By Raffique Shah
December 07, 2014
“This is PNM country. The black African king anointed by the blood of Jesus Christ has decreeded (sic) that is we time again. We Africans will be the masa (sic) and the rest ah allya (sic) will be we slaves. Starting today the terror shall begin for all allya coolie and chin who feel allya better than we. Today is just a flat tire.”
For those who are reading or hearing about it for the first time, the idiotic but poisonous verses quoted above, with the PNM insignia inserted above them, formed a “flyer” that some patrons at MovieTowne found stuck to their vehicle windscreens last Saturday night. In instances, the victims found their tyres deflated.
The incident made the news over the next 48 hours, first with PNM officials stoutly denying they had anything to do with the flyer, then the UNC disassociating itself from it and condemning the “racist messages” contained therein.
At some point I saw MovieTowne chairman Derek Chin on television saying something (I didn’t catch his words), but as far as I am aware, that was the end of this sordid affair. Not a word from the police, nothing about the identities of the culprits (were their images and actions captured on CCTV?), nothing!
And I am angry, very angry.
This incident is clearly part of a diabolical plot by persons thus far unidentified but no doubt well heeled and well placed, to incite racial hatred in our exemplary multi-ethnic society which, for all its faults and in spite of efforts by politicians to exploit our ethnic and cultural differences, remains an oasis of harmony in a world torn apart by tribal and religious strife.
Even as the mighty US of A faces race riots and massive unrest in communities as diverse and disparate as small town Ferguson and mega-city New York, Trinidad and Tobago stands like a beacon of integration. I heard a Trinidad-born Ferguson resident, interviewed on television, heap praise on this country as she cringed with fear over racial discrimination and its fallout that erupt all too often in her adopted country.
Yet, there are persons in our midst who, in the pursuit of political power or seeking to hold on to the Treasury, think nothing of tearing us apart, inciting racial strife.
This nasty flyer could hardly have emanated from the PNM, since the party stands to lose most if people believe it did. No sensible person would deduce that the PNM, gearing up for general elections 2015 in which it would need considerable support outside its Afro-base, more so among Indians, would commit suicide.
Could it be there are elements within the PNM who might stupidly resort to race? That is possible, but highly unlikely. Such snakes would wait until after the elections, after a PNM victory, to attempt to shaft “coolies” and “chins”.
So if not the PNM, who? I do not think that the UNC would officially sanction such a campaign, knowing that it could backfire in several ways. Because if people, including Indians, believe that the UNC, in seeking to hold on to power, would stoop as low as to foment racial strife, they would sink the party so fast, the captain and crew would hardly have time to abandon ship.
I believe, though, there are powerful people within the UNC who want to continue feeding at the trough who are behind the race-hate campaign. This latest incident was not a one-off thing. The PNM reported that during its Divali celebrations last October, similar anti-Indian flyers were stuck on patrons’ vehicles.
And a few months earlier, during an anti-government demonstration, three men displayed placards that were racially offensive in the extreme. Then, in the face of probes by the media and the PNM, one of the culprits came forward and admitted that a man had paid them $50 each to carry the placards.
As far as I know, the police never interviewed the culprit, nor did they charge him. Why? Surely the police must sense the potential for mischief in these reckless acts. And it must constitute an offence (sedition? Inciting?) to publish, distribute or display such material.
The police might argue that they have to cope with so many serious crimes, why bother with a few fools. Well, if these fools have their way, the society would implode in racial strife that would make gunmen and gangsters look like toy criminals.
Too much is at stake here, most of all the tranquillity in our twin-island state, to allow diabolical minds to mess with what generations have worked too hard to preserve.
Personally, I do not see such satanic interventions disrupting the harmony that we enjoy in sweet T&T. But we need to unmask the men (or women) behind the campaign, expose them for the traitors they are.
Forget the fools who do their bidding for a few dollars: at worst, rest some hard “calpets” on them so they would pay for their sins on the spot-instant justice!
But find the real perpetrators, the financiers, the dividers who hide behind a veneer of respectability, ensconced in high offices, secreted in fortified mansions.
Look the Devil dey!