Stop ‘Sampating’ Africans

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 13, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSometimes I don’t understand why so many false dichotomies pervade the thinking of my compatriots, Africans as well as Indians. If I write about how East Indians think (I call it an Indian narrative) I am accused of being racist. If I support the aspirations of Africans it suggests I am anti—Indian. If I favor the candidacy of a particular PNM member for the chairmanship of the party, my friends respond that I am out of touch with the thinking of those on the ground and so it goes ad infinitum.

After reading “The Indian Narrative,” K. Mahabir writes in the Sunday Guardian: “At first I found his comments amusing. Then, as I read on I felt really sorry for him. To live with such hate must be a terrible thing. Just imagine all these Indians everywhere he turns and he has to look at them. If he has children I only hope that he does not feed them all of this poison that comes out of him.”

I want to assure Mr. Mahabir that I am as comfortable with Indians as I am with Africans. I grew up in Tacarigua hedged in among El Dorado, Paradise and Dinsley villages. I know they organize and express their world views differently from Africans because of their historical, cultural, religious and social experiences. This is fact not fiction.

Over the past two weeks every Trinidadian and Tobagonian was party to the same information regarding Nizam Mohammed. Each of us heard his words and saw the President’s action. Yet each group assessed the incident and the President’s action differently. A NACTA poll in the Sunday Guardian (April 10) yield the following results:

  • All respondents agreed that there is an ethnic imbalance in the Police Services and in other government departments.
  • Most Indians agreed with Mr. Mohammed and backed what he said;
  • Most Africans disagreed with how and where Mr. Mohammed raised the issue;
  • Most Africans supported the President’s decision to revoke Mr. Mohammed’s chairmanship;
  • Most Indians disagreed with the President’s decision and demanded he remit his office
  • As a result, the President’s rating among Indians is down whereas he enjoys the highest ratings among Africans.

In other words, the Nizam incident revealed a fundament division in the nation. “The Indian Narrative” reminded the public that in spite of protestations to the contrary the two groups are profoundly divided on fundamental issues of importance to the society.

Such a division has little to do with the truth or falsity of the of positions stated—that there are many inequalities in our society—as it has to do with how we interpret the relative advantages each group has in the society and how it seeks to maintain them.

Reginald Dumas cautioned against singling out issues which affect “a particular race at the expense of the national community. It is giving the impression that there are people of East Indian origin who are concerned about their own welfare and not the welfare of the country as a whole. This only creates more tension” (Newsday, April 10).

This is the danger that inheres in the present situation. In seeking to gain every possible advantage, the impression is given that East Indians are not satisfied with merely gaining some of the national pie; they must have it all regardless if the rest of the national community gets any at all.

When Mr. Mahabir argues that East Indians “are trying to have only two children per family so that we can send them to school and university and equip them to gain a solid education which we hope would lead to a better job and a better quality of life” he implies that Africans are having unwanted children (certainly more than two per family); are not sending their children to school, thereby not preparing them for the world of work.

Even here reality is obscured. In 1946 Africans consisted of 46.8 percent of the population; Indians consisted of 35 percent. Today Indians consist of about 42 per cent of the population; Africans 38 percent. During the last half of the 20th century East Indians produced more babies than Africans which belies Mahabir’s contention.

Even where the facts are obvious—Indians produce more children than Africans—Indians like Mahabir have no problems gliding over them to spread his propaganda: Africans are worthless, irresponsible people. This is also part of the Indian narrative in which he indulges without being aware of his deep—seated resentment and bias towards African people.

When Mahabir advises that I stop “hating the Indians and give them some space” and that I need to heal myself “because the Indians are here to stay” he is indulging in the same distortions as Nizam when he argues that “Eric Williams and Africans like [me] had this master plan to eliminate the Indian face from this country” and that “Indians know how to give back as they get, for whatever is dished out.”

After studying the racism and uneven allocation of jobs in southern the United States, W. E. B. Du Bois observed that the cause of the problem was not simply “telling people the truth, it was inducing them to act on the truth” which led his biographer to conclude: “It was not enough to determine truth scientifically; it had to be implemented politically.”

This is the big task that lies ahead for all Trinidadians and Tobagonians. We must not only speak the truth as we see it but we must find the political will to implement it across the board fairly. We must not only be concerned about fairness in government jobs. We must be concerned with equity in the private sector, in schooling, and access to finance for small businesses, just to name a few areas of immense unfairness.

