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Independence? Ah few words from ah place called de Diaspora

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September 6, 2014 by Fensic

Just like larse year, ah get de honor ah playin ah small part in dis year’s celebration ah T&T independence. Ah get tuh write an deliver ah lil address tuh Trinis an East Orange dignitaries in New Jersey. Ah also get tuh be scared no tail cause me eh no speechifier. Ah even leave out part ah mih speech when ah tork.

It so bard when is time tuh eat an somebody say is me who have tuh say de grace ah does start tuh shake. Probably because mih heart does start beatin farse farse an mih mout does get dry. Ah know everybody eye go be close buh dey could peep. Dat is what public speakin could do tuh yuh.

Ah was able tuh do dis speech ting fuh de second year because I is part ah de Trini Diaspora. When yuh is part ah dat yuh does love yuh homeland so much yuh willin tuh do tings yuh never tort yuh would ever do.

Diaspora is one ah dem words ah learn recently. No matter how yuh say it, yuh does wonder eef people tink yuh showin orf. Plus it easy tuh mispronounce so it eh someting yuh does use when yuh limin. Ah guess it easier tuh use in speechifyin dan tuh say, people livin in somebody else country while dey roots in ah next country.

One ah de tings ah find is dat once yuh join de Diaspora yuh does become ah super Trini who love T&T more dan any Trini in Triniland. Yuh cyar get enough roti. Every week yuh makin ginger beer or sorrel or mauby. I for one know when is serious hunger no plate ah food does go dong as good as ah plate ah rice an peas wid stew chicken. Eef it eh have no macaroni pie ah boldface enough tuh ask how long it go take yuh tuh make some.

Doh even tork about Carnival as we does take dat wherever we go. Eef yuh never chip dong de road in Triniland yuh does be in de middle ah anyting related tuh Carnival when yuh livin in de Diaspora.

I did never tink ah would ah see brassieres in de national colors. Even capes like de wearer is ah real super hero an not just ah super Trini. No matter how yuh show de Trini colors as long as people know yuh is ah Trini. Dat important since each ah dem udder islands have dey own Diaspora an like tuh show orf, like dey in ting. Part ah being ah super Trini is tuh not let dem get away wid dat.

Buh ah digressin.

Dis independence celebration in East Orange is someting Trinis livin dey wuk hard wid de city tuh have an keep. It pleasin tuh see how Trinis does promote Trini culture. Even de mayor does be dey doin he own speechifyin about de role Trinis does play in de city. When yuh see all dem lil chirren runnin arong, it eh hard tuh figure out which country gettin de better ah de deal.

Is eight years now de city does lower de American flag outside City Hall an add de Trini flag below it before sendin de two flag back up tuh flap in de breeze. After ah week doh dey does take dong de red white an black. While it uncommon fuh US cities tuh be celebratin T&T independence, ah hear East Orange is de only one dat does celebrate doin dat flag ting.

So what ah say in mih speech?

Lord ah cyar read dat again nah. Just de idea an ah ready tuh hyperventilate. How about eef ah explain one ting den put de speech here?

De city elect ah new mayor an one ah de tings he do was review de agency dat does deliver water tuh residents. He eh like what he see so he ask fuh de resignations ah most ah de board, eef not all de members. Ah try an use dat tuh make ah joke. I eh know eef it buss cause ah was too nervous. Afterwards, ah ask mihself just how dotish ah really is fuh tryin ah joke like dat.

Before dem nerves come back, here is de text ah mih 2014 Trinidad an Tobago Independence Anniversary Speech in East Orange. Ah give it de Friday before de 31st:

Good evening everyone.

Time to celebrate another Trinidad and Tobago independence anniversary with the city of East Orange as it raises the flag of the twin-island republic.

First, belated congratulations to the new mayor who we thank for not asking for our resignations. I hope that means we will be back next year.

Mayor Taylor, after reading your August message and your changes to the East Orange Water Commission, I must ask; have you heard of WASA?

Last year, we stood here, side by side, looking towards the future with boundless excitement and faith in our destiny.

David Rudder described a spirit so fiery that nothing in the world doh bodder we. The portrait of Trinidad . . . and Tobago painted by the Mighty Sniper, described a small King Solomon’s mine that was over-whelming in worth.

Who hides their wotlessness when Kes The Band fires up to proclaim theirs?

I now know what Benjai meant when he sang that we made good company.

That’s us . . . Trinis.

But I’d like to know if anything in the past 365 days has moved the nation closer to where it resolves one crisis before lurching to another.

Government ministers continue to lose their portfolios. Is that a stain on the country or the trademark of what will become good governance?

While Trini viewpoints passionately diverge, the media of a neighboring country quotes a government official there as wanting a Trini style leader.

Careful. There are Trinis ready to package up and donate a certain leader, postage paid.

Last year, in a reference to the impact of serious crime, I wondered out loud about how great it would be if this year we could look back, relieved the plague had been eliminated. Instead, Trinis at home and the Diaspora must be doing their own wondering of if any government can meet its primary responsibility. Any government as the epidemic has outlasted two.

Still, change is occurring but I insist it needs to quicken before our grandkids pick up Sniper’s portrait and ask; where is this place?

In looking towards the future, we must temper excitement and faith with healthy skepticism.

Amendments to the election process and constitution?.

Good governance or power grabs?

Speculators are already predicting the deaths of democracy and racial tolerance. But, that is Trini politics—passionate, hyperbolic and politically incorrect.

It . . . is . . . the best politics, as long as one is not tied to the bacchanal.

By coming out to this celebration, we reaffirm that we have no plans to cut that umbilical cord.

For those who believe He is one, may God continue being a Trini. Regardless of beliefs, may He continue to bless T&T.

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September 2014
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