With a race war brewing on social media, and despite the Prime Minister’s statement when asked about it that he “isn’t online very much and has no time for that,” members of the public have been vocal about ending the war. Many have taken to asking those engaging in it to cease and desist or face being deleted from their Facebook page.
One media house has taken things a step further by starting the hash tag #douglarized. Metropolis Media House (MMH) is offering to “douglarise” a picture of those who send in one to them so they can then be used as their profile photo on Facebook.
Communications Manager Mystie Thongs, spoke to Triniscene.com about why the public relations firm decided to start the movement. “Everyone in the company but me is Dougla, however I have family members who are Dougla,” she said. “When we started to see the race talk becoming so vicious and divisive it hurt us. It really hurt us to see how people were tearing Trinidad and Tobago apart. Imagine if it began to really turn into something even worse, we’d be fighting our own family.”
Thongs said MMH wanted citizens to know that the word is not a negative but a beautiful one and that the only colours that matter in T&T are red, white, and black. “The culture of Trinidad and Tobago has changed all of us intrinsically,” Thongs said.
Thongs recently posted on her Facebook page [sic]:
“People are asking about my profile pic, some like it, some don't, but everybody is curious.
First thing to understand is the fact that by being a Trinbagonian, you are already Douglarized. Yea I said it.
In its essence douglarize means the coming together of different cultures, creeds, or races. And that my fellow people is something we do every single day because...
....when the worshippers at a Mosque could use the parking lot of the Catholic church next door when they have Friday prayers...we douglarized
....when Diwali and Eid comes and we all have a standing invitation by a friend (and the family expecting you) to come and enjoy a feast of curry...we douglarized
....when Christmas comes and everyone's house whether they are Christian or not is decorated and we all paranging together...we douglarized
....when you come to school the day after Phagwa and everybody's skin and hair is the same purple, pink, and yellow...we douglarized
....when you land on Tobago and you head straight for crab and callaloo, and when you leave you are armed with a supply of sugar cake, bene balls, and tollum that you are carrying for your office mates or your neighbour...we douglarized
....if you have ever thrown your hands in the air and leggo when tassa or rhythm section play not caring who you wining on or who wining on you...guess what...YOU are Douglarized.
Our culture and the make up of who we are is unique to this twin island republic, stop letting ignorance and fear dirty your thoughts. We are already blended, in our food, music, tolerance, celebration, and most importantly in our love for Trinidad and Tobago.
So stop all this hate and racist talk, and embrace instead the beauty of being from TnT and being ?#douglarized.”
Triniscene.com contacted political scientist Dr Hamid Ghany for his views on the race war which intensified during the recently general election campaign, and he quoted from an overture written for the 50th anniversary of T&T’s independence. “The so-called racial divide has manifested itself in voting behaviour patterns, yet the sociological foundations of the society are such that we have moved from cultural domination by an Afro-creole outlook at Independence to a policy of multiculturalism at 50,” Ghany said. “That transition has taken place far more easily than has been the case in many other developing societies, thereby suggesting that we have no innate desire to fight over an agenda of genuine unity, as opposed to struggling against one of domination.”
Metropolis Media House is asking for those wanting their picture to be “douglarised” to send a picture of yourself in the highest resolution possible to firstname.lastname@example.org which will then be returned via email as a customised “douglarised” picture. The media house says all it asks in return is that they are tagged and use the #Douglarize hashtag when the picture is posted.