On Monday (April 11) Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State, addressed a Wellesley College audience in Massachusetts about the situation in the Middle East. She said many things yet one remark stuck in my mind. “Democracy,” she said, “is not an event. It is a process.”

As we develop our democracy we will have to work out our problems together. We can do so by dealing with the issue at hand rather than inflaming the sensibilities of our compatriots by ascribing motives that are not there or trying to “sampat” one group for the benefit of the other.

26 Responses to “Stop ‘Sampating’ Africans”


  • Note To Selwyn, From Linda, publicly:

    I have stood in your shoes, countless times. Those who would like each human to be one dimensional, and so tie them up in a bag, resent the many faceted nature of your commentary. I would like to point out that a humanist type education DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Having read, and in some cases, digested the thoughts of great leaders of the world, you can hop from Mandela and Marcus Garvey and King to Ghandi and Amartya Sen as well as The Dalai Lama without missing a beat, while also absorbing the thoughts of great Christian, Buddist, and Hindu mystics. People like you will always be suspect. You have to treat your detractors with a sense of humour as in: I used to think like that too, when I was your age, then, I saw the light.(That ought to piss off half your detractors), and those who say the P word is “inppropriate” I say I am old enough to know the word I mean to use, and use it boldly. I save PeePee for the collections of clowns now ruling the coutry, from which collection I exempt David Abdullah and Errol Mcleod.
    Now, the big problem with our people is that we have produced a nation of thing-gatherers and not thinkers.We have produced pontificates who say “this is what we ought to be talking about” and I say why? Because YOU want to, no lets include Thus and thus and so. They get mad. Who cares?
    You live by your writing. I write to educate some small segment of a tightly closed mind(minds), and when I send articles to the major print media, I send them to you and others, because in many cases the papers will not print them. Sometimes here too, they get “lost”.The society as a whole seems to have a desire to maintain the status quo, and at the same time, let individuals move up, so they would be grateful. You got to watch that.
    Its like King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a forward thinking monarch, but a monarch nonetheless, handing out billions of dollars to his people, to appease them and stave off conflict. I cannot help but wonder how much of that went to individual women who will not marry and will try to live their own lives. I wonder how many of those recieving handouts through their husbans would really rather know the joy of an earned paycheck. But, I digress.
    You have given the society much to think on, and you know you are on the right track when both African and Indian originated people condemn you.
    When the Chinese, Portuguese, English originated and French/Spanish condemn you too, look out. Meantime, keep them on their toes. You make a lot of sense. Remember though, that our western African thinking is a far remove from what Africans think and how they see the world. African men believe in marriage and the extended family.They actively help find spouses for sons and daughters. They still count their blessings based on the successful marriages of their children. Our bastardized Western men, run from marriage, because of past history, scattering seeds of “loving deeds” everywhere. ANd yet, among my friends with whom I was at college, and among my eight sisters, everyone is or was married for at least twenty years. That has to be the subject of another piece of your work. I’d help. Good luck. Stay blessed and focussed.

  • Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad…(Ecclesiastes 7:7)

    Thank you my brother for what you do. You are a calm, rational, objective, and truthful voice that speaks from a warm and generous heart. It is such a one that is needed to advance a dialog between the “warring” parties.

    There are others on our side who also speak truth and are equally generous of heart, but, wise as they are to the agenda of oppression being unfolded by the other side, are made mad by it. That is a dangerous road. But it is a road that a collective, made collectively mad, will take. We must seek to avoid that.

    That is why dialog is so necessary. (And why I continue to post even though the moderator seems to take exception to some of my contributions.) In such dialog we must never shrink from speaking truth, even when we are beaten like a bobolee for so doing.

    There are some on the other side — e.g. Raffique Shah, maybe Clarence Rambharat — who likewise have truth in them and the generosity and largeness of spirit needed to advance this kind of dialog.

    Truth hurts, but it is also what will set us free. For where there is truth, there is righteousness, and where there is righteousness there is justice, and where is justice, there is peace.

    Shalom

  • “Even here reality is obscured. In 1946 Africans consisted of 46.8 percent of the population; Indians consisted of 35 percent. Today Indians consist of about 42 per cent of the population; Africans 38 percent. During the last half of the 20th century East Indians produced more babies than Africans which belies Mahabir’s contention.”

