Black Friday blues

BC Pires
BC Pires



TODAY IS the only Black Friday of the year, so there’s another thing the Democrats in the US can protest against. It’ll be trending on Twitter in no time. It’s surely got to be some sort of elitist old-white-male conspiracy that would cough up only one measly Black Friday from a possible 12! How much more will black people have to put up with?

Now I’m joking, of course – but you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be people on Facebook convinced that there being only one Black Friday this year is yet another proof of systemic racism in western liberal democracies swallowing the lies of lame-stream media and that political correctness gone wild will continue defending the patriarchy until we all understand that NATO expansionism forced Vodka Hitler to bomb Mariupol to smithereens. Once you pick a social media side, you apparently have to stick with it, no matter how foolish a proposition you end up defending.

And what a lot of foolishness – and darkness – we’ve had in the only Black Friday week of 2022.

Ted Cruz, a perennial contender for Republican As---le of the Year (which he usually wins hands down, every year – in January) demanded that Democrats call off their goons silently protesting outside the homes of the US Supreme Court judges poised to repeal Roe v Wade and chastised said “radical Democrats" for wickedly forcing the invented label of “insurrectionist” upon the peaceful protesters defending the Constitution on January 6, 2020 (even if said Capitol riot resulted in at least three people already having pleaded guilty to sedition).

At the equivalent of midnight of this Black Friday week, in the Philippines, voters seem to have elected, by a landslide, the son of the Dictator Couple of All Time, to be their new president.

It’s like the Haitians sending Baby Doc a ticket back to Port-au-Prince – and they kind of did, too. I won’t sully my own page by naming a member of the evil Filipino family/dynasty but I do reckon you’d have to smoke two bongs, indeed, to think of them as the saviours, and not destructors, of the Philippines.

Can you get a Blacker Friday than Filipino turkeys voting for the Christmas of another round of murderous dictatorship? That would be like Shelley Duval going back to the Overlook in The Shining, but, yes you can find the heart of darkness in Trinidad, where time seems frozen permanently at “before dawn.”

Here at home, the whole country is waiting, with bated breath and breathless novenas, pujas and jumas, to find out if the most recent tragic death of a child, the already heartbreaking-enough story of Kimani Francis, is even darker than it appears.

And who would bet their own money it isn’t?

What does it say about your country that the best you can do when you hear a two-year-old child is dead is hope that he drowned by accident? That no one held the poor little sufferer under?

Why is it the most important medical procedure in Trinidad is the autopsy?

Newsday’s Clint Chan Tack reported that tensions are high in Techier Village, Point Fortin, where, on Monday, little ’Mani, barefoot, in diapers, trotted off from home towards the river where his body was eventually found.

Bizarrely, one Zoi (the woman who raised the alarm) herself reportedly became the target of neighbours, angry she hadn’t done more to save the child than call the police. Zoi’s own neighbours stood outside and shouted at occupants of the house.

Why does the death of a barely ambulant child precipitate anger before grief? Why do we look for a scapegoat when we should be offering solace? How did we get here? How can it be that, in this context, in Trinidad, we point a finger before we lend a hand?

Prime Minister Rowley “shocked and saddened” by the death, on Facebook, called for a commitment for us all to “be our brother’s keeper.” Who could cast the first stone at him for that?

But which of us, sitting in the limbo of not knowing – or, probably more accurately, not yet knowing – is not tempted to lash out at any target.

Ask Zoi.

Today is the only Black Friday of the year.

Thank God. I don’t think we could handle two.


"Black Friday blues"

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