Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Darryl Heeralal fired for racist Facebook posting

Police on duty on the Beetham Highway to try to quell riots
Darryl Heeralal has been fired for racist remarks he posted on Facebook on Sunday condemning protests in Sea Lots and suggesting that the people there should be shot.

The community staged a violent protest shortly after a speeding car crashed into six people near the Beetham market killing a woman and her two young children. Three others were injured and sent to hospital; one of them has since died.

The speeding vehicle was driven by an off duty police officer. The residents were angry because they feel that police on the scene gave preferential treatment to their colleague and removed or concealed evidence that could have led to charges of drunk driving.

Read the story: 

Speeding car kills mom and 2 daughters; Warner says 'robust investigation' started

Heeralal wrote about the protest on Facebook using the pejorative "N" word to describe the protesters and suggesting they should be killed. "
I make no apologies" the FB posting said.

He was at the time working as a freelancer with WIN Communications, which runs a television service and a radio station in Chaguanas.

In a statement, WIN said it was “shocked, taken aback and in many ways repulsed by comments” made by Heeralal.

“WIN Communications wants to condemn in the strongest possible way such statements. They in no way reflect the views of this company, its management or any of its employees,” the company said.

The company stated that media are charged with a “very sacred responsibility, one that puts the onus on us to represent the views of all the people.

“That responsibility is even deeper in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, which comprises a mixture of ethnic as well as social groups. Even more than politicians, the Media in Trinidad and Tobago must guard jealously the fundamental values that allow us to transcend racism and divisiveness, and champion the cause of togetherness and national unity.

“WIN Communications believes deeply in those fundamental principles, and we have worked assiduously to safeguard that,” it added.

“It is an affront to every employee in this company, as it is to the country as a whole, to make statements that seek to divide or condemn along lines of race. Even worse in a way that seems to incite violence against any particular race.”

WIN said it has had discussions with Heeralal, who “who will no longer be affiliated with Win Communications in any capacity”.

On Sunday, police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the angry residents. National Security Minister JacK Warner visited the area on Monday and promised a full investigation into the accident.

Here's Heeralal's apology From FACEBOOK:
Darryl Heeralal
On Sunday 24th February I made comments about the unfortunate and horrific accident at Sea Lots which took the lives of two children, their mother, a fourth woman and injured two others. My statements can only be described as racist, insensitive, unfortunate, uncaring and crass. And for it I apologise unreservedly firstly to the people of Sea Lots, Beetham Gardens, Laventille, Maloney and also too all those who I offended by my racist and inappropriate statements. I also wish to apologise to my friends many of whom are of African heritage and especially to my former wife and daughter both of who share an African heritage. In posting my comments I had sought to draw attention to crime, urban poverty and fear in the society. However, I definitely misspoke, spoke of time and in so doing I have brought irreparable harm, damage and unnecessary pain by my vile words, to those who were impacted by the accident in this their time of grief. My statements were particularly unfortunate and distasteful especially coming in the midst of the sorrow, hurt and pain caused by the accident and the plight of the people of Sea Lots. I take full responsibility and accept the full consequences of my actions and again apologise to all those who have been impacted by my lack of judgment and humanity.

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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