Kamla hits selective outrage

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNC and Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that not one media entity or civil society group expressed any outrage or thought anything wrong when PNM supporters at a public meeting laughed when a Government Minister called out her full name.

Speaking at a UNC meeting on Monday, she said, “no ladies group, business organisation, civil society or media house had a voice when the PNM were calling me a ‘jammette’ or when the best calypso was the one that could insult Oma Panday (former PM Basdeo Panday’s wife) the worst. Let’s not rewrite history. History is bitter truth!”

Speaking on the heels of public outrage over her telling Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis that her name was from a slave master – in response to Robinson-Regis calling out her full name – Persad-Bissessar asked where was the outrage over the “Coonilal-Moonilal” jingles during the last general election.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s outrage over her slave master statement, Persad-Bissessar told her supporters: “That same Rowley mocked Mr ANR Robinson as chief cunumunu after he was anointed Chief Igbaro in 1989. Where was the outrage?

“The same PNM banned Kwame Ture from the country. Where was the outrage?

“The same PNM ridiculed NJAC since 1969. Lock up and persecute Makangal Daaga and others because they chose to represent their African ancestry. Where was the outrage?

“The same PNM mocked Lloyd Best for his wearing of traditional west African sarong. Where was the outrage?

“That same PNM rewards calypsonians for singing nastiness about Afro Trinidadians who are not PNM.”

Later in her address, she said all ancestral heritages must be respected, however, “I will not let mine be disrespected. Leave my name alone.”

She said one hold their head high and show people they are strong and will not be cowed.

“So never, ever be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Some will try to silence you when you speak out. Some will be nasty to you. But go brave. We will stand with you. No matter what your background, your creed or race,” she said.