Talking From Both Sides of Her Mouth

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 23, 2010

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few days ago the Honorary Prime Minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Among other things she recognized that “the passport out of poverty is through education, community empowerment and social entrepreneurship.” She also acknoweldged that 16.7 percent of our people still live below the poverty line; 11.7 per cent are considered working poor whereas 9 per cent are deemed vulnerable. The goal, she says, is to reduce poverty by 2 per cent per year.

These are noble goals. I suspect one way to get these people out of the poverty trap is to encourage them to work harder, plan better and respect what they do since small businesses are always the engine of employment and one way out of poverty. Yet, as in so many things, Prime Minister Kamla seems to say one thing while her ministers say another. Too many of her ministers are willing to defame anyone who seems to be doing his job in a conscientious manner.

Such behavior is becoming lamentably familiar. Justice Minster Herbert Volney besmirches the character of the Chief Justice. The Prime Minister describes his utterance as over enthusiasm and excuses his utterances as his “personal opinion (that is) in no way is the official position of the Prime Minister or the People’s Partnership Government regarding the perception, attitude or policy concerning the judicial arm of the state and, indeed, the honorable Chief Justice.”

One is hard put to understand the distinction. Usually a minister of government speaks for and on behalf of his government but now we are told it is not so. His opinion belongs to him. Under the circumstances, it would be helpful if the Prime Minister can tell us how to distinguish between personal opinion and party position and who makes the determination about same.

A similar thing occurred when Anil Roberts attacked Matthew Cassetta, Public Relations Officer of the Unites States Embassy on how visas are given to citizens of Trinidadians and Tobagonians who wish to visit the United States. When he was alerted by the Embassy that there is an official/diplomatic channel through which these matters are conducted his attitude seemed to suggest that his only consideration was what is in the best interests his constituents.

It was not really important to Roberts who his outbursts offended. Nor for that matter did he seem unduly concerned whether his outbursts affect bilateral relations between the two states (Trinidad and Tobago and the United States) or whether this is how one initiates discussion between two sovereign entities. It was left to Cassetta to remind him that these things are done better through diplomatic notes and exchanges and respect for representatives of countries.

In other words, respect for others matters. It something the Jamaica Gleaner reminded Justice Volney of and what the Public Relations Office of the US Embassy sought to convey to Minister Roberts.
This brings me to a similar unfortunate outburst by Education Minister, Tim Gopeesingh, when he made his contribution to the Budget Debate in House of Representatives last week. His target was the caterers of the School Feeding Program. According to Gopeesingh, the PNM Government spent 1.56 billion dollars on the program between 2001 and 2010. He says “there are 75 carters currently operating the program…These caterers currently make a total of $20 million…All of their friends, all their party supporters and all of their party financiers. These same people who came and cook food and gave it to the CEPEP workers” who had assembled in Woodford Square when a no-confidence motion was brought against former Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

I am sure that Minister Goopeesingh is correct when he says that big suppliers such Kiss Baking, Arawak Chicken, Jaleel and Company and national contractors made a lot of money from the program. I am not too sure he is correct when he seeks to convey the impression that the caterers are Africans, supporters of the PNM and involved in skullduggery. More than half of the seventy five caterers to whom he refers are East Indians and one would like to think that they are just as industrious, honest and hard-working as the other caterers.

Many of these caterers are small entrepreneurs who are trying to make a living. Most kitchens evolved over the years from small two-pot kitchens to large commercial establishments all of which meet HAACP standards under the direction of the National School Dietary Services Ltd. Most of these businesses are open to any entity that is willing to pay for their services, be they political parties, social groups or private entities.

So that when Dr. Goopeesigh seek to paint all of these caterers as party hacks it would be helpful if he could tell us if these caterers were paid for their services, whether their payments were extravagant and whether or not they should have turned down these business opportunities. It might also be helpful to tell us to whom all of the caterers (not just a selective few) sell their services and whether this is how business people conduct their business.

So that when Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar goes to the UN and declare to the world that her party has established a Ministry of the People to deepen the partnership between the Government and the people it would be helpful that she tells the world that her party is concerned about defending the rights of all of her people and is not given to denigrating any group within her society especially those who are trying to rise out of the poverty trap.

The school feeding began as a voluntary program by Audrey Jeffers and the Coterie of Social Workers (which she established) that fed poor children for free before they moved to charging a fee of twenty five cents per meal. The little people who follow in her stead are just trying to make a living, something that Dr. Gopeesingh and the PP should understand. They follow a noble tradition that such be supported.

When Minister Gopeesing and the PP try to demonize these people they must remember that it was the first thing that UNC did when it came into power. It would be unfortunate if the PP, a transformed UNC, made this resurgent demonization of African people their first order of business. It is the last thing it would want to do.

49 Responses to “Talking From Both Sides of Her Mouth”


  • Even more than the pertinent and factual details in this piece, I appreciate Dr. Cudjoe’s article because it is single-handed doing what others, for example, representatives in the PNM are not doing.

    For example, during the presentation of the budget and in other spheres of commentary, the attacks on people of African heritage in T&T continues in ways both implicit and explicit, in and out of parliament.

    One of the most blatant and high-profiled is that by Volney against the CJ. In addition, on raising the race card, the PP representatives and associates are more eager, more open and more often than not, willing to push this envelope.

    On the PNM’s side, probably feeling more vulnerable because of its greater reliance on East Indian support than the PP is for African support, there is greater reluctance.

    In fact, there is a palpable and downright fear of publicly chastising the PP for so regularly and brazzeenly raising the race card.

    Even Jack Warner’s crude and inflammatory remarks in Parliament, one on being the “Head Nigg*r In Charge”; the other, on Dr. Rowley’s opposing the PP’s Laptop decision, of Warner’s demanding to know what “Rowley Have Against Black People” went unanswered both by Black PNM representatvies and also by East Indian PNM members.

    Equally egregious and lacking in decorum was Anil Roberts’ statement about his “dougla lips”. One is left to wonder, too, what are the Standing Orders under which the House sits, and what the interpretation of these are by Speaker Wade Mark whose willingness to be affable sometimes gets in the way of his bringing straying members to heel.

    Total silence from the PNM! Totally silenced ranks of the PNM!

    In short, while the PNM and other high-profile Black people, for example even Black Power Advocate Makaandal who now safely esconsed within the fold of the PP appears to have ‘fallen on his own Daaga’; unlike PP supporters who if anything, have become even more strident, abrasive, explicit and high-decibel.

    When confronting racism and racists, which these attacks from the PP to represent, one must not go on the defensive, nor choose to stand on one’s heels.

    Why are accusations that the PNM oppressed East Indians not yet answered by such high-profiled Black people? Non-response in this case is nothing less than acknowledging these accusations, true or false, to have merit.

    Silence in the face of these attacks is more than being fearful. It is also a statement of agreeing to the charges, period.

    Equally damning is the silence of East Indians in the PNM. This says one of at least two things. One is that their fear of being seen as equally supportive of the interests of T&T’s African descendants as of others, regardless of what the truth and facts might be, is greater than their loyalty to the PNM, to the future of the country, and to the simple truth.

    Dr. Cudjoe appears to be among the few who take on these challenges head-on, as they should and must be.

    Ironically, for his single-handed courage and efforts he is described as being what he opposes; reverse racism–a term which by comparison would imply that using chemotherapy to arrest the spread of cancer is itself, a form of cancer.

    In fact, the worst accusation so far made against him is of being compared with one Sat Maraj, a Hindu nationalist in T&T.

