Standing Firm in Our Nation’s Faith

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 22, 2010

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe steeple of St. Mary’s Anglican Church is the first landmark that greets anyone who enters the village of Tacarigua from its western side. Although the present building was constructed in 1901, this architectural splendor has been a part of the village landscape since 1843. On August 22, 1901, the Mirror reported that “the old parish Church of St. Mary’s is now leveled to the ground with the exception of the western wall, which it is believed will form part of the new St. Mary’s.” Directly across the Eastern Main Road is the St. Mary’s Children Home. Its first building was constructed in 1857 to accommodate East Indian children whose parents were lost during the long crossing from India to Trinidad.

My great grandfather, Jonathan Cudjoe and his wife, Amelia (my great grandmother) were born in 1833 and 1837 respectively and lived in Tacarigua. Although they remained devotees of the Yoruba religion (whose Supreme Deity is called Olorun) colonialism demanded that they attach themselves to the Christian faith, the religion of the colonizer, to advance themselves in the society. They became Anglicans and St. Mary’s Anglican Church became one of their religious homes.

Many of Jonathan’s children went to the St. Mary’s Anglican School that was constructed by enslaved Africans prior to the abolition of slavery. The Tacarigua Presbyterian School opened in 1884. When Amy Blackadder became the principal of the latter school in 1887 my father and uncle became pupil-teachers there. Jonathan’s offsprings attended the Anglican as well as the Presbyterian school. The attendance of my brother, sister and I at the Anglican school had a lot to do with my mother’s insistence that we go to school there. My first cousins, the children of my father’s younger brother, all attended the Tacarigua Presbyterian School. I was a pupil teacher at the St. Mary’s before I went to the United States to further my education.

On Sunday I attended services at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, my home church. Father Anderson Maxwell, a chemistry professor at the University of the West Indies and Assistant Curate, took a verse from Isaiah as the theme of his sermon: “If you do not stand firm in your faith; you will not stand at all.” In some quarters this verse is translated to read: “If you don’t take your stand in faith you would not have a leg to stand on.”

It may have been the drowsiness of the morning-our services begin at seven o’clock- but I am sure I heard the pastor say: “If you don’t stand firm in faith; you will not stand at all.” Listening to Father Maxwell’s inspirational sermon, I took his theme as a fit metaphor for our nation: that is to say, if we do not stand firm, in faith, together as a nation, then we will not have a leg to stand upon. Already, the nation stands upon too many legs.

Father Maxwell’s message may have been coincidental but it possesses great weight. As we approach Christmas Isaiah’s message seems appropriate for where we stand as a nation. Given the commingling of our various peoples, it is a message that we ought to contemplate as we enter into the New Year.

In his sermon, Father Maxwell suggested that standing firm in one’s faith is an important prerequisite for one’s salvation. It is the necessary condition to achieve the promise that is offered to Christians through their belief in the birth, the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Implicit in this reassurance is the indispensable element of belief in the words and promise of the prophets.

Faith can be defined as a belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; or complete trust in an idea.

I believe the result of May 24 elections opened up a new dimension in our evolution as a society that allows for different conceptions of defining our Trinidianness and Tobagonianness. One’s national identity never comes in one fell swoon nor for that matter is it something that came into being with the arrival of our forefathers and our foremothers from different shores. It is something we acquire gradually as we live in this environment and which, with each new generation, is constantly changing. The Trinidadianness that Jonathan Cudjoe felt in 1867 was quite different from what I, his descendant, feel and experience as a twentieth century Trinidadian. Similarly, the Trinidadianness Sat Maharaj’s father felt was quite different from that which Sat feels today.

What it means to be a Trinidadian or Tobagonian is an always-changing concept as is the seminal question: what differentiates us, as Trinidadians and Tobagonians, from citizens of other nations? In other words, are we still in the process of determining what makes us Trinidadadians and Tobagonians?

However one responds to this question presumes a belief with strong conviction that these islands, Trinidad and Tobago, is home. Although one cannot put one’s finger on exactly what that means one must have complete trust that the entity called Trinidadian and/or Tobagonian is something that is worthy of sacrificing one’s best self to achieve. It also includes a commitment to work arduously to achieve a society in which every creed and race find an equal place.

As the last of the immigrants to our society, the year two thousand and ten opens up new possibilities for East Indians – and I am being general here – to recalibrate their engagement with a host society they now call their home. It also allows them to position the society in a new direction. Necessarily, such shifting emphases demand that Africans refocus their social lens and psychological apparatuses to accept the changing orientation that inheres in “Indian Time Ah Come.”

Many psychological adjustments will have to be made as we develop our nationness (and this is a word). However we define our national identity we will have to demonstrate greater faith in the possibilities of our nation which remain inchoate and unknowable. At this moment of transition, I can think of no fitter admonition than an adaptation of Isaiah’s words: “If we don’t stand firm in our nation’s faith; then our nation will not stand at all.”

There can be no higher national purpose than trusting in ourselves and a willingness to sacrifice for the nation’s well being. As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ allow me to say Merry Christmas to all.

37 thoughts on “Standing Firm in Our Nation’s Faith”

  1. It is good to learn about the prof geneology. I always thought that he was a fresh water islander. Boy was I wrong. Most Africans whose ancestory runs deep into the history of T&T tend to have a closer affinity with the Indo population because of the intertwine collective experiences of life that invariably breaks down the wall of ethnocentric divisions. Some of my best friends come from that stream, some of my worst “friends” come from the fresh water islanders whose only claim to Trinidad is their father coming from the islands with a suitcase, perhaps a generation ago. For instance Mr E. The minute I meet this man, his father came from Barbados, his language starts “Boy ah meet dis Indian fella” and then he engages in an ethnocentric diatribe that leaves my ears ringing. Then I meet Ms E (no relations) and every Christmas she brings me and my family Christmas gifts plus at times cook us a good meal. Her ancestral history goes way back to the days of slavery. Hence you can see my prejudice, when coming to dealing with the two. Mr. E, I avoid like the plague, however, Ms. E and I have long conversations and we get along like family.