    Manning sought to change that by allowing kidnappings of Indians and basically excluding them from the civil service. Also Sat has said the Central Bank where Cudjoe works looks more like the Congo. But Manning display of raw power aided and abetted by Bas was a wonder to all. The same with Guyana where Cheddi basically hand over the government to the wily Burnham. Burnham looked the other way while thousands of Indians fled and everyday bandits were raping, killing and stealing, qualities that the devil possess. Burnham took lands occupied by Indians and gave to Africans, today those land are empty of any kind of production.

    The Indian population will increase as time goes by but larger families are no longer the norm. Just having children is not the answer. Indians are searching for a better quality of life. If you have 10 children, then where are you going to find the money, food and clothing to look after this brood. Where i lived we were self sufficient, we did not depend on the grocery store for food. We grew our rice and stored in “marchans” and always had something to eat. Today those lands lay abandon, no one wants to work in the hot sun.

    • “…bandits were raping…”

      Khem, while she was as shameless as you, at least Hulsie Bhaggan had more balls when in 1970 she specifically claimed that Black men were raping Indian women in Central. By comparison, you choose to accuse, generally, hoping others fill in the blanks for you (coward)!

      Of course after it became clear that her claims were outright fabrications; that it was Indian men wearing “rasta wigs” who were impersonating Black men, she didn’t have the decency nor grace to acknowledge her errors nor to apologise to Black men.

      In addition, neither did Indian organizations in T&T or elsewhere acknowledge the great wrong done, and plead for pardon.

      In fact, not only was there no acknowledgement of this egregious crime committed against Black men by Indians, Indians (not all to be sure and factual) like “Khem” continue to repeat these lies ad nauseum.

      What were the impact of these lies?

      Indian organizations in the US brought these claims before US politicians at state andd federal levels, calling for the US government to condemn the government of T&T, the claim being made that these rapes, as kidnappings were politically motivated by a Black government bent on Indian genocide.

      Indian newspapers in North America, raised questions over the cowardice of , and about the urgent need in T&T for Indian men to become like “Bhadase … the Poolool Brothers … (and for Indian men in the US Military as they had done in Guyana) and some Tamil Tigers (from Sri Lanka)… to take action …”

      In Canada, on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (the “CBC), Indians who were “seeking refugee status” used these lies to obtain it. Part of the orchestrated reason why it was allowable to conveniently “rape Indian women” to achieve refugee status since the criminal ends justified the odious ends.

      The irony is that it was Black men in Canada, people like Bromley Armstrong, Charlie Roach, and Dudley Laws who had been instrumental in breaking doe Canada’s official “Whites Only” Immigration policy.

      The sad thing about these confounded lies that have now taken on the structural and institutional aspects of an industry, is that among Black Trinis at every social level: communal, religious, political, artistic, public & private sectoral are on the defensive and except for some exceptions like Dr. Cudjoe and Cro Cro, are unable to mount a high-decibel counter-response.

      Black Trinis must remember that among all the other peoples in this Hemisphere, except for the Indigenous peoples, no other race is able to come by their sentiments as legitimately.

      What is critical about Dr. Cudjoe’s unequivocal contributions is not only is his a lone voice crying in the wilderness, but also when arguing the case for justice, a lone voice carries more moral power than a host of unethical detractors.

      Finally, what is clear is that those who make truth of these lies against Black peoples might know the uses of power, but not the limitations on power; limitations imposed always by issues of morality in the hands of voices of honour.

      … think CLR, think Auntie Kay, think Bishop Tutu, think Winnie Mandela, think Rosa Parks, think WEB DuBois, think “Buzz” Butler, think Nanny, think Dessalines, think Harriet Tubman, think Sylvester Williams, think Garvey, think Robeson, think Nyerere, think Nkrumah, think … think … think Carlotta, a slave woman who in 1843 lead a slave uprising at the Triumvirato sugar mill in Matanzas Province in Cuba and in whose honour, when Fidal assisted the Angolans to defeat the white Apartheid racists, named it Operation Carlotta.

      All of these ancestors knew who they were, and thus also knew what to do.

      Shalom!

      • Hulsie’s accusation was made in 1992, not 1970. T dats, she has never apologised, yet remains a pillar in T&T politics and political organizing that includes Black people.

      • “Khem, while she was as shameless as you, at least Hulsie Bhaggan had more balls when in 1970 she specifically claimed that Black men were raping Indian women in Central. By comparison, you choose to accuse, generally, hoping others fill in the blanks for you (coward)!”
        I defined what i was saying by saying it was bandits doing that stuff. I don’t know what this have to do with Hulsie. But only you can draw such silly parallels.