    • When confronting racism and racists, which these attacks from the PP to represent, one must not go on the defensive, nor choose to stand on one’s heels.–Vic

      I commend you for identifying racism. The world needs more people like you who could engage in journey of finding racist amongst us. You must be careful to also identify the PNM racist also. After all surely there must be some of them.

      What essentially is racism. Black people seem to repeat this term over and over again. Is it racism if a black man gets fired because he can’t do the job assign efficiently??? Is it racism if the government expose corrupt and arrest/charge those who are responsible? Is it racism if under performers are given the boot??? Vic can you explain this thing call racism because I am at a loss to understand it. Currently there is a black man who is acting as Prime Minister, is it racism that he is in charge?

      • I assume that your question is rhetorical since yiu appear to bee someone educated and must surely know what racism is, if not in expeerience at least in theory.

        Racism is the abuse of power, sometimes institutional, sometimes individual over others to the exxtent that you can affect and negatively determine their future in education, employment, and in the pursuit of their dreams. Racism in practice is to hold stereotyped low-expectations of others, and have the means and control of print and electronic media to portray theem in whatever negative light you please, while portraying one’s racial community positively, regardless of situations to the contrary.

        Racism is not merely name-calling, but is to hold capabilities to portray others more vulnerable in ways which depict them unfairly and negatively, relentlesly.

        In practice I will give an exaample personal to me. Years ago, a niece of mine won first place scholarship to study medicine. She had a cousin, and they both had an Indian friend as girls.

        Her marks were in the high Bs while my other niece’s was in thee mid-90s. They all knew in advance who was getting into UWI and get government subsidized, and who hadd to apply elsewhere, and all beecause of information passed on by previous friends.

        My niece whose marks were not good enough to enter UWI, were good enough for John Hopkins, where she shone but has never returned to wwork in T&T. Her Indian friend, now a medic in T&T, both remain friends, but never ever speak of their undergraduate years, and likely never will.

        In T&T this also ocurs regularly in the |Technical schools. Attend any graduation and out of 100 students 3 are likely to be black, the rest Indians or others. Is it thaat the Black studeents lack ability or discipline?

        What do you think? I could go on, but would refer you to material in bookstores and on the net to pursue. Again, racism is an abuse of power based on racial grounds. Is orr was the PNM racist aagainst Indians? The accusation is made. But not responded to; an example itself of how cowed the Black people and |Indians there about Indians in T&T.

        Heaven help T&T not to go down the road to perdition where the practice of racism travels, for it is a one-way highway to hell!

        • “Racism is the abuse of power, sometimes institutional, sometimes individual over others to the exxtent that you can affect and negatively determine their future in education, employment, and in the pursuit of their dreams.”–Vic

          According to your above mentioned statement, you would agree with me then Mr.Vic. that the PNM practice racism, when they use state funds to

          (1) Give money to CEPEP over $2 billion and worked it through a particular minister office where he disperse such funds and hired people who were aligned politically to the PNM, via ethnicity and party card.

          (2) You would agree with me that the State deliberately hired primarily people of African descent in State job where up to 85% of jobs was reserved for people of African descent. They were practicing racism according to your description of it, weren’t they.

          (3) You would agree with me when Indian businessmen were being kidnapped and killed, the Prime Minister at the time said “kidnappings are targetted” and smiling said “kidnappings are significantly bogus” that he was insensitive to the brutality being meted out to Indians. That definitely will fit your description of racism (the worst kind)right Vic.

          (4) You would agree with me that in rural areas the roads were not fixed and funding was not given to fix drainage, while billions were being spent on NAPA and other government funded projects. That would be the government institution using it’s power to oppress people who did not vote for them.. right, racism here also Mr. Vic. Yes.

          (5) You would agree with me when the government promoted people of a particular ethnicity and turn there backs on the more qualified people because of race that they were practicing racism. Right. As was the case an Indian prison officer who was consistently passed up for promotion. He fought the government and won his case via the current AG.

          (6) You would agree with me when the State gave scholarship en masse to a particular ethnicity to study in London England and other parts of the world, that those scholarships were not subjected to public scrutiny until SDMS fought and won the right for qualified students to apply for such scholarships. That the government of the day was practicing racism. By using state funds to give under that table scholarships to a particular ethnicity. You would agree right Vic.

          (7) You would agree with me when millions of dollars were given to TUCO and the Carnival committee and others who applied were given a pitance. That the state was practicing discrimination base on ethnicity –called racism. This according to your description was racism right Vic

          (8) You would agree with me when I say government housing was built for a specific race and when my aunt went to apply she was told, she kind can’t get housing here. You would agree with me that that was racist right Vic.

          I could go on bro, but I think you and I are on the same page and thanks for agreeing with me…. Keep the fight alive…racism is ignorance and wrong in all forms.

          • Khem, the experiences had by my nieces occurred under PNM governments. The prevalence of Indian professionals in medicine and other areas occurred under PNM governments. The control of media occurred under PNM governments.

            Which set of medics stand repeatedly accused by women in T&T of forcing them to be sterilized against their wishes; which public Black individual has ever called for the sterilization of Indan women?

            Many young Black professionals supported the electoral opposition and helped oust the PNM allowing the UNC/COP coalition to seize power. Many of them, seeing now with intense dismay, the triumphalism of Indians after the election “is we time now”, are suffering from ‘buyers remorse’.

            Even worse, sit in any High Commission in Britain, or Canada or Brusselss and listen to the triumphlist discussions, openly racist of Indians whether or not a Black person is there and you could understand why what was percieved only four months ago as a breath of fresh air is now beginning to be a dank dungeon, metaphorically speaking since these young Black profesionals supported, never the UNC–brazenly linked with Hindu nationalists in T&T–but the COP and particularly Dookeran who unbeknownst to them had earlier said in India that his historic responsibility is to halp break the yoke of Black oppression over Indians in T&T.

            Khem, these past months might only be 120 days for Indians and others, but for young Black professionals and their parents it is more like 120 months backwards in time and effort and possibility.

            Black people will more likely support an Indian for election than an Indian will elect a Black person, and this is at home and abroad.

            Recriminations and finger-pointing when a house is tinder-dry and with fire alarms go un-noticed or neglected is unavoidably foolish.

            Today, however, T&T in my opinion stands at, or nearer a crossroads of significant and irreversible possibilities.

            These could be to create a society in which justice is both done and seen to be done; in which the institutions like UWI, etc., do not have racial door-keepers allowing in those of one race while denying entrance of others, etc; in which the state respects all its citizens and their heritage and possibilities.

            The other possibility is unthinkable. Ask survivors of the vast tragedies which led to a Sri Lanka, a Bosnia, a Rwanda.

            Dr. Cudjoe in his articles is like a surgeon trying to lance a boil on the body politic. He is trying to do what Black politicians and public figures might discuss among themselves but never voice publicly.

            Where was the voice of Makandaal, and Jack Warner and McLeod in the government, or of Rowley in opposition after the election the Indian High Commissioner announced that “Mother India has arrived”.

            There is indeed a doctor in the house: Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe.

    • “Equally egregious and lacking in decorum was Anil Roberts’ statement about his “dougla lips”. One is left to wonder, too, what are the Standing Orders under which the House sits, and what the interpretation of these are by Speaker Wade Mark whose willingness to be affable sometimes gets in the way of his bringing straying members to heel.”

      It is called political strategy.. If only ‘they’ can ‘comfort’ that section of the population, (20%)..
      Too bad.. they missed a golden opportunity to address this ‘DOOGALA’ issue.

