The following is a statement by the United National Congress (UNC) political leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, condemning racism, in the light of comments on social media:
“I am deeply troubled by the increase in tensions in our society following a spate of racist comments made on social media. I condemn all attempts to create disharmony in our society.
The political party I lead, the United National Congress, condemns and rejects racism, and calls on all citizens to unite in order to heal and build Trinidad and Tobago.
I am also deeply disturbed by Dr Keith Rowley’s claim that the UNC is telling one segment of the population that they were “cheated”. This is not only baseless, but it is clearly purposefully intended to inflame racial tensions. I remind Dr Rowley that we are proud Trinbagonians, and any attempt at creating discord is to be roundly rejected.
The UNC has always worked to ensure that we represent and uplift all citizens and improve their lives.
Now is a time for us to work together towards our common destiny as a nation and we can only achieve that through unity. We must continue to respect each other’s political choices without invoking and inciting race to divide our people.
We have a true treasure in our national unity across ethnic, religious, and political boundaries here. Let us value and nurture this. Our survival as a nation and as a people depends on it.
We must not foster any type of hate, divisiveness, and otherwise unproductive discourse on social media or elsewhere. Do not let our beloved nation’s longstanding tradition of harmony, tolerance and unity be jeopardized at this time
St Augustine of Hippo said: “Let us live well, and times shall be good. We are the times. Such as we are, such are the times.”
The choice is ours, and I implore you, for your sake and the sake of your children, to choose love and unity.
Nothing good can ever come from malice. We have made such progress as a nation over the past few decades, that we must do all we can to preserve and develop our cohesion. Future generations will never forgive us if we go down this acrimonious road.
I call on all citizens of good conscience to reject hate. Let us together raise our voices in national unity, and confidently affirm: “Here every creed and race find an equal place”.
May Almighty God heal our land and drive out the malevolence of bitterness and hatred. We shall overcome all challenges if we continue to put God in front and walk behind.
“Let us use our collective strength to build a more inclusive union in which all will flourish.”