  • Cudjoe what you and your african followers want?World domination?Wealth and power? Race war?What the hell Cudjoe want?
    In your old age you should relax yourself and drink a bowl of dhal and get a nice young indian girl from Penal to cook roti for you and massage your back.

    • Hahahahahaha!!! That’s some really really good advice for fellas like Cudjoe. Let’s hope he listens!

  • What Africans want is an end to the farce that passes for indignation. What Africans know is that this strategy is in place in every quarter of the world with similar population demogtaphics.

    What Africans need to understand is that no amount of pussy footing around the problem will change anything. There people who can change and we saw that in the US with Barak Obama’s election to the highest office in the land. How long will continue to play diplomacy with a reality that is as obvious as the difference between day and night. We are dealing with people who will never be satisfied until we accept our lot as their assigned dalits, and allow them to inverse proportionately assume the Aryan role which which drives the workings of their psyche.

    The problem with us is that we behave like puppy dog suitors wooing potential friends and lovers who were born hating us, live for hating us, and will always hate us. It is time for us to say to hell with that, we will no longer play this game. Let us forge ahead in this Caribbean where our ancestors gave blood, sweat and tears to build, and pay no attention the aspirants seeking to replace the slave master. We can live and let live without prostrating ourselves to prove we are not racist to people who came to the Caribbean with hundreds of years of enculturation in that art.

    Whatever the Indian narrative, it will always be context with hypocrisy and a covetousness to dominate every sphere of power in any society where there is a significant number of Africans. Go to Kenya, go to many parts of Africa and ask the indigenous peoples about their interaction with people who came to their country to get rich. The narrative is the same, the antipathy is the same, and the reaction to anyone who challenges the rank and odious prejudice is the same. It is reaction that seeks to jettison cultural traits that go back centuries upon black people to put them on guilt trips and allow the denizens of racial prejudice to ply their craft without protest. It is time to say “To hell with that”.

  • Selwyn, ignore Pitbull. That must have been the same advice he gave the 90+ guruji from India who, posing as a religious figure, was getting young Indian girls to massage his thighs.Thighs are very close to testes, not so? Last time I checked, they were. (Perhaps thigh massages can resurrect dried figs? )They did not know that his Religious book was the Kama Sutra. When the girl from Sando protested and the police were called, all his followers condemned her. Then he left, saying he had religious duties elsewhere. He returned to Austin, Texas and was found guilty of twenty counts of indecency with a child. The US government siezed his passport, but of course he had an Indian one also.Only sick men want “nice girls” Indian or otherwise to massage their backs or other parts. I strongly recommend that you continue your writings. It’s what you were educated for. Thinkers know, that the best “massage” is a mental one, but that 90 year old man needed fresh young hands creeping up his thighs. The skank!
    Pitbull is part of that nonsensical set of belligerents, well named, I think, who see a physical, sexual suggestion to every issue, and who believe, deep in their hearts that African men want Indian women.It began in TnT the other way around, as you know that the first batch of indenture were not allowed to bring their women. Then they brought one woman for every twelve men.Indian men who could not stomach going into places just visited by other men in an assembly line, married African women. They produced the first Dougls. Even the women who were coming over when they were allowed, were not permitted to have children, they were to live in barracks just vacated by the freed Africans. The St. Mary’s Children’s Home and Orphanage, was created to house six little Indian children, born on the trip across from India, which may say something about the virtue of young Indian women at the time.
    So, avoid that, stick with your own, and keep writing.People offer you their women when they want something. I could hear Pitbull saying “Nabe, I have a nice daughter you know. You like?”When someone like that offers you something, watch and see how much he is taking back.
    Naipaul captures that scene in the Mystic Masseur so well, I was laughing till I cried.

    • Ms. Edwards, your analysis and commentary, measured and dispassionate on Pitbull’s offensive, pedophiliac statement could not have been better put. Thanks.

  • When Mahabir advises that I stop “hating the Indians and give them some space” and that I need to heal myself “because the Indians are here to stay” he is indulging in the same distortions as Nizam when he argues that “Eric Williams and Africans like [me] had this master plan to eliminate the Indian face from this country” and that “Indians know how to give back as they get, for whatever is dished out.”

    Mahabir does make a salient point, because if it was an Indian saying what you have been saying for these many years, things would have been “different” for him. But Indian generally believe in leaving the barking dogs to continue barking at the wind. One day they will finally bark their last. It is easier to live life seeing the end, that being pitful in the present.