      • “Khem, the experiences had by my nieces occurred under PNM governments. The prevalence of Indian professionals in medicine and other areas occurred under PNM governments. The control of media occurred under PNM governments.”

        The fact is I experience racism but it did not infect me with hatred towards those who treated me that way. In fact I dare say it made me a better person. The racist was the one having the problem not me. So if he is the one having the problem why should I bother, he is the one who have to live with himself.

        My first experience with racist in T&T was when my parents went to pay land tax and came across an overloaded government institution filled with African people. We waited in line patiently and when our time came the African woman said to my mother “come back tomorrow” in a very harsh voice. No explanation given.

        When I was about 17 years old I went to Service Commission in POS to apply for a job as a clerk. The woman sitting at the desk was of African descent. I came and sat and waited. Some Indians girls came and sat and waited also. They were neatly dress and a bit nervous. African children came in they were sent through AHEAD of us. After about 3 hours (I was patient) I went up to the lady I asked her why is it we are having to wait this long. The Indian girls were relieve that someone had the courage to confront this monster. She steups and then said she would take my application(of course I know where it went). Then she let the girls through.

        Then I went for the police, fireman and security at Trintoc. I passed all the exams and was called in for an interview. There I met my Afro brothers. In the fire service five of them interviewing me and you guessed it never heard from these services again.

        I could go on because those were the “glorious” days of PNM racism. When I became a manager my first two employees were two black men. I hired them, because I realise that I could allow the same prejudice mete out to me to color my judgement. No the tribalist did not win nor succeeded in making me one of them……Ha.

        • a woman talk to u harsh and she is a racist?? boy you have no credibility at all….like Trinidad is the epitome of costumer service. Steupssss!!!!

          • Keep it realer– after suffering years of racism at the hands of the black man, Indian people just assumed that black people were racist, that they were born with a race genes. When they are in power they take care of their own. Indians generally don’t do that but fight amongst themselves. When black people are out of power all they do is complain about racism. You will hardly find any Indian talking about racism because it is not in our genes, we share our food with everyone.

            I found this to be so after attending my first wedding of a tribal friend. I was part of the bridal party. After the wedding people were expected to be fed. Lo and behold the food came out in plates and was being passed to African people alone. Of course, the Indians in the wedding were shocked, and simply looked surprised.
            My tribal friend notice what was going on and her blood pressure went right up I could tell it shot up very quickly, she went into the kitchen and gave those who were sharing the food a piece of her mind. They quickly changed what they were doing and began a fair distribution of food. I thought to myself, if these people attend an Indian wedding, the host will have them sit and feed them all without a second thought.

            Throughout the years of PNM excesses Indians did not scream discrimination because we came to believe that with the black man he will be prone to take care of his own only.
            Today I think the PP has demonstrated otherwise with people of various ethnicities proving to us that they care about all. As for the black man I expect him to continue screaming racism, like the man who cried wolf when there was none. Eventually when the wolf came he scream wolf only this time no one responded and the wolf had a good dinner….(lol).

  • Another poorly written article. There is not much one can say about this article expect that there is no real point attached to it. Ivor vs Volney, Anil versus American Embassy, Goopiesingh versus school caterers… Poor African people under attack (bellyaching again). The Prime Minister allowing democracy in her party. Some ministers are speaking without her blessings. Nothing unusual for a new government, this is all part of the growing pains. In due season Ministers will learn.

    The Prime Minister has conducted herself very well in going about the people’s business. Dealing with issues as they arise. I must say her speech at the UN was great given the short time she has been Prime Minister. Further to all, she have a clear vision for the nation. She continues to stay out of issues that could be viewed as interference of the judiciary. A very wise move on her part. The AG came out speaking in glowing terms of the current Chief Justice. I think that was commendable of him.

    All in all I would give the government an A+ so far and African people need not worry or be afraid as this writer seems to think.

  • I wish to applaud the good doctor for the manner he has laid out this article…I am in total agreement about the conduct of all aspects of this government. We are in serious trouble in T&T as it pertains to race and issues of security.
    How can this government in it’s right mind cancel those OPVs? I wonder if there are ulterior motives in this thing…make no mistake, they are all talking about crime et al, but yet you all cutting the various crime fighting tools from the Minester of National Security legs…Doctor, we need more level headed articles like these to keep up with all their screw ups…a MediaWatch Group…check every issue they bring.

  • Yet again. When will it stop. PNM over a 8 year period managed the country affairs and in so doing gave out endless contracts with huge sums of money to their loyal supporters who are now deeply entrenched. Leave them alone is now their cry as they use poor people like them as human shields just like the thugs of the wider world. These PNM people are so damn boldfaced it is not funny. And npbody must interfere with this. As far as the PNM are concerned the crap must be allowed to continue unabated while most of their own ethnic grouping remains poor and hungry (note that they are the ones who continue the race talk yet they are the ones who keep their own down re the tribal approach). No they do not want to change. This article is a clever trick to brainwash their own and attack anything positive the PP government does (I wonder who is paying these PNM people to twist the truth). Fact is, the PNM stole and spent trillions not to improve things in Trinidad and Tobago but to keep themselves in power as they feel money always talks. Manning forgot there was a God in charge and his time will come. However on the more positive side I wish to advise the PNM that their greatness will only come back through the efforts of a great leader like Hon. Eric Williams or an Obama. They need to look around the party to find that new leader. The hangers on or the ones who climb over the backs of the builders of the once great PNM party and who are still there need to need to be placed on the boat to Africa so that they could discover the greatness of some of their roots there (talk to people like Nelson Mandela) and draw from these people. Ever wonder where (what corners of the earth) the most famous people come from? So Dr. Cudjoe use your importance (be it academic or otherwise) to bring something more tangible to the table, to uplift your people, to take your following from the jaws of defeat to greatness not necessarily in monetary worth but in God’s eyes. He gave us tremendous talent we do not use as we nearly always look away from Him and to our self and our self worth. If you must criticize Kamla do it without introducing the race element or do it without being on a protectionist agenda for all who stole the taxpayer dollars and expect nothing should be done about it. As to Anil’s and Jack’s and Volney’s I do not necessarily agree with how they tackled the wrongs because I like them….i am not perfect nevertheless the wrongs must be tackled by first airing them. I like Volney know about the CJ and his non performance and the gifts handed to him by the PNM. And in Anil’s case this is not the first time the US Embassy has treated us with scorn in our own country …. Obama must remove the bad eggs there who always act under diplomatic cover. In another country their wrongs would have been greeted with endless protest but that is not in our culture, is it? As for Jack and his remarks, I see no problem as a strategist myself you need to always make a “stab” at things in right place to send the most potent message. I do not expect you to like his approach as you like to beat around the bush with half truths and hidden agendas. And of course as the PNM practised over and over, diversionary tactics whenever the truth is about to be uncovered. Anyway out of curiosity, what role in the refurbished PNM will you get for your efforts… is this your only agenda? I will tell you my agenda…it is that one day when we sing the national anthem…every creed and race WILL find an equal place not only just your african PNM cronies with big bank accounts and with token indians to show the foreigner all is well in T&T. Was it Starlift who used to say “we not I”? PNM destroyed that “we not I” image after 1981 and afterwards called George dun ce. This was the beginning of the end of that great party. The youth did not have any zeal after this. How much money you want to leave Trinidad…I will pray that God give it to you so that the likes of you will give the PP government the chance to go after those PNM elements that stole our money not just Ish and his gang but also the jones’ gang as well.

