last week I panicked at receiving a racist inhuman e-mail letter, seeing
it as an ill omen, a symptom, or seed of the warring tribalism we see the
world over, then this week I am breathing easy again.
a woman who has doubted and found her love faithful, I feel doubly ashamed
for having ever doubted the people of my country in the first place. The
letters did it. Their names appearing one under the other in my in-box -
Khan, Owen, Rampersad, Wolter, Mahabir, Isaacs, women and men, of all
ages, and varying professions - a Minshall or Barbarosa Carnival band, a
river lit up by the profiles and colours of many continents, where in one
face you could find traces of four continents.
only fitting then, that I should reproduce extracts of some of these
e-mail letters. If that vile letter made it in the column last week, then
the tolerant, humane words of our people should, too.
doyen of journalists in this country - our own quick-witted George John -
was one who offered advice. You might be hurt by what he had to say, too,
and I know you will be just as outraged as you were over the missive I
received last week. But, in the interests of objectivity I decided to take
John’s advice to “swallow your bile and expose both specimens of
nastiness” in the hope we all can see and axe the double-headed monster
of racism before it destroys us.
Sunday’s column reminded me of this: When Princess Diana died, I wrote a
column in the Sunday Guardian under the headline “Debunking Diana.”
imperialists were upset considerably by my theme that Diana was a flawed,
spoilt brat who did not deserve to be on the pedestal the mob had placed
her. The Guardian published one or two letters in condemnation.
expected the “still British” to behave in that way. But this letter I
withheld from publication was totally unexpected.
went like this:
the Right Honourable G R John,
Your article on Debunking Diana Sunday Guardian - September 7.
are a nasty, heartless, cruel person, to write the way you did. You are
also, obviously, an unreasonable fool and of low mental, spiritual and
emotional ability. I say to you, damn you, creep; may you get what you
deserve! Next time you have nothing good to say, keep your black ugly
Trini Creole mouth shut!”
think it is time we who believe we are here to do some kind of good should
unmask these frauds, the most dangerous people we have in this country as
bad as the drug lords, in some respects worse, for they feed on emotions
solely in their own vile interest.
several occasions over the many years since I made Trinidad my home, I
have been told to go back to England. It seems there are many people who
cannot accept opinions or comments that conflict with their own.
to the nasty poison pen e-mail, try to forget it. The writer is more to be
pitied than blamed. Just keep on with your contributions and making us
aware of the realities that surround us.
is unfortunate that an adult would believe that the deaths of so many
people are insignificant.
am so sorry that you were hurt by those remarks as I was. Rest assured
that there are many of us out here who feel the pain of those who are
suffering in India and at the same time want peace for our country.
a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago you have rights and no one who perceives
that the loss of political power confers a right to unfairly attack,
ridicule and display naked racism must be allowed to get away with it.
a Trinidadian I am deeply hurt and concerned that another Trinidadian
could harbour such rabid inhuman feelings. But I am more concerned when
such persons are allowed to vent their anger, venom and bitterness daily
in the media, for it can only result in the spawning of others in the same
too, cry for my country.
just read your contribution and it is very sad to know that a fellow human
being can be so cruel and poisonous. Rest assured that he most probably
stands alone in his misery.
following letter was addressed to the editor. Here is an extract:
I can say is that our world has, and will always have, a lot of ignorance
and intolerance, and T&T has its share. But we must never give up on
the battle to eliminate or reduce these scourges from our society.
wife’s family trace part of her lineage to the original Caribs in Arima,
but the rest of us, you and me, all trace our ancestry to immigrants who
came by boat (or plane), but at different times. So what! We can’t all
the calypso record by ‘Dougla’. Think it was called ‘Split me in
me in two is right.