    Indians by nature do not attack people simply for what they say. I think the Indian population will continue to grow and eventually dominate all sphere of T&T. Why? The meek shall inherit the earth. I am yet to find the arrogant inheriting the earth. Hilter, Stalin, Mousalini all died with their vision. But you look at a meek man like Gandhi and see his influence in bringing an end to colonialism. Or you look at Martin Luther King and his meekness that continues to be the driving force for a better America. The oppressors will all fall and come to an end. But the meek indeed will inherit the earth.

  • Well, although the responses offered thus far to Professor Cudjoe’s article have been very well argued and thought out, I thought I would add my perspective on the issue.

    As one who has lived in T&T for seventeen years of his life (I now live in the US), I have witnessed the ethnic tensions between Trinbagonians of African and Indian descent first hand, especially among my father’s generation (the one born around or a little after World War II). I have heard bigoted opinions expressed by my father towards Trinbagonians of East Indian descent and I have heard the hyperbolic rantings of Dr. Tim Gopeesingh raising the spectre of “ethnic cleansing”

    My take on the issue is this: The real problem in T &T is that the Indo-Trinbagonians have simply surpassed Afro-Trinbagonians academically and professionally and this has triggered an undercurrent of resentment and jealousy within the African community on Trinidad and Tobago. I say undercurrent, because I have not heard many of my peers in school speak about this issue openly. Of course, people such as my father speak on this issue ad infinitum.

    On the other side, as Professor Cudjoe has stated, many Indo-Trinbagonians have perhaps sensed this insecurity and jealousy and may perhaps be responding to it and maybe that is why they do not feel comfortable living in T&T. However, to them I would remind them of this: The Indo-Trinbagonian has ALWAYS known who he or she is. The Trinbagonian descendants of indentured labourers have never experienced the identity crisis and cultural disconnection that is so endemic in the Afro-Trinbagonian community today and among other African diaspora communities in the western hemisphere. So when the Indo-Trinbagonian is bemused and contemptuous of the seeming inability of many young Afro-Trinbagonians to be fully functional, they should always remember the historical context that has shaped the fragile psyche of the Afro-Trinbagonian.

    From the perspective of Afro-Trinbagonians, I think it best to leave the older generations to themselves and to work on building inter-cultural dialogue with the Indo-Trinbagonians and try to learn from them and they from us. There are indeed many things that the Indo-Trinbagonian simply does better than many Afro-Trinbagonian, such as excel academically and professional and establish successful businesses. If the two groups talk to each other, there would be less stereotyping of the “other” by both of these groups.

    Unfortunately, there are influential older heads from both sides of the racial divide, (Professor Cudjoe excluded) who have no interest in addressing and curing the psychologial diseases that afflict the dominant ethnic groups in our society.

    I would one day like to spearhead and get actively involved in this inter-cultural dialogue effort.

    • Stay in the America, the land of opportunity. Uncle Sam needs you.

    • Hmm. Your perception is not quite accurate. Trinamerican, please read what Dr. Cudjoe has written:

      “In 1946 Africans consisted of 46.8 percent of the population; Indians consisted of 35 percent. Today Indians consist of about 42 per cent of the population; Africans 38 percent. During the last half of the 20th century East Indians produced more babies than Africans which belies Mahabir’s contention.”

      Obviously what we are witnessing are the effects and result(s) of “black flight.” From as early as the late 1940’s (and extending to the present), the more educated Afro-Trinbagonian had begun (and continues) to emigrate, legally or illegally, in huge numbers, settling mostly in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Abroad, we now find many, so many Afro-Trinbagonian medical doctors, dentists, degreed nurses, professors, accountants, computer scientists, teachers, school principals, business owners, etc. Many have totally assimilated in their new countries (lots with non-Trini spouses) and distance themselves from their Trinbagonian culture. Ironically, by neglecting their native country, they have somehow “contributed” to the apparent plight of their ethnic group in T&T. Accordingly, T&T’s “brain drain” relates more to Afro-Trinbagonians, and this fact has negatively impacted the image of T&T’s Afro population. Quite the opposite, the average Indo-Trini, after pursuing higher education abroad, was/is more inclined to return to T&T. Even though some are also living abroad permanently, more Indo-Trinis are inclined to remain or stay close to T&T. Finally, believe it or not, a considerable amount of gains made by Indo-Trinis can be attributed to the support of Afro-Trinis (intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect).