  2. “My great grandfather, Jonathan Cudjoe and his wife, Amelia (my great grandmother) were born in 1833 and 1837 respectively and lived in Tacarigua. Although they remained devotees of the Yoruba religion (whose Supreme Deity is called Olorun) colonialism demanded that they attach themselves to the Christian faith, the religion of the colonizer, to advance themselves in the society. They became Anglicans and St. Mary’s Anglican Church became one of their religious homes”.

    So Dr.Codjoe your great grandfather did not stand firm in his Yoruba faith but instead gave in to the commands of his colonial masters. You and his successive generations followed suit, now you are assuming the position of the former colonialist in making this preposterous requirement that we all adhere to the same beliefs. My father was born in 1922 to parents who conformed to the same ideology of advancement in society requires the abandonment of one’s religious beliefs, so as soon after his birth he was baptised roman catholic.
    Somehow though you seem to require a higher degree of commitment from Indians to qualify for true Trinidad citizenship even after conversion to massa’s religion, I suppose you would not even consider those that choose to remain in their native faiths.

    Dr.Codjoe Massa Day done, we do not need you to set a new bar for qualification citizen, if a person is born in Trinidad or Tobago they are a citizen of our twin island state and is entitled to all the benefits that it affords. Do you really believe by you declaring “Indian time ah come” means Indians can now officially remove their chains and shackles thereby allowing you to opening the gates enabling the freedom to be equal citizens free to enjoy the privileged society of our “host country”, or are you sounding the alarm to your fellow African brothers that the Indians coming to take over their country.
    I have news for you Codjoe, all the years that you spent away from Trinidad, much have changed. Slavery was abolished, we hang Mallic and Dr.Williams died the Yankees gone and Trinidadians takeover now, yes Trinidadians, you see we are all considered Trinidadians now, so you better get accustom to your new reality now. You should consider giving up your honorary white status and stand firm to your Yoruba beliefs.

  3. The slave descendants of the Caribbean are of the seed of Israel, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. This may be reliably inferred from a reading of Deuteronomy 28, most especially v. 68. The victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade are the only people to whom this prophecy clearly applies. When read together with the other curses constituting verses 15-68, the conclusion is inescapable that we, the black people of the Caribbean, are of the seed of Israel, and that our condition as a people is a fulfillment of the prophecies of Moses made ca. 1500 BCE.

    This also means that as a people, not only did we come *from* Africa, there was also a point prior to that when we came *into* Africa. The Yoruba are one of the partially Israelite tribes of Africa, among others such as the Igbo, the Lemba, the Tutsi, the Baganda, the Zulu, among others. I must emphasize “partially”, lest I be misunderstood, for just as the Israelites of the Exodus were a “mixed multitude”, not all of whom were of the seed of Israel, so the Yoruba seedlines do not all trace to a single patriarch.

    Be that as it may, the Yoruba Israelites certainly have a dual heritage embracing both an Israelite identity, and as well an African — more especially Hamitic — identity tracing back to Mizraim (Egypt), one of the sons of Ham. Just as Joseph married an Egyptian, and Moses married an Egyptian, the Yoruba Israelites have also inter-married with the Hamites (Africans). Therefore, we Israelite descendants who came here via Africa, have an African (Hamitic) aspect to our identity, along with the “Yahoodee” (from Yahudah/Judah, Israel’s 4th son) Israelite aspect — there was such a place located on a map of Africa (google “Yahoodee map”), referencing the “Hebrew tribe who inhabit Timbuktu”.

    The children of Israel were cursed and cast out of the Holy Land principally for the transgression of the first commandment — worshiping the gods of the Hamites of Egypt and Canaan, gods called “orisha” by the Yoruba. I say that to say, that one may have both an Israelite identity and a Yoruba (deriving from Zerubbabel — Ezra 2:2) identity, without necessary contradiction of terms. Moreover, he who serves one or more of the orisha will have the tools of divination to easily learn the fact of the matter.

    I say all of that to say that we will not understand the predicament of the Afro-Trinidadian until one understands that he is also in fact of the seed of Israel, the people of “The Book”. Therefore we are, both, on the one hand, chosen by Yahweh to be a “peculiar treasure” (Exodus 19:5) unto him, a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6) unto him, and his “witnesses” (Isaiah 43:10), but, on the other hand, also under the curses of the Covenant. For we transgressed his Law notably by going a-whoring after other gods, as we still do to this day.

    One of the curses, notably, is not only that we would suffer enslavement (Deuteronomy 28:68), but also that even the “stranger” in our midst would rise up high above us (Deuteronomy 28:43-44).

    “Indian time ah come” is merely a fulfillment of that prophecy, and there is (now) precious little that we can do about it, except to await Yahweh’s promised return (Isaiah 66:15, Ezekiel 34:13,23-24), and to get ourselves ready for that great and glorious event.

    For when he returns, two thirds of our people who are beyond repentance will be cut off and die (Zechariah 13:8), but the saved remnant will be restored to the promise of the Holy Covenant (Isaiah 66:20, Jeremiah 12:15). And those who have made of us a spoil will face recompense (Isaiah 49:23, Jeremiah 25:15).

    Since Yahweh’s return is very imminent — the time given for the run of the four kingdoms of the gentiles (Daniel 2) is nearly up (Daniel 12:7, Hosea 6:2 and others)– Indian time ah come will actually be short-lived. In the meantime it is merely one of the signs (Deuteronomy 28:46) confirming who we are as a people.

    So I agree that we should stand on faith, but the faith we should stand upon is the faith of the Holy Covenant (Exodus 19:5-6, Deuteronomy 5) that Yahweh entered into with his chosen people, the children of Israel. That includes those of the seed of Israel through Zerubbabel (the Yoruba). And it includes all those who have physically grafted themselves to the House of Israel by blood (Isaiah 56:6-7, Ezekiel 47:22). This will include many Indians in Trinidad, some of whom, in their own right, are of the seedline of Israel in any case, e.g. the Samaroo (= Samuel) family, whether they be aware of it or not.

    It must also be stated that the story of the Christ of the New Testament is a fabrication, and certainly any association of Christ’s birthday with December 25. The whole “Christmas” thing is pagan in origin, and its observance prohibited under Yahweh’s law (Jeremiah 10:2-5) which gives a description of the central ritual object of Christmas (the tree decked with gold and silver) while admonishing Israelites against learning the way of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:2). There will be a price to pay for those Israelites who ignore this law, and indeed the whole of the Law, while under the false belief that Christ came to do away with the Law of the Holy Covenant. Not so. Indeed it is prophesied that “… the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. Shall a man make gods unto himself and they are no gods?” (Jeremiah 16:19-20).

