Torture, then hang ’em high

By Raffique Shah
January 20, 2008

hang 'em highNow that Prime Minister Patrick Manning has declared his latest plan to curb crime-hang ’em high-I must advise him of a sinister measure he can add for special effect. The PM knows I am among those who oppose capital punishment, although, shamefully, I must admit to having looked in the other direction as Dole Chadee and his gang were strung up under hangman Ramesh Maharaj’s watch. Now I urge the PM to torture the SoBs before putting the noose around their necks.

Here’s how it will work. After death warrants are read to these low-lives and non-humans, give them each a cordless phone (that’s to ensure they don’t hang themselves before the State does!). Tell them to dial the Ministry of National Security’s several listed phone lines. If they get an answer in less than five days, they get a reprieve. Mr Manning, you have them by the balloons!

I personally attest to the soundness of this torture. Working on a story last week, I had to reach several ministries in the hope of getting data and comments. At National Security, the one occasion when an operator responded, I thought I had reached a rumshop, not the ministry. Me: “Hello?” The other end: “Yeah?” “Is this National Security?” “No dis is de head office.” Rechecking the numbers I had noted, I told Ms Crude I was trying to reach the corporate communications department of the Ministry of National Security. “Hold on!” I wait for a few minutes while another phone rang before it was answered.

I made my request. I was told the person who could talk with me was not in office that day. I left my name and phone number. The person vowed to have the official return my call. When that did not happen, I tried a million times the following day to get an answer. The phone just rang.

That was no fluke. I tried to reach the Ministry of Labour on Thursday, around 3.45 p.m. The minister must be in office now, I told myself. Instead of the minister I got a recording telling me that the ministry’s hours of business were 8 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. At 3.45 p.m. I was late! Can you believe this? And it holds true for every public office. If the PM doubts me, he should try reaching his ministers via their PBXs, not their direct lines.

Now, that is torture. Legit, I need add. No International Criminal Court in The Hague for our PM. The devilish Death Row inmates will wear out their fingers fighting for reprieves. None will come. The last thing they’d think of as the hangman pulls the lever to send them to Hell is: damn those telephone operators!

But back on the crime scene. Is the resumption of hangings the best Mr Manning can come up with? Those who argue you must first catch the criminals, then secure convictions, are correct. If the arrest rate is close to zero, of what use is capital punishment?

When I began this series, I remarked that Martin Joseph’s many plans have come to nought. Among Friday’s on-line Express headlines, 10 of the top 12 related to crimes. Three dealt with murders, one spoke of seven people being shot at a wake close to a police post, another of a family closing its business because of robberies. Ramesh and Jack Warner walking around Macaulay with four burly security guards must have made people laugh. But we can expect other, similar pantomimes, as people remain helpless in a crime wave that the Government seems incapable of containing.

If a report that the PM has opted for private security over the nation’s policemen and soldiers is true, then Mr. Manning and his new AG have no moral authority to condemn Ramesh and Jack. This is total madness! The PM has no confidence in our law enforcement agencies but he expects citizens to rely on them for protection. What he needs to do is let loose the dogs of war; allow every man woman and child the privilege of arming themselves. Let bullets fly every which way, and those who remain standing at the end of the mayhem would rule the country.

Now, let me tell Mr. Manning and blood-thirsty Trinis why effecting capital punishment won’t help. A few weeks ago a young gangster was gunned down by his brother-in-crime. Mere days before, he told several people around him: “Dey out to get mih.” But he did nothing to show he valued his own life. During the latter part of his 23 years on earth, he used to dress in school uniform (so young and small was he), move with a concealed gun, and shoot his victims. The latter must have registered surprise in their dying moments-killed by a “schoolboy”!

In other words, life and death mean nothing to today’s criminals. So would they be brought to heel by a criminal justice system that has collapsed, from arrests to convictions? I should think not. I rest my case.

http://www.trinicenter.com/Raffique/2008/Jan/202008.htm

30 Responses to “Torture, then hang ’em high”


  • If Raffique’s position was that of the government after the aborted coup of 1970, he would not now be writing trash about torturing people. Does he realize that he, Rex Lasalle and others may have contributed a great deal to the disrespect and lawlessness of the post Independence society? That he is still free to write tata,though he sometimes makes sense, is a tribute to our country’s basic respect for law and order.In some other countries of the third world, he would have been shot dead by army people after the court marshall ended, and he would have never found gainful employment again. Does he recall the tremendous cost of importing military officers from all over the non-white commonwealth to hear his treason case? There were people then who wanted to Hang em high. Greater good sense prevailed. He should count his blessings.No sensible journalist can appeal for torture. It contravenes all the laws of decency, and the UN conventions on the rights of humans. Raffique himself has benefitted from those rights.

    I think he is losing it.

  • Ms. Edwards
    This is not about Raffiqe Shaw.It is about run away crime in T&T.Do you not recognize that the country has reached a point of total desperation? WHEN RAFFIQUE TAKES A POSITION CRITICAL OF THE PRESENT REGIME , we should take notice!He is an objective journalist, expressing sober thought on the failings of the present regime in their impotent attempt to reign in the criminals of T&T. Why are you launching an attact on him?
    Most readers would be puzzled by your reaction to his article.But those of us who track your frequent blogs are fully aware of your narrow , biased and impotent reactions to any comments which challenge the present government of T&T.
    Like Shaw, you usually offer sober thought; however, on issues pertaining to the party in power you should examine your soul and your reactions. Trust me on this one, you are transparent. Your comments very often betray you. A person of your intelligence should know better.
    Unless you develop some degree of objectivity in your reaction to comments critical of the PNM, your credibility would be questioned by any sober thinking person.
    AND I ASSURE YOU IT”S NOT ABOUT RACE!

