Post Date: 13th Oct, 2006 - 2:07pm
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That could also be said about the US, with their segregated neighourhoods, racially-motivated crime, politically-correct "Ethnic pride"...
Trinichic, but you are not answering directly the question given ;). We are not talking about the US, we are talking about Trinidad and Tobago whether it happens in the US or not I do not think has relevance on the question presented. Every thread on this forum could be answered as "It happens in other places, too" What would be the point of discussion then?
Gossip, I do think some Trinidadians have a primitive mindset and they live in a state of mental slavery like I call it. Some of them are also backwards but it seems to be a characteristic kind of expected of people living on a Caribbean island where everything is more slow-paced and easy-going than other countries, even though Trinis in general think it is not slow-paced. *shrugs*
Now, with regards to people having a primitive mindset, particularly about race, let me share a couple of articles from some years ago that can illustrate the point, I am sure a lot of Trinis would condemn the word of the Belgium guy (Because a lot of them refuse to accept that this is a problem here and rather blame the guy that said it rather than analyze whether is true or not) but it is true in my opinion. Other Trinis say it "Happens everywhere" and even though the statement is true does not change the fact that it is indeed a primitive way of thinking.
"LOOK at you, you figure jus' because you have a white man you better than me," the Tobago shark and bake vendor told the Trinidadian woman, who had asked for a knife to slit open the bake.
Therese Cornelis was mortified and her Belgian husband Andre was shocked at the female vendor's comment.
The vendor continued her appraisal of the couple with an all-knowing look. Therese could only jump to one conclusion. "I could read it in her eyes that she was thinking he was too good for me, because he white," Therese recalled. The vendor was about 180 pounds and black.
Andre, who had only recently moved to Trinidad was at loss for words to describe the vendor's reaction to Therese's request for a knife to slit the bake to accommodate the shark.
"We went earlier to get crab and dumpling by the same women and she was extremely friendly to me but unfriendly to my wife. I was more than shocked when I realised what she was thinking," he said.
The couple, who met on the Internet four years ago and tied the knot one year later, has not had many anecdotes to tell of racial problems in this country. In spite of a few racial encounters the Belgium born and bred Andre admires the peaceful and tolerant attitude exuded by Trinidadians and Tobagonians towards each other.
He said: "You live so well together and show so much consideration to each other." Andre, however, was quick to point out some underlying currents that he has noticed since moving to the Caribbean.
He explained: "Trinis seem to be obsessed with what race there are in Trinidad and Tobago and what exact colour of brown they are and what exact colour of white you are." "I still can't understand this thing about 'red skin'."
Andre, 34, said: "One little shade lighter makes you one little shade better in your own society. That is the perception I get of T&T. "Race does not matter to me, I wish it did not to others too. Unfortunately it is a global trend that Trinidad has been caught up in."....
"We get a better quality of service wherever we go. It is amazing how the level of service rises to a new level when Andre is around," she said.
"One day I went into a local fast food chain in St James. I remembered asking one of the girls behind the counter if the special was still on. She ignored me and Andre walked in. The girl who was Indian jumped up immediately to serve him."
Therese continued: "We looked at each other and Andre said yes you can serve me by serving my wife first." "She looked at me and said, 'Ah did not hear you'." "It is typical colonialism attitude we have in Trinidad and Tobago. We jump when the white man barks," Therese said.
But being white doesn't always prove to be rewarding Andre pointed out: "When I go to buy something selling cheap, I can guarantee that the price will be higher for me."
He said this was especially true when buying house, land or getting things built for his home. "The fact that I'm white automatically inflates the price compared to the price my wife gets," he said.
Meet Ruth Singh-Ochoa, a wife and mother who has never regretted one day of her life with her mixed husband. He is mixed with Indian, but Leonard said his wife considers him African. Leonard's African heritage dominates his physical appearance and to the people who know him, he is referred to as a "Negro". Ruth said: "He looks negro but I don't care. He is the man of my dreams." Ruth is 36 and Leonard Ochoa is 61.
"I could never see myself living with an Indian man," Ruth vehemently said. Although official domestic abuse records show that the problem is not confined to one race, Ruth said: "I look at most of the domestic violence and I mainly see Indian men in the middle of it." She admits her happiest relationships have always been with men of other races, "Especially negros." "I don't know if this is racist because I am Indian, but there are some things I don't like about the men of my race."
Ruth got married when she was 15 and a few days before her sixteenth birthday met her present husband. She wanted to make it clear that her first marriage had already failed before she became attached to her present spouse. "It was a mistake but I got married to a guy I had met in church. I was 15," she said. There were hardly any objections from her parents, four brothers and sisters when she and Leonard decided to live together. "The only real reservation was about his age. But that worked out fine in the end," Ruth said. But the surprise came with a cold reception from Leonard's mother. Ruth said: "Whenever she talks about me it's coolie this and coolie that. In fact when she talks about any Indian she always refers to them as coolie." "I'm the only Indian daughter-in-law and she does not care about me or my family. She gets along fine with all her other daughters-in-law. If she visits us three times for the year that's plenty. She used to live a few houses away....
I honestly believe negro men treat Indian women as something special and cherish their wives. I feel cherished by my husband," Ruth said while going through the family album to show us her favourite pictures with her husband. When asked if this statement might be construed as racist, she said: "I don't know about that I just know that negro men treat Indian women better than their own and better than Indian men."
Her husband Leonard tried to explain: "Negro women like to push their men around and always want something." "I find that Indian women are more understanding and they listen to you", he added, "I don't know how my brother can cope with it." He admits that he is stereotyping African women by saying this, but is adamant that it has been like that with most of the African women he has known, including his mother.
Ruth agreed with him. She says she does not hate Indian men, just scared of them. ...
Full article: Source 2c
Did you all pay attention to the words of the vendor and couple from the first article? What about the Indian lady and Black guy from the second article?
Are these isolated cases? I don't think so. Happens everywhere? Probably. Is it a primitive way of thinking? You bet!