All posts by News

Voting Rights in America

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 24, 2022

“Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the right to vote.”

—Frederick Douglass (1865).

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few days ago, in the United States Senate, the Democrats fought vigorously against the suppression of the rights of black people to vote that were passed by 19 Republican-controlled states of the union.

In spite of their best efforts, the Democrats failed to achieve their objective, which led Carl Hulse to opine: “It was a disheartening moment for congressional Democrats, who put the full force of their majority behind the issue, despite the long odds of success” (Boston Globe, January 26).
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Talk to me about patriotism

By Raffique Shah
January 24, 2022

Raffique ShahIt didn’t take Nobel Prize-winning economists such as St Lucia’s Sir Arthur Lewis, or the USA’s Milton Friedman or Paul Krugman, to project that as the world economy emerged from an unprecedented virtual lockdown that lasted three, four, who knows how many years during the Covid pandemic, commodity prices, especially those of goods and services that are critical to the recovery of countries across the world, would rise rapidly, putting them beyond the reach of the poorest nations and the poor in every nation.
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COLONIAL TRAPPINGS

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 17, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn June 2001, the Japanese Black Studies Association invited me to deliver an address, “Identity and Caribbean Literature”, at Nara Women’s College, Nara, Japan (see trinicenter.com, June 24, 2001). Before I delivered my address, my host asked me to meet the president of her college, to which I agreed. I had stopped wearing ties because I considered it a useless trapping (literally) of colonialism. However, my host politely reminded me I had to wear a tie if I was going to see her president.
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Army of the vaccinated

By Raffique Shah
January 17, 2022

Raffique ShahI am writing this column on Saturday morning, so I have no idea what the PM would have announced at his media briefing in the afternoon.

But with the drums of political war growing ominously louder by the day, and increasing in volume and tempo, and those who are looking to unseat his Government long before the due date for fresh elections, buoyed as they are by Watson Duke’s sound licking on the PNM in the recent Tobago House of Assembly election, they are doing everything to frustrate him, to goad the PM into calling snap elections, which they believe they can win, whoever “they” may be, whatever their agendas.
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White America Should Not Be Afraid of Critical Race Theory

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Speech delivered on October 19, 2021
Posted: January 12, 2022

“Critical race theorists are committed to a program of scholarly resistance, and most hope scholarly resistance will lay the groundwork for wide-scale resistance.”

—Derrick Bell, “Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?”

INTRODUCTION

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am pleased that Ines Maturana Sendoya, Associate Dean of Students and Engagement, has asked me to be the keynote speaker in her series, “21 Days Against the Racism Challenge.” I am also pleased that she has asked me to address you on the subject of Critical Race Theory. At least, my take on the subject. For over fifty years, as a professor of Africana Studies (we used to call it “Black Studies”) and a columnist for many newspapers, I have been writing or teaching about how race and racism have functioned within America’s theoretical discourses and historical practices.
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Death, Be Not Proud

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 10, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDeath has stalked our land this past year with particular fury. More than 3,000 have died from Covid-19; 448 people died from homicides in 2021 and, blissfully, there were only 76 road fatalities—the lowest number since 1957. Yet, we only talk about death in mournful terms rather than what it might mean to those who are still alive.
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Bring back the ‘Bull’

By Raffique Shah
January 10, 2022

Raffique ShahNot even George Orwell, who wrote the right-wing classic Animal Farm which summarised workers in power, post-revolution, in the worst possible light, could have scripted the post-Covid tragi-comedy that premiered a few weeks ago, when the Delta variant of the virus first showed what it could do, and now Omicron is breaking box office records, leaving mankind stupefied.
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Move Satan move

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 04, 2022

“You may know the man by the conversation he keeps.”

—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOur Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, is reputed to have said to US President Joe Biden that the salient factor in our democracy is his capacity to listen to the opinions of his people. I hope he meant that he listened not only to what they say loudly and directly, but also to what isn’t said aloud but is equally as pertinent.

This is important: the Prime Minister’s success in office over the next four years depends upon his listening not only to what is said directly, but also to what is communicated silently.
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Covid and gas pains: who’s crying now?

By Raffique Shah
January 03, 2022

Raffique ShahThe Covid-induced confinement imposed on citizens by the Government provoked a range of reactions—from anger and drunkenness to solitude and self-pity. Some persons came perilously close to crossing the thin line between sanity and insanity.

I was lucky to have lived the multi-faceted life I did before the pandemic—soldier, adventurer, prisoner, politician, teacher and a range of other life-skills that prepared me for just about anything I might face during the pandemic. Of course, as a human being and more so a humanist, I was shocked by the mass of people globally who were impacted by the virus, by how many were dying “live” before the lenses of reporters’ cameras, ­agony etched on their faces, questions writ large on them: why me?
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Suffer the little children

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 27, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMy mother, Carmen Cudjoe (nee Batson), was born in Belmont in 1909. After spending her childhood years there, she moved to San Juan where she met my dad, married him, and moved to Tacarigua. Although my mother attended only primary school, she read constantly and wrote with eloquence and grace. In Tacarigua she was the secretary of most of the voluntary organisations there, such as the Garden Club and the Village Council.
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