Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s assertion that a purported United National Congress (UNC) ad likens black people to monkeys has stirred up racism among the population.
An allusion to racism is the cheapest avenue available to politicians as it sows the seeds of discord and indignation, and serves to fuel the divide-and-rule strategy.
There is no doubt that racism exists in our society, but there’s a difference between blatant racism and accusations of perceived racism. Before Dr Rowley’s disclosure, I viewed the ad as a parody: the suffering of those who lost their jobs while politicians “gallery” themselves about in expensive cars without a care or worry. I assumed that the bananas and pawpaws were used to promote healthy eating.
I don’t believe that any malice was intended by the ad, and I’m ashamed to say that I was unaware that bananas are an insult to African people. All in all, the ad ought to be withdrawn. Race is, after all, a sensitive issue.
Politicians must desist from pulling the race card. Race is a poor substitute for real issues, and neither the People’s National Movement (PNM) nor the UNC can win an election without the intermingling of both major races across both parties.
As such, supporters of these parties ought to remain focused on what’s important to improve their standard of living and not allow politicians to distract them with allegations of racism, especially when it doesn’t exist.
I, for one, am happy that the foolishness will come to an end in one day.
Port of Spain