IN the recent US elections there was a tectonic plate shift in terms of the minority voting re Hispanic and Black voters being largely responsible for President Obama's stealth win. I say "stealth" win because many polls prior to that election saw Mitt Romney as the winner. The balance of power has shifted…the "tail" is now wagging the "dog".
This tectonic shift has to be understood within the context of the US being one of the most racist countries a la Klu Klux Klan brotherhood in the world. What does this have to do with race in T&T?
In examining our current situation, we have the People's Partnership looking after its supporters, Sat Maharaj and his subtle messages of race superiority, we have the radio hosts spewing their vitriolic race propaganda and you have Tobago's Hilton Sandy talking about the "Calcutta ship" coming to take over Tobago.
All of this is being perpetrated by political interests which use their different platforms—politics, media, religion—to perpetuate "race" as a strategy to divide and conquer.
But here's the spoiler, or paradigm shift in our situation. Twenty years ago, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) figures had stated that the "Mixed" race in T&T compromised ten per cent of the population. No problem, this figure is not significant. Ten years later, the CSO figures state that the 'Mixed' race figure has climbed to 20 per cent. Okay we see where this is going, and it indicates that sooner or later politicians who appeal to race to stir up election votes will have a real problem in achieving this electoral win via a "race'' strategy.
Furthermore, I would conjecture, that if CSO did an update now, they would find that the "Mixed" race figure would be up to 30 per cent. Wait a minute, if that is true, this means that the Indian and the Black segments would also be falling off, possibly to 32 per cent Indian, 30 per cent Black, and eight per cent Others. Guess which vote becomes the spoiler?
Bottom line, race will have to become a dead issue, because take myself, as someone of "mixed" race, I don't want to hear about Black this or Indian that…..I want to hear about the issues such as stimulating and diversifying our economy, reducing crime, putting an end to corruption…those are the issues that the "mixed'' race will want to hear about.
So tell me all you pseudo-racists out there hiding behind your religious, political, and racist propaganda…how can you convince the people of mixed race to vote for you?
You really need to think about this very carefully because somewhere in your family is an Indian/Black family member, or a White/Black one, or a Chinese/Indian one, or a Black/Portugese a whole combination of any one of these.
No one in this country can put the racial "mixing" back into the Pandora's Box of race along strict ethnic lines.
The game is over. Race has to become a "dead'' issue very shortly—otherwise the perpetuators of this toxic matter will pay the political consequences.