  • Linda does have a point here. A correction to Carl’s comment – Raffique is no journalist much less objective. Anybody could write any dribble and post it on the Internet or any third rate rag – that does not make them a journalist.

    But Raffique also has a point here about the private security (give enough monkeys enough typewrites and eventually one of them will come up with something making sense).

    Maybe Linda didn’t read the entire article properly and started shooting from the hip as she usually does – while she has some valid points, she is all over the place on this one but we can’t be angry at her for that…Raffique’s writings are all over the place too so the only way to comment on them are to sound like him…now I’ve gone and done it too! damn!

  • I believe much of Raffique Shah’s harrangue about torture and hanging is being presented as “tongue in cheek” opposition to the efficacy of the death penalty as a deterrent to criminals other than the subject of its execution. I doubt if he can dismiss the reality that execution of similar national ideologued positions during his tenure among the ranks of lawbreakers then subject to the death penalty as punishment for their actions, would have resulted in his judicial expiration.

    Criminals operate within a mindset that views the rule of law as irrelevant to their wants and needs. They do not regard it as a moral or ethical check or threshold on their behaviour. What is different between this screwed up social psyche of theirs and that belonging to we who regard such laws as irrelevant to the conditions of the moment in Trinidad and Tobago. Who among us count themselves so pure that they can and should be entrusted with the authority and power to determine when it is okay to go outside of the law, and when it is okay to remain within its folds.

    Civilized societies owe their viability and existence to an unshakeable consensus that the rule of law and due process are unadjustable precepts of their social order. We cannot, regardless of the circumstances of run away criminality, counsel jettisoning such precepts and expect that there will be no blow back or serious repercussions from such social violations. For where will we stop? Where will we place the line of demarkation in respect of when it is ok to overstep and when it is not?

    There are myriad of situations in which a political state fails to fullfil its obligation to provide a service citizens regard as fundamental to their livlihood as security. This is no excuse for such failings on part of any political state. But if we set a pattern that is contrary to the values that bind people together in civilized societies, pandora’s box will be opened and all hell will eventually break loose. Some might argue that hell has already broken loose. Well, I hope they are ready and prepared to live in a Caribbean model of Somalia. And then is when the same criminals we were willing to break laws and rules in order to exterminate them, will have a field day with the remnants of the law abiding in our society.

  • My knocking Raffique for what I see as his trying to do an end run around the State of Emergency issue, in no way distracts from my respect for him as a journalist I still value a piece he wrote on the start of Gulf War 11 called War Without End. I made my students read, and save it. This is not to say that a respected journalist cannot be pigheaded about one or two issues. I respect George Will of Newsweek. I think he is a bigot. One does not negate the other.

    My position that if others thought as Raffique does, in 1970, and their views held sway, he would not be here, still stands. I was there covering the trial because I am a history student. We are a democracy, and a democratic system ought to allow for discussion on issues, with varying views, without offensive name calling. The fact that I read everything he writes says I care what he thinks. Do you see me commenting on some of the other idiocies others write? Check and see.

  • This is a PS to my immediate past comment. I think Trinicenter was wrong to use a noose for this piece. For many Caribbean people living in North America, it has come to symbolize the racist lynchings of America’s dark past(no pun intended). As a matter of fact, the editor of Golf Weekly has just been fired for putting a noose on the cover of his magazine, in reference to a racist comment some golfer made about Tiger Woods.The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating nooses put employee cafeterias, as a threat to African American employees, and tose putting them were fired. A noose was at the heart of the problems in Jena, Louisiana.

    Trinidad and Tobago does not need to be drinking bush teas for other people’s fevers, but we out to b sensitive to the things that make us look ridiculous in the eyes of the world. I absolve Raffique entirely from this choice of logo.

    Nooses do not frighten me, they are not part of my history, I merely point it out based on my concern for my country. Mr./Ms. Moderator, is it too late to change this? We are part of hte global village, and I have recommended this site to North Americans and Africans of every hue.

  • Linda after going through the lynching photography titled “Without Sanctuary”, I am of the view that no African descendant should ever allow themself to be persuaded that extra-judicial justice means anything other than a ruse to get “just us”. In fact, no one who consciously and objectively examines the history of justice left to the whims of the rank and file could be thus persuaded. From the lynching of Emmitt Till to the recent Phantom Squad killings in Guyana, the evidence is suggests that the only time extra-judicial justice becomes popular as a remedy for some social ills, is when the perceived perpetrators are Africans. And I have a problem with that.

    And I will not accomodate the guilt trip strategies of those who disingenuously equate voluable objection to extra-judicial justice or the death penalty to a cuddling of criminals. These kinds of scalawags abound across the globe. Their visceral ethnically targeted antipathy become charged in situations like the present, and they grab on to the excuse offered by the unfortunate circumstances of insane criminality to salivate a thirst for something much deeper. I personally see no difference between the psycopathetic tendencies of the criminal predators fuelling the security uncertainty in Trinidad and Tobago, and their symbiotic counterparts who want to personally become judge, jury and executioner. I am always leary and suspicious about those who advocate killing their way through human problems.

