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Re: 'Manning's Ethnic Quotas For Central'
Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2006

by A. A. Hotep
November 29, 2006

Response to, "Manning's Ethnic Quotas For Central" by Stephen Kangal

To begin with, no intelligent person believes the Prime Minister's mixed community announcement was a genuine attempt to address the concerns of neglect and historical landlessness among the African community.

PNM and Prime Minister Patrick Manning have never showed any interest in addressing the educational problems that plague this country. The government does not support African historical programs to improve the mindset of most people. Racism and Colorism, with their inferior and superior complexes, which are legacies of slavery and colonialism, are institutionalized in Trinidad and Tobago. Not addressing historical imbalances is the reason most of our social problems remain.

Since the Prime Minister and PNM never showed any interest in dealing with our historical educational neglect, I see his statement as using race to play cheap politics. It's obvious that he saw an opportunity to expand the Caroni Land Distribution exercise given the quantity of land available, to include people other than Indian cane farmers. With the amount of land available, it is obvious that some Africans would get some land. He did not have to announce that he is trying to engineer mixed communities. In fact, he was trying to take credit for what would naturally occur if they offered the land to the poor.

However, given his statement about creating mixed communities, one could easily ask, "How is he going to accomplish his idea of mixed communities?" What formula is he using to determine the quota of Indians and Africans for land allocation? He should be challenged to explain how this quota thing would work. If he feels that other cases of unequal distribution of resources can be addressed in a similar way, then he should explain his government's policy.

I feel that Prime Minister Patrick Manning was being loose and reckless in another vainglorious attempt to appear to be doing something of significance.

Stephen Kangal's article, "Manning’s Ethnic Quotas For Central" in response to the Prime Minister's statement also contains some classical racist crap.

He said:

"Is this also a new policy on positive discrimination totally and exclusively favourable to Afro- Trinidadians without any commensurate consideration whatever for the ethnic majority in T&T?"

What the hell does he mean by that statement? So if some Africans get some of the Caroni Land, is he saying that the government owes Indians something comparable in proportion? What are Africans getting at the expense of Indians and what are Indians being denied in this exercise? Some Africans and Indians would be acquiring state-owned land even with the PM's stupid statement about creating mixed communities, so what does the government now owe the Indian community? Is Kangal implying that the Caroni state lands are exclusive to Indians and by giving some to Africans the government now owes Indians compensation? Only Kangal could explain what he means by that statement.

He raises another point about the ethnic majority Indians. Does Kangal know why the Indian birthrate exceeded that of Africans to the point that they became the ethnic majority? In a response on this blog, I mentioned the role of some doctors in encouraging African women to remove their wombs and tie their tubes as was reported by several African women on the airways years ago. Also, family planning programs and contraceptive use mainly impacted the African communities. Over the years mostly Africans were taking up the call to make fewer children. So today (and for approximately 15 years), Indians are the ethnic majority.

Stephen Kangal went further and said:

"No effort has been made by the PNM to manage and harness the economic and social wealth of T&T. There is a fixation to destroy it because it makes our African brothers and sisters very uncomfortable."

Again only he could explain what he really means by this statement. What is the PNM destroying to make Africans comfortable? When has the PNM ever been concerned with that? As a mater of fact, they have been trying to appease Indians in an attempt to get more Indian votes, so they historically allowed Indians to use the state media to propagate their Indian culture (with its built-in racism). That single exercise is the reason there are so many Indian radio stations today while there is no African cultural radio station. That is the reason most Indians can be encouraged to spend within their communities with a sense of cultural loyalty.

Africans have never been encouraged by the PNM to develop consciousness of our African heritage. PNM never felt they needed to do much to appease Africans as they always felt they had the majority African vote. Stephen Kangal cannot show evidence of what the government is destroying to make Africans feel comfortable.

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