Spinning Top in Mud

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 15, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTrinidad and Tobago ought to pause a moment; catch its collective breath, and then ask: where are we going as a nation. Anyone who viewed the video about Niyoka Folkes, a student of Barataria North Secondary School or saw the pummeling she received or the photographs of her bruises that appeared on the newspapers, cannot help but wonder at the sad turn of events at our public schools. That even an adult jumped in to add her blows seems to a dispassionate observer that our society might be going mad.

Tim Gopeesingh, the minister of education, admitted that violence among our children has become more prevalent and concedes that the “beating” of Niyoka signals a disturbing trend. His determination to place additional guidance counselors and school safety officers in schools is commendable but his efforts must go further than that. He is correct to point out that this escalating problem has its roots in previous governments.

Under the circumstances, most citizens look forward to the findings of the government-appointed task force that was appointed to look into this matter. Whatever recommendations this committee comes up with they must begin at the level of the head: that is, how we inform and influence our students’ behavior and how the state articulates its educational goals.

Over the past decade-to use the Minister’s frame of reference-we have seen a society in a mad rush to obtain academic credentials. The previous government mantra, “from nursery to tertiary,” suggested that once a person possessed academic credentials -and that is all that formal education gives a person-then the society would be heading towards nirvana.

Alas, this has not been our experience. The more degrees and formal education we receive the more the social and cultural levels of the society drops. In fact, one can construct a graph that illustrates a correlation between the bestowal of these pieces of paper (degrees) and the relative diminishment of the social and cultural levels of our society.

Nor do I think we should offer the out-played beliefs that the central cause of this breakdown has to do with a corresponding breakdown in family life. There may be some truth in this observation, but the social breakdown in our society has a lot to do with the system of values that we, as a society, has constructed (and espouses), the mindless accumulation of degrees we confer, and the feverish concern with material progress.

In 1969 Dr. Eric Williams captured the atmosphere that pervaded in the island during 1911, the year of his birth. He described the educational system as follows: “The illiteracy of the masses, the semi-literacy of the numbers of the literate, the numbers of children excluded from the primary school, the exclusiveness of the secondary school, the predominance of the English influence and the subordination of all things Trinidadian-all these necessarily determined the cultural life of the island and influenced its literary [and cultural] tastes.”

Social behavior has deteriorated over that period. We have deviated from the relative respect we had for one another; the concern we had for our neighbors; and the imperative that we be our brothers and sisters’ keepers.

Chief among the English influence of which Dr. Williams spoke was the ability of the state to influence social, cultural, and civic behavior via the ideological apparatuses that it put in place to control “the natives.” Although the center of government lay more than three thousand miles away, the colonial power controlled our approach to life almost as efficiently as Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” dictates public behavior in economic life.

In the 1950s when I attended primary school we began each day by spending an hour on religious education the sole purpose of which was to inculcate certain values-in this case-religious-into our young, receptive minds. We also spent some time on civic education, a thing of the past. Collectively these practices inculcated certain behaviors by which and through which our students lived and died.

C. L. R. James chronicled a similar process at secondary school. He says: “I had been brought up in the [British] public-school code….From the eight years of school life this code became the moral framework of my existence. It has never left me. I learnt it as a boy, I have obeyed it as a man and now I can no longer laugh at it.”

This is where we can learn a lot from our colonizers. They knew that if they wished to rule a group of people who were different they had to capture their minds rather than their bodies. Once they captured their minds, then they could control their bodies and, by extension, their behaviors.

It is a technique that we ought to apply to our educational institutions today. From September, our schools need to devote one hour each day to the inculcation of desirable values into our children. We may have to sit down as a group-as in a panchayat or a palaver-to determine what those values ought to be. Without a concentrated effort to capture the minds of our young people and outline virtues by which they must live we are only spinning top in mud.

Some may argue that this might be a little too late. As an educator, I am convinced that this the only way we can turn back the savagery that we are producing among our young students.

One hundred years ago our students did not have the spacious buildings and the modern accoutrements that their counterparts of today possess. Concubinage or shacking up was prevalent but students (and teachers) were guided by common values. It’s only by transforming the ways in which our students see the world-that is, by capturing their minds-that we can hope to reverse a trend that will continue to spread if we do not active in a urgent manner.

It is imperative that we act immediately to save our society.

