The United States of America is the most modern, highly developed, civilised society in the world. There is no questioning that. Recently there were nationwide protests against racism in that country, which trended worldwide.
While there has been some abatement, the ‘taking of the knee’ as protest at many sporting activities all over the world continues in support of the movement.
Few thinking people would deny the cause is just.
There is a multiplicity of mechanisms in place in that country to deal with such matters. The president of the country has made several statements in relation to this matter which large numbers of citizens consider offensive.
He has not resigned, nor has he been called upon to do so. In fact, he has doubled up on his pronouncements, making it clear he sees nothing wrong with the police actions.
A trade union official, who is a private individual, makes a statement which some consider offensive, and immediately some people demand that he resign, as if he is responsible to them. Immediately, for such people, Trinidad and Tobago becomes a backward country, which allows ‘racist rants’ as part of its national culture. The criticism appears suspect.
In our country there are structures established to address such matters, which are being invoked by the offended parties, as is expected in a highly developed society.
People who leap to attack should recognise the contribution to societal development made by trade unions, many of which would not have been achieved without robust and, in many cases, violent protest.
Development of a society is not a finite process which starts at a particular point and ends when a standard has been achieved. It is an ongoing process, with many stumbles and missteps along the way.
There are even going to be backward steps as well, but for a country only 58 years old, T&T has no reason to be dissatisfied with its level of development. Except, of course, for the people who have hidden agendas.