Saturday 18 November, 2017

UNC condemns online abuse of ex-radio talk show host

Comedian Darrel Dookoo has sparked outrage after posing in "blackface" in a video targeting former radio talk show host Marcia Braveboy.

In the three-minute video, Dookoo directs racial insults at Braveboy while dressed in a wig with black paint covering his face.

Dookoo said in the controversial video that the paint was the color of Braveboy's skin.

Historically, blackface was used in minstrel shows by Caucasian actors in an unflattering representation of Africans.

Dookoo's video has been condemned by many on social media and has prompted a response from the United National Congress (UNC).

In a media release, UNC Public Relations Officer Anita Haynes said the party has noticed a degradation in the approach and language used by the People’s National Movement (PNM) and their supporters.

She said Dookoo's statements must be condemned at the highest levels.

"The most recent and certainly most vile attack was perpetrated by a proud PNM blogger, Mr Darrel Dookoo. While it pains us to give any attention to his vitriol, his recent attack against Ms Marcia Braveboy, must be condemned at the highest levels.

We are calling on the nation to actively and strongly reject the move to personally and distastefully attack persons based on their political persuasion."

Haynes placed blame on a "crisis in leadership" saying PNM supporters follow the example set by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

"This year, the Prime Minister and leader of the party Mr Dookoo actively supports has similarly descended into name calling and debasement. Dr Rowley has made several degrading comments against the women of this country.

Calls for the Prime Minister to, at the very least apologise, have gone under answered. Now, one of his most vocal supporters feels adequately empowered to spew racist and misogynistic comments in public spaces, following his leader’s example and showing no respect for the women of Trinidad and Tobago."

She added that the UNC stands for something new and different.

"The absence of respect for our fellow man has led to the slow and steady unravelling of our social fabric, if we stand together in mutual respect we can and will correct the course. The people Trinidad and Tobago must stand resolutely against this kind of behaviour, we should want better for ourselves and better for our society.

Our women and girls, and indeed every citizen, should be afforded equal opportunity to express their views and opinions without fear of being abused online. We condemn the racist and misogynistic comments that have gone viral on social media. This type of abuse is unwanted and unacceptable."