44 Responses to “Spinning Top in Mud”


  • Our children are living in “American Video Time”. Houses where food is scarce have a steady diet of cable TV, with all the violence appertaining thereto.
    When the young student, denied access to the private school in Westmoorings, he turned up with a gun and held hostages, the police, responding, shot him dead. There was quite a hue and cry. He was a wealthy Indian’s child,and the police responding were mostly African.I said then, that he was doing a Columbine, as he had driven up in his father’s expensive car to do his dirt. The police officers were put on trial(a long inquest is a trial); but there has been no children brandishing guns at police officers in school since. They seem to understand Robbie’s “Attack with full force”.
    Then there was the rape, and a second attempt on the same child, by a security guard, at the same prestoigious school, I believe. The teachers were unable to restrain him. I wrote about that too, that the treatment of that child was not the way the teachers would have treated the President’s grandchild. When trouble started at Barataria Senior Comprehensive- a crossroads school bridging many communities, I pointed out that the school has had problems since a math teacher promised to beat up my sister, the late Mrs. Jestina Guerra, for reporting his refusal to teach certain children, after dividing his class into Africa and Asia. Barataria continued to run amok, while valuable equipment purchased for use in classes gathered dust in store-rooms.
    Now, simultaneous with this piece’s publication, Selwyn’s not my comment, comes the news of a shooter disguising himself in school uniform, and shooting to death a targeted man. A lot of comments in the Express fall into the “It good for he” category, forgetting, or failing to see, that this is a new low for schools of all sorts. Our children are in danger, more danger, from this point forward.
    (I was walking along that same St. Lucien Road less than a month ago.A stray bullet could have gotten me.)
    Our schools reflect the crisis in society. The new laptops are a case in point. A young man who lives where I stay when home, allowed me to use his, because its faster that the aged PC. “You could use it while I gone to school” he said.”You are not taking it?” I asked, seeing this as a new textbook for all sorts of things” Then he explained that they do not use them, because the teachers don’t have any or do not know how to use the computer.I was floored!
    I wanted him to be able to download Googleearth.com as a wonderful geography tool, but that programme is locked out. If its one program that should have been included, it would have been Googleearth. I would have called his teacher to suggest that he/he overides the code for this one, free, valuable programme, but hearing that the teachers have no computers stopped me in my tracks.What you cannot hear in this piece is the sneering tone the child used to describe his less than computer literate teachers.Dr. Gopiesingh ignored those of us who had suggested that each school be equipped with two computer labs instead. Now I ask for those in adition. Until something is done, the HP LAptops, expensively bought, would be useful for calling people abroad on Skype, and checking the correct place setting arrangement for dinner- an invaluable learning tool for a future chef, but his greataunt could have showed him that. She once was a tecacher. Our cart before the horse society has ceated many problems the younger ones would have to solve, but if violence is all they are cultivating…
    To a great extent, they are learning from the adults all the wron things. Heaen, help us.

  • Trinidad is a small place in Geography, The Population never reach 2-Million. I don’t think the one’s at the Top is ever Competent enough, neither do they have the Guts to take back our beloved land from out side sources.
    Can’t Government deal with those violent Music that is Plaguing the land, those violent Hip-hops, violent Dub, those violent movies that are everywhere in every body’s home -via TV.???
    School plays a lot to this menace in society.
    Moco Jumbies, Dick and Dora running in the mud, B a-nancy the spider, the dish run away with the spoon. Cow jumping over the Moon. What crap they taught us in school !!!!
    This is the fruits being manifested now. While a lot of us playing Religious…..
    You cannot fight a moral and spiritual issue with force, with the trigger of a barrel with advance motor vehicles etc.Where are the True Moralist ? The True Spiritual at heart ? Society looking to Government to fix everything now.
    People only living in fear, thinking that Government could fix everything, well they are out for a rude awakening as liberty and freedom are being taken away by the same Government all in the name of Protection.
    One hand don’t clap, a fountain cannot give sweet and salt water at the same time. Thugs, and kingpins who posing as protectors are themselves the instigators of Creed, Lust, Morally bankrupt, who fooling who ?
    Trinidadians are copy cats that have been copying everything from the outside world, they have reached a stage now in reality: They have an Identity Problem. They don’t know who or what they are anymore.
    Mangoes,Bailing for fish, cutting sugarcane, making guava jam, flying kite, pitching marble, small goal, cricket with coconut branch as the bat. Fulling water from stand Pipes. Walking around the village all hour of the night.
    Now is only murderers, Robbers, Thieves,Kidnapping, Violence. All this came about from outside sources.Guns cannot be manufactured in This small place, state of the art weapons, Technology. Outside sources have destroyed our beloved land.
    Government only following the code of the Book from outside with NO COMMON SENSE. This could never bring Justice and equality. The haves and the have not will always remain because of a few who is hoarding up all the wealth while others go impoverish and lack the basic commodities in the life.This is “Spinning Top in Mud” …..

  • The Anancy stories are African folklore. A lot of the other stuff in early childhood was used to teach rhyming and the sounds of words.
    We learnt European history but not an appreciation of our own, but that foundation could be a jumping off point for the investigation of other histories, which in my case, I did for myself.
    The values imported today come not from Greek Mythology, or Don Quixote, but from Hollywood Whores after whom we name our children, and all the other values that we do not need. If you would not invite a certain type of person into home to meet your children, why invite them via the newspaper or television?
    Even nursery stories could be deadly, when I asked my five year old niece, who had gone to kindergarten in England, what was the point of the story Hansel and Gretel; her response wa “They murdered the old lady, Aunty Linda, because she was bothering them”. This story has been considered safe for children for more than a hndred years.Fortunately Erts is a sober young lady who now teaches kindergarten, but she is careful, I think, about what children learn from the most innocent seeming stories.
    Our textbook eveluation committees could well laise with the Children’ Authority, and get some children’s reactions to the chosen books. You’d be in for a surprise, I am sure.

  • The problem with the school system in T&T started with the PNM. Here is my take on it (1) Jobs were given to PNMites so that their children knew that they did not have to study hard because a job awaits them via the PNM well-fare association. This lead to a culture of dependency were hard work was thrown out the door. The children knew that the civil service jobs awaited them upon their departure from school.

    This created in the schools (a) A lack of motivation to study and instead the school lime became the all important activity. (b)With nothing to do but waste time fights became an inevitable part of student behaviours.
    (c)The baccanal culture produced thousands of children who simply did not know who their fathers were. This lead to the gang culture were the “family” were made up of kids like themselves. With a non-existent father and a mother who is taking a “bus trip” this lead to violent and uncultured behaviours. Most of all promiscuity simply took over the lives of the simpletons.

