Is Massa Day Really Done?

Dr. Keith Riley
 Slavery was abolished by 1838 in the Caribbean and within two hundred years we have almost miraculously attained self government. Our flags flatter in the Caribbean breeze and our school children  sing the national anthems as lustily as their still innocent voices  will permit.. We have witnessed the growth of the Rastafarian movement and the spiritual Baptists thereby giving our Afro Caribbean citizens a religious and spiritual connection to Mother Africa.  We are now joining our Afro American brothers and sisters in celebrating both Martin Luther King Day and Black History month. Some of our culture activists are gallantly taking the subject of African traditions into our schools in order to educate our beautiful Caribbean children.
There are government departments dealing directly and exclusively with culture. We have our carnivals and our crop over festivals. Some of our calypsonians and reggae artistes have achieved worldwide recognition and fame. Prominent among them is the great Bob Marley.  Our women are beautiful and are attaining progress in all areas of national life. From the teacher in the class room, to the nurse on the hospital ward; the lady cop on the street beat, to the entertainer. And two female prime ministers are currently charting the destiny, of our two most successful countries, in terms of development and growth since the end of colonialism.
If we Google the names of some of our people on the Diaspora, we find them excelling in all areas of the life of their adopted or what are now called host countries. Their intellectual capacities are on display for the world to see. We have universities campuses within the region that ensure we maintain a level of tertiary education that is capable of competing with similar systems throughout the world.  We have been given knighthoods and we have Nobel laureates. We have our own National Heroes and we have dominated the world, at least for a very long period, when our cricketers were beating up very team. In more recent times, Usain Bolt and other athletes have clearly demonstrated that we can be the best in the world.
While we at Mahogany Coconut, do not subscribe to the mistaken belief, that we have been the best we can be and while we remain certain, that the region is moving dangerously close to another prolonged period of imperialism, orchestrated by inept political leadership and external international corporate thugs, we do not take the achievements of our region and people lightly. When the scoreboard is settled, we can say with some pride and a deep sense of accomplishment that to have achieved all that we have within two hundred years after being uprooted from Africa and sold off as chattel and or cattle; we have a lot to beat ourselves on the chest for.
All of the achievements mentioned above and the great struggle to accomplish them were done primarily by and for Black Caribbean people. The overwhelming majority of our post independence and indeed pre independence periods leaders were black. One notable exception was Edward Seaga of Jamaica. Even those who looked white were really black or at most mulatto; we speak of Tom Adams of Barbados and others of that particular shade. In the real world they too will be considered black.
Against this background, we have the amazing and unbelievable position now held by some Trinidadians that Dr. Keith  Rowley, the current opposition leader, leader of the Peoples National Movement and a prime candidate to be the next prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago , may be considered a bit “too black “ to be prime minister.  It is even more alarming that this sordid and backward discussion has been dominating the society. We at Mahogany Coconut are now further convinced, that the mental slavery of which Bob Marley referenced in his songs, is a clear and present danger to the region. The Black Caribbean has a lot on which to ponder. There is a black president of the United States of America  but Right here in Trinidad and Tobago, we are saying that a Black man may be a bit “too black” to be Prime Minister.  Is Massa Day truly done?
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