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’
The persons who orchestrated the racist placards that triggered a furore that lingers long after the protest-dust has settled do not belong to any “lunatic fringe”, as some politicians suggest.
They are perfectly sane, albeit devilishly motivated in their evil designs. Anyone with a modicum of sense could discern that the pro-Rowley placards were intended to have the extreme opposite effect—cast the PNM leader as a bigot, as being anti-Indian to the extent that he would display his venom openly, outside Parliament to boot. Continue reading ‘Fanning the race flames’
Donald Sterling, the suddenly infamous owner of the NBA team, Los Angeles Clippers, has been caught out being racist and now finds himself having to sell his team and dissociate himself entirely from basketball. Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner has fined him $US2.5 million and, on top of that, banned him from all association with both the Clippers and the NBA for life. But since he is 80, the last punishment will unfortunately not be as severe as warranted. Continue reading ‘Any Sterlings here?’