    I would not blame the school system. It is near impossible to shape children minds when they come from such broken homes. The schools are nothing but an escape for many of them and a place to seek “respect”. What has to be regained in the school is strong discipline. If children are misbehaving, put them to the back of the classroom or send them home. Or build more “Nubian” schools for the misfits. What choice does the teacher really have???

  • Well let me put this question out there. Mamoos ranting containing the stereotypical assignment we have become accustomed to from those whose nurturing are products of Aryan mythologies and self serving bs.

    Nubian schools gave the world Egypt and many of the technologies of early civilizations. Nubian genes produced blood plasma, traffick signals, the filamen for the light bulb, the lubricating cup that contributed to the development of engine power, refrigeration, and I can go on and on. Nubian genes inundated the commonwealth Caribbean with scholars like Ivan Van Sertima and Walter Rodney of Guyana, men whose literay works are venerated by those who seek truth rather than than the contrived notions that ignoramuses feed on in order to inflate their egos.

    If misfits were a product of black leaders or political parties led by black men places like the ancestral home of mamoo would be a metropolis with 100% middle class rather than a society in which hundreds of millions live in squalor. Where children farmed out or sold for sexual exploitation.

    What the hell do you know about discipline. The fact that you make the allusion that discipline is absent in the communities you scorn is so damn ludicrous and ignorant one can tell that your wisdom comes from the rumshop exchanges indulged in by you denizens of a fake supremacy claim masturbating your way to that as a reality.

    In Trinidad and Tobago, like Guyana, the US and many other places where there descendants of the kidnapped exist, their plight is conditioned by the time they spend listening to others and neglecting centuries of tradition, culture and accomplishments. Their plight is conditioned by always seeking to find kumbaya relationships with others, rather than pursuing connections with themselves. Their children become disillusioned and unfocussed because what they see outside, is different from what their parents tell them exist. The day when they all say to hell with everyone else, take command of the communities in which they live, do business with themselves first before they patronaize others, and thus create economic fotresses the evil cannot slink into is the day when they will become divorced from the shallow and slimey contamination of idiots and charlattans.

    Bantu Steven Biko said that, The basic tenet of black consciousness is that the black man must reject all value systems that seek to make him a foreigner in the country of his birth and reduce his basic human dignity. It is that consciousness that is necessary for black people’s independence, growth and development. They will get there when they stop wasting time on seeking accord with others and spend that time seeking accord within themselves. They will get there when they give up the pursuit of the illusion that their development depend on wooing people into liking them, and realize it is an unrealizeable endeavour. They will get there when they remember that for thousands of years they existed, built civilizations without the aid and intervention of others. And finally, they will get there when they become conscious that these civilizations were corrupted and destroyed when they allowed the trojan horses of misfits and savage neanderthals to enter and take refuge in their midst.

    • Keith wrote “Nubian schools gave the world Egypt and many of the technologies of early civilizations. Nubian genes produced blood plasma, traffick signals, the filamen for the light bulb, the lubricating cup that contributed to the development of engine power, refrigeration, and I can go on and on..”

      I am sure you would agree with me that Nubian schools will be a great help to the lowest of the lot. Teaching kids about their proud historical past is the key towards creating a positive view of themselves and their people. Western education has been about “subjectivism” meaning that it sought to subject students to the horrors of slavery and turn them into victims of their past. Keith I prefer like you to think of the past as instructive but not controlling of my future and therefore of my destiny.
      Where are the positive black role models in the education system? The cariculum should be changed to exclude slavery as being a negative force to slavery being a positive force despite early hardship in the Caribbean.

      Look at the positive contributions of black people in the Caribbean. Education for instance in America coin phrases such as “honest Abe”, “truthful Washington”. This was deliberately done to create national models.

      The rethink of history should begin now, because what good is an education that portrays the black man as victim when in the true sense he is the victor. Start there I say and include the heroes of the nation from all ethnicity. That way the self image of children will be positive…
      If children view their past history in a positive light the future will be much brighter. However, Keith this is just one angle in education reform.

  • I was pleasantly surprised by Cudjoe’s advocacy and support for a return to colonial times, at least in terms of values and societal control.
    His article correctly describes the situation in T&T with regard to schools and education.
    I believe that he poses a multitude of questions which need to be answered. The Minister of Education cannot provide answers without the assistance of the entire community and it is not constructive at this critical point to blame previous governments.

    There are many questions to consider with regard to Cudjoe’s article which could lead to solutions.

    Have we traded in “colonial values” for American “gangsta-rap” culture?

    Is violence in schools more prevalent in certain schools and areas of T&T than in other schools and areas?

    Specifically which schools are in need of more guidance counselors and safety officers?

    Is it scientifically accurate to conclude that there is a direct relationship between the increase in persons with academic credentials and a drop in social and cultural levels?

    Is it accurate to suggest that a concern with material success leads to moral decay and a warped sense of values?

    Is Dr. Cudjoe suggesting that the predominance of the English influence was a positive control on T&T society?

    How can we teach our children a common set of values and virtues when the adults in society are divided on these matters?

  • Mamoo, it takes a lot sometimes to see the utter rubbish that you spew, and do it as if it is your automatic default.

    The only thing for which you and your fellow tribalists do not as yet blame the PNM and Dr. Williams is indentureship, and in a way you should, for were it not for rebellious slaves opposed to Bucky Massa’s determination to keep the plantation system going Indians wouldn’t be here spewing pure tata.

    In short there would be no Indian Arrival if it wasn’t for Emancipation.

    My parents were Butlerites, in fact, my father, an engineer was shot by British troops and when he died a decade ago still had fragments in his leg.

