Renuka Singh

Five days after the general election and the social media race war seems to be heating up rather than dying down.

In the past few days, more people have made what were deemed racist comments on social media and found themselves in hot water.

Three employees at separate State companies have been reported for racist rants on social media.

Khel Frampton, wearing a Fire Service insignia on a t-shirt and wearing a mask with the same emblem, took to social media to denounce “racist Hindus who callin we black people monkeys whole day today. why (sic) do y’all hate us and y’all worship Hanuman”.

The Fire Service has launched an investigation into his comments and has promised to take the necessary action.

Another woman, working at the Airports Authority of T&T, Colleen Delecia, posted that “all these c—ie people all over face bout we will eat grass tell people what alyuh grow on is baggi from the back yard and sada.”

One friend warned her to not “stoop to there (sic) level” and Delecia responded, “Girl I am not stooping to their level these c—-es now themselves the truth is the truth.”

It was confirmed to Guardian Media that her post was forwarded to the AATT but the AATT did not respond to questions seeking confirmation.

Guardian Media also reached out to Delecia on Facebook but there was no response.

Shannon Stewart, a Ministry of Works employee, claims Indo-Trinidadians were jealous of Afro-Trinidadians because they had bigger sexual organs. She also claimed Indo-Trinidadian women “smell like garlic” but clarified to say she was not talking about her friends who are not racist.

Her comment was also forwarded to the Ministry of Works, which confirmed yesterday that the “sensitive matter” was being investigated. In a response to the person who reported Stewart, the ministry said it “does not condone discrimination and intolerance of any kind.”

“Statements as such do not reflect the views that the MOWT uphold,” the ministry said.

Stewart has since deleted her original post but people continue to share screenshots of it.

In another incident, a disc jockey, DjIsso DjBoss, is also in hot water after posting a series of racially insensitive statements on Facebook. The DJ changed his name to Isso D’Steppa after claiming to be tagged by “UNC trolls”.

In his post, which has been brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, the DJ referenced former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and questioned “where are the assassins”. Griffith confirmed yesterday that all the posts were being monitored. The DJ has been reported over 30 times to Facebook for the comments.

Meanwhile, the Starlite Drugs CEO Gerald Aboud yesterday claimed someone purporting to be him was behind a series of racist posts on social media meant to tarnish his name.

An anonymous person had shared screenshots of an alleged conversation with Aboud, in which he denounced persons of Chinese, Indian and African descent and used racial slurs.

But Aboud said this was from a person who was impersonating him.

“This is a post circulating that purports to be messages from me, this is a fake posting and there is no such posts that I made. This is a mishevious (sic) attempt to damage my reputation,” Aboud wrote on Facebook.

In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Aboud said he will make a report to the police.

“I can’t say why I am targeted,” Aboud said.

“This came as a surprise today. Ninety per cent of my staff are black and the second-highest person paid in my company is black. They (impersonators) are looking for trouble.”

Earlier this year, Aboud was also in hot water over social media comments he made about the growing Black Lives Matter movement in the US after the killing of George Floyd. At that time, Aboud defended another business owner who came under fire for posting All Lives Matter in the face of the BLM acceleration, saying that “racism is one thing and the right to have an opinion is another. If I don’t like Chinese people, you can’t force me to like Chinese people. I may have reasons and I am entitled to that.”

One month later, Polish cosmetics company Inglot Cosmetics announced it was ending its partnership with Starlite. Gillian Goddard, a local chocolatier, also said her company was pulling Sun Eaters Organics chocolates from Starlite as well. This parting of ways came even after two apologies from Aboud.

On Tuesday, an employee and relative of the owners of Ramsaran’s Dairy Products, Naila Ramsaran, was fired for racial comments on Facebook, in which she compared supporters of the People’s National Movement (PNM) to “cockroaches” and “loafers”.

The Supermarket Association of T&T has called for a boycott of Ramsaran’s products but yesterday announced the ban had been lifted.