    I said this before and I strongly believe it. Trinidad and Tobago are Islands. That places a limit on the escapability of criminals. Trinidad and Tobago have the resources to bankroll a crime fighting machine capable of curbing the runaway criminal situation. The main problem is Politics. The fight against crime has become a political battle, with the opposition making crass allusions that the PNM does not want to go after criminals because they are black, and the PNM reacting with symbolic policies to prove that is not so. The PNM need to say to hell with the damn racist who are always looking for an excuse or alleyway to give vent to their racist animus, and batten themselves down to the task at hand. You cannot change the mind of a racist who, albeit in a double entendre fashion, stimulates his or her base by playing to their justified fears and, unfortunately, their worse prejudices. Let them continue to do their worse, and strive to do your best. And your best, in respect of the PNM, would be to classify crime as a national crisis, and apply all available human and material resources into the fight to curb it.

  • Ruel, I wanted to see if the socalled”moderator” would remove the noose,which appeared just around the time of the celebration of MLK’s birthday, and the heating up of the American Democratic Primary, based on “race”. Note that up to the time Obama ran away with Iowa, it was hardly a blip. people were aware of it but it needed the Clintons to make it a center stage issue in the campaign.

    You should have seen the storm of invective hurled at my head by a physician in Sando, based on my asking in another forum, whether the doctor that sent that pregnant mother home, delaying her Caesearean, and allowed the baby to die, was of the same race as the parents of the baby. I want to know how much that affects medical practice in places like san fernando,. I want to know if a look at crime includes medical negligence of a deliberate type. Man, youwould think I had kidnapped and murdered someone. I only asked if this was a repeat of baby
    Faith’s fate. This too, should be on the table when we talk crime in TnT. I do not think there was anybody who was anybody that that doctor did not forward my e-mail to.

    Tangential, but important.
    Anyway, more on that another time.

  • Linda Edwards: It is a good thing that you are not a moderator on this blog and you are not the one to determine for all of us what is or is not appropriate.

    I have seen you advocate the genocidal concept of race mixing to end racism and I saw how you dealt with responses to that position. Once you have written a position you hold fast to it even if responses show that your position is faulty.

    Your take on the noose being posted here is WRONG in my view.

    There is something called CONTEXT and the context of a noose being posted with an article in reference to hanging as the death penalty, especially in Trinidad and Tobago where this is legal, cannot be reasonably interpreted as an attempt to demean African people. The CONTEXT was clear by the article itself and totally different from how the noose was used by racists as a means to either intimidate or poke fun at African/Black people including Tiger Woods.

  • The noose is an objectionable, racist symbol and Linda is right to suggest its removal. After all, Trinidad&Tobago is desireous of becoming a first world nation, therefore those responsible for websites should be globally knowledgeable and sensitive.
    The issue of crime in T&T should not be reduced to a racial debate.The blame game with regards to crime in T&T, being played by politicans, is probally what is retarding sensible,cooperative and effective solutions.

  • Both you and Linda are entitled to your views, but I disagree with both of you.

    I can remember the US noose stories being carried on the front page of Trinicenter.com so I think those involved with the website are quite aware of those stories.

    I think you are not versed on the noose issue with Tiger Woods and other incidences where the noose was used to intimidate or poke fun at African Americans. I think the US does not use hangings to execute anymore but hanging is still legal in Trinidad and Tobago so the symbol of a noose in that context remains appropriate.

    To claim that context has no place in how the symbol was used for hanging as it relates to the legal death penalty in Trinidad and Tobago is annexed to claiming that many other symbols, including the Swastika and Christian crosses, should never be used under any circumstances because of how these symbols were/are abused.

    Linda raised that issue after she made two previous responses and I wondered if it was not an attempt to distract from criticisms.

  • Heru denies the answer I provided when I said “Nooses do not bother me” also ” I have brought this web site to the attention of many North Americans and African people”.

    A couple of other people, to whom I introduced Trinicenter.com as a fresh view on world issues, brought it to my attention. Does Heru understand implied statements? It did not, does not, bother me because it was associated with an article on hangings.I stated this also. The perception of others on the vision of the noose, coming AT THIS TIME caused me to attempt to bring it to the attention of the moderator. Now, do you get it?

    Somewhere about 1985, policemen keeping order at the Oval, where some local people were protesting a White South African playing on the English team, in contravention of the ban on South Africans playing international sports, beat and arrested a number of women protesters, supporters of the Anti-Aparthied Asso.of TnT.. The pictures went around the world, of African people, in Trinidad and Tobago,being beaten by their own kind, for that protest.
    The Express might have in its archives my “Open Letter To Winnie Mandela” on that occasion. Please do not think I am trying to promote myself. I am trying to give you a context in which you can, reluctantly maybe, view my third comment. OK? Now, ah done!

  • Boy! This linda person and Ruel daniels have to always bring race talk into everything! Yeah yeah yeah…I can hear you now…you are fighting racism by bringing it up….yeah right! You all are the racists here. When did the opposition say the PNM not tackling crime because the perpertrators are black? All yuh is one set of bold-faced liars who hide behind the veil of being anti-racist when you are in fact promoting it.

