United National Congress Senator David Nakhid has stood his ground on comments he made in a Facebook post about certain ethnic groups yesterday—even after party activist Devant Maharaj called him out on it.
Maharaj’s concerns on Nakhid’s post comes in the wake of the recent General Election where race reared its head during and after the campaign. Leaders and groups across T&T, including President Paula-Mae Weekes and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley called for an end to the race talk.
In his lengthy post yesterday, Nakhid spoke about his focus on “the upliftment of the black and brown people of the East-West corridor,” whom he said were most historically oppressed people in T&T. He’d added, “If our White and Syrian brothers and sisters had so found themselves, there is no doubt I would have fought for their liberation with every power I could muster. Truth be told, some people of the latter mentioned groups have been the perpetrators and facilitators of the oppression of our black and brown sisters and our black skin white masks (Fanon) leaders have been complicit writ large in the oppression and corruption subsequently inflicted on the majority of the population, even up to the present day. So my mission is one of transformation. Economic, Social, Philosophical and yes personal.”
Addressing Nakhid’s post, Maharaj said, “Once again the issue of race has been dragged back onto T&T’s table when T&T is supposed to be uniting to fight COVID, as the UNC leader—and others—have urged.
“The statements of the failed (Tunapuna) candidate continue to underscore UNC’s inability to understand race relations in T&T. It also explains why UNC had election ads which were perceived as racist by many. Once again, it points to deficiencies of the leadership in appointing someone like Nakhid to the Senate.”
But Nakhid, rubbishing Maharaj’s comment, told Guardian Media he had no problem speaking about the issues he did, since he’d put it in full context in his post. Reiterating his post, Nakhid said it was there for the people to see who are T&T’s “majority shareholders”
He said if it had been “our white and Syrian brothers” in the position of being undernourished and miseducated, he’d have been the first to uplift them. He said the issue occupying his consciousness was not black or brown.
Nakhid said he felt comfortable with his post, which he said was, in truth, a clarion call for unity.
“You’ll find nothing disingenuous about my statements, only a rank political opportunist or some of the one per cent might take objection, as these are facts which would be disturbing to them as they are the ones partly responsible for the state of T&T.”
Nakhid said since it was a clarion call for unity, he could see why Maharaj would have problems with it.
“But I’m not interested in anything Maharaj has to say on the dynamics of race. Or anything else,” Nakhid asserted.
Nakhid’s Facebook post:
“I don’t know if it’s called integrity, stubbornness or just plain plain bad mind, but I’ve always been like this, from Rosary Boys RC to St.Mary’s College to The American University in DC. It’s all in with me or I move on. You will find no flip-flopping, wavering or hesitancy in calling anyone out on their duplicity. Yes, I may have to clean up my language somewhat, because I have been appointed to the Senate, and having accepted that appointment from our Political Leader Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar, I have to respect the office. Mind you, not because of the cumbersome standing orders and superficial protocols I could give 2 flying firetrucks about that but it’s because I now represent the PEOPLE of Trinidad and Tobago. All of you. Not a Segment, Not a constituency, Not a race…..ALL OF YOU. So even if more measured, I will be cutting that cloth of social inequity and economic injustice with the same fervour and spirit as before. I’ve been asked by both supporters and non-supporters alike about my intense focus on the upliftment of the black and brown people of the East-West corridor, the answer is simple. It’s not, because they have black and brown skins that my energies are directed towards their liberation, but because these people, our brothers and sisters have been and are the most historically oppressed people in this country. Pre-and Post-independence. If our White and Syrian brothers and sisters had so found themselves, there is no doubt I would have fought for their liberation with every power I could muster. Truth be told, some people of the latter mentioned groups have been the perpetrators and facilitators of the oppression of our black and brown sisters and our black skin white masks(Fanon) leaders have been complicit writ large in the oppression and corruption subsequently inflicted on the majority of the population, even up to the present day. So my mission is one of transformation. Economic, Social, Philosophical and yes personal. I don’t want my supporters behind me, I want you all next to me. I can lead as well as I can follow proper leadership but the time for blind patronage is over, if we are on this mission together then together must mean that everyone sacrifices according to their means, the heavy lifting becomes easier when everyone steps up and puts their hands, foot, mouth, shoulder, forehead, on the bar. I leave you with a mantra of my own: There are 3 things corrupt politicians and corrupt people fear most: Loss of power, loss of wealth and loss of life. Let us, the majority shareholders of this blessed land ensure the first 2 are carried out before the 3rd sadly but inevitably becomes a reality. LOVE IN THE HOUSE !!! “