  • “She continues to stay out of issues that could be viewed as interference of the judiciary.”
    Sorry brother khem , but she lost that claim the day she allowed Volney to resign his post on a sitting Judge on a Monday , then run for political office on a Tuesday, now she has to live with this unwarranted ,and personal revengeful fallout ,as displayed by him , on Wednesday , Thursday and Friday for the next few years she is unable to control him , or that power remains in her party’s grasp.
    Again, leave the good Doctor alone, for with the usual media frauds kissing her toes , rings, and anything else that’s offered for genuflection, in efforts to garner governmental spoils themselves, and with the Rottweiler, along with his Opposition still working assiduously to restructure that party ,so that it can again become a competitive voice, and Party once more, it is left to independent voices like Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe,to keep shining the light in the extremely dark recesses that many of the current power brokers would like us the wider public to not know about.
    In short , the only way to ensure that political barbarians ,not overrun the gate and destroy any semblance of well established democracy, is through vigilance.
    So my friend, if you are a serious advocate of democracy , as claimed, live and let live , and let dissenting voices be heard,for it is what is expected from someone, who along with many others of similar ilk -for sinister reasons- made the Land of the Land of the Maple Leaf their home since 1986, yes?
    Now for the record, let me state that I could live with Justice Volney’s outburst, for I fully understands what drives him, as many of us were forced to grabble with it silently – it is the perception of a subtle form of discrimination , that is exhibited due to the corner of the globe where one emerged, and the impact it has on one’s career, or other aspect of social life- when in actuality, it might have nothing to do with such concerns.
    I can even appreciate the passion ,and or frustration of Mr Roberts ,re sometimes unfair ,big brother America ,with respect to the Visa problem, so I won’t really beat him up for that tiny spat,like the Doc.
    I was however holding my breath after I heard Dr Goopisesing became Education Minister , to see when he again was going to put his feet into his mouth, and take another stab at Afro Trinis,and their alleged penchant for engaging in blatant acts of genocides , and discriminations- against Indo Trinis, simply because two of his old students, failed respective Spanish, and Yoruba interviews for jobs at the POS Hospital, that went in favor of more qualified Nigerian , and Cuban doctors.
    It should be noted that ,the evidence by any objective analysis ,would always show that in every socio economic category ,the latter’s quality of life, far outstrips the former in every respect, even if many of the fraudulent political pundits ,would not admit it, and the reason that this came about.
    African ,after 400 years of slavery ,lost all forms of tribal predilections as played out in the ancestral homeland- unlike others within our country.
    As such, governance , and the leaders from within their ranks never practiced the behavior of which many were daily accused, as many would not hesitated to step on the heads of their own , and bend over backwards to appease others.
    Long live the Twin Island ,Democratic, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
    Let’s continue to love country, always.

    • “independent voices like Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe,to keep shining the light in the extremely dark recesses that many of the current power brokers would like us the wider public to not know about.”

      Nealos, the whole governmental system is in a mess. It will take the PP some time to clean up the mess. Mess # 1 SAUTT, $1.6 billion with nothing to show. Mess #2 Scarborough General– a testament to wastage at the extreme. Mess #3 Toruba Stadium – close to a billion and counting, Mess #4 Clico & Hcu — everybody expecting PP pay them for their bad investments. Mess #5 Udecott- a crying shame, Mess #6 The out of control crime situation, Mess #7 Petrotrin- anther crying shame here. Mess #8 Housing–bad job by the contractors.

      Nealos I saw a report on Africa and in it children were drinking deadly water, I was sick for days after looking at it. The sad reality was they did not know the dangers of that water. And so people like you would never know the dangers of these tribalist. They are waiting to spill their divisive ideology to the weak and vulnerable. Let us hope my friend that you can see through their psychosis and realise that T&T is better today.

      • Khem, look also at the conditions of poor people in India, where collectivly they number more than the population of all Africa. You might also read DALIT VOICE, organ of the oppressed indigenous people of India, originally from Ethiopia and after one of whom was the Ganges named.

  • Your excellent point is well taken Brother Khem . SAUTT , Clico & HCU , Scarborough long delayed hospital construction,Canadian Hart Udecott,the entire Tobago neglectful state,Toruba Stadium,Petrotrin, Housing construction fiasco, terrible state of our economy, runnaway crime, Basdeo Panday Airport Scandal, Abu Bakr coup, Police Genocides,recent Caroni Bridge / crane collapse, anti Indian ,job discriminations,Human rights abuses on Justice Shama, and Sat Maharaj,Corruption activities by Gilman Hussain, O’Hallaran , or Errol Mahabir Japanese garden,and Kamal Muhammad , Agricultural ADB Ponzi Schemes,as well as destruction of the entire Health Service by flooding the Ministry with backyard incompetents, and 99.9 % of all the corruptions , political , and social mismanagement ,that ever took place within the borders of Trinidad and Tobago ,are due primarily to the fact that Africans had full control of this entire country from August 31st 1962 to present.
    I agree,that each and every one of our citizens should therefore be grateful , that Queen Kamla pounced on the scene ,with her progressive PP government , to save us from our lingering psychosis, brought on in great measure ,my the activities of Africans, and their grand pickneys .
    I finally am in agreement that the world would have been a much better if all savage , dumb ,Africans ,had remained on the continent of Africa , and died perhaps of dirty drinking water ,and other social maladies unknown to more civilize folks such as Asians and Caucasians.
    Thanks a million my friend for bringing me up to speed on prevailing realities.
    We pay homage .

  • To all those folks who feel that Dr. Cudjoe is just nuisance value: you should have seen the display in the airport atrium which sought to celebrate Trinidad & Tobago’s Independence/Republic anniversary.

    Two icons symbolic of the major races in Trinidad & Tobago was used. The tabla is in the right foreground, and the steelpan is in the background. You had to look very hard to recognise the pan, but the first thing you see is the tabla.

    Yuh want meh to read an spell fuh yuh?

    • Pan is a Trinidadian instrument…it is an icon of Trinidad as a whole ans not just Africans. If the display was meant to be symbolic of the two major races in Trinidad they should have used the African drums in the same vein as how they used the tabla….but given the work the brainwashing the likes of Sat Maharaj has done to the Hindu diaspora in Trinidad, I am not at all surprised the the Steel Pan is a “creole ting.” I wonder if Sat preparing to remove the Pan as a symbol of our national instrument in the name of multiculturalism anything soon.

  • Yes Gavin on another note, you ever wonder which gang does more harm to Trinidad and Tobago; the hand thumping gang in the Red House (Parliament) or the one up in Neverdirty. One thing these gangs sure have team work covered. Most big companies struggle to get their members to work in productive teams.

