Monthly Archive for October, 2018

Water of National Cleansing

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 29, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeNow that the waters have subsided after the worst flooding in fifty years, we should engage in a new national discourse about who we are and whether we can keep on doing the same ole same ole and expect different results. We should decide whether we continue along our national highway using the same tired rhetoric of a happy, go-lucky people who never think or plan for tomorrow.

President Paula-Mae Weeks opened up the national conversation best when she said: “Whether causes by an Act of God, omissions or commissions of institutions or individuals or any combination thereof, this is not the time to ascribe blame. Now is the time for all to come together as a nation to render whatever assistance we can to those in such desperate need” (Express, October 22).
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Flushing the prisons’ excrement

By Raffique Shah
October 24, 2018

Raffique ShahOne newspaper report put the tally of prisons officers murdered in the past 25 years at 22. Another stated that 16 were killed in 15 years. However we look at it, one can understand the outrage of those who chose to be at the vortex of the crime whirlwind that wreaks destruction across this country at being targeted by criminals, marked for death in a manner of speaking.

Make no mistake about it: it takes a measure of courage, one might even say madness or desperation, for a young man (or woman) to voluntarily offer to serve as a custodian in what are deemed prisons in Trinidad and Tobago. While, broadly speaking, jail is jail anywhere in the world, the stench that hits you when you enter the mostly stone-age structures that pass for prisons could churn the strongest stomachs.
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Dark Memories of a Lynching

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 23, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAn acknowledgement: I am Dr. Keith Rowley’s friend. I consider him a person of impeccable character and integrity, someone who will not willingly tell a lie to save his or any other person’s crime or misdemeanor. Although I have not always agreed with his policies, he is an eminently trustworthy person and possesses the courage to withstand the storms of adverse publicity that seeks to ground his name into the dust.

My friendship with Rowley goes back to twenty-three years ago when he ran for the leadership of the PNM against Patrick Manning. I supported him then as now because of his conviction of purpose, his unflinching ability to speak truth to power, and his principled position that asserted because Manning had lost the General Election he had an obligation to step down as party leader.
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UWI uproar

Two students detained over campus chaos

By Shane Superville
October 19, 2018 – newsday.co.tt

University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad Main Administration BuildingTWO students of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine campus are now in police custody after they were arrested yesterday for their roles in a heated students’ protest at the campus’ south gate over an increase in assaults and robberies at the university. The confrontation started around 1.45 pm and ended shortly before 4 pm.

The demonstration, which began as a town hall meeting for students of the UWI’s Student Activity Centre sought to address the concerns of the students over a reported lack of security at the campus, descended into chaos when students blocked the gate and resisted campus security, administration officials and police.
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Reduce road traffic, improve productivity, economy

By Raffique Shah
October 18, 2018

Raffique ShahContrary to my assertion in last week’s column that most motorists and commuters do not care about the suffering they endure in daily traffic congestions, responses to the article suggest otherwise. As such, I shall share some more thoughts on the issue which is of immense importance to the economy, which it impacts negatively, and the physical and mental health of citizens, which also suffer serious consequences.
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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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Ah bus ah cuss on the PNM

By Raffique Shah
October 10, 2018

Raffique ShahIt’s a huge problem that adversely affects more than half of the population every day, costs the country billions of dollars a year in lost production, adds substantially to our mental and physical health bills—yet no government has had the testicular fortitude to confront it head-on, thus improving the quality and length of our lives.

Traffic jams, traffic congestion, call it what you will, will one day bring this country to a complete halt…full stop. And I dare argue that other than sitting in the now-mandatory air-conditioned comfort of their “rides”, music jamming, mankind “steupsing”, no one would even wind down his vehicle window to complain about this madness.
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America’s Angry White Men

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 08, 2018

“An increasingly diverse society no longer accepts the God-given right of white males from the right families to run things, and a society with many empowered, educated women is finally rejecting the droit de seigneur once granted to powerful men.”

—Paul Krugman, New York Times

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeYesterday the U.S. Senate elected Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court by the narrowest of margins despite the objections of 2,400+ law professors and Justice John Paul Stevens, former justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Stevens noted: “He’s a fine federal judge, and he should have been confirmed when he was nominated. But I think that his performance during the hearings caused me to change my mind” (New York Times, October 5).
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Budget: capture every crook and dodger

By Raffique Shah
October 02, 2018

Raffique ShahI am writing this column before the Minister of Finance delivers his 2018-2019 Budget, and no, Colm Imbert and I are not friends, so I can’t call him on the phone and ask for a few tips on some of the measures he proposes to introduce to restrain the population from open rebellion, especially after his boss, the Prime Minister, declared last week that he will put the ruling People’s National Movement on a general election footing from early next year.
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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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