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Tobago: Whiteout it name or link tuh it wid de right bridge

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August 26, 2017 by Fensic



Imagine ah island havin tuh fight tuh regain it soul, heart an spirit. Imagine people like me havin tuh choose ah side since no spectators allowed.

Mih navel string pullin mih tuh join mih people but me eh really know dem an dey doh know me. Fact is, mih link tuh dem might dim buh it cyar out an right now it have mih sensin dey tired an real vex. Dey eh want tuh be de Arawaks tuh nobody Carib. Not eef it mean more advantage gettin take an more calpet.

Enough is enough de people ah Tobago sayin. Dey risin anger travelin by navel string wid instructions tuh parse it orn de same way.

Yes, dey want out ah dis two-island nation ting where dey role is dat of insulted an abused pardnah whose happiness next orn de list, after all dem places in Trinidad dat neglected.

No fair-minded observer would ask why is only now dis resentment lookin tuh bubble over. Not eef in de early days ah statehood, dat same observer used tuh ridicule dotish family, friends or strangers by askin eef dey was from Tobago or what. Worse, mih good pardnah does laugh when he remember dis fella he was in college wid. Everybody tort he was ah idiot so guess what dey use tuh call him? “Tobago”.

Is de goal tuh make Tobagonians dislike dey own soul? Ah have tuh ask cause I not sure what role de term, “Trini” playin in all dis.

Tobagonians supposed tuh what, sing dat dey is Trini tuh de bone? What about dat udder tune which not even tryin tuh be subtle. It does say, “Ah from Trinidad an Tobago” den say boldface boldface, “ah is ah Trini”.

What born an bred ’bagonian does sing dem words? Maybe one who just hear dey island get insulted an den hear ah song rejoicin being from de insulter island?

Eef only it did stop dey.

How often people who should know better, includin govahment officials, does just say, Trinidad, when dey meanin Trinidad an Tobago? Sometimes one or two does pretend tuh cyatch deyself an add de, “an Tobago” part like eef de two island just join.

De solution tuh dat continued insensitivity is tuh rename de country. How about Trinbago? Fair-minded people does already say dat.

Is dat all it is doh?

Tobagonians feelin bard eef dey not singin bout, “islands in de sun”? All dey have tuh do tuh stop dat feelin is fuhget Tobago? Just like de people who know better does do. Notice dey doh ever fuhget de “Trinidad” part.

Ingenuous I say.

Is how many years ago Tobagonians get used tuh what I call, dese brainwashin attempts?

In de beginnin dey didn’t use tuh take dem orn cause de Bird ah Paradise an de Scarlet Ibis used tuh sail orn time but, no more. Still, dey better dan me.

Arong 2002, I was orn de MV Beauport headin tuh Scarborough when de boat slow all de way dong an limp into port early o’clock next mornin, hours late.

Reporters was waitin tuh ask vex passengers fuh comment. De onlyest people wid nuttin tuh say was dem runnin de boat. Not even ah fake, “allyuh? We sorry.”

When ah look back, ah see dat as ah watershed moment. Before it I did suspect Tobago was gettin de shaft. Since dat experience, mih sense of how unfair tings is sharpen tuh where ah real conscious ah when Trinidad being patronizin one minute an condescendin de next like eef dem is it onlyest two choices.

Despite all de dire warnings from Tobagonians look what still went an happen.

“No barge,” Tobago say.

“Allyuh gettin ah barge even eef we have tuh sail it up allyuh bax . . .”

In de end, no matter what goods was comin from Trinidad, by de time it reach Tobago it had “salted” in it name.

Salt fish? Salted salt fish.

Sugar? Salted sugar.

Salt? Salted salt.

All because ah de sea spray but more one side certain it did know what was better fuh de udder side come low or high tide.

So, will de central govahment, as de people from de sister isle does call lawmakers in Port ah Spain, take whiteout tuh all instances of, “an Tobago”? Not even wid what ah sure is ah pissed Tobago pointin out all past examples ah arrogance, plus dis larse straw dat just break de camel’s back.

I hearin reasons why secedin not good. Fuh Trinidad.

Lord, anudder country tuh beat we U15 footballers like de bobolees dey is?

How we go advertise de country once peaceful Tobago gorn?

Could we go back tuh insultin Trinis by callin dem Grenadians?

Who go replace Rowley, al-Wari or Imbert?

Watson Duke an dat swim? Steups. Lord, doh let Tobago donate he tuh we. Maybe he go get trap in all de Sargassum.

All dem money-makin opportunities pretendin we cyar fix de sea bridge gorn.

. . . Wait! We wouldn’t have tuh look like Tobagonians no more? Hmmm . . . dat could be ah positive ting. 

Just brace Tobago. Once dem excuses fail, de heavy guns go come out. Dey go look tuh shame allyuh into standin dong.


Allyuh eh have talented enough people tuh run allyuh new country,” go be de first shot.

Doh study none ah dat. Tobago people more dan have de smarts. In fact, Tobago have so much smarts, it could wet lease Watson Duke tuh Trinidad.

Politics? Tink about de caliber ah men like de late ANR Robinson, now Rowley.

De judiciary? It have Ivor Archie at de helm.

Hilton Guy eh had tuh audition once tuh be poleece commissioner. How long now since Stephen Williams tryin out fuh it an he cyar even parse actin?

Orn top ah dat, when Tobago become independent an seal it own borders, no one set ah poleece go be needed. After all, is Tobagonians dat docile.

De one problem I could have is de role ah tourism. I not in favor ah it as ah major revenue earner when it involve Europeans an developin countries. Dat image ah subservience doh sit well wid me.

Luckily, (as eef I did count), dat not go be at play wid Tobago’s nearest international tourist source. Just doh stop dem Trinis from drivin dey car orn an orf de boat. Ah boat by de way dey go marvel at, wonderin how come dey govahment couldn’t have one like it fuh dem all de time.

Steups. Even when dey torts should include Tobago, look what Trinidad does do.

It have tuh come dong tuh Tobago goin it own way?

I really doh know.

Because ah what perception is, Trinidad objectin tuh hearin it dismissive, condescendin an insensitive to Tobago is irrelevant. Likewise is any argument from Tobago dat it not like de tourism brochure. What matters is both sides recognizin dey have different psyches an decidin how tuh stay connected.

Could be bridges linkin two island into one country in more ways dan one. Eef dat fail all any udder link could do is join two islands two countries.

Dat would be sad.

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August 2017
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