The Real Terrorism

I heard terrorism makes good television
It’s no coincidence and as a matter of fact
If it weren’t guaranteed to be on television
There’d be less reason for a terrorist attack

I say television ignores terrorism
When was the last time you saw on your screen
The assassinations and bombings and bulldozers that
Are just a part of our government’s routine
Terrorism makes good TV, Pierce Woodward

So, the talk is that Trinidad and Tobago is a hotbed of terrorist activity.
And I am inclined to agree with that supposition but for entirely different reasons to those posed by that alarmist piece of thinly veiled jingoism that appeared in some nondescript publication called
In this buzz word time when everybody wants to be the one to coin the next catchy piece of double speak, we really need to understand what terrorism means to us.
Funny that homeland security only refers to big bad countries who give multi million dollar contracts to aluminum companies to build their arms for them.  Funny that our little piece of rock has no conception of security, or the value of patrimony, for the people and not the corporatocracy.
And maybe if for one minute we were to consider the terrorists we wanted to protect ourselves against, maybe we’d start with the ones in jackets and ties who say things like they have a job to do and let’s look at the figures and not the people.
If we wanted to protect ourselves against the common enemy maybe we would discover that the common enemy is fear.
Fear of each other, fear of poverty, fear of stagnation, fear of not being able to know if you will live out your days without being shot, maimed, run over or off the road, bludgeoned with a crowbar.
In a country of 1.3 million people there are six million ways to die. And I was told that I didn’t have a head for maths so I guess that’s why the figures don’t really make sense to me.
I’m checking out the situation and it occurs to me that the real threat is not from real or imagined bogey men lurking in a compound on Mucurapo Road.
I don’t understand why we need to import American paranoia.  Aren’t we scared enough already as it is?  Haven’t we gorged ourselves with enough of their mythology?  Aren’t we too trying to live out the American nightmare with our chicken and chips proclivity?
If we want to talk about terrorism in Trinidad, why don’t we talk about those terrorists in that red building in the middle of the woefully stink city of Port of Spain.
Terrorism is a government that ignores the voices of people.
Terrorism is police officers arresting a man on dubious charges and not giving a justification.  Terrorism is undermining press freedoms because you are so caught up in urban creole racism and Christian sanctimony that you treat everyone with a different perspective like a criminal while some jackasses are allowed to bray on national radio with impunity.
Terrorism is pastors beating their Bibles and calling for hangings, but not talking about small church corruption.
Terrorism is what happens every night to street children in Port of Spain and Curepe and St. James.
Just when we’ll get interested enough in that kind of terrorism I’d really like to know.  Instead of clouding the issues with the scare mongering tactics of rich white men in America who want to protect their oil supply so that they can build bigger and better SUV’s every year.
I fear for my land that cannot breathe.  I fear for melting icebergs and rising ocean levels. I fear for children who get shot in crossfire and grannies who cannot die with dignity.  I fear for a future that looks less and less bright every time Papa Patos or anyone from the so-called opposition open their mouths.
I do not fear for civilizations built on the blood and sweat of my ancestors. al Qaeda won’t be responsible for anyone’s fall. Civilisations destroy themselves from the inside, under the weight of all their guilt and wealth and opulence and oppression.
The biggest threat to our security is our collective insecurity.  The insecurity that fosters greed.  The many isms that keep us peeping over our walls not wanting to reach out to those who are different.

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