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Abdulah slams xenophobia towards Dominicans
Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah has labelled as racist and xenophobic recent public comments over Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s call to house nationals from Hurricane Maria-devastated Dominica here in T&T.
Abdulah weighed in on this issue, which has generated mixed public reactions, at a press conference at MSJ headquarters in San Fernando yesterday.
Relating the biblical story of the Good Samaritan, Abdulah urged the public to be good citizens.
“We might not have the wealth that we had five years ago, but that is not the point. The point is whatever we have, we have to extend a hand in friendship and solidarity to those who are being beaten up, and in this case our sisters and brothers in the Caribbean have been beaten up not by bandits or thieves like the story in the Bible, but they have been beaten up and beaten down and devastated by category five hurricanes and the message is the same.”
Urging citizens not to take the easy way out by “emptying our closets of clothes that we no longer want, Abdulah said, “The harder thing is in fact to have people come into our homes and to provide shelter to them because they have no shelter of their own in Dominica. And we are extremely disgusted, nauseated even, by statements that are xenophobic and racist.
“We have to call it out. They are xenophobic and racist statements - that we don’t want people from Dominica come here because we don’t know who they are, they might be criminals and they might do all kind of things and so on. Those are statements that are xenophobic. They are no different from President Trump and the white supremacists in the US talking about immigrants coming from Mexico or from Latin American countries, or the right-wing in Germany that just got 30 per cent of the votes in Germany, who say that they are anti-muslims and anti-immigrants.”
Touching on the upcoming budget, Abdulah said he expects to see more measures along the lines of austerity which will put the burden of adjustment and more on working and ordinary people. He also said he will be presenting the MSJ’s alternative budget at the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union post-budget forum on October 3.
He added, “The one that will be delivered by Mrs Persad-Bissessar in response to Mr Imbert, that is going to be merely party politicking at the level of parliament as to who could share more blows. Neither of them are going to offer a vision and neither of them can offer that because they have both been responsible for this country and both have failed to deliver upon the transformation of the economy and of the country generally.”
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