By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
August 31, 2020
It is gratifying that we are looking anew at many of the institutional arrangements and practices that we have accepted blithely over the years.
Recent articles by Reginald Dumas and Marina Salandy-Brown, the SEA discussion by The UWI scholars, and Theodore Lewis’s brilliant article on the subject have been instructive. Today’s discussion, “A Time for Healing”, sponsored by The UWI Faculty of Law in collaboration with the Catholic Commission on Social Justice, promises to be an exciting affair.
Continue reading Embracing all our history
Minister of Youth Development and National Services Fitzgerald Hinds receives backlash after posting this comment on facebook.
“Not even aware that I was in his focus, on exiting the Massy Foodstore, I entered my vehicle. I settled in and observed a body up to my window. Closer observation revealed a perhaps 30-year old, healthy-looking, muscular man. I looked for the piper in him and could not find it. He beckoned me to talk to him. I rolled down my glass window and he delivered! “ Ah just asking for a lil $20 to buy something to eat!” I immediately reflected on a previous occasion when another young man asked me for “ah lil $100”. I have given financial and other assistance many times in greater quantity, but I refused them both! Ah doh like the idea of young, apparently fit men begging! And ah doh like it more, when they tell me hummuch dey want!”
Continue reading Fitzgerald Hinds: Not even aware…
By Raffique Shah
August 24, 2020
It pains me to return to the issue of race and politics in Trinidad and Tobago, but since it seems impossible to dismiss its impact on not just elections, but on the body politic of the nation, I feel obliged to address it. Note well how racism reared its ugly head as we got closer to the recent general election, and it peaked in the few weeks before and after polling day.
Much like the Covid-19 super-virus, race and racism disturb the equilibrium of the country in waves, peaks and troughs, some more damaging than others. Worse, it seems there is no cure for racism, no vaccine to halt its contagious nature. And, as if these virulent strains weren’t scary enough, there is an abundance of evidence to suggest that racism is contagious, even hereditary, possibly part of the DNA of some people.
Continue reading Race is not my compass
By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
August 24, 2020
On August 2, about eight days before the last election, I took part in a programme that was hosted by the Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre on the absence of election observers in T&T’s election, hosted by Dr Kumar Mahabir.
The question posed was whether the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) could conduct a fair election in the absence of foreign electoral observers. I answered: “It’s unfortunate that there will be no foreign observers at the August 10 elections, but I do not share the view that their absence would prevent the election from being conducted in a fair manner.”
Continue reading Counting our blessings
By Sampson Nanton
August 19, 2020 – guardian.co.tt
Twenty-one ministers have been sworn in to for the new Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago, with most returning to their regular portfolios.
The Prime Minister has also opted to create new Ministries, including the Ministry of Youth Development and National Services, to be headed by the Fitzgerald Hinds.
In addition to the 21 Ministers, there are nine Junior Ministers.
Continue reading T&T’s new 21-member Cabinet
By Vijay Prashad and Érika Ortega-Sanoja
August 10, 2020 – venezuelanalysis.com
On August 4, 2020, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Venezuela. Appearing before the committee was U.S. State Department Special Representative Elliott Abrams. Abrams, who has had a long—and controversial—career in the formation of U.S. foreign policy, was assaulted by almost all the members of the Senate committee. The senators, almost without exception, suggested that Abrams had been—since 2019—responsible for a failed U.S. attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro.
Continue reading How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela
…and examining colonials’ ‘deceitful bait-and-switch’
By Claudius Fergus
August 16, 2020 – wired868.com
In defiance of the rapid community spread of Covid-19, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, kept the promise he made on Emancipation Day 2019 to unveil T&T’s first emancipation monument—the only live public event on Emancipation Day 2020.
Like many thousands of other Trinbagonians, I missed the commemorative spectacles of the longest day in the Pan-African Festival’s calendar. But instead of regrets, the occasion motivated me to reexamine the intellectual underpinnings and contradictions of Britain’s 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act.
Continue reading Emancipating old narratives of ‘emancipation’
By Raffique Shah
August 17, 2020
One of these not-so-good days, some fool will vent his or her racial spleen on the anti-social media or in some public place once too often in a rant that has gone too far; another fool will feel sufficiently aggrieved to react with more than mere racial epithets, possibly summoning idle but willing hands to take up cutlasses and defend the domain of the tribe; and the tribal leaders, coming from a manure-fed lineage that nurtured the fires of hatred for generations, would, by word or deed, ignite an eruption that will wreck what passes for civilisation in Trinidad, not necessarily Tobago, sending this island back into a future filled with hatred, bile, sewage and all things negative. A potential paradise will never be allowed to bloom. It will instead be strangled by the patricidal savages who inhabit the wasteland.
Continue reading Destroying democracy
By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
August 12, 2020
Last Tuesday, Joseph Biden, the nominee of the Democratic Party, selected Kamala Harris to be his running mate in the next US presidential election. If she is elected, she will become the most powerful woman in the Democratic Party and a strong candidate to become the first US woman president.
Harris was not selected primarily because of her academic brilliance, political acumen or prosecutorial experience, although she possesses all these attributes. She was selected because black democrats demanded that a black woman be selected because they saved Biden’s candidacy when it was floundering.
Continue reading In defeat, defiance
By A. Hotep
August 15, 2020
The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT), and by extension the business community, was never interested in addressing racism. Poor working conditions and poor remuneration packages are all part of class and racial discrimination which, at the very least, renders many members of the business community complicit. Now that people are prepared to take action to deal with racism, the business community should not be allowed to set the standard for redress. This was made clear by SATT’s quick backpedalling of its boycott of Ramsaran-branded products after calling on the company to “[seek] the appropriate remedial action in a consistent and satisfactory manner.” Aside from the Ramsaran’s text-book apology and “firing” of the owner’s daughter, how has the company demonstrated appropriate remedial action?
Continue reading Sorry, Not Sorry: The Business of Racism in T&T