Nov 26, 2011

Ethnic pride in Trinidad and Tobago | A Blessing or a Curse?


This is a Guest Post by my friend Dorrick Nurse aka Dancerboy from the Wack Radio Shoutbox. He is passionate about our homeland and very concerned about our current race relations. The article is presented here for your dissemination.

Here is the article:
There is a heightened awareness of ethnic pride in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. There has always been the Chinese Association; exclusive clubs like the Queen's park cricket club, hockey teams such as Casuals and Shamrock which were exclusively local whites. However, those ethnic groups were in the minority (and still are). Estimates put the current ethnic composition at, East Indians, 40.3%, Afro-Trinidadians, 40%, 18% mixed, 0.6 % white, and 1.2% Chinese and other, which will also include a diminishing Amerindian ethnicity.  Whilst ethnic pride is admirable, it’s anathema (a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction) to nation-building in a small country as T&T, with two major ethnic groups.

In the US,  ethnic pride flourishes, e.g there is the Italian-America, Afro-American, German-American, Chinese-American, and several other ethnic hybrid. Ironically, one does not hear about “White-American”, or “Caucasian-American”, because they are seen and recognized, not only as the dominant, but the ruling elite. All other hybrid ethnicity's, though holding on tenaciously to their identity, are blended into one big “Melting Pot”. Unfortunately, in T&T there is no such “Melting Pot”, so the ethnic ingredients rather than being blended, are being coagulated separately. And this is a recipe for disaster.

Given the numerical equality of the two major ethnicity, and their distinctly different social, political, and economic approach to life, there will be an inevitable jostling for ethnic supremacy. This jostling for ethnic supremacy could lead to unsavory divisions. I hope, and pray that my prognosis is off base.

In Toto (in all), I hope the politicians (all politicians) would get together, and have a frank and honest discourse on this potentially explosive development. This is not a pinprick, it could lead to people being pilloried. 

We need to heed the Jamaican’s Motto: "Out of Many, One People". That’s the only way forward to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.    

Santiwah:
Unless we realize that nation building does not and should not adhere to political beliefs (as in PNM are for people of African ancestry and PP is all about East Indians) then we will remain mired in the mud volcanoes of the 'Devil's Woodyard' still foolishly 'trying to spin top in mud'. These politicians talk about integration but continuously use race to divide for political gain. In TnT, instead of coming together, there appears to be a further division in the society based on race.  

In DB's article the bracketed words in purple were added for clarity and simplicity by Santi.

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