I am a white American, and I am in love with a Trinidadian girl who lives here in the US at the moment. Due to the ignorant policies of the US immigration services, she may be deported soon, after living here for years. It is too late for us to get married. We have discussed the option of me going to Trinidad to live with her, and possibly moving to a different country (Perhaps Canada) later, when we can.
After reading many posts on this site, I'm a little scared to even visit Trinidad. I want to know, simply, how are white people perceived and treated in Trinidad? How do Trinidadians feel about Americans? SHOULD I be scared to go there?
I appreciate any help with this question.
baw999, I am also a foreigner living in Trinidad. The things you read on this site describes exactly the sad situation Trinidad and Tobago is going through.
White people in general (depending on the area you will be living) are seen as an "oddity" and most people believe you are wealthy just because you are "white". In a country where crime is escalating tremendously, you can well see why is a dangerous thing.
Here is a thread about how some Americans perceive Trinidad and Tobago:
White people in Trinidad are mostly treated "better" than those who are not white, simply because the colonial-type of mentality is very prevalent on the island. Nevertheless, a lot of them are not treated with respect because of grudges certain people feel towards them. So you will get both: You may get great service in a place because you are "white" and terrible in others because you are "white".
Trinis do not have problems with White Americans but you should be very aware of people trying to be your friend because they want something from you (they may want to use you). Some Trinis are experts on this so try to be wise.
Of course lots of Trinis won't agree with my views or the views of the non-typical Trinidadians, nevertheless this is the opinion of a foreigner living in the island for years.
I personally think (and of course this is entirely your decision) unless you are RICH and can afford those million dollar houses on the West (where mostly wealthy, whites and other minorities live) to stay away from what is really going on here, coming to Trinidad should be SERIOUSLY considered, not only because of your race but because of the crime factor discussed on our many threads here.
This Thread's title seems to be worded wrong. A 'white' person in Trinidad and a 'US Citizen' in Trinidad who is white are two different things in my opinion. Even further... A white US citizen setting up residence in Trinidad is yet another subject. There are a number of Threads here that talk about types and forms of harassment and 'local whites', I think those things may apply to you depending on how streetwise / carefree you are in your daily routine.
I would like to mention that there seems to be more white foreigners setting up home in Tobago than in Trinidad - you only here about a rare incident there.
Comments: I'm sorry but don't let people here online scare you away from this beautiful island. Ok I'm also a US citizen , I'm mixed with white , there are crime every where you go. I live in California ( West LA) and I see nonsense happen here and there. No matter where you go , there will be crime. No one ever bothered me down there. If you plan to go to Trinidad , just be yourself don't go looking for trouble , most people there are friendly , you wont know unless you see it yourself. I know how love is , I mean you wanting to go out of your way for some chick , I would do the same but ,hey just go there and check it out for yourself.
| Message Edited...|
Persephone: Type properly without net talk before submitting.
|QUOTE (JoePublic @ 30-Apr 09, 4:12 PM)|
| Name: Kelly|
I'm mixed with white
|No one ever bothered me down there|
Comments: Well, OK, but you are Hispanic yourself, which pretty much means that you are mixed race yourself. You and other Trinis know perfectly well that even upper-class Hispanics have a substantial amount of Black and Indian admixture are not considered either truly white or truly foreign. I bet local Trinis DO NOT view you in the same light as they would a really white Anglo, let alone an Anglo expatriate from the North.
Josh, you made me laugh loud. First of all, you do not seem to know much about Hispanic heritage and of course my own heritage (which is not black by the way lol ), so keep on topic by addressing the issue instead of telling me whether or not Trinis see me as "white" *laughs*. I have no problem with my OWN heritage, I cannot say the same thing by a lot of Trinis and their own heritage.
Comments: True, I do not know your personal ancestry but I do know the history of race relations in Trinidad.
You are right: Hispanic is not a race. It refers to culture and ethnicity, BUT modern Hispanics themselves are overwhelmingly of mixed-race heritage. Recent genetic studies show that even Argentines from Buenos Aires are on average 15 to 33% Indian and 5-10% Black, depending on the barrio.
Of course, you don't have to be a genius to see that as very few of Hispanics (except in soap operas) have blond/auburn hair and blue/green eyes. They are also shorter and tend to tan quickly because of the admixture dating back to the Roman Spain. So unless your parents came to Latin America from Germany or Ukraine AND are not Jewish, it's hard for a Hispanic/Latino to claim unmixed white descent.
Also, everything is relative. When Trinidad was under the Spanish rule, racial conduct was very relaxed. A light-skinned mulatto can be considered white. This is still true in any Latin nation where the notion of whiteness is applied very liberally.
After Trinidad passed over to the British, they were trying to avoid any mixing with Blacks and also undermine the Franco-Spanish elite of the island by claiming (and this was of course true based on genetic evidence) that as the nespapers put it in the late XIX century : "the Spanish and French families were touched by Negro blood" and thus lost their privileged status compared with the British who fiercely resisted any interracial admixture. It is exactly because of this process that the Spanish language quickly lost its ground on the island to French and then to English.
The British practice of strict racial purity ultimately stifled Hispanic interracial mobility and reinforced the two-tier polarized racial system in Trinidad. The Black empowerment movement, in turn, ousted the belligerent white Anglo-Saxon minority out of power.