  • Kudos to Vic, I think that he is enlightened, bright, thoughtful and insightful. Khem is exactly what people have to be guardefd about. He speaks of racism agaianst Indians but cannot individually document the true impact of that racism. He speaks of racism as if somehow one can go to some institution or place that is representative of the ‘PNM racism’ that was so devastating to Indians. He cannot pinpoint or name (other than Manning) these people who discriminates against Indians. He is like a Tea Party supporter who wants ‘his country back’ bust sees only people of his elk benefitting from such resurgence. Vic, you have intelligently argued and expanded the case made by the professor which is what we need to address more often than we do at present. There is a one-way conversation going on in the country today in which the word ‘PNM’ carries double meaning. It might mean Manning, it might mean the political party, it might mean African people, it might mean government belonging top a particular people or class or it might be the emergence of a new lexicon to paint anything that is NOT Indian as bad or unworthy. Every single ministry has labelled the ‘PNM’ thing as the reason why they are unable to right what they consider as ‘wrong’. I believe that this is psychological in the sense that they are trying to cover their hides before the real truth comes out about themselves. So, if we accept that crazy notion that everything ‘PNM’ is bad then those who might be naturally akin to be ‘PNM’ might feel ashamed of themseves, while they hold racists like Sat Maharaj in high esteem. We are going back into slavery, only this time with our eyes wide open without saying a word about it. Kamla is doing a hatchet job on black people. They continue to suck in her ‘sweet talk’ while returning everything back to the ‘old’ UNC days in government. I implore VIC, the professor and others to be vigilant and ‘write out’ in whatever forum they can about what we are getting into with open eyes. Volney, Anand, Gopeesing, Roberts and others (supported by the media) are giving us all the clues, we have to interpret them and analyse how they affect us all as individuals. If they are not addressed dont be surprised if we end up with a nation such as apartheid South Africa, this time it would be brown over black. The silence of people like Ellis Clarke, Karl Hudson Phillips, Martineau and others are deafening.

  • Selwyn R. Cudjoe was born in Tacarigua, Trinidad, West Indies. After receiving his secondary education in Trinidad, he immigrated to the United States. He studied at Boro-Hall Academy, St. John University, Fordham University where he received his B.A. and M.A. He also studied at Columbia University and Cornell University where he received his doctorate in American Literature. Professor Cudjoe taught at at Fordham University, Ithaca College, Cornell University, Harvard University, Brown University and Wellesley College where he is a professor and chairman of Africana Studies. Professor Cudjoe is a recipient of several fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and another from American Council of Learned Society Fellowship.

    Professor Cudjoe is the author of several books including Resistance and Caribbean Literature; V.S. Naipaul: A Materialist Reading; Beyond Boundaries: The Intellectual Tradition of Trinidad and Tobago in the Nineteenth Century and Caribbean Visionary: A.R.F. Webber and the Making of the Guyanese Nation. He has also edited Caribbean Visionary: A.R.F. Webber and the Making of Guyanese Nation. He has also edited Caribbean Women Writers; Eric Williams Speaks: Essays on Colonialism and Independence; and, with William Cain, co-edited C.L.R. James: His Intellectual Legacies. He has written for several publications including the New York Times; The Washington Post; Boston Globe; Harvard Educational Review; International Herald Tribune; New Left Review; Baltimore Sun and the Amsterdam News. He has also produced two documentaries: Tacarigua: A Village in Trinidad (with the assistance of Cornell University) and Caribbean Women Writers (with Christopher Laird of Banyan Productions.)

    Professor Cudjoe is a director of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and member of a Cabinet – appointed Round Table Discussion on Race Relations. He also wrote a weekly column for the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express. He is the president of the National Association for the Empowerment of African People (Trinidad and Tobago.)
    You are so brilliant that your diatribe above confuses me, you say the PM is speaking from both side of her mouth and you are speaking from your anal cavity. You have fail all africans in the caribbean, especially those in T&T when your PNM party was in power ( which was most of the time),what did you do to bring your african brothers and sisters out off the cespit of dispair? You’re not a true patriot just ah PNM till yuh die afro trini, try being a Trini of african decent and look at your country first, if you can not do that put away your pen shout up.

  • In every country in this hemisphere, people of African descent have had one thing in common. In addition to facing racism and white supremacist behaviour, we have led the struggles for human rights.

    We have by far, apart from the indigenous peoples: the Arawaks, Ciboney, Caribs, been the only ones who didn’t choose to come here, but fought against being brought here, including in T&T.

    Our forebears also carved out of bitter oppression independent countries—at least for two centuries—like Palmares in what is now Brazil.

    In our time, in this hemisphere and beyond, the global voices of morality raised against oppression and for human rights have been those of a Dr. MLK, a Bishop Tutu, a Nelson Mandela.

    In fact, before Mandela publicly called-out George Bush as a war criminal for invading Iraq, every other leader in Europe, in Asia et al, remained silent. After Mandela was the deluge of anti-war demonstratiuons an condemnations.

    Likewise, it was Dr. King who was the first national leader in the US to come out publicly against the Viet Nam war, and for which he, as many others, paid with his life.

    Many people, my parents included thought very highly of Gandhi. Well deserving, Gandhi was a Hindu. He was one who saw the untouchable Black Dalits as harijan, children of God. He never received the Nobel Prize, something still regretted by that committee since his historic Salt March across India is seminal to antiviolence movements still.

    He was ironically described by the most famous Dalit, Dr Ambdkar as the greatest enemy of the Untouchables (imagine a country in which on religious-based grounds some of its inhabitants are legally, Untouchable; a religion that is the unabashed backbone of the UNC).

    Apart from Gandhi, who else is there of the stature of a Toussaint? The point is that, wherever Black people have lived in the past 400 hundred years, while being oppressed, they have changed the course of history—and of culture—for all and for the better.

    In Canada, the 1970s changes in the constitution regarding human rights provisions were effected by people like Jamaican Bromley Armstrong, and Trinidadian lawyer, Charlie Roach.

    Indians from T&T later expressed their thanks by “fleeing” to Canada as refugees because “Negro men were systematically with the connivance of a PNM racist government, raping Indian women.”

    Later events showed who were the deliberate culprits in this heinous and hurtful scheme: hurtful to Indian women in T&T; and hurtful to the already battered image of Black men in Canada. So far as I know, to date, no Indo-Canadian, nor Indo-T&T organization has come out to condemn these lies, nor apologise to Black Canadians.

    Indians today who use the acronym, PNM to mean black and negative and corruption and dependent and criminal ought to observe Clifford’s Principle: it is wrong everywhere, anyone makes a final judgement on insufficient evidence.

    Today in T&T every race must make necessary efforts to overcome racial stereotypes and attitudes. The PM has a leading role in this, if she understood her role here, and also has the courage to buck her key supporters and backers.

    While she is a caring person, as a public figure it is uncertain which will supercede: her buoyant humanity or her political partisanship.

    Regardless of the past, what matters equally is the present and the future. This is so because the past is never dead and with good reason. Waltman, the 20th century American writer said, “not only is the past not dead, it is not even past.”

    He was echoing what the 19th Spanish philosopher, Santayana said that a nation is one of shared myths and missions.

    In T&T, based on the deeds past, and the needs of the present, what are these myths? Whose myths are these? What is the nation’s mission? Surely not to be Mother Africa, nor Mother India, but to be Mother T&T, period!

    However, were one to watch the Parliamentary channel and its history section, one wouldn’t think that there are Black people living in T&T, or that any made any significant contribution to T&T, with the exception of Butler, and an old Black woman and man.

    All the narrators are Indian. Those who created the series are Indian. The authorities quoted are Indian.

    One might argue, well what’s wrong with that? Indians are only taking care of their own, of themselves. Why don’t Black people also take care of their own? Every other group does, not only Indians. And why all this violence wherever black people are found? Is it inherent? Genetic? Why have we become the objects of open redicule for others? And what use describing and celebrating what heroic things done by us in the past? What does it matter today in terms of high finance, mergers and acquisitions, PR strategies, that the Ganges is named after an African? Why it is that black people religiously subsidize every other race by purchasing their services and products while few of other races condescend to reciprocate?

