United Workers Party (UWP) leader Allen Chastanet has called on Saint Lucians not to fall for the racist pronouncements of the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
“I, Allen Chastanet, am a Saint Lucian. My family has been here for more than four generations. My wife’s family has been here for multiple generations,” the former Prime Minister told a news conference.
He said for the most part, his children grew up in Saint Lucia and he has worked and invested in Saint Lucia along with his family.
“So this idea of how we are going to define who is Saint Lucian. Who? Who is Saint Lucian?” The Micoud South MP said.
Chastanet said he takes great pride in being a Saint Lucian and would not demean the country or its people.
He recalled that he has promoted Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians at every opportunity.
“The reason I got into politics is to ensure that more Saint Lucians are given the opportunity to fulfil their dreams,” Chastanet told reporters.
“Now, when I hear the labour party wanting now to question who is Saint Lucian by the colour of their skin – racism. By religion and whether in fact they came from a particular economic sector of society. According to them ‘ Born with a golden spoon in their mouths’,” the UWP leader stated.
Chastanet said Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre came from a ‘good middle class family’, although Pierre might not appreciate it.
“Both his parents were employed. One was a teacher, one was a policeman and he benefitted personally because he got to go to university,” Chastanet noted.
“He has now become Prime Minister of this country and that is a good thing,” the opposition leader declared.
In addition, he observed that many Saint Lucians are not black.
“They are Mulatto. They are red-skinned – they are light-skinned like me. There are Saint Lucians who don’t speak Kweyol, like me. Does that make them less Saint Lucian?” Chastanet told the news conference.
He called on Saint Lucians not to fall for the politics of the labour party, noting that when he or his party bring up policy issues, the response is racism.
“That’s what it is. It is blatant racism on their part and I will have nothing to do with it,” Chastanet said.
But he said he would not hold back from saying what has to be said in promoting good policies for Saint Lucia.
Headline photo: Allen Chastanet addresses parliament (Stock image)