    They also became PNM living in Morvant. Tell me wher you hear the dumbass lies about PNM children getting education and jobs? You serious? You really serious? My parents used to pay through their nose to send me and my sister to Osmand, and pay about two pounds and a happny so that we could sit the London GCE.

    You think I could have passed with seven subjects only because I was PNM? You stupid or what? I am so damned angry at arse ho*es like you spewing trash. Are you some guttersnipe or canal conch?

    I am who I am today, professionally because my parents kept themselves poor to send us to scchool and paid pure hell to keep us there. When we couldn’t pay scchool fees, we were sent home, sometimes in the midday sun and the whole neighbourhood know why you going home so early. And you feeling shame, shame, shame.

    People,like you make me feel what T&T has now become is a Racial Industrial Complex, and a Prison Industrial Complex, and guess who operates the two and always talking about how oppressed they are.

    Normally, while I speak my mind, I try to be civil. It’s hard, real hard being civil with characters like you. Always finding some reason to point fingers at Black people, the people who tamed imperialism and colonialism in the Caribbean and in T&T so that late comers like you could finally find some land and some food and somebody you think you could look down on.

  • Ah, Mamoo, that explains your lack of knowledge.Everyone in TnT under sixty- educated since 1956 got a PNM education, so you are proving that all the PP people are a bunch of ignoramuses, since they went to school under PNM reluctantly and fought education all the way. That explains Anand, Kamla, Chandradesh and Anil. Warner got an education at a college where I once taught, but unfortunately he learned to cheat and steal. There are three other Mausica graduates in the house and senate. I hope they do better.A special shout out to Ms. Ramgoolam.

    • Linda wrote “so you are proving that all the PP people are a bunch of ignoramuses, since they went to school under PNM reluctantly and fought education all the way. That explains Anand, Kamla, Chandradesh and Anil. Warner got an education at a college where I once taught, but unfortunately he learned to cheat and steal”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tJGKrKEUgE
      Bill Crosby analysis of black education is instructive Linda. He touches on the root of this culture of death. You and the doc hide behind your intellectualism but in reality there are those who choose to speak the truth. Crosby ask the question “why do we ignore the problem”.
      I would ask you Linda “why do you ignore the problem”.

      When I went to school the Anands, Kamlas and Chandradesh were the ones who were studying hard and seeking to improve their lot in life. The Mannings, Rowleys and Imbert were the ones who believe in the culture of entitlement instead of hard work. You will find them hanging around, picking fights and failing to do their homework. Indiscipline as I said before is the core source of intellectual decay and it unfortunately begins in the homes where the absentee father is the symbol of black culture. So instead of blaming Goopiesingh, you and the doc need to take a long hard look at the realities I have listed. Those realities will not go away because we want to wish it away. And that’s the truth.

  • To”teach” is to impart knowledge.I am a school teacher; who is unable to introduce the theorem of Pythagoras to my students.My knowledge of how to solve a quadratic equation is obsolete.Why am I assigned to”teach” mathematics? All of my students are computer literate,and are equipped with computers.I am yet to learn “how” to operate a computer.INCREDULOUS!! “Peep out of the cave.” This is the twenty-first century.America has elected its first black President.In 1969 I sat in an apartment in Montreal,and saw Neil Armstrong “live” walk on the moon.There are Senior citizens who conduct “online banking” almost everyday amongst other computer operations.Its an understatement to call this an embarassment.From very humble beginnings a single mother raised us.She was a total disciplinarian,and advocate of respect,morals,ethics,honesty,prayer,etc.One of her favourites “charity begins at home,and ends abroad”Whenever children lose “total” respect for their parent/parents they are “doomed” They also dis-respect their elders,neighbours,teachers.Please,introduce/re-introduce prayers in school regardless of religious affiliations.Someone informed me recently that even atheists believe in something.

  • “The day when they all say to hell with everyone else, take command of the communities in which they live, do business with themselves first before they patronaize others, and thus create economic fotresses the evil cannot slink into is the day when they will become divorced from the shallow and slimey contamination of idiots and charlattans”. (Keith Williams)

    The above suggestions are generally and initially the behavior patterns of all immigrant groups arriving in North America. Asians and South Asians now hold 40% of the PhDs in America. (CNN) Immigrants from India now earn one of the highest average incomes in America and apparently they are one of the last immigrant groups to arrive. Mr.Williams suggestions seem to be the keys to economic and educational success.

  • Total respect for adults has its down side- sexual predation on children who are cowed into silence. Throughout the Caribbean we see children making children, and this is NOT CONSIDERRED a major crime. We think they are bad children. They are not. My father once took me to work with him when I was about 12. We never wore pants in those days, nor even in going to the field. On he way home we got a ride on a truck. Even now, I cannot believe that we rode on the back of a truck piled high with vegetables. My sister and I were sitting with our faces backwards, trying to count big pebbles as the truck hurtled down the gravel road. I heard my father say something gruff to the man sitting behind us, and I turned to look. What he had said was “She s NOT for your kind”. The man had said, looking at me, that “she look like she ready to marrid.”
    I was a bookish child over whose head all of that flew, later I realized that the man had been eying me inappropriately, even in my father’s presence, hence his harsh response.The societal breakdown that has spread the enigma of single parenting, encouraged by the colonials because it suited their convenience- easier to sell a slave if one did not have to wory about the entanglements of wife and kids, but my parents families were not slaves. Now, a Chinese researcher I met in the US points out that for many years, the “shipwrecked” Chinese in the west did not mate with anybody, they were often too poor for a mail order bride, but when they realized that their gene pool would die out, they decided to mate with women of AFrican stock. Some of my friends had African others and Chinese fathers in Arima, who were married for life. We can help save outr schools , as I have said before, by reconstituting the fragmented African families of the urban areas. A child MUST belong to more than one person, not for exploitation, but for support. An hour ago, I was on the phone to someone in Diego, trying to ascertain that that shooting was not outside the school where two children I care about go.
    Imagine my further shock when I was told that father and son were sitting in their car, waiting to give two other kids a ride home, to keep them safe.
    MAy God have mercy on our country. Our values, affected by material things, not ideas, are in the toilet.
    We should watch what has happened to Greece, and learn. Their economy is in the toilet, the worst in the world, and people are rioting in the streets because of no jobs.