    Of one thing I am sure. It is that it is Black people who must answer these questions. However, it will also involve those among us who carry status to be involved. Ironically, these are also among the most timid; the most cowed. By contrast, despite oafish behaviour, give Sat Maraj credit for one thing. He has no compunctions that by any means necessary, he will publicly, unapologetically and relentlessly advance the interests of Indians, particularly but not exclusively those of Hindus.

    Is this strategy a safe strategy in any country for the long term, especially one in which the various races are as intimately connected as they are in T&T?

    Rather than curse success, then, copy it. Provided this is what success, especially in the long run looks like. Whatever, in the meantime: No Retreat! Absolutely, no Retreat!

    • “Later events showed who were the deliberate culprits in this heinous and hurtful scheme: hurtful to Indian women in T&T; and hurtful to the already battered image of Black men in Canada. So far as I know, to date, no Indo-Canadian, nor Indo-T&T organization has come out to condemn these lies, nor apologise to Black Canadians”

      Let me say that the news you reported about rapes only made headlines in T&T. Nobody as far as I know were even slighly aware of a battered black image. Besides it was sensational reporting.

      In most refugee claims(at the time) people could say mostly anything. It is like a court case, you go and say what you want and then it is up to the legal system to accept it as a defence. As to whether or not the rapes were true (i believe some of it were) (just like kidnappings), just look at Congo where over 300 people were raped over four days).

      But it is recurring theme in the mind of black appologist, an unnecessary recurring theme since over 22 years has gone by. Demanding appology left right and center. Appology from the Indo population who were in most part oblivous of the mischevious black male sexual prowess. My understanding is that bands of Afro males from Port of Spain engaged in gang raping Indo women in T&T shortly after, they said it was because of those refugee claims. So two wrongs does not make a right.
      Rather they should appologise for such uncivilise behaviour on people who were not even aware if such claims were true.

      • Khem said:

        “Appology from the Indo population who were in most part oblivous of the mischevious black male sexual prowess. My understanding is that bands of Afro males from Port of Spain engaged in gang raping Indo women in T&T shortly after, they said it was because of those refugee claims.”

        While you are entitled to your racist diatribe, this statement is a blatant lie. Why don’t you bring evidence to substantiate your ‘understanding’?

        I was planning on commenting on this article because I disagree with Dr. Cudjoe in many respects. But as usual on this blog, when some people try to refute what he puts forward, they are so uninformed that they show up their bigotries with their lies, exaggerations and general misinformation.

        • Heru, these things are part of our history, I don’t believe that Indian people should appologise to anyone for a few poor people seeking to better their lives in a foreign land. Why should I have to appologise if my neighbour killed a man and he happened to be Indian like me???? Does that make logical sense.

          Some 22 years have passed and these black appologist led by Cudjoe wants some kind of appology. Well I don’t hear Indian people asking Manning for an appology after he ignore the cries of Indian people who were being kidnapped and murdered. Some of them by special forces in the military. Their blood still soak the soil of this nation crying out for justice. Their orphan children still go to bed not knowing what will happen tomorrow. They are the ones who should be appologise to….

          • Take a deep breath and check yourself.

            I expect most people to be racist of sorts, so I am never surprised by the things people say.

            I asked you for evidence (or even a news report) to substantiate your claim of “Afro males from Port of Spain engaged in gang raping Indo women in T&T” and you replied with “Heru, these things are part of our history”. And you are busy trying to point fingers at others for hating?

            It appears that you are using this blog to deliberately spread lies.

  • @ TocoBoy you should give credit to Wikipedia or whatever source from which you copied the information on Dr. Cudjoe. Dr. Cudjoe is no “Johnny Come Lately” and is a true patriot of T&T. I recall being a contributor to a magazine publication of Dr. Cudjoe’s somewhere around the 80’s but don’t remember the title. I thought it was an excellent publication and was distressed when it went out of business. Perhaps the good Dr. can provide the name of the publication, etc. And let me give much thanks to Vic for his incisive contributions. We, Africans have endured much and we have persevered and we are here to stay and will not retreat.

    • “Dr. Cudjoe is no “Johnny Come Lately” and is a true patriot of T&T.”- Danny.
      Dr.Cudjoe is no true patriot of T&T, he is black appologist with strong American connections. He is known as an African American professor.

      • Your automatic opposition to Dr. Cudjoe is so unthinking, that if he had dog which walked on water, you would conclude that it cannot swim.

        • Dr. Cudjoe is a hate-monger such as his hero Malcom X. There is nothing redemptive in his writing. “Talking from both sides of her mouth” is an attack on the Prime Minister accusing her of being a liar. If someone says to me I am talking from both sides of my mouth essentially they are insulting me by telling me that I am lying.

          “Corrupting the minds of the young” is another commentary that promotes hate against one of the hardest working parliamentarian in T&T. He goes on to quote all those who have a vendetta against this honorable man — Jack Warner. Trying very hard to maligned the character of our Jack. Jack was responsible for FIFA going to South Africa and putting on the best soccer games ever, raising the profile of black people across the world. Africa will never be frown upon again when in comes to international events.

          In another one of his diatribe artices “Indian(Hindu) time ah come” He launches an attack on the hardest working Finance Minister Mr. Dookeran and quotes him out of context (intellectual dishonesty) painting him as a member of Bajrang Dal. What essentially is this writer trying to achieve by spewing hatred against citizens who are highly honored by the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago??? Is he saying Trinis are stupid??? Americans are smart??? African people are the light of the world, we should all follow them???

          What is the point of these articles except to promote hate against anyone who is not percieved by him to be a member of the tribe. He does not have exclusive right over Africans and dare I say do not speak for African people!!! All he is speaking for is the PNM, because this is typical PNM ideology “divide and rule”.

          Former Prime Minister Mr. ANR Robinson once said his mother told him “if you too far East you will reach West”. It is the same with this writer he keeps going East and very soon he will reach West.

    • Heru Said:
      “I asked you for evidence (or even a news report) to substantiate your claim And you are busy trying to point fingers at others for hating?

      It appears that you are using this blog to deliberately spread lies.”

      Mr Heru let me assure you that I am not out to spread lies about anything. I can’t go back 22 years and prove anything to anyone. However when these black appologist go back 22 years and accuse Indians of telling lies I don’t find the same determination in your writing to get to the truth. You seem to accept what they say as the truth. I remember the Canadian Immigration Minister Barbra MacDougal( a Conservative anti-immigrant minister) coming to the Prime Minister at the time Mr. Robinson and telling him that some of the refugee from Trinidad were making certain accusation.

      As I have said before when someone presents a case they can say anything. These “refugees” could have said that they were being bombed in Trinidad. It did not matter, rather it was up to the Immigration Department to accept or reject these claims. Many were rejected and sent home. They however became valuable citizens in T&T having lived aboard and acquired some skills.

      Heru that is as much as my memory serve me, I fortunately do not take detail record of incidents beyond what it’s worth for face value.

      • While I agree that others do post what I consider to be misinformation on these blogs, I am not challenging others at this time. I am challenging you on one point! There are other points of misinformation in your post but I choose to focus on only one.

        You said: “My understanding is that bands of Afro males from Port of Spain engaged in gang raping Indo women in T&T shortly after, they said it was because of those refugee claims.”

        The fact that you cannot provide one credible source for your misinformation but instead choose to distract by claiming that others tell lies, says a lot about your character, or lack thereof. Blaming others does not excuse you.

