By Phillip Edward Alexander
Perhaps it is worthy to note in the conversation the stark contrast that, in many cases, the races that have had the least political power over the years, the Syrians, the Chinese, the Portuguese and the other numerical minorities have risen to become the economic power of the country, while those that have wielded political power for the longest period of our existence have remained stagnant and in some cases have gone backwards.
Phillip Edward Alexander is a social and political activist, a feature writer and columnist, the founder of the Jericho Project and the chairman of the Citizen's Union of Trinidad and Tobago
There has to be a correlation between the PNM's control of the political and economic landscape for the lion's share of our independent existence and 'their' people, their core supporters eking out a subhuman existence, living in the squalor and inhuman deprivation that is Sea Lots, Beetham, Morvant, Laventille, etc.
The numbers are astonishing.
What is the cause of this devolution that has seen over 200,000 of our brothers and sisters find themselves below the poverty line to the point that they can barely survive or feed their families?
All of the social negatives are at their highest in traditional PNM constituencies: Illiteracy, gang activity, homelessness, drug abuse, prostitution, violent crime.
The majority of people before the courts for violent offences and petty crimes are again, for the most part, traditional PNM supporters from traditional PNM constituencies.
Why is this?
This conversation has to be had, if for no other reason than to prepare the national community for a rescue of those now so set apart, blighted and broken, to bring those in those communities back into the national fold.
It also has to be had so as to expose the lie that the PNM has anything of any value to offer to any community in Trinidad and Tobago outside of their handful of obscenely wealthy 'behind the scenes' financiers.
The idea that our problems cannot be solved is a foolish notion that needs to be disabused. They all can, and easily too. Clearly racist and ethnic voting has damaged this country and hurt too many, and it is way past time that we the people of T&T took responsibility for our own development and pushed past the rhetoric and lies of the PNM.
Until Dr Rowley, or anyone else in the PNM for that matter, can explain to you in simple English why so many of our brothers and sisters of African descent and the people that are considered that party's diehard supporters could have found themselves where they find themselves today, ignore them.
Until they could tell you what would be a People's National Movement's plan to remedy it, the PNM has nothing to say of any value that any one of us really needs to hear.
When you hear or read the words of their apologists, do a little research. Check their condition, how they might have benefitted from this disgusting status quo, so you will understand why they have a vested interest in business as usual and will know what to do with their words.
You attempt to raise these issues and they call you a racist, but let them go ahead, I have zero interest in what they have to say about me.
This country cannot go forward with so many of our people left behind, and it certainly will not go forward expanding that problem.