    • Linda wrote “I was a bookish child over whose head all of that flew, later I realized that the man had been eying me inappropriately, even in my father’s presence, hence his harsh response.The societal breakdown that has spread the enigma of single parenting, encouraged by the colonials because it suited their convenience- easier to sell a slave if one did not have to wory about the entanglements of wife and kids, but my parents families were not slaves…”

      Linda you were spared the horrors of molestation because your dad was looking over you. How many young girls have been place in precarious positions without the presence of a protective male? My simple answer is too many, some I know will not escape the entanglement of innocence lost. While we all search for answers, the answers are simple and yet difficult to attain. A strong parental home with mother and father is the core towards raising the next generation of citizens. Promiscuity is celebrated with “ah deputy essential”, “whin & grind” and other sexually explicit and enticing lyrics. The culture of death is strangling the next generation.

      The way forward as I see it (1) Teach your children about the value of marriage. Marriage produces a stable home and the possibily of children growing up well rounded.
      (2) Social studies classes should warn children about the risk of poverty and early pregnancies when sexual deviancy is embraced. And teenage pregnancies should not be the norm. (3) The single parent should have a strong support group, through the church, the village, the family.

      Now these are small steps but those steps are the basics of building a strong citizenry.

  • Which problem, Mamoo, that of ungrateful Indians who throughout the west benefit from what Martin Luther King fought and died for,while trying to pretend that they are not Black, or the African dscended westerners who continue to “Accommodate” those who try to trample on them? Bill Cosby became bitter when his son was murdered for a $120,000 Mercedes Benz convertible, in California. In his grief, he lashes out at his own people, forgetting that it was a Russian immigrant who murdered his son. Cosby, Morgan Job and Jack Warner have lot in common, but then, having met Amartya Sen, and listened to him lecture, I realize that some people cannot help the race they are born into. They despise many who look like them, and embrace others. Some say Oprah suffers from the same syndrome, but since she and Cosby are “entertainers” they say what their paying public need to hear, and we know African Americans do not pay to see these people, they know too many of them from church already. Ha Ha He He.Cosby became Dr. Huxtable, and as a tired old man, he cannot let go. Have you asked what Deryk Walcott thinks of Caribbean education, and why his Trinidad Theatre Workshop was not The St. Lucia Theatre workshop?

    • Linda wrote “Ha Ha He He.Cosby became Dr. Huxtable, and as a tired old man, he cannot let go.”

      Cosby did more than anyone I know for uplifting black culture. It is sad that you would make a mockery of this man, honored and respected by millions across the world.

      “Some say Oprah suffers from the same syndrome,” Oprah was one of first who took money out of her own pocket to build houses for black people in New Orleans. What syndrome is she suffering from??? Apart from that she sends money faithfully to the United Negro college and many other black colleges.

      “Which problem, Mamoo, that of ungrateful Indians who throughout the west benefit from what Martin Luther King fought and died for…” Martin Luther King and all black folks owe a debt of gratitude to Mahatma Gandhi had it not been for Gandhi’s “non-violent” movement, there would not have been any liberation of black folks. SO THERE.

      Linda your infantile outburst on this discussion board leaves much to be desired. It however, exposes your disdain for others and your own self-aborbed world view. Let me say those who blaze the trail should be respected rather than spat upon by your ghetto like outburst. Please spare us your diatribe.

  • Join the line Doc,I’ve been down this road already.Rest assured that many in and out of government ,has dirty hands , and are equally guilty for the appalling state of our country,’Sweet, Sweet, T&T aka Rainbow Country. ‘ My apologies, was that what you were attempting to say. Ah shucks ,let me re read your post. http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/forum/webbbs_config.pl/read/4013

  • Mammoo, you not African. Hush your mouth when it comes to African Culture, african-American, Afro-Caribbean or Afro-Brazilian culture. We are not lifted up by entertainers but by scholars who pave new paths.

    • Linda wrote “Mammoo, you not African”. Linda my ancestors came from Northern Africa. If you mean I don’t think like a ghetto Afro, you are damn right (lol).

  • ” Linda my ancestors came from Northern Africa.” mamoo Go tell em, Mamoo!Glad we got that out of the way – your Arab credentials ie. Now we know that your ancestors contributed to the barbarian system called slavery, long before those slow Europeans could figure it out.

  • Why is it that everytime we are challenged mentally we hit out at each other?? Is this the only way we know how to communicate?? Where does this come from.
    I was brought up in those same times. My educations was my own and did not belong to any political party or ethnic group. As a young man I lived a very fruitfull life. I had lots of experiences. I see all my experiences as just that learning experiences. My broken home gave rise to special experiences because one of my parents were there when I need one. (There are numerous books on parenting and they all contradict each other.) I hope I am not damaged. What is the key?? I would never know but I know that I have used the experiences I have in my repetoir to move ahead and not travel the same road twice if I don’t want to.
    I think in T&T we are not taught to think. From home we are told to follow instructions. At school we learn things to be regurgitated. My special circumstances forced me to think at an early age. When ever we start thinking it is so much about what we dont have as opposed to what we do have, to which party we belong rather than which country and to which race we belong rather than being in the human race and forever confused as to whether we belong to the right religion.
    Is this the legacy we wish to leave behind?? No wonder the children are confused.

