You might have missed it, but this week Ambassador Neil Parsan, a man who was appointed to represent all of Trinidad and Tobago decided that he was only batting for Indians.....but not to worry, his wife is a black woman....he says....so that makes it ok. We can trust him to do his job. I wish I could direct you to the speech that he made, but it's been removed from the embassy's website. But in it he referred to Indians as being the most well to do and progressive ethnic group in Trinidad and Tobago. Indians make up roughly 40% of our population, so in one fell swoop Parsan managed to paint every other group as a bunch of ketch ass parasites. The argument put forward by some supporters of the UNC is that the Ambassador pulled a Romney and was speaking to a specific interest group made up of a specific ethnicity and so tailored his speech to suit.....my response after my semi choked Bullshit is this: Parsan is a diplomat, not a candidate for a political post; he is supposed to represent every group in this space; and playing the race card in front of an audience is extremely undiplomatic. That's not his job. Romney's 47% speech was bad enough for all its undertones and stereotyping of Liberal America as a bunch of freeloaders, but how dare Neil Parsan decide to stereotype citizens of this country in this way. So no other group has achieved anything? Every single ethnic group here has contributed in some way or the other to the country's development. The much maligned urban depressed areas are where much of the culture that has made us internationally known comes from. The Chinese, Africans, Amerindians, Arabs, Portuguese, Europeans have all contributed. So how on earth can Parsan decide that the most well to do and progressive group is the Indians? Is he implying that the other 60% have done fuck all? And what about other Indian activists that just this week claimed that Indians are the most oppressed group here. How do you get to be the most well to do and the most oppressed at the same time?
Do we really want to go down the road here of discussing who contributes and how?
If we were to just look at which group pays the most taxes in this country something tells me the results going to paint a very disturbing picture about who contributes and how. If we were to trace where and how the drugs and arms trade starts and where it ends up, something tells me that we are going to have a very interesting picture of Trinidad and Tobago, crime and contributions.
But let's stay away from hypotheticals for now and just consider what Parsan's comments mean.
Because you see, if Parsan had an appreciative audience for this speech it means there are Trinbagonians among us who agree that Indians are the most progressive group in the country. And yes they have made huge strides, moving from being immigrant peasants to the driving force behind the local business and finance sector. But the country is not just made up of business and finance.
For Trinidad and Tobago to be what it is everyone had to contribute in multiple ways. And every group here still has a long way to go.
For Parsan to decide to single out one group is one thing, to pass on erroneous unsubstantiated information just for the sake of stroking the egos of his audience is quite another....and GOPIO? Really? In a multi ethnic space we still supporting and humoring groups that representing the interests of only one ethnicity? When will we learn that a nation is more than the sum of its.....it is its sum total....period.
This ethnic thinking is getting us no where. We still stuck thinking in percentages, and shares, and pieces and parts. That is the new politics promised to the nayshun, I guess.
De Vice Cyah Done!