    To show your ethno-centric points of view…you only seeing the noose and an anti-african symbol…you think only black people get hung? The title of the article is “torture them and then hang them”…so the picture fits the context of the article and the moderator (don’t know why Linda calles him/her “so-called”) is correct in using the picture ad not trying to insult black people….don’t equate it with black policemen beating black protestors. At any time in the world, some event will in some way, no matter how small, stir up images of another event…you can’t ask the moderator to try and please everyone….oh right…you just want him/her to please black people?

  • A.T.

    Professors of History at universities abroad,(non-Africans) reading my comment and yours and Herus, may be forgiven for thinking that the ones with sense, migrated. Except that I know that that is not the whole truth. Some of us just act stupid, beyond belief, and argue an unreasonable position, for the sake of saying something.
    In thecommunity of informed and well mannered people, if one does something, unintentionally, that causes comment or a negative reaction, if one had not intended that as a result, one does the next best thing. retracts or regrets what was done. Now this is in the community of civilized, westerninized, Christianized(and I do use this deliberately) people. It comes from contrite, and contrition- contrition being sorrow for wrong-doing, including unintentional wrongdoing. You may never be able to understand this,but that is all right also.

    Nothing is unchangeable except the mercy of God. The moderatror could have changed that logo. it is not rocket science. Maybe he/she never read the piece, maybe we feel we do not have to give a damn about anyone else, anywhere. BUT… we rely on exports, including people.

  • Linda, you may be right in a sense! I think that those of us who migrate, do acquire a different mental framework and do undergo a broadening of our horizons. We also have the priceless benefit of being able to compare what we grew up with, to what’s out there in the world. And then being able to separate the rubbish from the sensible.

    Many resident Trinis don’t have this benefit, and seem to operate and draw reference from a very narrow realm of reason. My observations may be incorrect (in which case I gladly stand corrected), but tell me what other explanation can there be? Just look the uninformed, irrational comments and repeated bickering on race that every discussion seems to descend into, regardless of the article being discussed.

  • In my view, Ruel Daniels has been successfully able to show how some comments on this blog were fueled by anti-African racism. I think some posters feel they can mask their racial prejudice but often their guards drop and their deceptions are exposed. I am not supporting these efforts to trivialize or invalidate Ruel’s comments about racial prejudice.

    Linda Edwards: You said, “Some of us just act stupid, beyond belief, and argue an unreasonable position, for the sake of saying something.” This is how I feel you are, and this was especially evident in the topic where you advocated the genocidal concept of the mixing of races as a means to end racism. You held fast to it despite information that shows the dangers in promoting that idea.

    If a couple of people brought the picture on the article to your attention, then you could have easily informed them of the context in relation to the article and Trinidad and Tobago’s use of hangings. Why are you speaking for people who could have easily spoken/posted for themselves (maybe we will suddenly see them on the blog)? The US is not the world and the world is not the US and with all due respect and sensitivity to African-Americans, the noose is still used to execute people in Trinidad and Tobago and is a real symbol in our legal system.

    When people were showing nooses in relation to the execution of Saddam Hussein, African-Americans did not claim that was an attempt to demean them.

    Patrick Manning did not think it was inappropriate to be talking about resuming hangings in the light of concerns about how some racist, White Americans are using nooses to intimidate African-Americans. Why did you and your friends not make the case that Patrick Manning was being insensitive to Africans by raising the scepter of the noose over their heads? It is Patrick Manning who brought the noose into focus at this time. Do you want us to disassociate hangings from the noose?

    You wrote: “Please do not think I am trying to promote myself.” You are not serious here; you have always been about trying to promote you; almost all of your posts are about what you have done here, there and everywhere (I am not saying that sharing what you do with others is a bad thing, but continually bragging can be overbearing).

  • Why did you and your friends not make the case that Patrick Manning was being insensitive to Africans by raising the scepter of the noose over their heads? It is Patrick Manning who brought the noose into focus at this time. Do you want us to disassociate hangings from the noose?

    There is a difference between “hanging” and “lynching”, in connotation, and in historical association. Manning talked about bringing back the death penalty which I vehemently oppose, but that is neither here nor there.

    Linda correctly associated the hanging noose with the lynching of innocent Africans, not only in the United States of America, but on every piece of land space where enslaved Africans were brought. They were lynched in Trinidad and Tobago for looking askance at the women folk of those who held them in captivity. They were lynched after entering into consensual sexual acts which became rape to safe guard the womanhood of the captors race. Lynching of blackmen has been a past-time or eager dream of many and sundry.

    Equating Mannings call for a re-introduction of the death penalty with lynching is facetious and disingenuous. You want to score racial points, try something a little more complicated.

  • AT&T I have long deduced the imperative behind your comments, and they are not even complicated. The allusion that the PNM is soft on crime because of a link between those committing the bulk of crime and its constituency is SOP with you guys. But you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to be able to bottom feed this issue and not be called on it. Well I do not accomodate folks like you.

    It is inarguable that the majority of street crimes are being committed by Trinidadians of African descent. I have never had a problem with the acceptance of that reality. I have a problem with you inverse proportionate rabid critics who wish to see a culling of black communities in order to satisfy your perversive desires. I come from a law enforcement background, and for me a criminal has always been a criminal regardless of race or gender. That experience has left me with the recognition that often the most vicious of criminals are those that do not dress the part or look the part. And ironically, many of them are frequently in the vanguard of the movement to “torture and hang em high”, confident that their crimes will never elicit a similar kind of mob like reaction.

