country has, without any provocation, launched such a scathing attack on the government of another Caricom country.

    It is a most unfortunate development which, if it were to set a precedent, would serve to swiftly destroy the already fragile bonds which hold Caricom together.

    But my concern is not that what was said was not true but that it was not the whole truth. And by giving only a partial view of the truth it does a great disservice to the citizens of this country and the citizens of Caricom in general, who are struggling to understand and cope with the nature of our politics.

    Firstly, “stocking” is neither new nor a phenomenon peculiar to T&T. Indeed, among Caricom countries, it was in Jamaica that it was first institutionalised as a fact of political life.

    In the days when the two major Jamaican political parties, the PNP and the JLP, regularly rotated in office every two terms it became an accepted fact that with every change of government there would be a root and branch removal of public servants from key positions, with many of the previous incumbents being left to languish in a form of internal exile.

    “Stocking” was being practised in Jamaica long before it reared its head in this country. Not that T&T was in any way smarter or immune from that vicious form of political corruption. The fact that this country came late to the game of “stocking” is attributable simply to the long period of hegemony enjoyed by the PNM. Since there was never a change in the party in office over the first 30 years of our independence the phenomenon simply never arose.

    But during those 30 years another development did occur which, when finally there was a change of government, would lead to the “stocking” phenomenon being practised with a vengeance. This other development was the systematic emasculation and politicisation of the public service which was perpetrated by Dr Williams and the PNM.

    When the PNM was finally removed from office, the NAR found its work hampered and subverted at every turn by public servants whose allegiance, by and large, was to the PNM. Minister John Humphrey grew so frustrated that he demanded the removal of his permanent secretary. Once this was acceded to “stocking” began.

    Since then every time a government changes there has been “stocking”. The NAR did it, the PNM did it, the UNC did it and now the People’s Partnership is doing it.

    It is certainly true that the “stocking” being practised by this Government is more blatant and indiscriminate than any before. The most incompetent persons are being placed willy-nilly in positions of serious responsibility. The PM herself is on record as telling board appointees that the most important quality she demands of them is not competence or integrity but loyalty to the Government.

    But this has nothing to do with “ethnicity” per se. It arises from the fact that the UNC, the dominant partner in the coalition, is not so much a political party as it is a permanent election campaign unit which results in the fact that, once in government, there is no way to resist the demands of the troops for pillage and plunder.

    That such “stocking” manifests itself as “ethnic stocking” is the inevitable outcome of a system in which the two major parties are based on race, mirroring the racial polarisation of our society. To suggest (by omission) that the PNM did not indulge in “ethnic stocking” is an egregious falsehood. As Selwyn Ryan would say, moving one party out of office is to “unstock” a race.

    It is only when we understand this that we can come to appreciate that the most fundamental requirement is to destroy once and for all the political party system based upon racial mobilisation and to found a genuine national party, one in which every creed and race is equitably represented.

    The racial delineation of our politics is our burden to bear and our problem to solve. And we certainly do not need the Jamaica Observer pushing its nose in our business and compounding even more, with its distorted viewpoint, an already difficult problem.

  16. T-Man, I told you To quit drinking too much of that Canadian Maple syrupn that you and your Euro adoring family, came to adore so. Much, since your escape as an alleged refugee from your dreaded country, sometime around 1986.
    For the record, it was not only Public Servants who caused headace. For the ANR led, NAR government, but the rabid political bandits that made up de ULF trade Union political party.
    So pray tell me TMma, what it is you Learn in your 26 years en la progressive Camnada?
    Is it that freedom of the press is an unwholesome development?These fake religious, culturally depraved , social cretins, are dangerous eeeeeeh?
    Silent as a mouse when aforemention political bandits were giving tatic support for coups, by phony Muslim Yasin. Silent as a mouse when onetime back bencher, turned Education Minister, Dr Gopesing, was lambasing our country as some genocidal enclave, because one of his subeducated studentsn was passed over for some job in de hospital, but today is getting all bent and out of shape over some Yardee editorial, so go figure.Yet we wonder why Sri Lanka, Balkans, Rwanda, Fiji, and Ugand, Rwanda/ Burundi occurred, ehhhhh T-Man? Give this stupid distraction a rest buddy. It was your PM who threw down de guntlet 10 seconds in office, dat no more blank checks were available- unless of course , one belonged to a certain Jagdeo led, English speaking/ south American nation. Yet you naive creatures are pretending to be surprise at de backlash.When certain international bodies denounced T&T , as a rising star as far as corruption, I did not hear a pick fromm the likes of you and others. We progressive will appreciate some consistancy.Luv country over tribe my friend!