        I am left with no choice but to view everything you post from the perspective of how racist you are together with how easy you are willing to spread anti-African misinformation (not that it matters to you how I or anyone else view you). But this thread says a lot about how you view Africans in this People’s Partnership government.

        If your intent was to defend Indians in this People’s Partnership, then you have done yourself and them a disservice.

        • “But this thread says a lot about how you view Africans in this People’s Partnership government”

          I find it interesting how easily you connect the dots between what happened 22 years ago to the present administration. If an event ocurred and you do not remember (i find this all the time with old people) then don’t go around trying to accuse people of spreading disinformation. That’s all I am going to say on this.

          As for Africans in the PP I have not said anything against people’s political affiliation. Same as Indians in the PNM. So where is your connection??? As far as I know Trinidad is still a democracy and people are entitled to join any political party for whatever reason, it is their choice. Freedom of political association is guaranteed in the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution.

          • You are malicious, racist and extremely dishonest to be making this unsubstantiated claim in an attempt to neutralize some Indians’ shame.

            What you have concocted on this thread did not happen 22 years ago. In fact, it never happened at all. At no time did groups of Africans go around raping Indian females in this country. This is not about remembering; I can remember quite well. This is about facts versus your fiction.

            That initial claim was proven to be a lie but now you wish to make it stick by claiming that African males targeted Indian females to get their revenge by way of a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is ludicrous. The stain of what those Indians did will not go away.

            If it was ever proven that groups of Africans had raped Indian females, there is no shortage of Indian activists who would be only too happy to use that as a justification for their racism. The fact is Indian activists in Trinidad and Tobago do not even lay such charges. They are ashamed to even mention the allegations that some Indians made that were later exposed as lies. This remains an embarrassing moment for Indians here. I suggest that you find some other way to deal with that shame.

  • Khem and people of his elk always want black people to ‘forget’ what wrong has been done to them. Does it matter if it was one year ago or 500 years ago? It is precisely because many of us fall doe that kind of behaviour that we are in that trouble today. When black luminaries (in Triniad) enjoy the privilege of being in the spotlight they never remember to assert their Africaness but always try to show their support to the culture that would include them in their celebrations. People like Ellis Clarke is a prime example of such an accomplished Afro. So, when he is gone while a publication of his literature might be some where collecting dust, he leaves no ‘spirit’ to those left behind to exalt his name so that his name and works mi h live on to motivate our up coming Dr. Cudjoes. Black people must understand that we have to keep the dreams alive and cannot expect anyone such as Khem to do that for us. Sure, they feel threatened by it. Look at all the crimes committed and there is one thing that plays out constantly, the fear of the black man. Our job is to use our intellect to make our history relevant at all times. Not only when it is threatened also when it is safe to do so. The fact that McCloud acted acted as PM is ok for the history books but means nothing to our progress as a people.

    • Kian, when you cite individuals—I call them Lazarus Returned—inherently fearful of and opposed to the progress of African people, you give them an unnecessary status which they neither deserve nor are capable of comprehending.

      Dr. Cudjoe in another generation was a Dessalines, a Frederick Douglass, a Sam Sharpe, a WEB DuBois, a Rap Brown, a Medgar Evers.

      Why do I cite these heroic Africans?

      In this hemisphere, both people of Indian and of African descent and heritage have experienced oppression, different in extent and horror and consequences—land for some, the whip for others. However, where in the ranks of Indians is there anyone who fought oppression as did a Toussaint L’Ouverture and a Henri Christophe?

      Where is the equivalent intellectual giant rising from indenturship among Indians of the stature of a Frederick Douglass conquering from enslavement and forcing the hand of a reluctant but pliable president during a civil war to make a proclamation ending slavery?

      When the emancipated slaves were fighting British officers in T&T like Captain Arthur Baker, head of Trinidad’s police force in the early 1880s, his most reliant spies were Indians; many of whom, arriving as babies, and with mal-nourished Indian women unable to feed them were breast-fed by black women.

      Did these women know the descendants of these mal-nourished death-bed babies brought, like Lazarus back to life, would one day become the haters of Black people, trying at every turn to denigrate and demean them?

      Be clear of this. It is Black people who have changed this hemisphere by their doughty spirits. Others later came and reaped the benefits of human rights where Black people sowed these seeds against oppression; an oppression they also joined in against Black people.

      Every race fears Black people, not only out of the big PP envy, but moreover, because coded in their DNA is the atavistic memory that not only are these Black people the enemy of oppression, but they are also the people in whom their very humanity has its origin!

      In short, people like Dr. Cudjoe, whether they like it or not, is their Daddy!

  • Contrary to some, I do not have a problem with the khems , and Dr Goopiesings of the world ,publicly displaying their twisted views on the historical realities , of their country as it relates to the thousand of allegedly savage black folks that held our extremely delicate , law abiding ,pro discriminatory , culturally sound ,self reliant ,honest ,family oriented ,and hard working Indo Trini brothers and sisters, in total Idi Dada Amin -like, Stalinist Gulag,genocidal terror ,and fear, since 1962 when they in all their ‘uncivilized , barbaric Africanese,’ held political power and social sway ,in what was once until May 24th 2010, a dangerous, and disgusting, unlivable country.
    Aren’t we grateful for the mysterious , magical emergence of new progressive leaders , led by her Majesty Queen K- apparently from Pluto- so that long overdue political order, economic viability , and wider social wrongs, can finally be put in place , and or corrected ? It is time to pay homage to half of our cosmopolitan population , ably assisted by the 25 or more and growing Dougla African raped ,byproducts, for showing us the light , and enhancing change in like manner to Obama’s post racialism efforts in Norte Americana from New Mexico to South Bronx, Kalifornia ,to Arizona , and back.
    Now even under the IGNORED banner of our sterling record,of fine Democratic idealism ,the overriding question thatI have- without much success -been trying to get some answers for , as we wilt under the barrage /onslaughts, and attempts at political rollbacks to our sterling record of Democracy ,by a bunch of venomous ,uncaring, country hating , self loathing bigots, and barbarians ,failing to disguise themselves not so skillfully ,in all forms and fashion-‘with citizens like these, who needs enemies,’ hmmmmmm?
    Hopefully a time would ‘soon come’ – as our Yardee British friends would say -when T&T’s leading intellectuals ,complicit ,corporate media talking gurus , and more concerned progressive, political entities, would see fit to do what ‘Big Yankee Hegemonic Brother America,’ never would dare to any time soon , and start an honest dialogue on race, class, and power inequities, as staged managed from the birth of the nation , by greedy ,selfish,self aggrandizement , elitist nationals from all sides of the so called divide, yes?Getting difficult to still sing Trini to de …!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VCYlLG8VR8&feature=related

  • Will never happen. Trinis will never talk deeply about race until perhaps the old folk rest in peace failing to pass on their sicko prejudices. You get reminded all the time. Neighbours are a thing of the past in T&T as we busily copy other societies (we are fast becoming nothing but a bunch of copycats). Our culture of old when I was a young man is dying. Our closeknit communities are perhaps still alive in a few outlying areas but mostly dead in the cities and urban areas except perhaps in the dirt poor areas. T&T needs internal rebirth to grow as one nation when we can feel proud again to be trini or trinbogian etc. Nevertheless we have lost it just as West Indies cricket has lost it. The goodly Dr. is simply quietly making sure it is buried forever. He clearly wants a afrotrini society and is routing for it. I am clear about that – cheers to him. Fighting for land especially a small piece like T&T was never my thing. I know I will die and leave it one day so cheers to him. You see the indo trini and afro trini seem to give importance to this as is seen in their politics (merely land grabbers). They do not know about sharing, giving, giving way, giving someone else a chance. They hate their colonial masters especially on the divide and rule issue and fail to see the more they hate the more they become just like the hated. They do not see that. They have become blind to all except their own personal achievements. I wonder if the goodly Dr. remembers when Mr. Manning told an afro trini group he was not of african descent. The PM friends including the ones in the press killed the “foot in the mouth” response very quickly. One wondered if Sat made a similar statement what the outcome would have been. I am no supporter of Sat for his racist approach to things. Hence things in T&T will continue to be same ole, same ole. I would often hear from the members of the mixed group of T&T when they repeatedly say that the national football teams will only have members of one race. And we grew to also expect what the makeup of the national cricket team will continue to be. And you can see what pertains in the cultural areas of society. Need I say more….