    For those who would like further information, please check out the following link: http://TheAfrican.Com/BHC.pdf, in particular Chap. IV.

    — Yoruba Israelite

    1. “Indian time ah come” is merely a fulfillment of that prophecy, and there is (now) precious little that we can do about it, except to await Yahweh’s promised return (Isaiah 66:15, Ezekiel 34:13,23-24), and to get ourselves ready for that great and glorious event.”

      Ah finally feel our time ah come. Yuh know we waited ah long time fer our time to come. Thanks for de prophecy. And now Indian time ah stay. African time ah gone. “Prophet” Cudjoe was right “indian time ah come”, but now Indian time every day. Trinidad according to the Prof is now Indian country, we time ah here. So eat ah doubles in celebration, sing ah chutney in remembrance, and hug ah dulahin in observance. Is we time now!!!

    2. Thank you for your insights so deep and well expressed, and reminding me of my own past as a boy, a stripling lad born in Laventille and grown in Morvant.

      My grandmother, Augusta Wilhelmina Dubique (born sometime in 1890, close to or during the Boers War), told our mother and father of these things.

      In fact, she called Jesus, not “Jesus” but Yeshua Hamaschia; and Easter, Passover. Though married to a man, Niles, from Barbados, Ma remained a Moravian, possibly the religion of the plantation owner.

      (incidentally, most Bajans–and Guyanese–are Hebraic in origin, having built the oldest synagogue located in the Western Hemisphere there)

      When she died, she and her husband an Israelite, were both buried near Wrightson Road, in the Jewish section of Lapeyrouse cemetery (my mother told us this).

      Before her death, she nevertheless instructed our mother to keep the Sabbath, and that the Covenant Laws, in particular those on diet and on keeping the Feast-days and the many epochal Sabbaths were to be observed.

      She, my grandmother as had also her grandmother, been directly acquainted with slavery.

      In fact, her grandmother, DearDear had been raped by her slavemaster who sold limes to British warships to prevent the sailors from getting scurvy.

      Regarding the arrival of Indians then very sickly, there were more Indian men who came than women. This created complications, first for babies born during the voyage or shortly after arrival.

      Black women were either required to, or volunteered to nurse these babies.

      In addition, the Indian men took Black women to wife but would have children with them but not marry them. The offspring were called dougloos, today’s douglas and in Hindi this meant bastard.

      There is much about the history of Black people in T&T of which we are not aware and thus our people despised and ignorant have become both doormats of those who we uplifted, and self-hating foes of our own.

      However, as my grandmotgher would pray, my prayer, too, is that Shiloh will come and soon.

      In the way she also worked in the local suffragette movement demanding the right to vote, so, too, we today must educate our people, first and aftewards, others willing to learn and to be just and honourable.

      It is for this reason why Morvant-Laventille, a place where many Hebrew descendants live is in so much turmoil and so dishonoured.

      However, as scripture said and repeats for today, “can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

      Time, timing and effort will tell, for “in the fullness of time” Yahweh will reveal Himself and those who worship false gods, especially those of Molech will come either to redemption or ruination.

      In the meantime, as Ma would also say, miracles do occur, but Yahweh effects them through our efforts and wisdom.

      In short, while Yahweh loves all His creation, and has blessed us with abilities, yet if we are so in need, He will not go for us to the bathroom.


      1. First of all, thank you for the kind words. And thank you for your testimony. It is heart-warming to hear the testimony of the few among us who kept faith and held fast to the Covenant even down through slavery. That is heart-warming indeed.

        “When she died, she and her husband an Israelite, were both buried near Wrightson Road, in the Jewish section of Lapeyrouse cemetery (my mother told us this).”

        This raises though the question about the distinction between Jew and Israelite. For we are Israelites, not Jews. Those who call themselves Jews are impostors, and not of the seed of Israel. Some are of the seed of Isaac, through Israel’s brother Edom. The Hebrew Edomites are our brothers, but also an enemy with whom we have been warring since the womb (Genesis 25:23). Others, the Ashkenazi Jews, are not even of the seed of Shem, let alone Abraham, but descend rather from Japheth through Togarmah (though named after Ashkenaz because of the place to which they had migrated.) At any rate, the term “Jew” originally denoted citizens of a place — the Roman province of Judaea — not seedline. The place, though named after Yahudah (Judah), came to be overrun by those of the seedline of Edom/Esau, after those of the seedline of Judah were scattered out of the land (Obadiah 1:11-13). This is why history records that Herod Antipater, king of Judaea under the Romans, was of the seed of Edom — he was Idumean — not of Judah. He was a Jew, but not an Israelite.

        The matter goes even deeper, because as Hebrew Edomites, the Jews were up to their necks in the slave trade, and also were familiar with the prophecy whereby the “Yahoodees” were a people destined to be enslaved, because they had forsaken their God. The Hebrew Edomite Jews were behind the Dutch West India Company and British West India Company, and as such played a significant role in the slave trade of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Surinam, Brazil, and etc. Hence, some of us will carry Edomite seed, but nevertheless are grafted into the house of Israel. Also, it was black Hebrew Edomites (e.g. the Idoma tribe of Nigeria, who are given away by their name to be Edomite) who sold black Hebrew Israelites into slavery, to white Hebrew Edomites such as Aaron Lopez.

        1. Thanks for your clarifications, and testimony.

          I have visited the site you recommended and find it thought-provoking and enlightening.

          My grandparents knew of matters which they never discussed wwith us, but with our parents.

          In fact, they always spoke in patois when they considered matters that were above our ken. What yoy say is correct. Our mother made that distinction and re-enforced the dietary choices in our family.

          If she lent a neighbour a cooking vessel and suspected it was used in any way to cook or season pork, that utensil would never again enter the house.

          She also used the words Jewish and Israelite and Hebrew interchangeably even after becoming a Seventh-day Adventist where we met likeminded people.

          We lost much, but enough, especially in our spirits was left as a compass on the middle passage from enslavement especially of the mind to empowerment especially of the spirit.

