The Trinidad and Tobago government has condemned Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for a “racist attack” on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, after she referred to the prime minister as an “oreo” during a public event on Monday.
Persad-Bissessar made the remark while suggesting that Rowley was owned and controlled by the “one per cent” of Trinidad and Tobago.
An oreo is a chocolate biscuit with a white cream filling; and, informally, is meant to suggest a black person who wants to be part of the white establishment. The release was issued by the Ministry of Communications, which is headed by Stuart Young.
Rowley publicly referenced his own race on several occasions and once described himself as possibly “the blackest man in Trinidad” when tackling critics who, according to the prime minister, said his government was “against black people.”
He also previously suggested that persons within his own party felt he was dark to be PNM leader or prime minister.
Minister of Communications release
On Monday 10 September, 2018, on a public platform, the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissesar, attacked the Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley in a despicable and nakedly racist manner by calling him an “Oreo.”
Whilst this Government has been guiding and leading the country in a stable, inclusive and productive way, through a number of difficult and demanding situations, including, the financial contagion effects created by Petrotrin, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the United National Congress (UNC) have once again attempted to destabilise the country by consciously and intentionally utilising race to divide and destroy Trinidad and Tobago.
This continued naked racial and divisive behaviour by Mrs Persad-Bissessar is hereby condemned in the strongest manner.
This Government will not condone the use of race or class to attack any citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and we reject the continued disdainful and backward politics of the Opposition being led by Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her attempts to stir up racial tension in the country.
May every creed and race continue to find an equal place in Trinidad and Tobago.