  • Some time ago, the millioniare wife of Sen. John Kerry, heiress to the Hienz fortune, was claiming to be “African”. She is white and from Mozambique’s ruling class, who have the record for ill treatment of their servants. An African for me, is defined by many things, not just being a descendant in North Africa of the Anatolians the conquering Romans planted there, to keep the indigenous people down. Your thinking is that of a non-African, Mamoo, and it shows. You have absorbed, apparentluy, lock, stock and barrel, the assumptions of outsiders, strangers, about Africa and Africans.You are a know-nothing except for what you see on TV. You will not be expected to know that there is a deliberate set of rules adopted by Europeans, and now bought into by Indians, to show Africans in the poorest light possible. Those non-Africans in TnT are particularly guilty of this. I pity your lack of understanding, your narrow-mindedness, your absence of scholarship on the issue. I will not, however, try to educate you.Even when I hosted a Fulbright Scholar from Tunisia in my home, four years ago, a Muslim, I was astonished about how next to nothing was her knowledge of AFrica, and she a Fulbright scholar working on her PhD!
    I do “education” work among intelligent North Americans where I still think it can make a difference. You, and thoughts like yours, I condemn to the dustbin. Answer my question about Derek Walcott nuh man. When the ICC was first appointing judges, CArl Hudson Phillips was among the first three. Ghetto product you think? The Hugh Wooding LAw School is named for a Ghetto Product? Why Indians love that term, which is a Jewish word for a high concentration of people living behind a barred gate is amazing to me, except that they themselves live behind a barred gate of ignorance. By the way, your handle”Mamoo” is a Hindu name. First Hindu I heard of from North Africa. What a unique thing you are. I suspect you are lying, you just picked a place on the map as far from Western India on the coast as you could.
    I question credentials and pedigree because they are biased lens through which people like you view the world. I hope that my nieces named Bboolal are broader minded people.

    • “Mamoo, and it shows. You have absorbed, apparentluy, lock, stock and barrel, the assumptions of outsiders, strangers, about Africa and Africans.You are a know-nothing except for what you see on TV.”

      Let me say Linda your judgmental and presumption attitude again manifest itself in your vain repudiation of what I have said. I actually have friends from Africa believe it or not. They are well cultured people. One of the African ladies was saying to me just today how much they appreciate life and their family. I have to say the true African which you are NOT and which you will NEVER be is a well-cultured person. I am not saying all of them is like that, but I have been blessed to have African friends who are like that.

      You on the other hand need to learn to appreciate life for what it is instead of trying to make it into what you think it should be. This is the world you live in Linda, in a few short years you will return to the dust of the earth and thus you will conclude your brief earthly soujourn. All you will take is your deeds done in the flesh.

      My opinion of African people changed considerably when I actually met true African people. The African people of the Caribbean do not compare to the African from Africa. Something was lost in the trans-atlantic journey and it has never been regain.

      Linda wrote “First Hindu I heard of from North Africa. What a unique thing you are. I suspect you are lying, you just picked a place on the map as far from Western India on the coast as you could…”
      Hinduism is a religion it NOT a race Ms. Linda. Let me explain what I mean by that. Indians are all NOT Hindus, so again you are stereotyping. And it show your level of understanding for a civilization that is over 5000 years old. My ancestors came from Northern Africa moved to North West India and created the Mojendo Daro and Harrappa civilization in the Indus valley. Indians were the ones to stop Alexander the Great. Indians were the ones to stop the advance of the Mogul Empire, they never totally conquered India. The Mighty British Empire was brought to it knees by Indians. Historically the “New World” was discovered by Columbus because he wanted to circumnavigate the world and reach India, the greatest nation at that time. Is it any wonder the natives in the “New World” were called Indians. I could go on but let me end by saying you are indeed a poor student of history. You need to be re-educated and hopefully I can help you along those lines.

  • On that Ghetto business:When North America-The US racists in particular, realized that Sen.Barack Obama was a viable Presidential candidate, they did the following:
    Play down his Harvard law school credentials.
    Painted his face much darker than he really is.
    Challenged whether he was born in the USA.
    Claimed that he was a Muslim.
    Decounced him for not walking out of his church when the preacher lambasted racism in America.(Walking out would have then been designated as “Typical ghetto behaviour”.
    Claim that he would not know what to do if the red phone rang in the middle of the night.
    Made fun of his Indonesian stepfather’s name, and his sister’s married name.
    Went to Africa/Kenya to dig up dirt on the Obama’s and found that his grandmother lived in a “hut”; and when she was advised by the elders not to give interviews, they said she wanted more money for talking. Westerns do not understand the dignified silence of an old African.
    They said he had never had a real job.
    That being a ‘Communty organizer’ was all he knew
    and on, and on and on.
    They said he could not manage a nation at war, and would be soft on terror.
    The first thing he did as president was sign an equal wage law that makes companies pay women the same as a man for doing a job.
    The last big thing was take out Osama Bin Laden.

    Now, all of this was just politics? Well McCain was born in Panama. He abandoned his first wife who had a bad accident, for a younger wealthier, prettier one, and John Edwards got another man to accept responsibility for his love child. Now he is in court for all that lying.