          May you and yours, and other believers continue iun the guidance and blessing and labours of Yahweh, our Creator.

          1. Many thanks for visiting the link I provided, and many thanks also for the kind sentiments expressed. One thing for sure, we are living in the time prophesied by Daniel, when many run to and fro, and knowledge is increased.

  4. Khem you are getting more and more ridiculous with each passing day. Stop taking yourself, and the Doctor so seriously my friend. This is called blogging.
    You might gain more respect if you appreciate and tout the fact that any achievements that came you and peoples way, were the result of the Afro Trini community – especially your political/ economic power , and success,on every occasion.
    It might be your initiative and drive yes, but unlike Fiji, Uganda, Sri Lanka , and Burnham’s Guyana,success occurred here for a reason.
    Remember, more humility ,and less ego inflated posturing,can bear more dividends. Trust me on this.

    1. “It might be your initiative and drive yes, but unlike Fiji, Uganda, Sri Lanka , and Burnham’s Guyana,success occurred here for a reason.”

      Manning try an make T&T like Fiji, remember all de kidnappings. De amount of Indo businessmen sent dem children abroad. Plus the extortion conducted by a particular group. Dis while Patos spent billions on the illegal SAUTT, illegal spying agency SIA. He tried to make T&T like Guyana, Fiji, Uganda, but he did not succeed because “Indian time ah come”. It is the fulfillment of prophecy my tribal friend, “we time ah come”. Ah think the prof next book will be “African time ah gorn”. An so dis Christmas we celebrate because “Indian time is here”. Nealos, stop yer whining and just get use to it my tribal friend. Everybody go ha dere time. Is just we time ah here.

      1. ‘Indian time ah come?’ I thought it was came before khem ,when Basdeo became the first Hindu PM outside of South Asia ,when he won political power? The way you are obsessed with this Doctor Cudjoe , one would swear that he was trying to date your daughter , or take something that’s more dear away from you, eehh?
        Give your ego a rest my friend,for nobody’s time has come, if your Queen Kamla , is prepared to operate in like manner to her other 5 predecessors that assumed T&T political power, since independence.
        Outside of a few greedy, self serving, fellow nationals , perhaps more that 90% of Trinis on both sides of the -SO CALLED – racial divide, are struggling below the poverty line, throughout their country.Then , maybe , like you , many are just either not aware , or think it’s their karma so to exist.
        If you see, a suspect racial coalition party, election victory, as a sign of Indo Trini success,then it’s obvious that Canada , did absolutely nothing for you as far as broad based progressive enlightenment , buddy.
        Unfortunately, your mind is no different from ‘one oh dem,’ many illiterates , roadside corn selling squatters, you left behind in 1986, as you and thousand of others ,ran for the borders with your refugee cries .
        Enjoy your St. James Rum punch , and Arima Spanish pastels.

        1. “The way you are obsessed with this Doctor Cudjoe , one would swear that he was trying to date your daughter , or take something that’s more dear away from you, eehh?”

          The doc is my hero in some ways, he is the only one capable of helping Indians to understand their our pecularities. I understand his philosophy in life having had a good friend who simply loved his people and by virtue taught me how to appreciate me own. He was a member of the black power movement. Very much like the doc. I know that doc is the way he is today strongly influence by PNM racial ethos, with the likes of Malcom X, Farrah Khan, Elijah Mohammed and Idi Amin being his main influencers.

          I don’t think he hates, or find Indian people a subtraction to the T&T mosaic, in fact by his writings he is fascinated with them. That is why I get angry when he does not burst out into his racial diatribe. You see Nealos, there is good in all of us. By the way I don’t hate the man, I think his writings are helpful to Indian people although I am yet to read “Indian time ah come”. My understanding is it carries a positive message, badly needed for my rum lovin families. African time ah gorn will be another one of my favourites.

          1. “The doc is my hero in some ways, he is the only one capable of helping Indians to understand their our pecularities.
            You are certainly getting worst by the minute khem. Firstly, if someone is to make you do self searchings ,and introspections , then you must first develop some sense of respect for them, their history, education ,and philosophical thoughts processes. Unfortunately, 99.9 % of our Indo Trini, and even diaspora wider global community ,possess nothing but contempt , and disgust for anything ,and anyone African. If you doubt me then ask dem colored folks that benefited from racist Apartheid, South Africa that and never fought back, because they were afraid of possible looses from Massa.
            Indians generally , would leave any adorations for their more treasured, white European counterpart. It is the real reasons for example why Hindu elites in your ancestral homes India ,would step on the heads of it’s 100 million or more Muslim community , jump at the chance to drown every Southern dark skin Christian , and feed the 800 million or more lower caste untouchables ,in the country to the tigers, while at the same time do a backflip ,to ensure that Rajiv 3/4 black roots, South European ,Italian wife become President – if she so desired. It is why your more favored writer VS. would pretend to hate Europeans , then jump at the chance to marry one at the first opportunity.
            It is why he would used every chance at his disposal to lambast our globally respected Nobel Poet laureate , and Playwright Derrick Walcott , who incidentally , did not have to sell his soul to acquire any international accolade, but still love St Lucia his birth place , and is appreciative of T&T , his adoptive country for that’s the way of a truly liberated African.
            “The doctor was influence by PNM racial ethos?” Yes khem , we are quite aware of that, and it’s the reason why Kamal Mohammed , and Errol Mahabir were able to have their freedom ,to empower their community ,and their pals financial backpacks, while milking the country dry with Bobol , after Bobol, from Japanese Energy Gardens, Mastana Bahar fiefdoms ,to Agriculture Development Loans Ponzi schemes , and Health Ministry destructive practices.
            You T-Man and that clueless rum drinker morougamax , need to quit while you are ahead , and show some gratitude for having got a chance to live in the greatest country on earth , as far as the returns you were able to get back , after so little investments.
            Conduct any survey in the world , and you would see that the most successful , contented and happy indians would be found in Sweet T&T ,and not Sri Lanka, Kenya, SA, England, Canada ,Fiji,Bangladesh , USA ,Guyana, and Pakistan, and there is a reason for that.
            Just to let you know ,it had absolutely, nothing to do with any alleged racial ethos. I hope you do not for a moment believe that Queen K became this educated lawyer,first AG , and female Hindu PM, simply because she prayed on a daily basis , before 2010, to a few colored flags , like any common PNM ignored Lavantille, and Caranege Shango Baptist cousins , my friend.
            Don’t forget to remember that symbolic story of the dog and the bone , that you learned in the final stages of your education, at the Carapichima 3rd grade ,primary school.Love country , over de tribe, and long live the Republic of T&T.