  • “The goodly Dr. … clearly wants a afrotrini society and is routing for it .” Jerry C. Hussain, you are either ill informed, a devious fraud , or simply a delusional ,degenerate ,to come on this board and parrot such as stupid assertion that should be relegated to the myopic thoughts of a lifetime Penal rum drinking , looser, and not someone with some semblance of intelligence- as I assume you still possess.
    I want you to show me a single article or utterance by Dr Cudjo, or any of our Afro Trinis leaders, thinkers , and public figures, that advocated such in their country.
    While you are at it ,explain how this will be done, unless we can find a modern Raffique Shah/Rex Lassale equivalent ,in Tethron.
    Jerry also said, “Fighting for land especially a small piece like T&T was never my thing.” Why should you my friend,when you inherited 500 acres or more , and once the spoils are further divvied up ,you can expect much more or compensations in lieu of, that the folks who were forced , since slavery ended to liv in the Brazilian like favelas were not fortunate to get as their Booboolee PM Patrick Manning and wife cared only about their corny friends and two sons- especially as you claim he said to an ‘afro trini group he was not of african descent, ‘huumm ?

  • She is not the ‘honorary’ prime minister, you over-informed bigot. Maybe your degrees and fellowships are honorary, but whatever your feelings toward Mrs Persad-Bissessar, she is the real thing. And you can throw as many toys out the cot as you like, but Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar is Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Someting someone of your narrow-minded backwardness could never achieve, sir.

    • “She is not the ‘honorary’ prime minister, you over-informed bigot. Maybe your degrees and fellowships are honorary, but whatever your feelings toward Mrs Persad-Bissessar, she is the real thing”.

      Loved her speech to the UN and her visit to Trinis in Brooklyn was a hit with impromptu burst of the National Anthem. The prof just jealous that she aint as black and ugly like he (lol). Whatever he may think about her, she is not an honorary professor at these U.S. institution but our well loved P.M.

      • khem said: “The prof just jealous that she aint as black and ugly like he (lol).”

        What do you mean by that statement?

        The more you post, the more you expose your racism. Why would the professor be jealous of Kamla because she is not as black? Of course, I know many people view being blacker as degrees of ugliness and inferiority. Where do you think you got that idea? It is clear how you view blacker folks in general, even in this People’s Partnership government.

        • Heru said “Why would the professor be jealous of Kamla because she is not as black?”

          Of course he is jealous of her. He wanted Rowley to be Prime Minister, my friend. That is why he said “she is the honorary Prime Minister”, goes on to accuse her of talking from both sides of her mouth (lying). If he did that in Iran for instance there would be some men dressed in black paying him a visit. However, Trinidad is a democracy and even the ugly is allowed to criticise the good lookin. (lol). Ugly people generally hate themselves and they project that hate on others, good lookin people love themselves and others.

          However for your sake Heru let me clarify when I use the world “ugly”. I don’t mean in the external but in the internal. If you could gasp what I am saying you would agree and if you don’t you will put some dirty label on me, which I quite enjoy.

          By the way lighten up this is a discussion board, not a psychologist office.

          • khem said: “The prof just jealous that she aint as black and ugly like he (lol).”

            Your reply is just another silly attempt to obfuscate and distract, but your racism is evident. Besides the general racism that exists in societies, there is the Caste System culture which propagates the view that lighter skin complexion makes one closer to purity and to god. In their view blackness is always annexed to ugliness.

            You have revealed yourself by your bigotries so don’t expect any kind of casual interaction with me. Everything you post here has to be viewed in the context of your racism.

        • Heru said: “Your reply is just another silly attempt to obfuscate and distract, but your racism is evident.”

          I think the goodly prof can defend himself and you don’t need to try and make some kind of defence by attacking me. I also find your responses to be that of an immature little boy who has just been told he is a bad boy. This blog is not about me but you choose to make it about me. Since I have achieve “hero status” in your life, let me use my hero status by saying that I am quite please for you to call anything you choose to call me. If calling me a racist makes you happy so be it.(lol). I live for your happiness. I am not bothered.

          • khem said: “The prof just jealous that she aint as black and ugly like he (lol).”

            I am not challenging Dr. Cudjoe on his comments; I am challenging you on yours. You seem quite smug and comfortable challenging everyone on what they write but it appears that you do not like being held to scrutiny.

            Do you believe that you could spew lies and hatred without being challenged?

            Absolutely not!

            Your EGO would not allow you to swim up for air and check yourself. You are deep in crap and feel that the quantity of posts you make on this blog gives you some tactical propaganda advantage.

            You are an example of ‘Talking from Both Sides of Your Mouth’. You are trying to promote this government as the best thing for all the people while at the same time peddling lies and racial hatred against African people.

            You are part of the reason most Africans remain distrustful of Indians including those who appear to be well-intended. Because beneath it all, ever so often, the real character of bigoted people gets exposed; their true motives are revealed.

            You seem trapped in the gutter of racial hatred and I suspect you are incapable of getting yourself out. So we can look forward to more of your nastiness.

        • Heru said “I know many people view being blacker as degrees of ugliness and inferiority…”

          There are good lookin black people whom I am admire. Keith Rowley for instance looks trim and fit, his chiseled face commands attention. The current Minister of National Security is a handsome speciment of a man. Errol & Warner are healthy looking men who take care of themselves. The PP have the best looking black men.

          However, there are ugly black men also. I think your over-rated prof just happens to be one of them. And as you know ugly people say ugly things….

          • You saw the post about Jack Warner and wanted to defend the government so you came back here first with this condescension.

            People like you can only pretend to like Africans when they serve your narrow-minded interests. Of course, If Jack Warner was PNM you would have had the nastiest things to say about him too. He would have been “black and ugly” (your words) just like Dr. Cudjoe.

  • Don’t we miss the real democratic era when one could have called our PM Duncy, self opinionated deaffy, Castaria kid, and ignoramus Sando upstart, and no one including London Trini would gert his / or her knickers, and or jockstrap all knotted up ion a twist, eh?
    “Ah man in me bedroom , sorry dear I misconstrued , and I took him for you. He langay like you but stronger …
    “Falling down , ah say falling down, London bridge…”
    sing foo we Queen Birdie
    It is good to feel proud of your new PM London Trini, but do not be perturb that some of us are not that enamored ,to the extent that we wish to elevate her, or anyone else ,to cult status , especially if they have not done a single thing to deserve such treatment as yet. Like Manning before her, the “honorary prime minister” too ,served dutifully at her master’s feet, learned all that he had to offer, and is presently regurgitating said ideas , and or vision for the nation- perhaps a softer version, agreed?
    Love country over tribe , my friend, if the end game is nation building.

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