      • The election boundaries were fixed by Eric to ensure PNM victorious. T&T only experience true democracy recently. As for population wise, Afros were imported en masse to suppliment the Afro popultion. Over 50000 from the islands and approximately 200000 Grenadians(settled in the hill country and Point Fortin). Under the PNM they were given ID cards and told to vote….(lol). But under PP stewardship Trinidad will be a better nation in 10 years…

        • Would someone please tell this Trini comedian, European Canadian wannabe Khem ,that his government would be lucky to survive their 1st term in office , much less win another election in 20 years , due to their idiotic , political overkill- just like when papa Panday was in control.
          I wonder who they have as advisors , some of those drunken , neglected ,historical low caste ,Native Canadian Red Indians, that survived your adopted, country’s genocides?
          Now if only we could find some technique to decipher who are the other 1/2 million ,or more Indians folks , that sneaked into our country during the past 48 years of African power,from Marxist Chedie,& CIA wife Janet Jagan,and their clueless god son ,Jagdeo’s Guyana, or the desperate South Asian folks from India/ Pakistan/ Sri Lanka / Bangladesh , not lucky to be named Ram Kirpalini, that all intermarried with their local cousins , to help expand ‘you alls,’ voting base ehhh Khem , that would be great, yes?
          It’s very unfortunate , though understandable , why you country hating phonies, have always lamented about faulty gerrymandering, and electoral frauds , but only when out of power we notice, yes?
          Still care to know why guys like you would forever be despised in your country, or more importantly why said country T&T, would forever remain a backward down heap under achiever , and laughing stock of the world?
          Look no further my friend, it’s due to the mind set of intellectual degenerates like yourself, and the self hating Africans that also cuddle ‘you alls,’ while continually working against the interest of their own, simply for a few pieces of silver.
          Hey take that Jack Warner, Errol Mc Cloud, and one time people’s fighter David Abdullah , from the global ingrates.
          Not too surprise really ,at money hungry , opportunist Jack , but as for the latter, I am almost certain that Grenadian brother Tubal Uriah Buzz Butler , as well as -ULF part founder -Comrade Weeks, must both be turning over in their graves, to see what you guys have turned out to.
          Yes Khem , the same Grenadian that stood up to the evil British colonial Massa-while unmentionable cowards were praying to opaque gods for relief- so that Panday, Kamla, Deosoran, Goopiesing, and Shah, could eventually go to college, and your business elites can smile at their good fortunes in a peaceful democratic haven.
          Yes Khem , you thought we forgot who helped create the ULF ,which evolved into the PP today huh?
          Let that Madame L ,continue to pontificate about how great her heroes were ,from Dr Deffy to Manning, and the excellence of her Matlot education , that she choose to utilize now to try ,and save the world , today safe in Huston.
          Hey T&T, we the socially conscious progressives, have not forgotten you, as someone must ensure those unmentionable barbarians , don’t overrun the gate,or destroy all that we collectively worked together to create , yes?

  • “I think the Indian population will continue to grow and eventually dominate all sphere of T&T.”

    If they do, it will not be the first place where majority Black populations have disappeared. Tasmania, among others come to mind. Genocide, not meekness did it.

    In fact, if meekness guaranteed survival, the Aboriginals in Australia would not have bome a minority in the face of England declaring Australia a penal colony of the Empire.

    However, beware of gloating too soon.

    In the Caribbean Region and in South America, majority Black populations as late as mid-19th century numbered more than 50% in countries like Argentina.

    Today, the Black population there is less than 2%; depleted by official policies of genocide, with one president boasting that Argentina was a happy place with no poor, negroes nor meztisos.

    Ironically, the same genocidal policies used to “disappear” the Blacks were later used in the mid-20th century–actuallly a century after–to “disappear tens of thousands of Euro-Argentinians under the implacable torture and murderings of the Military Junta there; military juntas that operated in other countries like Chile that had earlier “disappeared” their Black populations, too.

    Outside of this hemisphere have others, who had also benefitted from the enslavement and genocidal policiees against Black peoples, also come to very, very bad ends.

    One of the first gilt-edged companies to go under, Lehman Brothers had made their first millions in the South on cotton grown by former slaves later become sharecroppers in the Southern US, under conditions akin to slavery.

    They had also been one of the many beneficiaries from the slave markets formed to sell slave as cargo on “Wall Street” where slave ships coming across the Atlantic docked.

    In addition, and in this century, everyone knows of Bernie Madoff, the US financier who’d run the largest ponzi scheme on record, and in the billions of dollars.

    One of those who benefitted from his scheme was a French financier, Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet.

    Why was Thierry significant regarding Black oppresion?

