Monday, January 14, 2013

Another Sandy racist "Calcutta" statement takes ambiguity out of the question

The TOBAGO NEWS reported on Sunday that People's National Movement (PNM) candidate for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election on January 21, Hilton Sandy, made his "Calcutta" racist statement on more than one political platform.

One of his statements created a national uproar for which he apologised. At that meeting he was endorsed by the PNM's national leader Keith Rowley although Rowley condemned Sandy a few days later, suggesting he should apologise. And the PNM is still endorsing Sandy as their candidate.

According to the Tobago paper Sandy made the same racist remarks at a meeting in Argyle, which was chaired by Rev Eastlyn Orr. Chief Secretary Orville London as well as Youth Speaker Cherish Trotman spoke on the platform.

The paper said it obtained a transcript of Sandy's comments and reported what the PNM politcian said: “...before I leave, I want to leave this with you all. There is a boat coming from Calcutta. Do you all know where Calcutta is?” The crowd responded: “Yes India!” Sandy continued: "Well, ok! After the 21st January, this boat will be coming to Tobago full with these people and they will invade Tobago if you all did not vote for the PNM!”

The Sandy statement that caused the reaction made reference to an earlier meeting. Here's what he said:

"Be strong, do not let anyone distract you, your are focused, you are on a good ship, because as I told another crew down the road there is a ship at Calcutta waiting to sail to Tobago.

"That ship is waiting to sail to Tobago; they are waiting to get the results of this election. If you bring the wrong results, Calcutta ship is coming down for you! You must stop that ship!

"We must not allow that ship to sail and don't want that ship to sal what you have to do? Vote for candidate Hilton... Great is the PNM, and it shall prevail. (THA candidate Hilton Sandy)

Click on this link for the video of the comment by Sandy

Although Rowley later condemned Sandy for the "Calcutta" statement he did not do so at the meeting where Sandy spoke. In fact he endorsed the candidate:

"...the tireless Hilton Sandy.

"He knows what it is to serve. He represented the PNM for decades. He has done a fantastic job in improving the community of Roxborough/Delaford, and he still has energy, that drive, that desire and I ask you to support Hilton Sandy and send him back there.

"Send him back to the THA...Let him bring his experience to guide the youngsters who would put him there."
-Keith Rowley (from an audio recording. Quoted in the Guardian 10 Jan. 2013)

Read the story: 
Rowley endorsed Sandy's racist comment; condemnation was attempt at damage control

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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