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Thread: Race relations in Trinidad

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    Quote Originally Posted by Juliet
    Ah boy! somebody finally gets it.
    (even if you dont realize it)

    Oh I do get it now, continue on...........
    Money can't buy happiness, but it will buy the type of misery one can enjoy.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    Of course there are race relations problems in Trinidad. Can you put five or six completely different cultures together and not have those kinds of problems?
    Thats like putting oscars, angels, goldfish, and cichlids in a tank and not expect them to fight.
    One thing that has helped me to understand this is fictional caribbean literature from authors such as V.S. Naipaul and Ismith Khan
    There is also a book called "The Book of Trinidad" which gives a very vivid picture of how these problems may have evolved over time.

    In one scenario of history a picture is painted of Africans being given land after slavery but doing nothing with it.
    In another scenario East Indians were brought in as cheap labour to replace African workers and planted up land which some Africans didnt seem to want to do.
    There are even stories of African men who gambled away their money and property, and "trusted" so much groceries and rum from the Chinese shop keeper that he ends up giving his land to him as payment. Leaving the black man in an underdog position for many years to come.
    Our first Prime Minister Eric Williams who was the symbol for black power after Independence, and who now many East Indians in leadership positions say made the East Indian population suffer for all the years he was Prime Minister.

    These things and many, many others have made their contributuion to the race relations problem which exists today.

    I think however, that our society has grown to be a more tolerant an integrated one over the decades. For example, until recently chutney became more involved as an artform in Carnival. In years gone by , chutney by itself was never really promoted as a part of Carnival activities.

    Look another example of integration is the various ethnicities represented in churches all over Trinidad and Tobago. We have East Indian and African shouter baptists, pentecostals, catholics, anglicans, SDA, you name it.

    Those problems will always exist, but for evey story of race relations gone bad there are five that say differently.
    We find comfort among those who agree with us- growth among those who don't.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    Quote Originally Posted by Juliet
    Your opening statements recklessly insinuate that there are race relations problems between persons of African and East Indian Descent.

    Do you have any statistics to show this? No empirical evidence, any evidence, just talk from your Trinidadian friends?

    Come on man- set an example...
    Nice try, but you flopped.

    My openning statement/question was:

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCryptoKnight
    How well do the different racial groups get along in Trinidad? Is it true that the Indians don't like the blacks and vice versa? What's the real deal? What's the history?
    I started by asking how well do the different racial groups get along. No insinuation there.

    I then asked whether it was true that the Indians didn't like the blacks and vice versa. I sought to determine whether this notion was true or false. No assertion was made.

    Then I asked what the reality was. I was soliciting an explanation of how things really are in Trinidad. Again, no assertion made, just a request for information.

    Finally, I asked what was the history of the race relations - whatever they were. That again is a request for information, not a proposition, assertion, or statement of fact, or even opinion.

    Yes, I have heard things from Trinidadians and Jamaicans who have visited Trinidad as to how race relations are over there. However, at no time have I said that what they said was fact, or the whole truth.

    Next time, read more carefully, and understand before you try to find fault with what I post.

    It's interesting that you initially answered my question without problem, then sought to 1-Up me, then in your last post, answer the question according to the true spirit of the question.
    Last edited by BlackCryptoKnight; February 21, 2006 at 09:53 AM.
    Working for a better future.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    One thing that has helped me to understand this is fictional caribbean literature from authors such as V.S. Naipaul and Ismith Khan
    There is also a book called "The Book of Trinidad" which gives a very vivid picture of how these problems may have evolved over time.
    I read a house by Mr. Biswas and I got the impression that V.S. Naipaul is a racist. Nontheless it was a good read.

    I am a Jamaican who has been visting Trinidad since 1999 and I also lived there for almost two years a few years back.

    I can say with certainty that there is without a doubt a lot of mistrust between the indian and african community. I think that politics plays and big part in this division. The population of Trinidad is 45% Indians and 45% Indians and 10% others. Then there is Tobago with it's small population and there seems to see themselves differently due to the different history having changed hands repeatedly.

    Can I tell you that from my everyday interactions there the people are so wonderful and colourful. I have friends who are Indian, Blacks and in between. For the most part I cannot say that I have been treated differently because I am african.

    The politices in my opinion is what causes the divisions. Without a doubt both sides play the dangerious game of race for ploitical gain. However I think this is overated. If you look at the PNM (Predominantly supported by blacks)and UNC (Predominantly supported by indians) you would see that both have top members who come from the different group. Jack Warner is a member of the UNC.