    They continue to dig for dirt on the president but can find nothing. ARE THEY DOING THIS BECAUSE HE IS WHITE?
    You already know the answer.

  • Good Heaven’s !!! I thought this would have stimulated some aspiring minds, spew the Intellect into existence with reasoning and mental expressions. But what are we seeing here? The typical Trinidad Bacchanal Mentality.
    This Market Crab Mentality Can’t address our Moral and Spiritual Issues.Blue Crabs in a Barrel Mentality, while one seeking to climb out the others gripping and Pulling Down.This is only Childish behavior, while the core of the matter looms in the dark.
    Get real Folks, stay focus on the Issues, instead of attacking one another- remember these topics are being read by the International Community, what Mentality are we projecting Here ??????

  • And your recommendations on this profound topic, Mr or MsTrini is?

    • You seem to have a plaster for everything…Legendary Linda Edwards….All hail to the Crabs !!!!

      • If I attack anyone’s character on my point of view, I would ask for forgiveness….I spoke in general to the issues at large.
        The various bodies represented here, most of these bodies are responsible for their reflection on the Public. Most are only Public servants serving the domain of the Public.
        Seats and offices of the various categories are always vacant and passes on to others if situation arise. Government in not made up of one individual, neither are the Educational System, Society.
        All Am seeing here is people trying to Intimidate each, And such I would never Entertain……

  • TMAN your comment about the distribution of PHDs in the US is ludicrous.Given the percentage Asians and South Asians represent in the US population, it is ludicrous to assert that they hold 40% of the PHDs in the US.

    Among PHDs awarded to US citizens in 2000 5.8 percent were awarded to Africans, 4.9 percent to Asians, and 4.2 percent to Hispanics. I do not know where you pull those ego inflatory data from, but they defy basic logical deduction when one examines the proportional representation of groups within the US population.

    For those of you wish to gather and examine data related to TMAN’s assertion, simply access:

    http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1019&context=cheri&sei-redir=1#search=“breakdown+of+phds+in+the+us+by+racial+groups”

  • It is a fact that in areas like engineering and some other hard sciences, non citizens of the US were awarded the largest percentage of PHDs, amounting to perhaps 61% of the total. From around 2002, and speculatively because of rapid outsourcing of technical jobs and other factors, there has been a declining rate of PHD awarded to non US citizens in areas like engineering and other technical disciplines. But those are not the only areas of education in which PHDs are awarded. To make a blanket statement that South Asians and other Asians earn 40% of the PHDs awarded is disingenuous at best, and deceiving at worse. I continue to warn you to cease and curtail this predispostion of insulting the intelligence of people you believe are naturally inferior your descendant strain.

    • The statistic which I quoted came from Fareed Zakaria’s CNN TV special on Innovation 2011, recent stats.
      My comment has nothing to do with “insulting the intelligence” of anyone.In any case, regardless of the statistic, the economic and educational successes of Asian and South Asian groups internationally as well as in the USA are overwhelming and quite obvious.And to make it abundantly clear to some, this statement does not suggest any inferiority or superiority to any other group.

  • I mean a declining rate of PHDs awarded to US citizens.

  • A vignette I have stated before: About ten years ago, when Alhaji Olesugun Obasanjo was president of Nigeria, some German antropologist excavated a boat on the shore of Lake Chad in northern Nigeria. It was carbondated at 8000 years old. The Germans had grand plans for taking the boat to Germany, and displaying it in a museum.Obasanjo stepped in and put his foot down. He reportedly said “This is an African boat, to be specific, a Nigerian boat. We are fully capable of building a museum on this site, around this boat.Never again do I want to hear that Africans have not created anything. African children, Nigerian children, can come and see this boat anfd know the greatness of their ancestors. The Germans can come and see it too.”

    Every time I hear someone trumpet about that south Asian “5000 year old civilization” I laugh.Perhaps their artifacts to document such a claim is under the dust of the Deccan.
    Egyptian/African artifacts are all over the place, and more and more excavations are showing that civilization as we know it, life even, flowed out of Central Africa northward to Europe, Eastward to India China and by raft to Australia, and even to North America. Some people read the versions of history that suit them best. I have many Catholic friends who never studied the Tudor period in English history, and the comparative period of European/Papal history, but they constantly claim “It was because Henry V111 wanted six wives!”As if that explains the Reformation.

    • Linda wrote “It was carbondated at 8000 years old.”
      I find it amusing how people can believe that a boat subjected to the wind and normal decay could be dated to be 8,000 years old. Hahahaahaa, that one is certainly worth a laugh. Any fool can extol folly as means to an end. Having said that, if it makes Linda and the Nigerians happy I am all for it. In fact it should be dated 10,000 years (it will increase their joy).

      The question really for the intelligent and wise on this board is “Did the Nigerians existed on that land 8000 years ago”? According to the brainy Linda they did, according to me they did not… Now where is the burden of proof? In the boards of boat am I to assume…HHAAAA, now that is worth a laugh.

  • You do not know antropology, so let me educate you a bit. Lake Chad, 8000 years ago was about five times the size it is today. Sometime in that distant past, a fisherman tied up his boat,or it may have sunk and he swam home. He did not go back to it. Maybe he got sick and did not go out for a few days. The lake receeded over time, and the boat became stranded.in mud. Sahara dust which causes so many breathing problems in TnT covered it. The boat was located about a quarter mile from the present lakeshore. Check for yourself how archaeologists did this.

