Darrell Heeralal went Tarantino on us yesterday. When he finished whipping "niggas" there was blood everywhere. I've known Heeralal for more than a decade. The comment wasn't atypical. In fact it wasn't even new Darrell. He has a penchant for delivering his ideas in the rawest language, sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. Yesterday was a prime example of the latter.
The thing is, Heeralal vented an opinion that many people, of all races and ethnicities believe : that poor people, especially poor black people are sub-human and don't deserve to be treated with dignity. It is this attitude that makes us blind to their plight. It is also an attitude that is linked to both race and class. And if you went through all of Heeralal's comments yesterday, you'd see he was really focussed on class discrimination than race discrimination. Which is ironic, because Heeralal quotes Karl Marx ad nauseam. and I've often said to him he discusses Marxism and Socialism in a vacuum. So to see him let loose on the powerless underclass the way he did yesterday was a lesson in irony (cue Alannis Morissette).
Class discrimination is rampant in Trinidad and Tobago. The existence of the West Accent, the Convent Accent, the Prep School Accent and our enthusiasm at mimicking them is evidence enough. When it comes to poor people, especially poor black people, we are incredibly put out. How dare they be all up in our faces while we trying to be upwardly mobile? How dare they remind us that state wealth isnt distributed adequately and that some people have access to all of the resources; but most people have access to none.
We never see how daily they are oppressed and how it then results into a spill over of rage that leads to blocked roads, burnt tyres and police intervention.
Yesterday a man lost his entire family in seconds. Seconds. We can't return them to him. Yesterday and this morning that man is firm in the knowledge that he may never receive justice...ever. Because in this corrupt narco state of a country the cliques protect their own. In the midst of wrenching grief, this man knows that the person responsible for killing his family may never be brought to justice. The community of Sea Lots responded angrily, impulsively and violently. The police and armed services responded back.
Meanwhile, on a computer somewhere, a citizen, who happens to be a freelance journalist posts up a rant. It is both classist and racist. He sincerely believes that poor(economically) black people who protest should be shot and killed and cabbages planted on them. He is unapologetic. Within seconds, other people who have little to no clear details of the tragedy, but who also have a deep and abiding disgust for poor black people because they believe them to be a burden on society, click like on his status and add comments. Of the five people who clicked like, one is a police officer. Another one is a friend of mine; and yet another is an online persona I know who is quite comfortable with using the word Negro to describe and define Afro- descended people.
None of these people think there is anything wrong with Heeralal belittling the magnitude of the tragedy, or with him decrying vigilante style justice and then endorsing it with his own brand of vigilante justice. As much as Heeralal is disgusted by the violence of niggas...he has no problem suggesting violent measures of his own. Let's arm ourselves and shoot them niggas...and when we're done, let's plant cabbages on them....I mean we can recycle, right? All those black bodies will be useful for something.
Most folks missed Heeralal's reference to 1970 criminal Michael X. He was featured in that Jason Statham movie The Bank Job. Michael X was an alleged Black Power Revolutionary who murdered two people, buried them in shallow graves and planted cabbages on the graves...
Now, for the people who liked His comments, I'm curious...because he referred to Sea Lots residents asking for handouts....but no one asked the government for anything yesterday....and the government certainly never showed up to assist. Not a counsellor or grief specialist reach Sea Lots yet under this caring govt....like Glen Hamper Caravan get ah flat tyre in Sah Wah Chupke Chupke!
So yeah, for the likers of Heeralal's comments, explain this: Why when the government and businessmen and the wealthy minority holding us to ransom with high prices in supermarkets, reduced gas subsidies, CLICO, HCU, $$$$ dollar handshakes, handouts, contracts, airport fiascos, Constitution Fiascos etc.....nobody deeply pissed off enough about that to launch into a tirade? But a man loses his family, a community senses the corrupt police system about to hoodwink them and we lash out at them in united voices...quick to point out that we might be black but we ain't niggas? Really? That's pretty niggardly thinking....
How come Black people are the only people who are considered a drain on the economy when we lose money daily to fraud, corruption, overspending on govt projects etc......Beetham, Sea Lots and Morvant causing that?
And last question.....to the same people that was liking Heeralal's comments....what exactly is there to like about arming yourself, shooting a nigga and planting cabbages on him?
Don't keep me waiting on your responses now.....a nigga might burn a tyre up in this joint!
People who endorse racist/classist violence not normal....dey Full Dotish!