        2. “‘Indian time ah come?’ I thought it was came before khem ,when Basdeo became the first Hindu PM outside of South Asia ,when he won political power?”

          Nealos Indian time is here according to the prof. I tend to agree with him. My advice to you my tribal friend is this, take the time to learn Hindi. Spend some time learning to dance like an Indian. Bollywood movies is a good place to start. It will afford you acceptance in the new T&T. Tere cheherah say nazar nahi hataka nazoro…. You get the idea my friend.

        3. “Outside of a few greedy, self serving, fellow nationals , perhaps more that 90% of Trinis on both sides of the -SO CALLED – racial divide, are struggling below the poverty line, throughout their country..”

          My understanding is Opposition Leader Keith Rowley is against helping the poor, he stopped the distribution of hampers in the PNM areas. Imagine that in this season of good cheer. A poor family receiving some grocery is now a crime according to this upstart Opposition Leader. You have to be poor to understand poverty. Even one extra slice of bread is appreciated. So I agree with you Nealos now we know who have this 90% under the poverty line. Hopefully the PP can change that, but you must give them time my friend.

          1. “Hopefully the PP can change that, but you must give them time my friend.” Let’s remain optimistic my friend. Continue to applaud noble acts, when warranted ,and likewise ,never hesitate to speak up when our leaders appear to err.
            You might have a point re the Rottweiler , and his foolhardy ,anti hamper antics. It is sad that the party that created 5 days, ghost gangs , and similar , paltry ,non productive ,political hand outs for stupid gullible folks,mainly within the base,is today lamenting about this feel good win/win exercise, by his more Savvy PP opponents.
            I am already on record , telling Dr. Keith, what his actions should be , moving forward if he is again to wrestle power away from the present regieme, any time soon.
            The first would be to take a sledge hammer, and destroy this entire old schooled PNM , but first find a way to finally put a nail in the political coffin of the incipiently destructive ,’El Supremo Manning,’ and lay him out to pasture on his Sando rocking chair,in similar fashion to which Queen K , did to her crafty adversary , Basdeo.
            If that does not work ,as I suspect it won’t , then pack his Diego Martin /Westmoorings bags ,and come home to fully represent his desperate people, to the point of even pushing for a full scale , well compensated ,political divorce for the 116square miles baby treasure.
            I am referring of course ,to the neglected souls of the Tobago Island Ward , that never got a smell of the true economic spoils of this our country since 1962, even after 5 successive PMs. We wish dem well.
            Best wishes to you my friend.

  5. “As the last of the immigrants to our society, the year two thousand and ten opens up new possibilities for East Indians – and I am being general here – to recalibrate their engagement with a host society they now call their home. It also allows them to position the society in a new direction.”

    This comment by Cudjoe makes me wonder where he was for the last 100 years.It also reflects his presumption that somehow East Indians are not as “Trinidadian” as Africans.To suggest in 2010 that Indians are now engaging in a host society “which they NOW call their home” is to strike at the very core of PNM philosophy and reveal the reasons for PNM policies. If in 2010 you believe that you are “hosting” Indians, then you must believe that as the first occupants of T&T, you are entitled. Cudjoe finally allows his agenda to slip out, maybe accidentally?
    To suggest that only now Indians are in a position to “position the society in a new direction”, is also uninformed. The Indian influence on T&T has been profound and is indelible. This is what makes T&T the most interesting island in the Caribbean.The people on the ground are fully aware of the various influences: African, Indian, Chinese, Portugese, Spanish, etc., which have combined to create the culture of T&T. Hopefully,the new PP government will not only steer the country in an “Indian” direction, as suggested by Cudjoe, but maintain the multicultural nature of the country in their policies and appointments. If they don’t, they will fail.

    1. Your ignorance about the history of T&T is vast. Is your disregard and insensitivity for both equally so?

      Indians arrived here voluntarily, unlike the Africans or the original inhabitants: Caribs, Arawaks, Ciboney et al, slaughtered by the Europeans who, to work lands stolen from these peoples stole Africans from their ancestral lands to work these stolen lands.

      The year 1830 saw the ending of slave importations to this hemisphere and elsewhere. To ensure that slaves now lived longer than the average seven years since the levels of their deaths were higher than their importation, breadfruit from Polynesia was brought to the Caribbean via such expeditions as that of Captain Bligh of the Bounty mutiny.

      Saltfish, accompanying the breadfruit was obtained as trade for rum from Nova Scotia where a large Black population now resides as a result of this trade.

      The Breadfruit and saltfish (salted cod) were used to provide a more balanced diet of protein & carbohydrate foods to try to keep the slaves alive longer than before when the average life cutting sugar–or diable molases (Devil sugar, and carnival’s jab Molasee) was seven years.

      Today, the cuisine of most Black peoples in the Caribbean still include these dishes.

      Some of these stolen lands were then given to Indians to bribe them into remaining, as late-arrivals to this hemisphere.

      Indians arrived after the emancipation in 1834/35.

      Why? Because the former slaves, following the rebellions in Haiti, Jamaica, Palmares in Brazil etc., refused to continue working and living in slave conditions.

      The arrival of Indians, following a document called “The Gladstone Letter” which favourably described them as “docile” unlike the rebellious Africans was under indentured conditions almost akin to the evils of slavery.

      The Indians, low-caste, disposable to India but profitable to the arkaatis were however contractually allowed to keep religion, language and families intact, unlike the Amerindians and Africans).

      And had right of passage back to India if they so chose. The Africans and Amerindians had no such choice, for sure.

      These are the facts. What is also factual is that the of the three sets of people, the Amerindians, the Africans, and the Indians, the latter two were brought here, one involuntarily and the other voluntarily.

      Of the latter two, the Indians had the choice of returning to India.

      This is not to denigrate their descendants today to whom the Caribbean is as much home as it is to the others. However, the idea of Indian Time Ah Come is an absurdity to the unfolding of the history of this region and island.