    Since the 15th Century, his predecessors had profitted from building and, like Barclays (later Barclays bank) insuring slave ships; had benefitted from slavery in Haiti; had lent monies to the Daughin, and to Louis the 14th, and had generally, following the infamous Berlin Conference that had divided Africa like a cake for European imperialists, made huge profits from French colonies there.

    On December 23 2008, he committed suicide, hanging himself when his family became bankrupt from investing their billions with Madoff.

    So, you might be true that by mid-21st century, Black Trinis may in numbers and influence be museum communities, akin to the Santa Rosa community in T&T.

    However, will T&T Hindus and Moslems, now with no need to unite racially against the Black threat, have learnt to live with each other better than they’ve done in Kashmir?

    Or between India and Pakistan, now wityh nuclear weapons aimed, not at AZfrica, nor at England who had occupied India, but at each other.

    Khem, do not when over oppressing others too soon gloat;
    for like a herring-bone it might stick in your throat!

    • “Outside of this hemisphere have others, who had also benefitted from the enslavement and genocidal policiees against Black peoples, also come to very, very bad ends”.

      The failure of the black population is not based on genocide in the Western Hemisphere. It is based on a lack of strong paternal male models. Too many home where children are living without a father. That is unfortunate because the contribution of black folks to T&T is badly needed. Children need to grow in a strong nuturing environment. The male black does not appreciate his woman. He is always looking outside his race. Nothing wrong with that, but the bastardisation of an entire race is the real danger. Not external forces.

  • I have met good and bad people of all races and I must say the bad ones in Trinidad stand out in every aspect of our life. And it is not until we truly investigate the rise of the indian race in Trinidad, that we will truly understand why they behave in the manner they do. Most of the indians in Trinidad came from a class called untouchables in Indian and were subject to the worse discrimation by their own because of how they looked, this insecurity and desire to be someone has caused them to seek out someone to subject this treatment on.

    Finally have we ever done a correlation between drugs and the wealth of Indians. This is what we have to start talking about, some might have worked hard, but plenty was laundering money and importing drugs.

    Time to stop pussy footing around the issues of most Indians wealth in Trinidad & Tobago

  • There are things that “everyone’ knows, and no one talks of.Dole Chadee’s empire lives on. Its the reason behind a lot of crime.

  • And it is not until we face all these issues will we become a nation. I remember in the late 80’s early 90’s when our economy was stuttering, a lot of Indians were showing gains and buiding new structures and no money flowing in the country.

    When you have money you can send your kids to the best schools, even though they fail over and over until they pass.

    I am not against any race as there are many good citizens regardless of color or appearance, but all the credit we give Indians we should really take a closer look at how they prospered. Naim, before Dole and a big one recently in Pt. Fortin

  • From A Hindu Website: Hinduism is a universal Religion. Its primary emphasis is on universal brotherhood. It views the world as one family. It believes that man is divine in nature and realization of that supreme truth as the primary aim of all human activity. It is therefore unfortunate that for a very long time this religion of great antiquity has been in the clutches of a few privileged castes.

    Perhaps there is no other nation in the world that is as openly and shamelessly racial as India. To be born in an upper caste is a matter of pride whether the family to which persons belong deserves it or not. A number of Indians who visit foreign countries often complain about being treated differently on account of their skin color or accent. They overlook the fact that a vast number of people in their own country exhibit a far greater obsession with skin color, accent and caste. Indian film stars put on white make up on the screen and off the screen, even if they are black, to look acceptable and desirable. The country’s democracy is not a true democracy, but castocracy, where people vote and leaders are elected on caste lines. The Indian political parties thrive and succeed by appealing this base emotion of people.

    The Indian narrative in T&T cannot be critically examined without juxtapositioning it with a cultural heritage that categorizes people based on how they look, that measures human worth based on familial lineage, and most importantly, examining how centuries of enculturation in this kind of social stratification influenced the perspective of Indians when they landed in T&T and encountered a race of people who, perceptually, was more black than them, and to boots, were once enslaved. The thesis question becomes, did this encounter, these new demographic dynamics, serve as the operant for the future interaction between the two groups, and how did this influence the current narrative?