    Common criminality has never brought down any civilizations. That happens when so called good people, (some excusably impelled by stress and emotions beyond their control, others ever ready to excise the mote from their brothers eye while disregarding the beam in theirs), replace the rule of law with retributive lawlessness. For most people wrong is wrong. For too many wrong depends on who is doing the wronging and who is being wronged. I do not need to ponder to determine which group you belong to AT&T. And you know that Maaaaan!

  • Ruel Daniel: In my view, you are only now commenting to defend Patrick Manning (which is your right anyhow) who supports hanging–the death penalty. This is one of the reasons I dislike Manning.

    I think you are conveniently misinterpreting my QUESTIONS in order to make your Manning-defence fit.

    The debate is not about some disagreement with associating the noose with lynching. I think everyone involved in this debate already knows that the noose is a symbol associated with lynching. The debate is about Linda’s view that the symbol of a noose should be removed from the article because of its association with lynching; and my view is that the symbol is also associated with hangings so it is quite valid to use in that context. What is an appropriate symbol for hangings?

    You also previously commented on the thread, and even with your ardent African focus you did not comment on the picture. Could it be that you saw the association with the article in its proper context and are only now tempted to shift in order to defend Patrick Manning/PNM? It is easy to take anything out of context to distort for ones own narrow agenda. My agenda is not to defend PNM. I think they are more than culpable in the sorry state of affairs in the country today.

    The headline of the article was, “Torture, then hang ‘em high” and the article made mention of hanging, so it should have been clear to all and sundry that the symbol in relation to the article represented hanging and not lynching. If anyone left out the context then tried to claim the picture posted with the article should be removed because of its lynching association then that is their distortion.

    You said: “Equating Mannings call for a re-introduction of the death penalty with lynching is facetious and disingenuous.”

    I am equating Manning’s call for a re-introduction of the death penalty with putting the NOOSE in focus at this time.

    Why do you think that Patrick Manning took so long to talk about hangings? The ghost of Glen Ashby hovers over him. He waited until he felt more secure in government to bring it up. Patrick Manning and his government rushed Glen Ashby to the gallows in 1994 while he had an appeal taking place, only to appease White folks in West Moorings who were enraged and protesting over the killing of two White persons there. Immediately after the hanging these Whites stopped their protests. There IS a relationship between lynching and hangings (especially in former European colonies) in how the two have been used to sure up White confidence. Whites and the Manning regime demonstrated that in 1994. One of the arguments in the call for an end to hanging and the death penalty is how it was used in the form of capital punishment and lynching during colonial rule to intimidate and persecute Africans and Indians. The net effect was to boost White confidence and superiority complexes. The death penalty and hangings continue to serve a similar function today.

    Patrick Manning does not care much about African history and what affects the psyche of his main support base.

  • b>The debate is not about some disagreement with associating the noose with lynching. I think everyone involved in this debate already knows that the noose is a symbol associated with lynching. The debate is about Linda’s view that the symbol of a noose should be removed from the article because of its association with lynching; and my view is that the symbol is also associated with hangings so it is quite valid to use in that context. What is an appropriate symbol for hangings?

    You also previously commented on the thread, and even with your ardent African focus you did not comment on the picture. Could it be that you saw the association with the article in its proper context and are only now tempted to shift in order to defend Patrick Manning/PNM? It is easy to take anything out of context to distort for ones own narrow agenda. My agenda is not to defend PNM. I think they are more than culpable in the sorry state of affairs in the country today.

    Like I said Heru, you guys want to have your cake and eat it too. You are critical when I attach the spectrum of prejudice to an action, and then barefacedly shout “Gotcha” when I do not lead of with it in others. Go figure. It is childish to reason that since my initial post did not take issue with the hanging noose “I saw it in its correct context”. Not only are you adamant about how Africans should feel about a symbol associated with their holocaust, you even take it a step further to see in their minds and image how they were feeling when they view it. It is also disingenuous to take this line in the debate, given the fact that neither Linda or I attribute bad intentions to the posting of the noose. Our position is that it is in bad taste. And I will wager that most Africans and persons capable of empathising with the history of others would. But then again, it probably is impossible for you and your spin twin AT&T “get it”. I don’t mind if he doesn’t, but I am worried about you.

    Let me drop some reasoning upon you pal. A hanging noose to a descendant of enslaved Africans in this hemisphere carries the same association as a swastiska would to the descendants of European Jews who were exterminated under that emblem. None of you would dare advance these arguments against Jews taking offence and umbrage to certain displays of those symbols of the holocaust that was visited upon them. That you take liberty to behave the opposite with Africans is evidence of your mentalities. And no African should allow you to get away with it under the guise that it is an objective argument. It is not It is an example of the unconscious or conscious motivations that drive your perspective.

    I do not expect you to understand where we are coming from. You guys mostly tend to view and interpret history with the same mindset of those who fabricated it. It is no coincidence that your views would converge with, say, David Duke or Pat Buchannan on an issue like this. It is inherently associated with shared perspectives and attitudes with regards to Africans. And I am damned if I am going to pussy foot around the truth. I make it plain Sir.

  • The man’s made a damned good case, Heru. I am against hanging, period, regardless of who is advocating it…Prime Minister, Opposition etc, it does not matter. I view it from a human rights angle, but it’s symbolic dread to our African brothers and sisters definitely can not be disputed, nor ignored. This is an issue that needs to be viewed with great sensitivity, not only within the context of Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial history, but through the eyes and perspective of the entire African diaspora.

