Category Archives: USA

Leaders or Liars

By Raffique Shah
February 01, 2021

Raffique ShahI prefix what I write here today with an article of faith that I have learnt to value, especially as I grow older: speak up, speak out, whenever I feel strongly about something, when I see lies being promoted as the truth, when I see evil portrayed as good, mine must be a voice of reason in a world that appears to be consumed by misinformation at a time when ‘fake news’ is ingested by herds of humans and regurgitated as gospel truths.
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A Skinny Black Girl

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 26, 2021

“We the successors of a country and a time/Where a skinny Black girl/descended from slaves and raised by a single mother/ can dream of becoming president [of the United States].”

—Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn May 31, 1849, Owen Finnegan, Joe Biden’s great-great grandfather from Ireland, arrived in New York aboard the ship Brothers. He was part of an oppressed people who were fleeing their country because of “caste oppression and a system of landlordism that made the condition of the Irish peasant comparable to those of an American slave” (Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White). “America,” Ignatiev explained, “scooped up the displaced Irish and made them its unskilled labor force.”
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Looking Beneath the Surface

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 12, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeViewers around the world were struck by the Trump-inspired mob that stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday. The Boston Globe editorialized: “‘When did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?’ That’s what the reviled monster asks Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s classic novel, but it’s also what the angry mob of thousands who stormed the US Capitol in an insurrection on Wednesday could well ask soon-to-be-former Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans who fled the House chamber” (January 7).

The US has never dealt fully with the monsters of race and racism that is buried deep within its entrails. The white insurrectionists who invaded the Capitol feared that their positional superiority would be undermined and they would no longer control a republic they had dominated since the republic began.
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America’s shame

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2020

Raffique ShahAs decent Americans try to come to terms with the shameful conduct of their president and his robotic army of white supremacists, dumb nationalists and sundry dissidents of multiple obscure persuasions, billions of people around the world who have suffered at the uneven, prejudiced hands of the world’s greatest power will be inclined to gloat, to celebrate its implosion.
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An Existentialist Crisis

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 09, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt might be providential that Che Lewis’s corpse was paraded around the capital city at the same time that we are talking about the goals of our educational system and the Venezuelan crisis. The simultaneity of these events should make us think where our society is (in terms of values) and where we wish to go (in terms of concrete achievements).
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It’s a topsy-turvy world

By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2020
Posted: December 08, 2020

Raffique ShahThe ethnic mix of the Venezuelan population—51 percent are categorised as Mestizo (blend of White/indigenous/Afro), 41 percent European/Middle East /Whites)—ensures that those who are flocking Trinidad more than Tobago are almost exclusively from the first mix. They are the equivalents of the “Reds” in our population, hence they are widely acceptable, and accepted, to Trinis on both sides of our ethnic divide, as well as the “Douglars” in-between.
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We Must Control Our Destiny

By Raffique Shah
November 30, 2020

Raffique ShahIf there is not now on our statute books a law that empowers us to deny entry into Trinidad and Tobago to any alien, man woman or child, more so persons seeking to enter our territory illegally, then Government must move post-haste to rectify such anomaly that foreigners are using to breach our borders. Further, if some government in the past compromised this inalienable right that every sovereign state in the world must surely enjoy by signing on to some nebulous convention that purports to promote human rights, then unshackle us, damn it if we are deemed inhumane, sub-human or maybe animals.
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Focus on T&T, not Trump

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2020

Raffique Shah“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights…whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers…”

Like Samuel Johnson’s proverbial scoundrel who seeks refuge in patriotism, I fall back on the American declaration of independence, especially its “unalienable rights”, and in particular the right, nay, the civic duty it imposes on citizens, to rebel with force to remove a government that is trampling their rights.
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Beware Trumpism

By Raffique Shah
November 18, 2020

Raffique ShahDonald Trump seems prepared to plunge the United States of America into civil war if that becomes his only option as he clings to the office of President, refusing to acknowledge that he lost the presidential election to Joseph Biden. The world looks on with much foreboding as this real-life tragi-comedy plays before an audience of billions of people.

Trump refuses to recognise the official counting of votes that are presided over by state governors and their staff, many of whom belong to his Republican party. In so doing, he is showing contempt for the state institutions that he, as president, oversees. And he ignores the political and social mores of Washington that hinge on the loser graciously bowing out of office to allow for a smooth transition of power.
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Biden/Harris and the Diverse Faces of US Imperialism

By Dr Tye Salandy
November 13, 2020

Dr Tye SalandyI remember when Barack Obama won his first term as US President in 2008. Late that night, I heard a massive noise of joyful screams and applause from the neighbourhood, the moment his victory was confirmed. At that point, I knew we were in for a rough ride. In the immediate aftermath, my colleague at Trinicenter.com wrote an insightful piece titled President Barack Obama: Change…What Change? that was prophetic of Obama’s presidency. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, yet his two terms showed an appetite for war-making and violence, albeit cloaked beneath polished words, diplomacy and the goodwill of many people excited to see a non-white face leading the White House. Obama, Biden and Hilary Clinton oversaw the illegal invasion of Libya, turning a stable country into a zone of conflict. Critics would describe Obama as being more “Bush than Bush” as covert drone strikes were dramatically increased, some estimate ten times more than what occurred under George Bush Jr. Despite a seemingly tense relationship with the Israeli Prime Minister, he signed a $38 billion military aid package to Israel. Under the fancy rhetoric of “hope” and “yes we can”, mass surveillance programmes expanded internally and externally.
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