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I say race relations better dey dan any place else!

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October 20, 2012 by Fensic

Now dat I writin’ ah blog, gettin’ tuh cherry pick what I talk about is de best ting.

Let mih say most ah dat again.

Now dat I writin’ ah blog, gettin’ tuh cherry pick what I talk about is de worse ting.

How de same exact ting could lead tuh two opposites? Doh ask me dat as it eh me who say dat yuh greatest strength is also yuh greatest weakness.  ‘Strength?’ ‘Weakness?’ Dem eh opposites too? Buh dat eh stop yuh believin’ de sayin’, ent? So believe what I sayin’ too nah?

Ah mean ah could explain why what is de best ting is also de worse ting real easy.

It have plenty dat does go orn in Triniland. Plenty plenty. Ah lot hard tuh see wid all de smoke dat does geh blow in yuh face, all de hot air dat does leave yuh gasping in shock, all de caca dat does force yuh tuh watch yuh step, all de fingers dat does get point looking tuh jook out yuh eye.

Dem tings dat have yuh contorting and breaksin’, is ah blogger’s delight. Buh if said blogger go and get caught up in only de bacchanal, he go lose out on udder tings an’ end up one-dimensional.

Gosh, considerin’ ah was tinkin’ real hard about all dis fuh half de day, tuh now see what ah end up writin’ could break ah man spirit, buh ah plowin’ orn.

One ah dem instances of plenty smoke, hot air, caca an’ finger pointin’ give mih de perfect ting fuh mih topic.


During de week, de esteemed politicians of T&T engaged in one of dey recurrin’ race talk discussion dat does flair up among dem supposedly big people. It was about if de PNM or de PP more representative of T&T. When de PNM had power den tuh de ‘non PNM-ites’, dat party was de most racist. When it was UNC turn, tuh de ‘non UNC-ians’, dem was de most racist. Same ting wid de PP now.

If yuh live fuh anytime in Triniland an’ somebody eh tell yuh sometin’ demeanin’ about yuh ethnicity den ah question how long yuh live in de country and which part. Eef in turn you eh tell somebody sometin’ bard about dey ethnicity den ah question what kind ah Trini you is and ah wondering which beach de boat yuh reach in, land. Political incorrectness is ah hallmark ah life in T&T.

I eh naïve, at least ah hope ah not, tuh tink dat it eh have plenty people who was on de wrong end of vile comments an’ still feelin’ de sting. Ah have ah pardnah who mention dat only recently. ‘Dat’ being all de nasty tings he get tell an’ called by dotish Trinis while growin’ up in Triniland. I bet you know somebody who have dey own story even if de story bout you self.

Since de question of race is ah constant in T&T, here is where I anchored:

I fervently belief dat race relations, as practiced in Trinidad an’ Tobago, is better dan what any udder country on de face of dis planet, does practice.

Read dat over plenty time if yuh want. In each re-read, yuh go see I eh say nuttin about how good de relations is buh only dat it better dan what anybody else have.

Maybe on de planet where everybody blue wid red dots dey does do better. Ah hope dem red dots de same size doh.

On dis planet, human nature mean dat normal people does be most comfortable arong udders who ‘like dem’. Ah eh mean boyfriend an’ girlfriend ‘like’, buh de, ‘same as’, like. People does vote fuh udders who, ‘like dem’. Parents does breath sighs of relief when dey chile, especially dey girl chile, bring home somebody who, ‘like dem’. Home-owners does prefer tuh live in places were de neighbors ‘like dem’. Who at work want tuh share ah cubicle wid anybody who not, ‘like dem’? Nearly everybody does cuss everybody who not, ‘like dem’ at de drop of ah hat. It does be ah up close and personal tour of dey female family anatomy. At least dat is what Trinis does do. In udder countries, misguided people have killed udders different dan dem in hopes of startin’ race wars. Human nature eh.

All de differences tends tuh show up culturally an’ does mislead people who tink dey better dan ah next set ah people. Ah mean if me an’ you doh eat de same food, doh listen tuh de same music, doh tork de same way, doh dress de same way den one ah we have tuh be better dan de udder one. Since is you dat different, den is me who better. Simple geometry dey. Since I better, den everybody who look like me an’ does do what I does do, better dan all ah, ‘your people’. End ah story.

I does tell people dat in T&T, people does describe one anudder in ways dat in udder parts of de world dem descriptions is fight talk. So, is de Trini way de best? I eh know, buh ah sure it not all bad.

Ah mean it better dan in de US where people doh tork about race at all. De belief is dat if yuh eh talk about it, den it eh dey. Den when somethin’ dat have racial overtones happen, all hell does break loose. What in de US doh have racial overtones? All yuh have tuh do is look at one ah dem polls where blacks an’ whites does geh asked de same questions about race. One  group does answer like it eh have no racism an’ de next group does answer like eef everybody in de udder group is ah racist.

Back tuh T&T?

One time I was in church fuh ah funeral an’ ah look arong. It had every ethnic group dey tuh celebrate de life of de person whose funeral it was. Ah sure in dey life dat person use ah ethnic slur or two. Ah equally sure dat person never stop ah taxi, see de driver an’ passengers an’ decide because all ah dem was ah next race dat dey was goin’ tuh wait fuh ah next taxi. All I does have tuh do is look arong at how mix-up mix-up Trinis is tuh know dat plenty coupling goin’ orn an’ producin’ chirren dat have features not native tuh dey ‘original’ ethnicity. De same human nature at play.

Dat is T&T. Politically incorrect as hell buh everybody still eatin’ doubles an’ roti. Tuh de extent anybody does still eat dasheen an’ green fig, den everybody still eatin’ dasheen an’ green fig.

What I tink also helpin’ in makin’ all ah we one, besides de food, is de fact dat all Trinis know Trinispeak an’ does song de same way using it, an’ all de woman an’ dem know how tuh wine like dey waist on well-oiled ball bearings. In udder words, de cultural differences among de races gettin’ marginalized.

Yes it have dem who see deyself as gatekeepers tuh ensure de purity of dey race. While yuh have tuh be proud of yuh heritage, yuh know de sayin’, your pride cyar come at de expense of you puttin’ my ethnicity dong. We go have tuh fight when dat happen.

I remember back in mih college days,  5th an’ 6th form. De classmates ah used tuh run wid represented ah rainbow of colors an’ ah potpourri of ethnicities. Yeah yuh would get pong eef yuh couldn’t take fatigue, buh when was dat ever not true in Triniland? Be sorf an’ yuh was invitin’ more pong. Not so? Buh it was more dan just ethnic diversity in we group eh. Mih point is dat in we lime, as long as yuh could contribute tuh de shit tork, or somehow enrich de group, an’ of course take fatigue, we didn’t care about differences much. It was dat equality, as impure as it was, dat make we lime stronger. Is still de same ting now. Yuh cyar exclude udders an’ be stronger. Not only does dat not work, buh it cyar wuk.

So hear what ah tinkin’ now. Ah tinkin’ dat dis is ah next instance of de same ting resultin’ in opposites. Trinis does live wid race tork an’ it could be keepin’ de place stronger in ah strange sort of way as nobody eh hidin’ dey views. It also disturbin’ if yuh tink race tork mean racial fightin’ close behind.

Buh dis tork eh nuttin dat dat new. The Mighty Dougla sing about he predicament back in de 60s . Since den, plenty udders like he geh born. Listen tuh Dougla  an’ see if what ole eh new an’ what new eh ole. Me? Ah firm in mih belief dat wid T&T, race relations better dan anyplace else.


The Mighty Dougla – Split Me In Two … 1960s


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