  • Ruel, you and your circular logic is real kicks oui! I feel you tying up yourself with you BS. You dempnstrate you lack of world knowledge and then accuse people of being one sided when all you know is about one thing. first of all, people never wore a symbol of a noose on their clothes, flags etc. second of all…the swasticka is used in many cultyres today, Hindu & Chinese being the most popular. You think they are going to not use the swastika becaus some other people use it to mean something else? Same way, the nooses is representive of many things and not focused on only what you see….talk about ego-centric.

    Same man complaing bout this noose, I sure can’t see why muslims and hundus don’t like the Trinity cross. In Isreal, christians are allowed to freely display their cross and yet that was a symbol of Roman opression towards the Jews.
    Come again with you flawed logic that only you and few others understand.

  • A.T., I failed to get the gist of how your thoughts relate to the article, but please note that “Chinese” is not a culture, (or a language for that fact )but a nationality.

    Also, Israel is really a very bad example to use when trying to demonstrate superior knowledge on tolerance of symbolism, because they are killing one another over religion and non-tolerance of cultural diversity over there. So, if you want to pong someone else for being ignorant, try not to show yours, pal.

  • Kerry if you want to get technical, then there is no African culture or Indian culture either…by your logic.

    And of course Israel is a good example because as you put it, they are so intolerant there that they are killing one another, then, if they are so intolerant, how come they allow a mosque to stand on the site of their high temple?
    You show your ignorance but thinking it’s about religion over there when it goes much deeper than that.

    If you failed to get the gist of my thoughts then, as evidence by your last 2 rebuttals, you are the one who is the ignoramus.

  • Technical? I just think (you are familiar with the concept of thinking, are you?)that one should report facts correctly, in the proper context, and with proper spelling and reason, before judging and assailing the contents of someone else’s opinions and writings. That’s all.

    Based on the grammar, spelling and reason that YOU use, I really don’t think that you should be calling anyone an ignoramus, Mr. “Chinese culture” and “Isreal”.

  • Ruel Daniels: Your arguments here are illogical and only appeal to ones who have axes to grind. Also, you only gave an idea of your position in relation to the picture in your last post.

    What you are implying is that under no condition should anyone publish a picture of a noose because of the African sensitivity to nooses as a symbol of lynching. That is bogus as was evident when several media outlets published the cover of Golfweek’s Magazine with the noose on it to highlight how the magazine dealt in bad taste with Tiger Woods. (e.g. Golfweek fires editor responsible for ‘noose’ imagery) Many people only saw the noose on the cover of Golfweek because other media outlets published the image of Golfweek magazine with the noose on it. Africans-Americans did not take the image of the noose out of context in those publications. They read the stories and saw and noose in context.

    I am not defending the PNM or the UNC per se. It is no use trying the line of generalized labels (“you people”, “your kind” and “you guys”) that you use with suspect Indians and UNC supporters on me. The generalizations that you use with others can only go so far. It does not fit with me and I am not debating PNM vs. UNC or Indians vs. Africans or anything like that.

    I asked you this question:

    “Could it be that you saw the association with the article in its proper context and are only now tempted to shift in order to defend Patrick Manning/PNM?”

    Here is your reply to that question:

    It is childish to reason that since my initial post did not take issue with the hanging noose “I saw it in its correct context”.

    Apart from the fact that I asked a question: why would it be childish to assume that you did not initially see any problem with the picture in relation to the article and only jumped on the case when you realized that I was not defending Patrick Manning? The sequence of posts is on the thread and your ongoing and strident defense of the PNM lends to that conclusion.

    Later on you said:

    “But then again, it probably is impossible for you and your spin twin AT&T “get it”.

    Because I disagree with Linda and you, suddenly I am spin twinned with someone you assume to be an Indian and UNC supporter on the forum? And you want to talk about being childish? It is a good thing I do not generally dislike people of other races so I am not the least bit offended.

    Also, even without the article that was posted here, why would Africans have a problem looking at a noose posted on a discussion forum by other Africans for the purpose of stimulating comments?

    You said:

    “Not only are you adamant about how Africans should feel about a symbol associated with their holocaust, you even take it a step further to see in their minds and image how they were feeling when they view it. It is also disingenuous to take this line in the debate, given the fact that neither Linda or I attribute bad intentions to the posting of the noose.”

    This is nonsense. I am adamant that the noose is a symbol for hangings as well as lynching, and I am not trying to tell anyone how to feel. I am commenting from MY point of view and I am NOT a spokesman for all Africans or any bunch of anonymous people out there. With all due respect I am also not attempting to appease unreasoned emotions. This is a reasoning forum.

    What is the symbol that has been commonly used for hangings? A rose?

    Here you go again with another bogus analogy:

    “Let me drop some reasoning upon you pal. A hanging noose to a descendant of enslaved Africans in this hemisphere carries the same association as a swastiska would to the descendants of European Jews who were exterminated under that emblem. None of you would dare advance these arguments against Jews taking offence and umbrage to certain displays of those symbols of the holocaust that was visited upon them. That you take liberty to behave the opposite with Africans is evidence of your mentalities.”

    This argument does not fit for several reasons, plus it assumes that I am making a case for someone else’s oppressive historical experiences. This is not the case.

