Sunity: Media partly to blame for racial tension
"It has not only created but deepened stereotype in the society. So that very often people are asked to comment on this, that and the other, we invariably got the extremists in that case"
SUE-ANN WAYOW email@example.com
THE media is partly to blame for the segregation amongst races and cultural groups journalist/Express columnist Sunity Maharaj has said.
Maharaj said the media has failed to reflect the whole of Trinidad Tobago society.
She was speaking during a town hall meeting at Presentation College, San Fernando on Wednesday.
The meeting was hosted by the Presentation College, Past Students Association. The topic for the meeting was " Challenging Assumptions about Race and Identity in T&T."
Maharaj who gave a historical background as to why racial discrimination began in the country, said the media have remained "Port of Spain centric."
She said: "It has not only created but deepened stereotype in the society. So that very often people are asked to comment on this, that and the other, we invariably got the extremists in that case".
Maharaj said: "It is not simply the news media, but the role that can be played by media in terms of engaging the society and showing the fullness of society because the conditions that created today's situation were all embedded in cultural silos."
Maharaj also questioned the government's multiculturalism policy, saying that many interpreted it as just " an allocation of financial resources."
She said: "The challenge for us today, more than ever, is about building bridges. It is about getting to know each other. But we will not. Nobody will cross the bridge, one to the other, until we could get enough reason for us to trust. There is only one basis we get the trust from. And trust comes in knowing."
Other panelists at the meeting included writer Raymond Ramcharitar, researcher and writer Dr Harvey Neptune and chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee Khafra Kambon. The moderator was Felipe Noguera.