Battle of the stereotypes!
Also known as race relations in Trinidad and Tobago.
The good old Black vs Brown. Afro-Trinidadian vs Indo-Trinidadian.
Growing up, anytime I heard adults talk about politics it always came back to the stereo-types:
Indians are dirty corrupt thieves and blacks are lazy uneducated murders.
That's the gist of it really, everything else that follows tended to support or deny those claims.
I remember a school mate made a bad joke to me once: "How do you solve crime in Trinidad and Tobago? Get a nigger vacuum!".
It was not his joke, I think he got it from a family member.
Similarly, I grew up around a few blacks who had some choice words about the other majority race.
Anyone who says Trinidad and Tobago does not have racial tension probably hangs out with this dog:
Will it eventually explode into massive protests, violence and international press coverage? I highly doubt, though there are some players that could benefit greatly from that, it's simply not in our culture. The 2015 General Elections will be a nice indicator though.
As a young boy I used to tell myself that the issue of race was imperative to our parents but not our generation.
To me, it always seemed stupid to vote for a party solely because most of it's members are your skin color. Of course that was just childish reasoning.
As a nation, we have a lot more important issues to deal with like Government bureaucracy, obsolete systems, poor transportation, rising food prices, flooding and more. So who could blame a child for thinking these things were more important!
Of course most people can't focus on these things, we are too worried about employment, salary increases, debt, crime and housing.
The assumption is that the more you look like those in power, the better chances you have of succeeding in life. Indeed politicians have become notorious for creating such an economy. So between the Afros and Indos, everyone wants their race to get into power.
But this is the previous generations' way of thinking, not us right?
It seems to me that a lot of us have inherited our parents and grand-parents hopeless attitude towards life. That governance and decision making in the country has nothing to do with us.
I can't tell you how many times Ive been told "What are you worrying about that for?". It's actually kind of sick and really disturbing when I hear people with children talk like this.
We let people whose agenda we know to be unhealthy get into decision making positions and watch them mess up every single opportunity the country has to go forward.
We then blame it on the racial stereotypes or make excuses if our kind is in power.
Will it ever change? I don't know but for now it looks like we are in for more of the same!