  17. bizarre! ain’t it? The Indians never wanted jobs, they scorned & scoffed at job particularly the Security& Public services. This is so erroneous. Indians wouldn’t marry their children to Indians working in the services.They got land and land agro base required a mere 3-4 hours of work a day 3-4 days a week. Land meant collateral for loans, for cars trucks house(s) time & FLEXIBILITY. DO we have any idea what FLEXIBILITY means in any economy? The were preferred import licenses as a result the looked up at customs thus channeled their children careers they bribed every Bank officer along their way.They ruled the streets as truck owner/driver with such arrogance. When the AfroTrini was scrambling through daily hourly traffic jam from 6:AM to the work place and sunset back home tired and beaten unable to enjoy quality family life more over to monitor and spoil their kids. God forbid! This is hateful ingratitude-sound bites we’ve been accepting as i.e.just talk! This hurts and triggers an infinite adrenaline rush-I’m restraining myself here but boy it stinks to hear it openly-Its wrong. The Indians always played the victim card yet they boast of their sterling achievements-as if we weren’t there,thus we don’t know how the really got there. Lets look at the crime statistics loan Fault repayment Statistics Loans Credits and Tax avoidance.If it was PNM then who let them off these hooks? Were there any Trinis who sought asylum in Canada let alone prove their case of such do the math by way of ethnic divide! Had it not been for the lul for West& Leward Islands agro transshipment to POS the open markets wouldn’t see a single African descendant in the agro/food business. This is so wicked,I’m literally fighting restraint typing this rebuttal.
    Now that everything is push button automated and sanitized the rush to have jobs in nontraditional Indian interest are politically altered at tsunami level and AfroTrinis are being displaced without a stitch.

  18. “AfroTrinis are being displaced without a stitch.” Davy de Verteuil My Inglish ain’t dat great , since I went to ‘one oh dem,’ local schools, dat did not produce Island Scholars-who travel abroad , then give our country de middle finger – but I hope by “displaced,”you are also referring to murdered, either by de state , or agents thereof , without anyone giving a hoot,Cuz Davy?’s-statistics-show-marked-decline-crime

    Let me see , we lambast local law enforcement head houncho, brought in a Canadian, had ex military big wigs as our Governmental security Chiefs, all to no avail , as T&T , continue to evolve into a Jamaica, Columbia, or heaven’s forbid , out of control Gaza , Middle East, or Peshawa Pakistan. Now we have our often loquacious Queen Maker, in Uncle Jack, and not much has changed , especially for folks across ‘Kinky head nation,’ so amidst all de New year resolutions, and post ‘2012 political spins,’ dat has certainly made former journalist Andy Johnson earn his pay, my question is ,what gives T&T?

  19. When Eric Williams made that statement pertinent to Federation that one from ten leaves nothing i.e. Jamaica pulled out of the talks for a Federation of the West Indies that showed the vision that existed then and the pursuits of Independence was warranted then and stands firm today. If you have to walk through the corridors of Piarco and you believe you are in New Delhi that shows lack of vision. Why? because East Indians have contributed and have been building this nation irrespective of whatever references or standards were projected at that time. The lingo of ‘we time now’ and ‘ah eata food’ are self destructive because the simplistic minds in our midst run with these catch phrases and pollute apsirations for many of us. Black Stalin paid tribute to Sundar Popo in 1995 as well as singing the Caribbean Man in 1979. From the bowels of our National Anthem every creed and race have an equal place. Trinidad does not have an identity problem but it is the parochial thinking of a few that misleads and creates waves for the peaceful co-existence for ALL Trinidadians. The simplistic writing of Ethno Stocking in the Jamaican Observer is a discredit and lacks insight of the politics that is T&T. Get that highway built asap, let an arm of UWI be in Debe, reinvigorate that coconut industry in Cedros, let’s develop this land and enhance our human resource so that capital generated in T&T are sustainable for further development for ALL right here in this blessed land. Me luv meh people and meh country despite meh past experience.