    The related analogy in response could be: Who would tell a Jew that he or she should not use the symbol of the swastika to highlight his/her history and related abuses? Why would it be inappropriate for a Jew to do so? That is commonly done. It may be looked upon as inappropriate if I am not a Jew to be using the symbol of a swastika to highlight something about Jews, but not if I am using it in another cultural context.

    Your example was wrong for two reasons:
    1) the swastika is used in other cultures and many Jews are aware of other cultural contexts for its use, and
    2) the swastika is not an instrument that is used to execute or otherwise punish people.

    The noose is not only a symbol of oppression but it is a real instrument that is used in hangings in Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere. There is no getting away from the fact that a noose is the symbol for hangings.

    Your idea about sensitivity appears to be simply pandering to blind emotions. This is a blog and anyone who engages it should be prepared to reason and not emotionalize blindly. The article and the image give a context, so taking the image out of context of the article to make a case of inappropriateness, lack of sensitivity or poor taste is to distort.

    I disagree with your distorted angle in defense of Patrick Manning/PNM.

  • Heru people still draw and wave swastiskas all over the place, and Jews still protest its insensitivity. Would you ever ask one of them if they expect people to stop producing those images because it offends Jews? Prejudice produces an obtuseness that is so stifling and inundating that when it becomes a choice of seeing another groups history through the eyes of those who experienced it, as opposed to holding firmly to the breast the myopic prism that filters out that history, skewed rationalizations like yours emerges.

    I used the term childish to describe your opinion that I saw the hanging noose in its correct context and that was why I did not comment on it in my earlier post. It is a foolish, but revealing leap of logic. And here is why I think thus

    (1) For this to be an issue of context as outlined by you, we would have to be attributing some evil intent behind the posting of the noose. In addition, this contextual argument you are advancing, ironically, happens to be last refuge of those who commit racial and other faux pas, and then scream at people to accept their reasoning rather than their lying eyes. I can see where you are getting your cues.

    The swastiska is said to have Hindu originations, and one can reasonably predict a situation where it might be presented to illustrate a point independent of it’s use under the Nazi regime. But that does not mean that the appearance of the symbol will loose its offensivness to European Jews and Gypsies, and all of those for whom its association is reminiscent of ancestral persecution. The fact that it is presented in a context unrelated to that history is irrelevant. If you are not a Jew of course, it might be difficult to understand why they do not, like you, bite their lips and appreciate your so called objective reasoning. But that is an example of prejudice superimposing itself over a sense of empathy. Prejudice that reveals itself in the hubris to attempt to water down the impact a persecution symbol should have on those associated with its history. Give me a break man. If I did not have respect for this forum I would tell you what I think of your rationalizations in a vernacular familiar to our twin island nation.

    (2) The request to the moderators of this forum was in the context of, “look, some of us who happen to be descendants of the enslaved peoples of this hemisphere experience discomfort with this image, because it represents a symbol of actions that were used against us and our ancestors, and even today is used as a subliminal messenger of hate” You and your spin twin, (yes spin twin because your backward convergence on this issue is driven by the same impetus), immediately circumlocuted your way to conflating Manning’s proposal to bring back hanging with lynching. You keep yelping about context because for you, anything can be a matter of context when it serves a convenience.

    During the Jenna protest Marches a couple of months back, a white youth hung two nooses behind his truck and drove down the street. He was indicted yesterday for a felony over that action. It is refreshing that the State where this symbol was and still is most prominently utilized has an appreciation for its impact that some of our countrymen have not yet evolved into.

    You Guys should have joined your brotherhood of shared values in their protest in Louisiana a couple days ago. There is thinking that can be attributed to either coincidence or convergence. I submit to you that your thinking in this issue is more a process of convergence than coincidence.

  • AT&T your thinking is as convoluted as the manner in which you literally express it. There are two types of racists in this world. One kind is debonair, suave, and can merge into any group due to sophisticated skills in hiding their insides. And then there is the other kind. The feral kind. The kind where the froth and bile is revealed in jumbled and convoluted reasoning. No prizes for guessing which one of those groups you belong to.

  • That is bogus as was evident when several media outlets published the cover of Golfweek’s Magazine with the noose on it to highlight how the magazine dealt in bad taste with Tiger Woods. (e.g. Golfweek fires editor responsible for ‘noose’ imagery) Many people only saw the noose on the cover of Golfweek because other media outlets published the image of Golfweek magazine with the noose on it. Africans-Americans did not take the image of the noose out of context in those

    You are using African Americans for propaganda gain the same way Panday sought to use Mandela et al. Do you post on any African American Website or blog? Which African American radio station or TV program do you get your infor from? Stop pimping the views of people you clearly have little association with.

    African Americans are not significant subscribers to Golfweek, but as soon as they got wind of the noose they exploded. The editor would not have been fired unless the those waves were picked up by the magazine publishers. Incidentally I indivted many African Americans to read this thread and I cannot repeat how they label your rationalizations.

    I do not know which is worse, your inability to comprehend that context is irrelevant with symbols associated with aversive group persecutions, or your facetious attempts to demand from us how we should feel about it. None of us can make people stop putting things like these up, and none of us ought to seek that power. Our right is to react. Jim Crow Laws said Rosa Parks had to give up her seat. The white man law had a right to the seat. Black people hyad the right of moral reaction which they did with a boycott that bankrupted the bus company.

    I was under no perception that the noose was posted with sinister motives and I said so. You keep avoiding the implication of this position while wandering all over the place to find some support for the hubris you are exhibiting.

