Dr. Kwame Nantambu

'Ethnic cleansing' of Whom in T&T?

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
July 19, 2009

The recent accusation by UNC's Dr. Tim Gopeesingh of "ethnic cleansing" of Indian-Trinbagonian, not Indo-Trinbagonian, doctors at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital at the supposed hands of the PNM-Manning administration, smacks of an innocuous similarity of "reverse discrimination" by Euro-White Americans whenever African-Americans seem to make some modicum of socioeconomic progress.

The fact of the matter is that the alleged charge by Dr. Gopeesingh can only be described in acceptable layman's terms as "chupid", scandalous, irrelevant and puerile.

Indeed, the facts/data are clear and precise. It may be true that as Dr. Gopeesingh has alleged that two-three Indian-Trinbagonian doctors were either denied promotion to positions at the hospital and/or other doctors of similar ethnicity were forced to repatriate because of "frustration" at this institution.

However, such data only paints a miniscule picture of the real professional landscape/profession in T&T.

In other words, either by accident or design, what Dr. Gopeesingh has purposefully done is to wield a massive, all-inclusive discrimination paintbrush on the professional class in T&T a la Euro-White Americans' totally unfounded assertion that "all Black people are lazy." Everyone now knows that sweeping assertion is totally false simply because one of these supposedly "lazy" Black people is now the elected president of the United States-- elected by all the people.

The afore-mentioned Euro-White American characterization is null and void-- so too is the characterization of Dr. Gopeesingh.

T&T's professional stats are very, very, very clear and totally irrefutable: Let's deal with them.

The vast majority of doctors who comprise the medical profession in T&T are Indian.

The overwhelming majority of lawyers who are members of the legal professional in T&T are Indian.

The vast majority of respected professional economists who publicly criticize Central Bank Governor, Ewart Williams, 24-7-365, are Indian-Trinbagonians.

The overwhelming majority of civil servants at the Permanent Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretary levels and a little lower in the country's public service are Indian.

Indeed, 99.9 percent of the drivers who drive the "big truck" on Carnival Monday and Tuesday are Indian-Trinbagonians. That's real.

Similarly, the majority of undergraduate students at UWI are Indian-Trinbagonians.

The same is also true in the financial/business professional sectors; and the list goes on and on...

The fact of the matter is that forty years ago, it was an aberration, albeit anomaly, to see an Indian-Trinbagonian as a post man/woman -- that's not the ethnic reality today, Dr. Gopeesingh.

The same aberration/anomaly also holds true in the profession of teachers, police men/women, etc-- that's not the ethnic reality today, Dr. Gopeesingh.

Moreover, forty years ago, it was "an out-of-body experience" to see a young Indian-Trinbagonian, male or female, "beating pan" in public -- that's the ethnic reality today, Dr. Gopeesingh.

Most specifically, forty years ago, when one walked into a government's office as in a ministry, one had to look real, real, real hard to see an Indian-Trinbagonian civil servant sitting at his/her desk -- that's not the ethnic reality today, Dr. Gopeesingh.

In fact, the reverse is true -- today, one has to look real, real, real hard to see an African-Trinbagonian, not Afro-Trinbaqgonian, sitting at his/her desk -- that's the ethnic reality today, Dr. Gopeesingh.

Truth Be Told: Indian-Trinbagonians have now taken over the professional workforce, workplace and working class in T&T.

The fact of the matter is that the only professional categories in which African-Trinbagonians predominate are in the membership of the prisons' population, vagrants and URP/CEPEP.

In the final analysis, who is really fooling whom, Dr. Tim Gopeesingh? "Where's the beef?"

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Indies.

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