Fair character emerges anywhere, From towers or ghettos, From high-caste or low-caste, From all the universe’s air.
Race-Based Politics (RPB) has sunken its claws, not only here in Trinidad and Tobago, but in nations very visible to us, and, indeed, globally.
At a time of great difficulty, in the pangs of immense suffering, the death-call, people of African descent showed us the Highway Reroute Movement, a love of immense magnitude: ordinary folk, musicians, kaisonians, the poor, the priest and the church, the trade unionists, the infirm, employed and unemployed, the aged, fathers, mothers, children, young men and women.
People of Caucasian descent came with candles, in cups, while we were cast down, and showed authentic, genuine, ital distress and love to us and those close to us. On the other hand, only a sprinkling of East Indians showed empathy, support. People of East Indian decent were, in the main, remote. And, at worst, they traduced everything about the ideas and principles of the HRM.
This is because the political leaders of the main East Indian-based party, by themselves traducing and demonizing, told them to do so. Here is a dictionary definition of traduce: “To defame, slander, speak ill of, evil of, gossip about, misrepresent, malign, vilify, calumniate, denigrate disparage, slur, decry, sully, impugn, smear, besmirch, dishonour, backbite, revile, run down, blacken the name of, cast aspersions on, rubbish, knock, drag someone’s name in the mud, bad-mouth, dump on, do a hatched job on”. EXAMPLE: “It was regarded as respectable political tactics to traduce him on any grounds.”
This is being written, not to cast blame, not to attack and seek vindication; but to illustrate a point about our society. People generally will go about naturally showing love. Empathy. Respect. See clearly. But when afflicted by the virus of race, partisan politics, they are doomed. Defeated. Soon crushed, not knowing again, who they are, what happened to them, if they are coming or going.
Race-based politics kills. Any race-based politics is doomed to failure; for the simple reason, racial difference is a superficial category. Any idea, theory, conception, formulation, equation, based on it, like a house built on sand, will crumble. It cannot stand for long.
Hitler is but one obvious example. But racism is an ideology. It is radioactive. When the atom bomb of race fell, falls, it is not one man who is affected, afflicted; this ideology is radioactive, shared. We all share it.
Donald Trump is a mark of his own genotype. He did not make it. This is how he was formed. Spirals of deoxyribonucleic acid. Blonde hair, a pale-skin, very pale, almost pigmentless. He is also very rich. Part of the proverbial WASP, white Anglo-Saxon protestant race; he grew up in a Protestant, Presbyterian, family. He is aggressive, authoritarian, tough-talking. He is Republican.
All of these coincidences, incidences of history, biography, genotypology make him a negative marker. In the eyes of the proverbial black, proverbial white world. The progressives, the left, the liberals. In the eyes of some sharing his own genotype, Meryl Streep and JK Rowling, persons of sensibility; who feel they must emphatically disassociate; lest they be miss-identified with him.
What half the world seems to be saying about Donald Trump is that he cannot possibly be real, non-fake. It is not possible for such a white man to be “vir bonus”, a man of fair character. Like Pavlov’s dog, see him, and you snap. Bite, eat, snarl at him, eat up his shoes, hat, hands, wife, daughter, kith and kin.
A classical conditioning of global proportions! The mere sight of him brings back ancestral memories, feelings, injuries. Tears apart long-healed, healing wounds. “Aaargh! He sickens me. I cannot stand him. He is a congenital crook! A posturer, a racist, a demagogue, a good for nothing, except for himself!”
Not like Obama. He was cool. Friendly. Black. A dude. A man of rationality, before the crowd, the media, the cottage meeting. Lawyerly, well-pressed, smart. We have not been conditioned to think of such a man, an image, as really, a schemer, plotter, genocidal artist behind the scenes, who would fall to Hillary, as Samson to Delilah.
Not our conditioning, at all. Black folk cannot be so dishonest, scheming, plotting, Iago and Anthony (Othello and Anthony and Cleopatra) combined! Partisan politics and race will kill the world. It blinds us into irrationality and stupidity. Our own degrading defeat. It holds us by our proverbial “cojones”, shakes us in the air, will not let us go. It is a nasty, ill-breeding chemical. As nasty as Iago. It sets upon us and tears us apart, setting us up for our own, global ruin and destruction.
And at the end of the tale, like Oedipus Rex, when it is too late, if we allow us to be defeated by it, we too shall claw our hands to the heavens, plunge the pins of broaches into our eyes; have to be led offstage by our daughters and sisters.
(Dr Wayne Kubalsingh is a Trinidadian academic who has worn many hats including university professor, writer, activist, and tireless campaigner for authentic economic development.)