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Saving T&T from racial bogey
In spite of all our problems—and I do not feel that they are as bad as some would like us to believe—T&T has an enviable record with respect to the way the various ethnic groups live together in harmony. There are those who would like us to believe, even though there is evidence to the contrary, we have a racial problem, but I do not share that view. I prefer to see it as a racial and a class issue.
No way can we ever be counted among countries such as America, which has done a lot to improve its race relations and has instituted stiff penalties for dealing with civil rights and hate-related crimes. We have never experienced the American kind of situation. America has dealt with its share of this very emotive issue. Although we ensured that “every creed and race find an equal place,” we did so long before America and other much larger countries dealt with theirs.
Unlike South Africa, too, where apartheid pitted the minority whites against the majority blacks until the first free and fair elections in that country in 1994 broke down the hated apartheid system, which for years oppressed the majority black population. Racially-biased laws institutionalised apartheid, described by the white minority regimes as separate development, but which manifestly discriminated against the black population, who had to fight bitterly, resulting in the killing of hundreds of blacks over the years.