      It is disrespectful and insensitive to the pillaged memory of the Amerindians slaughtered in countless numbers.

      It is ignorant of, and equally disrespectful to the struggles in this hemisphere by enslaved Africans whose determination in the pursuit of justice is second to none, and unfortunately undermined time and again by Indians brought in because, with some Moslem exceptions, they were “more docile” and acccomodating to the racist and unjust practices of the Europeans.

      Indians in India are today equally disrespectful to the memory of the indentured Indians who were shipped out as cattle because their skin colour was not the “white right” colour now accepted by Bollywood, and the unbelievably absurdity of a current rage in India for “whiter skin” as the model by which to appraise humans and humanity.

      In fact, some Indians in T&T today, by their attitude to Black Trinis also show disrespect and gross ignorance to their ancestors who arrived under indentureship.

      I wonder if they have the gall to attend Indian Arrival Day ceremonies?

      If they do it is because as it is said, some people in the defence of ignorance would consider the ability to think a worse condition than thgat of being dead.

      1. If this is a reply to my comment, then you missed the point.
        Also, I totally agree with your historical summary above. But, what does it have to do with my central thesis?

        1. On re-reading your comments, you are correct and I am wrong. Please accept my apology.

          Regards, too, to you and family and as well to other bloggers on this platform for the season and a new year, hopefully, one more productive, peaceable, and prodctive than was 2010.

      2. “Indians in India are today equally disrespectful to the memory of the indentured Indians who were shipped out as cattle because their skin colour was not the “white right” colour now accepted by Bollywood, and the unbelievably absurdity of a current rage in India for “whiter skin” as the model by which to appraise humans and humanity”

        Not entirely true. In fact every year in January they have Bharat Parvasi on the birthday of Gandhi to celebrate the Indian diaspora.

    2. Hey T-Man , unlike you , I would take one patriotic giant like Dr Cudjoe to confront any struggle that confronts our society , or that of any across the globe , than a million like your ungrateful, self serving ,T&T , fake European hero, V.S. Naipaul.His despise of anything Islam or African is so obvious that even the blind can see.

      Once more , I reiterate, the Doctor is no threat to you or any that feels this to be the case. If you are a 400 pounds overweight bum, having a serious chest pain and experts suspects an imminent heart attack or stroke, you do not scratch your head , and pray to the heavens, but get straight to the cause of your malady.
      Your very corrupt , underachieving ,racially tinged country ,did not get this way, solely due to the actions of one half of it’s population.
      Let us put revisionism aside, by being prepared to share the good , bad and ugly together , and work towards solutions that can bring mutually beneficial returns, yes?
      ‘Love country over tribe,’ my friend.

    3. Within the house of Israel, it is the tribe of Judah that will *always* lead:

      “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” (Genesis 49:10).

      And within the tribe of Judah, it is someone from the seed of David (also Solomon) who will sit upon the throne:

      “For thus saith Yahweh; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel” (Jeremiah 33:17).

      Therefore, Yahweh established a rule of legitimacy when it comes to leadership. It is conferred by seedline succession, and by tribal primacy. It is a rule of order, it is not a matter of domination of one group by another.

      A similar arrangement exists among the Akan today. The king of the Akan must *always* be the king of the Ashanti, which is only one of 12 tribes constituting the Akan nation.

      The problem with the Indians assuming rulership in Fiji was of a similar nature. Regardless of the shifting demographics in their favor, it was considered by the native Fijians to be illegitimate. I completely understand that under the rules of “democracy” such a result is considered not only acceptable, but also legitimate. The only problem is that it does not accord with the laws of nature as laid down by the Creator. Moses did not acquire his leadership position by majority vote; he was selected by Yahweh himself. Likewise, David was selected (anointed) by Yahweh himself.

      Yahweh’s rulership arrangements for his people, and indeed for the world at large, are manifestly not “democratic”. However, these arrangements are consistent with maintaining good order, unlike the rules of “democracy”, which guarantee destabilizing contention for power and rulership, certainly whenever divergent tribes share the same state.

      Everyone knows somewhere in their gut that the come-lately Indians have no right ruling in Fiji.

      And within Trinidad, the history is clear that the Indians are a come-lately people, whatever the facts of current demographics. Therefore, there is something that in the gut would be considered illegitimate about Indian, and more specifically Hindu, rule. Eric Williams called them a “recalcitrant minority”, and he was right in at least one of those descriptives. T&T society is a creole society which may readily accommodate and indeed embrace an Indian reality within it, including Indian Prime Ministers and Presidents. But it would be committing a sort of societal suicide to accommodate itself to a Hindu Raj within it, as suggested by Cudjoe’s term “Indian time ah come”, with its full societal implications. That is just the reality. And “democracy” is at odds with the rules of order established by the Creator if it invites such a result. Whether in Fiji, or here in T&T.

      Be that as it may, as we race to the conclusion of the fourth kingdom of the gentiles, and its replacement by Yahweh’s coming kingdom (Daniel 2:44), Yahweh promises global rulership by the house of Israel, more specifically by the tribe of Judah, and more specifically still by someone of the seed of David. Likewise, the priests must be of the seed of Zadok, of the tribe of Levi.

      There will be many who will object to these arrangements as anti-“democratic”. But who are we, really, to argue with the Creator.

      Democracy is a failed system, latterly concocted by the gentiles, which is the perfect system if you want the unworthy and the criminal to assume power. T&T is today a narco-state that is run precisely by such unworthies. It is this fact that is at the root of the crime problem, that may well be beyond solution … except, that is, for Yahweh’s imminent return, which is what will put to right not only T&T but indeed also the whole world.

      “Recalibration” of Indian engagement within T&T should be guided by a recognition that the Afro-Trini is in actuality of the seed of Israel, and Yahweh promises:

      “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee…” (Genesis 12:3).

  6. “Faith can be defined as a belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; or complete trust in an idea.”

    Faith is not absent of realist believe as presupposed by some of the intellectuals of the day. Faith is exercised as a gift to overcome the many obstacles we face each day. For instance if I am going to my family home, I have faith that I will arrive there safely. If I am govern by the absence of faith, meaning I am possessed with fear that something bad is going to happen I will not venture out. People of faith actually build this world.