    1. Well stated Loyal Trini.
      However, The nation including the Airport, Government, and private sector places of employment should demonstrate the best that society has to offer. You cannot tell me that there aren’t enough quality Black people in Trinidad and Tobago to represent a diverse nation. Sure, people of East Indian decent are the slim majority now, but that is not the statistical representation that is seen in places of power and employment in Trinidad and Tobago.
      People need to get past these social constructs of reality that promote members of one tribe over members of another tribe simply because of some manufactured xenophobia when, aferall, we are all Trini!
      I am not for the promotion of anyone on the basis of their geneology, but I am for developing fairness in a nation that prides itself on its diversity.
      Culturally, it is equally wrong to promote a foreign culture in this Western World Nation that has a culture of it’s own, as if the foreign culture is the emerging culture of this “New World Nation”. There is always conversation about who was first and how long various groups of people have been in this nation and yet everyone wants to ignore the level of assimilation that has taken place to social norms that are from Trinidad and Tobago and not India, Africa, China, or Europe.
      Indians are the majority now, but that doesn’t mean that Indian culture should replace the social norms of this assimilated society.
      Trinidad and Tobago has a Trinidadian Prime Minister of East Indian decent, not a Indian Priminister of Trinidadian decent. Trinidad and Tobago didn’t change governments or become colonized with the election. Trinidad and Tobago elected an assimilated citizen from Trinidad to power to clean up what was thought to be wrong with government and society for everyone. The majority of citizens didn’t elect the Prime minister because of what tribe that her ancestors came from. Trinidad and Tobago has it’s own Tribe to represent and we would all be better off to acknowledge that fact above others and move forward with the intent of improving the lives of all members in society for our society and breaking away from this tribalism that continues t sweep the nation.
      Tribalism wasn’t right in the past, isn’t right now, and must be stamped out in the future if we are to survive without a serious blemish as a nation.

    De Tobago kid in Uncle Nelson, once said ,”Man , in my land , me own people call me foreigner,”…..ah spread meh culture where I go, but doh ever call me foreigner,”and what wonderful song, which of course preceded Black Stalin’s two, money making ditties Royal Trini.
    Fast forward to 2013, and mostly Afrikan folks, from Tobago to Mt Hope, Morvant to Caranage , Maracas to Matlot, Lavantille,Sando , and beyond,are treated as foreigners in their own country.
    Many are told if u Black / Brown/ or over tan ,stay back, in deference to your equally Black,over tan, and Brown , suddenly empowered , yet unmentionable brothers, and sisters ,that daily fights dem for socio- economic- com political superiority, ever since White Massa departed these shows.
    Sadly enough , a very tiny elite on both sides of the tribal divide, still controls the bulk of the wealth, resources, and socio – economic opportunities across Rainbow nation. In de interim , the gullible masses are still given a bag of lies as to who de real enemy is.
    So therefore Trini Loyal, instead of condemning this seemingly meddlesome ,Jamaican editorial writer, you and similarly misguided, die hards , should be commending him , as he is aware as to the long term impact of ‘ah dog with a bone, me me , selfist mentality ,’ as played out by culturally depraved triumphalist.
    Just in case you forgot,for all their present day , phony bravado , about sporting,and tourist poweress , during de Cold War era,these envious Jamaicans, endured two CIA controlled, neo imperial puppets , Edward Seaga, and Michael Manley, to eventually evolve into a poverty stricken, crime cesspool/ gangster playground, where drugs, and gun are prevalent in equal proportion to sands on de beach.He therefore own that right to warn us , maybe of not becoming a simi failed state fiefdom, just like his Yardee land.
    There social , and political breakdown , was historic, in that,it preceded , the ones in places such as Balkans,Kashmir,Sudan, Rwanda, and such , in the Post Cold War world , whereby folks destroyed folks that looked like themselves , as opposed to what transpired in Idi Dada Amin Uganda, fiji, an counting.
    Show how much of a patriot you have evolved into , Loyal Trini,since escaping in 1986, to more lucrative , frigid quarters , mi Amigo.
    Let’s ensure the halt of any Guyanarization of T&T, Jagdeo style, hmmmm? The reasons are obvious- Trinidad ,ain’t no Guyana. Here is my thought for de year buddy, ‘beware of a man with nothing to loose!’

  21. How many warm souls with frigid minds do we have right here in T&T? The article attached is objective and defines truth.

    Sometimes being called foreigners in our own land is reflective of our own limitations, self imposed and restrictive in acclaiming overall progress. ‘Guyanarisation’re-Wismar, is the consequence of what a failed ‘Federation’ brings to a table: un-woven social fabric, as opposed to CARICOM with survival with opened arms receiving fair trade from Uncle Sam and EU? Maybe the ditty e.g Jean and Dinah may help!