    There is nothing that occurs in a vacuum. All actions, attitudes and behaviors have antecedents, and it is by examining these antecedents that we are better able to see where they are coming from. The Nizams and others who seek to obfuscate the lumber that is in their eyes by frantically alleging that there is a sliver in the eyes are Africans are practising a hypocrisy that is nauseatingly standard OP. They nurture a psyche that says they are special, a special caste, and thus should be treated with privileges not enjoyed by those they perceive as lower in ranking. Failure to acceded to these rankins, this standard, is racist, is discriminatory. They masked it by pointing at numbers on one side without examining numbers on the other side. In other words, it is discriminatory for them not to control every aspect of power and industry in T&T because, by God, they are superior to these “blacks”.

    We, “these blacks”, spend a lot of time trying to reason, pointing out the anomalies that inundate the vituperative and bitter narrative comimg from the Nizams et al. Narrative that argues that it is not sufficient that Indians are dominant in all other sectors of economic activity, they also must be dominant in those spheres where most Africans are employed. It represents a kind of ethnic egotistical psyche that is found only in the most prejudiced, they most racist, the most clannish in any society. It argues that if 8 of them and 1 African are earning their livlihood from one particular economic niche, the fact that 6 Africans and only 2 of them are ensconced in that other economic niche is discriminatory against Indians. It is a specious and deceitful argument, and the fact that they are making it in public is evidence of the hubris that now inundate every aspect of their outlook.

    Seeking wholeness, unity whatever on the condition that one must accept a social station beneath another is not a consideration acceptable to me. Neither will I be protective of sacred cows, and be politically correct in my examination of the issues that seem to coincident relationship and interactions in societies demographically structured like T&T. Pandering to the illogical racist enunciatons of people reinforces the thinking that Africans are the dalits of T&T and must accede to the demands of the Brahmins. This must be purged from the minds of those it inhabits, voluntarily or involuntarily.

  • A very refreshing article. Those who are complaining must remember that Kamla, the prime minister, says whatever she want to say, whenever she wants to say it, and it always have a jibe at Africans, never Indians. ok

  • The Khems and Nizams have been exposed, and never again will they be able to fool anyone. No amount of learning can dilute the backwardness of prejudice. And it is this backwardness that influence the crap that come out of them. The entire commonwealth, except for T&T and Guyana, is comprised of Africans. So if there is immigration to T&T, where the hell else would they come from.

    As for Indians dominating the Caribbean. I made many referrences in this blog to the comments of Dookeran or whatever in India where he was asked why that had not occured as yet and he said they were working on it, or words to that effect. Well dream on fellas. It aint gonna happen.

    The news is spreading, thanks to the this cyber tool of communication, and people will become acquainted to this threat of ethnic domination. Many of us have been pointing out that this was plan, that this was an aim, that we were being lulled into a sense of false security by lies, deceit and snake oil salesmen smiles about “awee ah wan”, while scheming was under way to Indianize the region. It is the same strategy that was initially used by the slave masters to destroy African civilizations and ultimately enslaved Africans. This is the second coming of that effort, and we need to recognize it for what it is.

    The Indians who get into Power in places like T&T and Guyana have one agenda, and one agenda only. It is pride of riding into Brahmin Status on the back of a stratification process that assign Africans to the roles their ancestors held prior to their departure into indentureship. We must not let that happen. We must be frank and forthright in our confrontation with the agents of this agenda, and be unambiguous in our position that nothing but equal status for all peoples in this region will ever be acceptable to us. Our ancestors in these lands, our brothers and sisters in the US and Southern Africa struggled and died to ensure that equality be the standard for the societies we inhabit. Regardless of the fractured psyche of others who are unable to shed the centuries of enculterations into belief systems that the measurement of human worth is nexussed with a permanent assigned status in a caste system, we can and will prevent that odious practise to become the norm in our beautiful Caribbean Region.

  • The level of racist vitriol in these comments underscore my point about the need for an open dialogue between the two major races in Trinidad and Tobago. I know posters such as Khem may be dismissive, but that’s okay. His or her mind may be closed and only open to maintaining the status quo. However, from the perspective of one who has lived in the US, the racial division will only simple serve to make Trinidad and Tobago more irrelevant on the global stage as the racial infighting and constant divisions will distract us from striving to compete on the global stage. With the United States economy itself besieged by internal division, our country should be focusing on trying improve the competitiveness and living standards of all of its citizens. Instead, the hackneyed and default position of race-baiting and racial insults obtain in our national discourse. The biggest irony is that Trinbagonians of African and Indian descent may have more in common with each other than they realize, especially the so-called “dalits” from India.

    Everyone in this debate should remember the oft-repeated, but still wise saying that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.

    Until Afro and Indo-Trinbagonians resolve their racial grievances, then our country sadly is destined to fall.

Comments are currently closed.