    The makers of the airplane for instance had to have faith to venture in the absurdity of a piece of metal weighing several tons would actually fly. Impossible by human unstanding, but nevertheless they ventured out in the belief that it is possible and so while others scoffed at the idea someone believed enough to exercise faith in dreaming of this revolutionary invention.

    We all need faith to live. However, faith in God is not an unattainable concept. One only have to look at the human DNA and in honesty would be profoundly amazed at wisdom of the Creator. How else can you explain a human being eating regular food and producing red blood, black hair, skin and a brain that is the marvel of the universe. What is even more amazing is the human capacity to communicate, how could we see something, identify it by hearing and then talk about it. Or trying learning Tamil or Chinese, you would be wondering if these are even languages, yet for millions of humans it is their communication tools. Faith is found in every one of us. If we are willing to honestly look at our world the only reasonable conclusion would be “there is a God” Merry Christmas.

  7. Neverdirty you cannot expect people whose sense of balance is rooted in historical caste stratification to see the world through any prism other than one which fulfills the parameters of that establishmentarian concept. You know the saying, throwing “water on duck back”. That is what any attempt to reason with these kinds of mind sets amount to.

    Africans have opened doors for others all across this world, only to witness others taking advantage of amenities they did not fight for. We need to bury all sacred cows of accomodation and unwillingness to accept that reality. Reality that we do not need and should no longer stress ourselves out over accomodations with people who are little different in the way their minds work, from the Aryans who enslaved our ancestors. We spend too much time in the effort to win friends across boundaries that are incompatible. Yes, I said so.

    1. Given an unrequested ancestry that is African, Jewish, Irish, Amerindian, and only the Creator knows what else, I have to seek accomodation across boundaries for, fortunately for me and my siblings, we had people who cared for us and were to us all that decent family members could be, and for the most part regardless of their race.

      They rejoiced with us in celebrations during graduations, marriages, births and other successess; shared wisdom, advice and corrections, and grieved as well in seasons of sorrow, and at their passing we, blood of their blood also felt the pangs of inconsolable loss.

      I am, of course, most involved and concerned about the conditions affecting our African communities, but I also know from experience, observation and learning that at heart all people have great capacities both for evil and for decency, myself included and among our greatest challenges as individuals and communities is to strive, deespite our individual weaknesses to be the kind of individuals we exhort others also to be.

      I also think that T&T, given its unique ethnocultural history can, if given half a chance, be an example to the world of how peoples can ultimately live in peace and mutual regard for and with each other.

      Is this not what you, in your finest hours would also wish to see? And for our common offspring?


      1. A most appropriate and positive comment by NeverDirty at a time of sharing, rejoicing and giving.
        On that note, may everyone, especially Neal, have a very merry christmas and may the new year bring happiness.

        1. Thank you Brother T-Man , and many happy return to you family, friends, and everyone that’s dear-both near, and far. It is indeed the season to be jolly.
          Long live The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

  8. “The makers of the airplane for instance had to have faith to venture in the absurdity of a piece of metal weighing several tons would actually fly, …or Or trying learning Tamil or Chinese, you would be wondering if these are even language?”
    My oh my, my what is this world coming to , or is it too much bush rum side effects? Brother khem now beginning to sound like some pimple face UWI , or Toronto University freshman , with this regurgitation of yet another obscure , boorish ,12 century European philosophical somewhat Hobbesian Leviathan , or Greek , fruitcake Socratic teaching.
    Once more it’s the season to be jolly, so just live and let live my friend, and listen to what a beautiful Hindu Tamil , Hip Hop chick have to say in song , as she tries to make some sense of the world that her crazy , violent parents help create. She is proud to be a “bonafide hustler,”khem , can you imaging such youthful honesty , and she just made about 2 million , getting back to her roots , just like Nikita Maharaj.

    Speaking about Nicky Minaj, any of your proud PP members ,would be investigated , much less go to jail, for that overpriced swindle they engaged in recently , during her last visit home , to see the papa who once abandoned her?

    What a people, give dem an inch , and they’ll grab a mile. Lord help us all during the next 3 years!

    I tell you guys about those swing votes ‘with the junk in…..’..Love country over tribe,and enjoy your xmas.

  9. How come no one is saying “Women time ah come”? Effing Racists! Reminiscent of Germany in 1940, 1970’s Uganda and 1990’s Zimbabwe. Manning’s spy system should be used on them – they are a threat to national security before we have a Hutu-Tutsi situation.

    Also correct the Williams gerrymandering in POS and Sdo. Look, Massachusetts is about to be re-districted based on population growth, losing a congressional seat in the house.

    Africa time ah come in America!!!!

    Merry xmas to all.

    1. “ Racist …reminiscent of Germany in 1940, 1970′s Uganda and 1990′s Zimbabwe?” What happen cousin Ramjit , did you forget South Africa, Sri Lanka , Kashmir, Jagdeo ,present day Guyana,and Amritsar, Punjab, where 500 Sheiks were murdered at the Golden Temple /The Harmandir Sahib,due to the behest of by your Queen Elizabeth baby sister, Indira Gandhi? Speaking of South Asia , and particularly India , Bangladesh, and Pakistan , how many murders have been committed in inter ethnic violence since White ,loving Massa England departed , eh brother Ramjit ,100 million?
      We know how much you hate dem savage , uncivilized Africans , that never did you and your families any harm , but are you similarly outraged when ‘de tribes,’ go at each other in such manner? More importantly , are you not extremely happy that Trinidad and Tobago was the final destination for dem indentured ships decades ago ?
      Here every creed and race -where industrious -might still get a chance, to peacefully find an equal place, our women in most cases are free, and can even aspire to become Prime Ministers in their own right , as regular human beings , and not nepotistic inheritance, like most of some unmentionable places, across the globe .

      This is the season to be jolly , so I would not dare say that I despise all self loathing phonies , especially when they emerge from my country , and still stupidly talks about gerrymandering in T&T, that can never, ever be scientifically substantiated ,in this , or another lifetime, ehh Ramjit,?
      Enjoy your Curry goat, and Vat 19 my friend, continue to luv your country , and forget the tribe, for it is such pointless obsessions, that created so much mayhem in our respective ancestral homelands , yes?
      Stay tune for a logical response, to your nonsensical commentary about women time .

