Archive for the 'Racism Watch' Category

While I Am Here!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 25, 2019

“Until all races see each other as brothers and sisters and not as competitors or enemies Trinidad and Tobago is not going to move forward.”

—Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI congratulate the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the brave speech on race relations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) that she delivered on Monday, February 11. While I do not agree totally with the accuracy of her “short history lesson,” thinking in and of the future is much more important than being mired in the commess of the present. Demeaning Persad-Bissessar’s important insights by castigating the probity of her having Malone Hughes, a brother who was charged and fined several times , on her platform does a disservice to a brilliant analysis of our present condition. It reduces a pressing existentialist issue to a misguided rant about non-sense.
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Thinking Dialectically About Slavery

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 30, 2019

“It is impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital…without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel’s Logic.”

—V. I. Lenin quoted in C. L. R. James, Notes on Dialectics

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Monday the Sugar and Slavery Gallery of London Museum Docklands invited me to be a panelist in a seminar, “London’s Debt to and Involvement with Slavery.” The other panelist, Dr. Kate Donington, Co-Curator of the Slavery, Culture and Collecting display at the Museum, spoke about George Hibbert, a slave owner in Jamaica and a hugely influential presence in eighteenth-century Jamaica and London.
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Whose History Anyhow?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 11, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Thursday and Friday of this week I will launch my new book, The Slave Master of Trinidad, at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of The University of the West Indies respectively. The first is a private affair, under the auspices of the Hon. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister; the later is a public affair, “featuring a review (of the book) by Sir Hilary Beckles, the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies.” No one could think of a more auspicious way to introduce this book to the reading public of Trinidad and Tobago.
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Reparatory Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 04, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Jamaica Gleaner, it is true, was impetuous. On November 25 it announced that the University of Glasgow (UG) and the University of the West Indies had reached an agreement regarding reparative justice. According to the Gleaner, UG had agreed to pay “£200 million (approximately J$34 billion) of value in reparation payments to The UWI.”
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“The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.”

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 15, 2018

“Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold? No, gods, I am no idle votarist!…Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair, wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.”

—William Shakespeare,”Timon of Athens”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo weeks ago, I made a case for “reparative justice.” Drawing on “Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow,” a report that was coauthored by Dr. Stephen Mullen, a well-respected scholar, I challenged the national community to think about this concept. I did not chastise anyone. I simply stated facts as I saw them.

Mullen’s report was important because it drew on my work, The Slave Master of Trinidad, to demonstrate how Burnley’s profits and the capital he bequeathed to his son, William Frederick, subsidized the development of the University of Glasgow (UG). UG launched a program for reparative justice because of Mullen’s report. (See “Glasgow University to make amends over slavery profits,” London Guardian, September 11, 2018).
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Reparative Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 01, 2018

When we think of restorative justice we must think of who was harmed and how we make them whole again.

—Marc Lamont Hill, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn November 23, 1850, the San Fernando Gazette announced the death of John Lamont, the second-largest slave owner in the island. It noted: “Mr. Lamont had arrived at the age of 65, the largest part of which he passed in this island [or Trinidad] where he had accumulated a very large fortune, by care, perseverance, and intelligence, accompanied by the strictest integrity, and marked by humor in all his transactions.”
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PNM: Kamla must apologise

By Corey Connelly
September 16, 2018 – newsday.co.tt

Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Keith RowleyUnited National Congress (UNC) political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is likely to pay a hefty political price is she does not apologise to the nation for labelling Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley an Oreo biscuit, outgoing People’s National Movement (PNM) chairman Franklin Khan stated yesterday.
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Selective Apology from PM Rowley on Sari Skit

By Stephen Kangal
August 21, 2018

Stephen KangalI find that there is a disturbing dysfunctional disconnect between what the PM Rowley said initially in cheap and embarrassing defence of the Sari Skit, the several reasons for his retraction/backing down of those ill -thought out statements, his conditional but confusing apology directed to a deliberately selective audience/aggrieved party and his continuation of his diatribe on associated matters against so-called saboteurs.
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Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 7

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 18, 2018

PART 7

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn July 14, 2003, my mother took her bath, got dressed, went to the polling station located at St. Mary’s Children Home, Tacarigua, and voted for PNM. Two weeks later she was dead. She never voted for any other party in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).

When Eric Williams arrived on the political scene in 1954 my mother worked in a white woman’s kitchen. When he defied the colonial powers and proclaimed the dignity of black and brown people (“Massa Day Done,” he proclaimed), my mother saw him as a political messiah and PNM as the vehicle to take her out of a house of bondage and into a land of liberty.
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Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 6

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 11, 2018

PART 6

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIf one listened to the scholars and scribes, one would think that when the Indians came to Trinidad in 1845 they met a barren land where Africans played and joked around. No one would believe that those Africans, working from sunup to sundown, made William Hardin Burnley, an Englishman who came to Trinidad in 1802, the richest resident slave owner in the West Indies (see my forthcoming book, The Slave Master of Trinidad).
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