By Leroy Smith
Residents of Canal No.1 are contending that their community is not a racist one, even though it is made up of a large number of persons of East Indian descent.
During a visit to the community yesterday (Friday, March 17, 2017) some residents told News Room that they are very hospitable and the wider society should not interpret the reaction of villagers to suspected thieves as an act of racial discrimination.
Clifford Mangar, the resident who also owns the shop that the two men, Vernon Beckles and Damion Gordon, the victims of the attack, stopped at to take a drink; gave News Room his account of what occurred in his community last Sunday.
, “We never show people that around here you know we does welcome people we does treat people nice and them kind of things…we does treat people good but those two boys we did not see them come out the car until when this incident happen with the commotion that the mirror lost…I just walk out and walk in back I had some bottles on the road and after I see the thing I just and bring the bottles them in…We don’t show nobody any racial thing around here we never see them kind of things around here anybody strange come we don’t show them kind of racial thing” Mangar said.
The businessman also confirmed that the GDF rank, Ewart Lewis, is someone who is known in the community.
The man further explained that at the time the alarm was raised, several villagers who had just attended a Phagwah Mela were returning to their homes and after hearing about the incident pounced on the two strangers to the community.
Another man, who has lived in Canal No. 1 for more than 50 years said not only was it rather unfortunate that the incident occurred but the racial undertone it attracted as well.
The elderly man stressed that the community is a somewhat mixed one, including persons of African descent who all live close together and in peace.
While the men who were beaten in the community after being accused of stealing a rear- view mirror from a vehicle last Sunday, claimed that they were racially profiled, the Police in a statement said “connotations of vigilantism published in the media are unsubstantiated.”
In fact, the police have since termed the beating as an “alleged assault”.