  22. Excellent Loyal Trini~your level of profound analyses may be beyond the comprehension of Racists on this Blog~

  23. “The head-count strategy is also blind to internalised racism—something that many find awkward to disclose and discuss—where some Blackpeople and Indianpeople do not hold members of their group in high regard.” Dr. Sheila Ramparsad

    I agree and do not think that any form of affirmative action is needed. That is th reason why what Kamla and crew has done is so wrong. She ran on change to get elected. There is no doubt in the minds of most of our people that the PNM was bad for the nation. All that most voters where asking for was respect and proper representation and now because of ethnic stoking our nation has been blemished and the hopes of far too many crushed because they dared to believe that TNT had finally made a decision that was good for the nation with the election of Kamla.
    Sensless in fighting is threatening to destroy the nation. How many citizens, their parents, and or even grandparents lived in India, Africa, and or China for that matter? I bet it’s not enough to make Trinidad and Tobago an extension of any one of those places. After all of these decades of assimilation, our nation seeks to make over the face and social norms of TNT?
    If anyone wishing to be in public service cannot represent the needs of everyone without bias, then they should not be in office or of service.

  24. Ain’t this something’ & are we not ecstatic for the fact that our less frigid minded buddy ,Loyal Trini, is finally enlightened, as to the real realities of his country , due in great measure to an article by Sistaz Sheila Rampersad? When this simi slick author is prepared to avoid revisionism, or overgeneralizations, but rather place blame where it is warranted, then ,and only then ,we will begin to make tentative steps towards sustainable development.
    Isn’t it amazing how the ugly Spector of racism , a la ethnic head counting/ stocking,(dis is our time)only raises it’s head’when chiefly members of ‘South Asia-Hindustani /islamic nation,’are given some semblance of power, or they are force to survive in societies where the dominant force ,is viewed -by them -as their inferiors- chiefly folks of color?
    They often tend to be quite docile, when confronted with de ultimate triumphalist , in those European folks. In short, folks they feel inferior to.
    Oh AfoBuddahSunGod, who resides in our heart,and not some white, sky heaven,forgive me if you can , for having nada but contempt , for self loathing, selfish,historically corrupt, culturally depraved,morally bankrupt creatures.
    I continue to luv this land, and will do all that’s within my power to ensure these sometimeish patriots not destroy it .

    Stay strong my historically abused/ neglected Tobago, ‘for dis too shall pass,’ ennnt?

  25. lol.. wow, i don’t like politics at all..but i read this whole thing. interesting because i agree with thoughts from both sides.
    Still, all i can really attest to is the educated Indians stamped all over prestige schools in Trinidad. But can I blame them for being determined and good at what they do? Or is this so much more than that..and maybe i’m just super naive (so I’ve been told). Hmmm.. and as a Tobagonian, there’s even more to uncover, because i’m told Trinis think we dotish. Lord have mercy on us all, cuz I love meh country, and it have nowhere else to call home.

  26. people like Tman and Mamo are the typical.The PNM did every possible to make sure that indian people in Trinidad got what they have today;Its about time to call a spade a spade .While black people in Trinidad was busy building what is T+T today most indian people in trinidad wanted nothing to do but be an indian living and benifitting in trinidad,Saat Marajah would say thet steel pan cannot play in mahasaba schools if he daughter marry a black man he will disown her while sucking tax payers subsidee in the land of STEELPAN and CALYPSO and this is the problem now that T+T is on the world map people like Tman and Mamo wants Trinidad to be represented on all international forom with a people should have some shame and really think seriously about solutions because where this is heading is not going to be sweet for nobody.Eric Williams give the lands of T+T to indian people state lands because at the time most could not speak english not to mention read and write They have done well and i take my hat off to them that is how you do it you’re given an opportunity then take it eitw both hands.If PHM wasnot corrupted with they rum and roty party indians could reach where they are today.In every ministry that Kamal was placed he filled it with indian people ?what Kamal had before Eric william took him into the party or what was his qualification.What does he have now?So lets forget the petty tit for tat and forcus on solucions if we want to see a happy end to this .We all know where this is heading lets not fool ourselves.I always say black people in Trinidad nee to take a page off the indian man experiance they started with a basket on their head and today they are prime ministers and presidents and lawayers asn the lott a round of applause to them that the way to do it thanks to the PNM .If the majority of indians in Trinidad were like Bobby Mohammed and Drupati then we will surely be on the road to equal freedom and collective living but sadly the great majority are like Tman and Mamo weather they like it or not the culture of Trinidad and Tabago is and always will be Steelpan Calypso amd Limbo.the faster they wake up to this reality the faster we on the road to collective Living

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