As she enters uncharted territory seeking a second term in office, the Prime Minister exudes a measure of confidence that is at odds with a widely-held perception that her People’s Partnership coalition will lose the general election.
She and her ministers have made it clear that they plan to campaign on performance, which they hope will mute charges of corruption, waste and scandal that were deafening during the past five years. Continue reading ‘More CEPEP, URP ‘lochos’’
All ah we is one, right? By Reginald Dumas – March 31, 2015
In April 2014 Jaishima Leladharsingh said in an insensitive Facebook comment said that he was “glad (ANR) Robinson (had) gone forever.” Soon after, he launched a racial assault on Anthony McLeod, whom he didn’t know but who he obviously thought was black. McLeod’s photo in fact shows him a mixed race person. Leladharsingh was clearly misled by the name: he must have assumed that Anthony looked like Errol. The Minister should take note. Continue reading ‘All ah we is one, right?’
The recent firing of Board Member of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) Jaishima Leladharsingh by the Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Dt. Bhoe Tewarie speaks volumes as to the overt misunderstanding, albeit confusion, between race and ethnicity in Trinidad and Tobago.
At the outset, it must be stated quite categorically and equivocally that the public remarks by Mr. Leladharsingh via Facebook were not racist; instead, they were downright “chupid”, unacceptable, foolish, insane, insulting, irresponsible and ignorant to the nth degree. Continue reading ‘Race versus Ethnicity in T&T’
Last Saturday I attended the launch of Sat Maharaj: Hindu Civil Rights Leader of Trinidad and Tobago, a biography written by Kumar Mahabir. Although I did not read the book (it was not available at the time) I could see the enthusiasm and joy that emanated from an audience that had come to embrace Sat as their personal hero. I attended the function to congratulate Sat for having placed, via Mahabir, a partial account of his life. Continue reading ‘The Responsibility of Intellectuals’
The brutal attack on three African students at Rajiv Chowk Metro station hit headlines last week, reopening debates on racism experienced by Africans in the city. There is no official version yet of what the students – Yohan Koumba Daouda and Mapaga Yannis, both students of Amity Institute of Information Technology, and Guira, a first year BBA student of Sharda University – had done to incite the attack. One of the witnesses, who posted a video of the incident on YouTube, reportedly said that they were accused of ‘misbehaving with female passengers’ by making lewd comments at a woman on a train. Another report said that in the rush to board a train on the Yellow Line, one of the students was pushed aside. He apparently made a comment against Indians in protest, which then angered some passengers. Continue reading ‘Update: African students recount racist attack in India’
I regard myself as an objective and detached observer of the legitimate current claim being prosecuted across the Caribbean for European nations that participated in the infamous Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to pay reparations to the descendants of those who suffered this inhumanity in the hands of the slave-masters/traders and tribal chiefs in Africa who mobilized them and sold them to the slave-traders. Continue reading ‘Balancing the Scales of Reparatory Justice’
Years ago, the late economist and social thinker Lloyd Best pondered over the question of how does one save a culture from itself. This is a question we have not collectively dealt with as we continue to entangle ourselves more and more in the destructive aspects of this culture that we’re partly responsible for creating. Somewhere along the line, Emancipation, understood as “freedom” – and I’ll come back to that later – was hijacked to become something that was tolerant of mediocrity, the spurning of ambition, industriousness and intellectual pursuits. Small wonder some people say “dey should bring back de white man” because we’ve made a mess of our Independence (and our Emancipation). I don’t necessarily subscribe to such a self-loathing sentiment but much of what we’re doing to ourselves and our space certainly gives credence to it. Continue reading ‘Emancipate Yourself from … Yourself’
I am writing this column knowing that it will not be read by the target audience—young, black and ‘er…unschooled men.
Few if any in this group read anything, least of all newspapers. If they pick up an Express, it would be to watch a photograph of some dead “bredren”, felled by bullets from police or criminal, same difference, and to wonder if they, upon meeting a similar fate, would make a pretty corpse. Continue reading ‘Architects of our own demise’
Former head of the public service, Reginald Dumas, is taking issue with a claim by the secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Satnarayan Maharaj, that generations of People’s National Movement (PNM) supporters were planted in the public service to prevent any non-PNM government from getting a second term. Maharaj made the claim during an Indian Arrival Day function hosted by the Maha Sabha in Debe on Friday. Continue reading ‘Sat’s public servants comment upsets Dumas’