Friday, December 28, 2012

Letter: Guardian going down a dangerous racist road

If the current policy of the Trinidad Guardian is to do away with balance, truth and excellence in favour of egregiousness, then last Sunday’s column by Maxie Cuffie, (“We will fall”), would easily take the cake.

“We will fall” ranks as one of the most reprehensibly racist attacks ever penned against any Trinbagonian, particular those of Indian descent! 

It’s the type of outpouring which, if submitted for publication as a letter to the editor, would never see the light of day, only the innards of the nearest trashbin, due to its highly hyperbolic and inflammatory content and intent. I’m amazed the Guardian greenlighted it.

Littered with blatant inaccuracies, “We will fall” wildly alleges the present government is on a deliberate course to marginalize the Afro-Trinbagonian population. 

Maxie Cuffie neglects to provide a single shred of supporting evidence. On that basis alone, he has againdemonstrated (if not confirmed) what his messianic mission is since returning to the Guardian newspaper. It is a mission appropriately identified in his choice of rubric -We will fall- a scornful reversal of the People’s Partnership “We will rise” 2010 general election battlecry.

An example of Cuffie’s hyperbolism is his matter-of-fact claim that the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is chaired by an Indo-Trinidadian.

Professor John la Guerre is EOC’s Chairman.

Cuffie must indicate when Professor La Guerre underwent a “genethnic” makeover.

But that’s not the main issue with his singling out Professor la Guerre.

The inescapable innuendo is that because “Indians” head the EOC, “Non-Indians” would have a hard time getting justice from Professor la Guerre if they venture there for redress.

So, what is Cuffie tacitly saying? That “Indians” are well-founded when they express grave reluctance of having to treat with official institutions not administered by “Indians”, such as the Trinidad and Tobago Police hierarchy? 

Or, that it’s okay for “Indians” to wonder whether they’d get justice on appearing before the Chief Justice? Or, that “Indians” have good reason to resist being subject to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), because no “Indian” sits on the CCJ bench?

The Guardian’s overseers need quickly to have Cuffie cool it, else run the risk of being viewed as feeding off what he writes. By continuing to give him the untrammelled leeway he seems to have brokered, the Guardian is setting up itself for a fall…in circulation. 

The fall will come when Indo-Trinbagonians and many Non-Indo-Trinbagonians one day simply say, “That’s it! We’ve had enough!”, then refuse to buy (or advertise in) the paper anymore…as no one spends money where the welcome mat says, “You’re not welcome!”

Lance Edison Tardieu, B.Sc, M.Sc, MBA | Point Cumana, Trinidad.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai