It is patently unfair that a black child born into the bondage of Beetham can almost never escape those chains on dint of sheer effort and is five times more likely to die by a bullet than to attain a degree.
I put to the national community that until the People's National Movement (PNM) can explain the conditions that the people of Port of Spain East, Morvant, Laventille, Beetham and Sea Lots live under they cannot offer themselves as potential national leaders. They more than any other group have the most to answer here, as that party has enjoyed the benefits of unbroken representation of these areas for all of our independence and more, and what is tragically ironic for the residents of those communities, most of that time was spent in government, yet the people still live in squalor.
What is worse, community life under the PNM devolved into a violent gang culture because of the lack of leadership and representation since we attained independence, begging the question for the least among us, what was it all for?
It is the failed policies of Williams that have been carried on by Chambers and Manning that exchanged black skin for modern slavery, that built Goodwood Park Hill and St Clair, and every time a mother has to hold her head and bawl while her young child's blood runs red in the street, it is that party and only that party to blame.
Until PNM PRO Faris al Rawi can go on national television and explain why the people of these communities continue to be so backward and so badly off despite unbroken PNM representation for more than 52 years, he needs to be rejected.
The questions have to be asked -- why is there so much poverty concentrated in these communities? So much illiteracy? So much crime?
Why were the grandchildren of Africa made fools of by the party that claims to be the black party, that is supported by those promoting a black agenda, that is propagated by a few educated Uncle Toms, who have exchanged the people's loyalty and support for abandonment, pressure and poverty?
In this modern day slave trade the black people of Trinidad and Tobago are treated like dogs, given scraps to eat and chased into ghettos and I dare Keith Rowley to speak to this issue.
I dare him to explain to the grandchildren of Africa in simple English why theirs is the only race that continuously fails on the national developmental index.
This issue cannot be dealt with by wearing African clothes one day a year and singing Bring Down the Power, and it certainly won't be dealt with by blaming others.
The grandchildren of Africa need more than the empty rhetoric of the Faris al Rawi look and sound alikes like Stuart Young and Avanash Singh in the Senate, more representation than the vacuous script reading emptiness of Diane Baldeo Chadeesingh, more than the cheap suit posturing and made in China fake eloquence of Terrnece Deyalsingh as representation. None of these people represent the issues and needs of the core vote that keeps the PNM alive and it is another insult to them that Keith Rowley as political leader does not even understand that. What can they bring to the discussion?
It is time the grandchildren of Africa took themselves seriously and demanded better. This is not about burning tyres but about burning daylight.
It is time for a totally afro-based conversation with the sole purpose of identifying the circumstances as they exist, that lists causes strictly for redevelop-mental purposes and understanding as to how we arrived here, and to re-engineer and rebuild these communities one family at a time.
Trinidad and Tobago cannot develop under the failed socialist policies of handouts in exchange for votes that have created the gang culture that fuels the violence and the crime, that provides muscle and manpower to the drug trade, that puts fingers on the triggers of high powered weapons that kill other black skinned individuals in the name of animal survival.
Until Keith Rowley and the PNM can speak education, home ownership, entrepreneurship, literacy and development to the people of these at risk communities; until Keith Rowley can speak intelligently and compassionately to the condition of the black skinned and brown skinned grandchildren of Africa, to offer immediate short term intervention and medium and long term solutions to the dire conditions that these people endure as their daily lives day in and day out, there is absolutely nothing he has to say to the rest of the national community that anyone needs to hear.
Until the PNM is prepared to put down the whip of oppression and under-representation and pick up the mantle of true service to their supporters, the grandchildren of Africa in this country will never truly be free.
The ignoble legacy of the slave trade cannot be broken until the people of these communities get the self respect to demand for themselves representation that speaks to a better future for their children and grandchildren or they will remain stuck, going in violent circles, trading their young men and women for whatever masquerades as peace.
That is not a life, that is barely existing.
Emancipate yourselves from that.
Phillip Edward Alexander