One year ago, there was a murder in Felicity. Trinidad had found itself at one of its lowest points in its short history. Race had reared its ugly head as the community of Boot Hill sought justice for an innocent young man who was gunned down in the prime of his life. His crime was simply trying to survive by the only means he knew. His murderer is free today. Free to live and free to have voted in yesterdays election. Kevin Valley no longer has those options. They were stolen from him as if by a kidnapper in the night.
The murder of Kevin had the potential to sink this country into a quagmire of racial tension and violence. In fact for a couple days last year, that is exactly where many felt we were headed. The election result of yesterday has proven that those fears were unfounded. The citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are a resilient bunch. We were able to avoid such tensions by proving to all that we would not allow racial divisions to be the hallmark of our society.
The tensions of yesteryear are gone now. We can finally get on with the work of building our country the way it should be. Not by voting along racial lines but by looking at the deeds and actions and promises of each party. Fortunately, every party that fought the last election had decided to forego the usual reliance on propaganda and fear mongering. They decided to not assault the public with irrelevant ads and fetes. They decided to treat the voting public with the maturity we all deserved. The citizens were up for that task also.
Trinidadians and Tobagonians were not fooled as in the past. Yesterday we voted as nationalists. We voted on what we individually thought was the best thing for the country. We did not look at how the government benefited us individually. We looked at the bigger picture. We realized that even if we got a job in CEPEP or free university education, all these things would mean nothing if the majority of Trinidadians and Tobagonians did not have the basic skills to live. Skills to buy food, skills to make sure our families were safe, skills to treat our fellow man with respect. Skills to be the self-actualizing people that we are. Trinidad and Tobago took one step closer to becoming a true nation. We are moving away from the culture of I to the culture of us.
We will no longer be fooled by empty promises of safer communities. We will no longer be fooled by lies such as how many schools were built or repaired. We will no longer be fooled into thinking that it is okay to spend almost a third of our waking day stuck in traffic because soon we will have a world-class transport system. We will no longer be fooled into thinking that crime is something that affects all countries so it is okay if our crime rate rises. We will no longer be fooled into thinking that things will get better now that the worst has passed.
We have finally seen the truth and the election result has shown such. Our vision of Trinidad and Tobago is no longer filtered by race and fear. We are well on our way to achieving 20/20 vision as a people.