    Your history is not mine and vice versa. You cannot interpret or understand the strength of my emotions as they relate to symbols associated with slavery. Yours is a prism shared with the hand fashioning the noose. In context, it is only sport.

  • For the record, your crassness cannot intimidate me; and even if many people agree with you, truth is not a democracy. You keep evading the questions I have asked so do not bother challenging me to answer any specific questions unless you address the questions I asked.

    What is the symbol associated with hangings? What is the most salient image associated with hangings?

    We all know a noose or a person hanging from a noose is a symbol associated with lynching, but you should try answering the questions above. It is no use bringing up other issues and symbols unless you are willing to deal with noose in relation to hangings.

    You said:

    “For this to be an issue of context as outlined by you, we would have to be attributing some evil intent behind the posting of the noose. In addition, this contextual argument you are advancing, ironically, happens to be last refuge of those who commit racial and other faux pas, and then scream at people to accept their reasoning rather than their lying eyes. I can see where you are getting your cues.”

    In everything there has to be context as that is the only way to make sense and reason anything. Once context is irrelevant then all that is left is blind rage and unreasoned emotions. The contextual argument in relation to this post cannot be a last refuge argument as the context was clear in the beginning. The context started from the title and first paragraph of the article. The context is unambiguous and I know you get that quite well. The first paragraph highlighted hanging, PNM and Raffique who does not support hangings. People do not get hanged with roses; they get hanged with nooses, so a noose is also a symbol for hanging. You should be directing your anger towards Manning and the PNM that have always stifled debated on the death penalty. It is no use trying to insult the messenger.

    Even if you think the post did not have an evil intention but you do not like the image, there is a context for its use. The issue is not only about context but arrogance, false superiority complexes and, I believe, lies too. I do not believe the – ‘some people told me they have a problem with it so it should be removed’ – line. This was followed by the arrogant “socalled moderator” comment because the moderator/s of the blog did not remove the picture. So once people do not share your view or respond to you when you wish, your try to disrespect them? I am sure that people do not like how you and Linda dominate this blog (especially in this continual hostile manner to disagreements) and I am sure there are people who do not like me also. They may have very strong feelings about their positions.

    You said:

    “I can see where you are getting your cues.”

    I think your vision is heavily skewed in defense of PNM so you cannot see much more than defending PNM. I am certainly not getting my cues from some sycophantic loyalty to any political party.

    You said:

    “The swastiska is said to have Hindu originations, and one can reasonably predict a situation where it might be presented to illustrate a point independent of it’s use under the Nazi regime. But that does not mean that the appearance of the symbol will loose its offensivness to European Jews and Gypsies, and all of those for whom its association is reminiscent of ancestral persecution. The fact that it is presented in a context unrelated to that history is irrelevant. If you are not a Jew of course, it might be difficult to understand why they do not, like you, bite their lips and appreciate your so called objective reasoning”

    Having said all of that, do you think the people who are using the symbol in another legitimate context should stop doing so because some Jews feel offended? I don’t believe so. The Jews could learn how others use it in a manner that is not intended to disrespect them. People should study the history of our similarities and differences including our diverse cultural expressions so that they would be able to view things dynamically and dispassionately to be able to put things in its proper context.

    It is one thing to be infuriated at some Whites for using a noose to intimidate or poke fun at Blacks and quite another to claim that Africans using the noose in the context of hangings (which the noose is also a symbol of) are not justified to do so. You are arguing like some Whites who believe that because some Africans use the “N word” among themselves that they are also entitled to use it in reference to Africans. This issue is not about telling other Africans how to feel; Africans feel differently about a whole set of things and some of their feelings are quite misguided (as is evident on this site). There is no African consensus on many things. If they choose, they can reason it out but if they wish to adopt the approach when dealing with other Africans that their way or feelings is the only correct one, in light of evidence to the contrary, then I would have to strongly disagree with them. Some African-Americans also adopt this superiority complex annexed to US White Power when they deal with other Africans from smaller islands. The African-American view on many things is not the standard for all Africans or the world at large. I often disagree with how many African-Americans structure their arguments.

    Here are a few links with nooses being published by Whites which did not evoke any angry response from Africans because the images were not viewed in the context of being about intimidating Africans.

    Golfweek fires editor responsible for ‘noose’ imagery (Noose posted on ESPN’s website to highlight what was published in Golfweek)

    Noose left as warning to Greenpeace activists at our Forest Rescue Station in Lapland. (scroll down that page for noose that threatens Greenpeace)

    noose, replica, set, spaghetti, spaghetti western

    Killing for Life (noose in relation to hanging)

    Pick-and-Choose Noose

    The point I am making is that Whites and others have also used the symbol of the noose in a manner that was not intended to insult Africans and there was no agitation to have them remove the image because of the association with lynching. Africans have used images of hanging people on their websites and books to remind people of lynching. In Trinidad and Tobago it has been used in relation to hanging. People do not suddenly get enraged with the editors of those sites because they can view the noose in its proper context. The context is the reason people have a problem with some and not others.

    I believe your hysteria is not simply directed to Indians whom you feel are anti-PNM but anyone who does not first pledge loyalty to the PNM. Your “you people”, “your kind” and “you guys” generalizations to all and sundry who disagree with you testifies to that. In this case you are unwilling to reason dispassionately with anyone who is not a PNM supporter. Maybe you should only reason on forums for PNM members.

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