    Interestingly I have been told that the UNC needs black support to win while the PNM does not necessarily need indian votes to win.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    lol ....not to stray too far off topic now ....but these little battles between BCK and Juliet have become quite amusing......

    they seem to going thru each others post to find that little fault ......


    carry on
    dem call me hot steppa .....mudera!

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    Quote Originally Posted by gravyflex
    I read a house by Mr. Biswas and I got the impression that V.S. Naipaul is a racist. Nontheless it was a good read.

    I am a Jamaican who has been visting Trinidad since 1999 and I also lived there for almost two years a few years back.

    I can say with certainty that there is without a doubt a lot of mistrust between the indian and african community. I think that politics plays and big part in this division. The population of Trinidad is 45% Indians and 45% Indians and 10% others. Then there is Tobago with it's small population and there seems to see themselves differently due to the different history having changed hands repeatedly.

    Can I tell you that from my everyday interactions there the people are so wonderful and colourful. I have friends who are Indian, Blacks and in between. For the most part I cannot say that I have been treated differently because I am african.

    The politices in my opinion is what causes the divisions. Without a doubt both sides play the dangerious game of race for ploitical gain. However I think this is overated. If you look at the PNM (Predominantly supported by blacks)and UNC (Predominantly supported by indians) you would see that both have top members who come from the different group. Jack Warner is a member of the UNC.

    Interestingly I have been told that the UNC needs black support to win while the PNM does not necessarily need indian votes to win.

    Gravyflex- atleast you read the book, which speaks volumes.
    Your post was quite refreshing and paints a very vivid picture of what goes on in Trinidad- I think primarily because you lived and visited here. Firstly you pointed out that there was mistrust between the specified groups , but then you also pointed out that for the most part you cannot say that you have been treated differently because you are african.
    This is the culture within which Trinidadians exists. There is some kind of love-hate relationship going on between several ethnicities in Trinidad that even I can't explain sometimes. I think this goes on sometimes because of groups who are trying to hold on to their identity, without getting lost in the callaloo of traditions, cultures, and maintaining the "purity" of the ethnicity for all groups alike.
    For some it is this very potent mixture that has become our culture; which I think makes it very unique.
    Like you said politics has a lot to do with race relations in Trinidad; but in my opinion it too has a limited grasp.
    We find comfort among those who agree with us- growth among those who don't.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    For some it is this very potent mixture that has become our culture; which I think makes it very unique.
    Like you said politics has a lot to do with race relations in Trinidad; but in my opinion it too has a limited grasp.
    For me all the talk about race is nothing more than a storm in a tea cup. On by bar hopping around Sando I can tell you I have knocked bad a few Stag with people who are indian, african and some I can't guess what they are even if I had to.

    I have had experiences however where I have been in a store and the attendant (who's indian) walks off while I am in mid sentence to attend to an indian who just walk into the store. This has happened to me more than a couple of times and I can't say it is all in my head.

    What annoys me also I find that most indian store I go in to the usually indian clerk would walk around the store with me. It's not like they offering to help you. You feel as though they think you are going to steal somthing so they are watching you. I can't get used to that.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    Quote Originally Posted by gravyflex
    What annoys me also I find that most indian store I go in to the usually indian clerk would walk around the store with me. It's not like they offering to help you. You feel as though they think you are going to steal somthing so they are watching you. I can't get used to that.
    Dem tings deh happen to black people all over the world it seems. It's even happened to me here in Jamaica, in a store in Manor Park. The attendant was white though.
    Working for a better future.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    Quote Originally Posted by gravyflex
    For me all the talk about race is nothing more than a storm in a tea cup. On by bar hopping around Sando I can tell you I have knocked bad a few Stag with people who are indian, african and some I can't guess what they are even if I had to.

    I have had experiences however where I have been in a store and the attendant (who's indian) walks off while I am in mid sentence to attend to an indian who just walk into the store. This has happened to me more than a couple of times and I can't say it is all in my head.

    What annoys me also I find that most indian store I go in to the usually indian clerk would walk around the store with me. It's not like they offering to help you. You feel as though they think you are going to steal somthing so they are watching you. I can't get used to that.

    You actually shop in those kinds of stores?
    At this point in my life i've managed to accumulate a series of businesses that truly appreciate my time and money. I have developed a close relationship with these persons and go nowhere else and vice versa. Unfortunately you havent been in Trinidad long enough to know how certain types of "networking" works and how it benefits you; or else you wouldnt be shopping where people follow you like you're going to steal something...
    We find comfort among those who agree with us- growth among those who don't.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Race relations in Trinidad

    i need to go walk up and down in that place and see all this stuff for myself. just because.

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