Anti-Racism Law in Trinidad and Tobago

Anti-Racism Law in Trinidad and Tobago

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as "Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior." In Trinidad and Tobago, there is a plethora of creeds alongside races, allowing for a melting pot of cultures, which is demonstrated particularly each year during our Carnival festivities as well as other national holidays. Our national anthem declares that "Every creed and race find an equal place" which implies that people from all walks of life are to be respected regardless of their ethnic background.

Certain recent events shared on social media have negatively impacted on our history and common values which have brought us together and racism poses a serious and extreme threat to upholding our unity and harmonious living in every way possible. The implementation of such legislation would thus reflect shifting attitudes in a country that has long been at the crossroads of different religions, cultures and ideas whereby protecting people of all races should be a priority.

Similar to that of other countries, such as Bolivia (in 2010) as well as Tunisia (in 2018), this new law should stipulate that "any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour (or) ancestry is prohibited, as is any other form of discrimination that leads to disturbances, an obstruction or privation."

In Tunisia, "those convicted of using racist language can face one month in prison and a $350 fine, while those convicted of inciting hatred, making racist threats, spreading and advocating racism or belonging to an organisation that supports discrimination could be imprisoned 1-3 years or fined as much as $1,050." The law must be such that individuals who use racism and hate-speech against others would know that there are consequences for such behaviour and will not be tolerated by those against racism in Trinidad and Tobago.

If you, a family member or friend had experienced racism, would you have opposed it or walked away? You have nothing to lose; please sign and share to help end the nonsense once and for all.

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