  10. My comment never dirty was on an individual level, rather than a group level. It was direct attachment to my opening statement of people being unable to examine the Politics and issues of T&T outside of preconditioned learnings. One does not even have to read between the lines in order to discern the pattern of preference and double standard that has infused the sentiments of many since the change over of power in T&T.

    I tend not to mince words in my examinations of issues that float just beneath the surface of politics in both T&T and Guyana. Anyone, like Doctor Cudjoe for example, who writes an examination of the reality of Africans is considered racist. His criics cannot quote or contextually point out or define what is racist in his point of view because they are conditioned to react to any ethnic or cultural self assertion other than their own, as racist.

    Racism is a product of cultural and religious belief systems based on the notion of group superiority and group inferiority. Every instant of its aversive social condition can be traced back to such foundations. That is not to say that individuals absent such historical conditioning cannot be prejudiced, or even are not ignoranly prejudiced. The fact remains however, that the most enduring social inequities in nations with diverse populations are products of notions of inherent superiority/inderiority based on membership in some particular group.

    When the spy gate scandal broke not one of the PP sycophants bothered to factor into their reasonings the fact that it was the UNC under Panday that gave material legs to the project. That the current leader of the PP was in the defacto positon of caretaker of Legal Processes in that Government, and would have had to have been a blind mute not to know of its operations. What the reasonings by these sycophants demonstrated, as they continue to do with every politically ethnic mastubatory plaudits, is an inability to examine any issue sanitized from the template that confine and organize their thinking. For me personally, attempting to reach an understanding with individuals who are trapped in this mindset is an illusion that, to quote Bob Marley, might be pursued, but never attained.

    Martin Luther King opined that quote, “…..“At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being…..”. Whether the argument is on crime, politics, economics or what have you, invariably the sentiments of a parcel of PP sycophants in this cyber room are infused with inferrences that imply ideological connections with that belief pattern. I do not believe that it is possible to change the minds of indivuals so persuaded, and frankly, have absolutely no enthusiasm to even try. There are too many important priorities existent within my community that demand my attention and participation, and that is where my efforts go and will continue to go.

    1. In my heart, I know what you say is true, but is it’s more than possible disastrous ending also inevitable?

      I have had, in my profession, to meet people from such places as Bosnia, Sri Lanka, and Rwanda. In every case, here were people who had lived side by side for eons; in fact, with the Serbians and Bosnians, here were peoples who had lived together since the time of Julius Caesar, and in that time had committed epochal genocides against each other.

      In every instance, while there were grevious and egregious occasions of ethnic cleansing, there were also opportunities for reconciliations. However, those on both sides who genuinely desired this were unable on one hand to overcome the fear of being the underdog, and on the other an historic hunger for revenge.

      In T&T, too many also take the ubiquitous incivility, brazen racism, and political triumphalism as practices and beliefs engaged in without consequences.

      From my experience, I understand that ethnic antagonisms, regardless of the source is ultimately a one-way street towards vast disaster.

      Specifically regarding the Black population of T&T, in too many instances, we have had and continue to have leaderships, unlike that of Dr. Cudjoe, who are timid or coerced, and whose partisan followers are ignorant and disrespectful of their history; of our history.

      While we have come legitimately by our sentiments, in too many instances, in the face of racism, we resort, if at all, to reacting while balancing on our heels.

      For me, like yourself, in such circumstances there is absolutely no retreat.

      However, I do not wish that what has been an epilogue for places like Sri Lanka becomes a prologue for the future of T&T, a country for which, apart from the Amerindians decimated by European perfidity, no other race has as much claim on having advanced its cultural, political, and material development.

      But are the other races going to depart voluntarily, or be forced to involuntarily?

      As ethno-cultural communities, hammered together by base history and indecent circumstance, we have become who we are collectively. However, it is now either our common humanity, or separatist inhumanities which will determine who we become as a national testimony either to tolerance and justice, or an international byword to ignominy.

      In my heart, I do not think there are any other options, wise or otherwise.

      1. I believe that the media news, literature and video are subtlely pushing the cultural divide in this country. Nobody accepts responsibility for anything in T&T. The person who came in Parliament and lamented the use of spying on private individuals in society have NOT taken the responsibility for heightening the issue. She was bold enough to say that it was an empty file folder she was ready from. Have we become a nation of theatretrics? When people are elected to lead and they use the parliament to perform ‘games’ and mini theatre, one has to wonder ‘WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP?’. The media who lead the charge in informing us of the death rate in the recent past has somehow decided that it is something we no longer need to know! They inundate us with the travels of our fair lady receiving all kinds of awards that she has yet to work for, they have put very few opinions or comnments that might not be in favour of this government and they are definitely a sounding board for this gove4rnment’s PR efforts. The downtrodden do not have a chance to voice their failures in this society. So we have becomne a society where only the HAVES have it the HAVENOTS are ignored except when an opportunity comes up where we can be shown accepting a hamper for Christmas. Lets see where all this will take us.

  11. on Trinidad Planations there were two types of slaves – House slaves and slaves in the Fields. And then there was the owner of these slaves – Mas’er. Anyone fit these profiles?

  12. Very fascinating information. In regards to being Jewish but not of direct stock of Israel. It is true, one can be Jewish and not a natural descendant of Jacob (Israel), the grandson of Abraham. On the other hand, to make such an Afrocentric statement such as” those who consider themselves today are all impostors”, well that’s just wrong!
    Without being to imposing, I would like to challenge all who are interested in the Israeli connection to the Northwest quadrant of Africa. Pour yourselves into a study of the four hundred years of dispersion of the Sephardic Israelites of Spain and particularly, Portugal.
    Essentially, all the slaves that were brought from Africa were from the Northwestern regions of that continent. For four centuries Jews, mostly children were sent to that very part of Africa to become slaves.
    This was executed by the Catholic Authorities to punish and suppress the conversos (those forcibly converted to Catholicism)communities of Iberia. A careful study of this subject would reveal that many African slaves by the eighteenth and nineteenth century were partly of Sephardic (Iberian) stock. That more clearly explains the inherent secretiveness of Afro-Israelis. Establish your scholarship with integrity, please.

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