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Using Madiba’s death for shameless campaign

 Nelson Mandela achieved international recognition as a freedom fighter, advocating change by nonviolent means (post imprisonment), as did Mahatma Ghandi. Mandela was greatly admired for his forgiving nature.

In world geography, to quote a former prime minister, T&T is a “black speck of dust”. As a consequence, our past freedom fighters, who were of no less stature than Mandela (some even went to jail), have gone unnoticed by the international community.

But who among us dares say Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler and the Right Honourable Eric Eustace Williams must walk behind Nelson Mandela? They can only walk three abreast. All three fought tirelessly for the freedom of the blacks from oppression. They sought to ensure blacks were treated as other human beings. It is noteworthy in all of this that the Indians in South Africa were not considered black and are still not considered black. Under apartheid, they were given special considerations. 

While Mandela died in peace, knowing his struggles were not in vain, Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler must be turning in his grave. The ashes of the Right Honourable Eric Eustace Williams may have ignited in agony. All they fought for have now regressed in Trinidad and Tobago to that of the position of the black South Africans before the end of apartheid. 

There is a diabolical plot to keep Afro-Trinidadians as low as possible in the national scheme of things. For instance, their schools are in disrepair and they cannot further their education. The communities in which they proliferate lack basic amenities. Hospitals and educational institutions are not being built in their areas.

Instead, their children are given a basketball and told to go and “bump ball”. Afro-Trinidadians are denied meaningful job opportunities, where recruitment is done in secret. The secret recruitment into the Strategic Services Agency, as exposed by investigative journalists, is proof enough of this policy. Afro-Trinidadian lawyers cannot benefit from a Government brief, whilst two-by-two lawyers of a particular heritage rake in millions in Government briefs.

There is also a vigorously pursued policy to discredit Afro-Trinidadian intellectuals. Millions of dollars are being spent in this pursuit which, while doomed to fail legally, also seeks to succeed financially. That is, impoverishment.

All the taxpayer-sponsored excursions to Mandela memorial events cannot mask or distract the human rights abuses suffered by Afro-Trinidadians in their own country. I will stop a bus and despite my obvious age the driver will demand my ID card or pass. A couple miles down the road, he will let a person of a different heritage, and far younger than I, proceed directly to a seat.

This day that is planned in honour of Mandela is just using a dead man to shamelessly campaign. It is blatant hypocrisy and charlatanism. Put a hold on this planned Mandela Day until the human rights abuses perpetrated upon one section of the population are rectified. 

Hilton Charles

via e-mail

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