    Aerial photographya nd other methods have revealed vast highways under the present day Sahara. Ancient road packed into by countless travellers, then covered in dust.One antopologist stated that the sphinx is about three thousand years older they previously thought, because the wear marks on the face are from Sahara Rain, not wind.It last rained in those parts, in large amounts, about 8000 years ago. That water sank down and is now called rhe Western Sudan Acquifer. It is estimated that a million cubic metres of water or more in under there. Ghadaffi has tapped into it,and built a pipeline to carry the water to Tripoli. According to the article in The Atlantic, six men can swim side by side in the pipeline.You can check this yourself also. Part of the reason the west want him out is his hogging the water for his own people. I don’t know that others would be different.So, the boat has not been there sitting in the open. It could have sunk in a storm and be buried and preerved in mud. Archaeologists are also searching the shores of the sea of Genesaret(Sea of GAlilee) to find Jesus’ boat.

    • Linda wrote “You do not know antropology, so let me educate you a bit. Lake Chad, 8000 years ago was about five times the size it is today”

      Who build that boat? Nobody really knows because no one was here 8000 years ago, provided the carbon dating is correct. You are saying it was built by Africans but what proof do you have that it was really built by Africans.

  • The statistic which I quoted came from Fareed Zakaria’s CNN TV special on Innovation 2011, recent stats.
    My comment has nothing to do with “insulting the intelligence” of anyone.In any case, regardless of the statistic, the economic and educational successes of Asian and South Asian groups internationally as well as in the USA are overwhelming and quite obvious.And to make it abundantly clear to some, this statement does not suggest any inferiority or superiority to any other group.

    You hear what you want to hear. And what you hear is a product of how your mind works.

    It is ludicrous to even believe that in a nation of 300 million plus, one of the smallest population groups was accounting for 4 out of every 10 PHDs awarded in the nation. It is the kind of extrapolation that is engineered by racial and ethnic prejudice, such that it becomes so excited over the revelation of any data that seem to support that predisposition, that only the potions relevant to the self hugging emotions make sense.

    • A bit of education for Keith Williams, the angry Black man.

      In the Americas, the term refers almost exclusively to those from the Asia pacific region, such as China, Japan, South Korea or Vietnam.

      Southern Asia comprises the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka.

  • Concerning those many PhD’s and such: A personal experience: An asian frien dof mine, south sian, who is working on her PhD at a university near where I live wanted me to do the following: Say she had qualifications that she did not have in order to get a better job, and get into the doctoral programme at a more prestigious university. I would not do that. She then enrolled in one with an pen programme, easier to get into. Then she invited me to do a paper for a friend of hers who has this “English requirement she does not have time for”. Its something you could do quite easy”. No thanks. As a matter of fact, I forwarded her request to someone I know at that university, with the relevant names deleted, so they could check for papers bought off the internet. Then she came back a third time, last week wanting me to do something for her in the area of Educational Administration. I told her I was busy on a new book I am writing and could not focus on two things in that area. She still sent me the stuff as if I had not said no twice already. well guess what, the attachment will remain unopened.
    Academic honesty-resposibility for one’s own product, is a value I hold in highest regard.
    Now, if I have had three offers to help cheat, how many have others had? PhD’s in the US mean more money. That is what they want. I value scholarship.

  • A bit of education for Keith Williams, the angry Black man.

    In the Americas, the term refers almost exclusively to those from the Asia pacific region, such as China, Japan, South Korea or Vietnam.

    Southern Asia comprises the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka.

    A bit of re-education for you. The statistics I cite lumped everyone who originated from the Asian Continent in its study. The demograhic was Asia as a continent, and not East, West, North and South. To the same effect that they did not differentiate between blacks who originated from Africa, South America and other parts of the world, they did not make differentiations between Asians.

    Your constant deceitful proclivity to crawl your way out of racist influenced bragging is pathetic. Basic commonsense will allow anyone to comprehend that in a nation of 300 million plus, the idea that one of the smallest segments of the population getting 4 out of ten PHDs is looney. But then being looney is consistent with the mindset of those whose ethnic masturbatory postulations is the bane of their existence

    • Mr. Williams seems very determined to prove that his outdated internet statistics on PHDs awarded in the USA are correct. He should be congratulated for his abusive persistence.
      Since the statistics which were presented by me were quoted from Zaharia’s CNN program, “Innovation”, I would strongly suggest that he contact CNN and offer his correction. This may satisfy his perverse view of the universe, because I do not really care which version is right or wrong.My universe will continue to unfold. THE END. Have a nice day.

  • What statistics were presented to you. You said you heard it on Fareed’s program. You wish me to repost your assertion. You wrote that Asians and South Asians hold 40 percent of the PHDs in the US. Produce the study that says that or shut your cake hole.

    I told you that I will not allow you to masturbate your ethnic ego in this forum. To say things that rationalize that racist superiority complex in which you were enculturated, and in which you wallow in repugnantly.

    I wrote that there is no doubt that Asians, as a continental population group are predominant in engineering and other like technical degrees in the US. But that dominance does not exist when PHDs in all academical discipline is taken into consideration. I make these points not to explain to you, because you exhibit a crass obtuseness that is palpable. I make them so that readers will be able to analyze this exchange, and see who is being consistent, who is presenting evidence other than a skewed regurgitation of what they heard on television.

    Again, it is inconceivable that a minuscle portion of the US 300 plus million population would be accounting for 4 out of ten of the total PHDs awarded in the US. That is crass stupidity. But it is that kind of stretching stupidity that is consistent with racial prejudice. The stupid extrapolation and manipulation of data and findings. You heard one thing, and you extrapolated on it in your usual ethnic mastubatory fashion.

    I do not have to contact CNN you dum dum. That would indicate that I believe that you heard what you claim you heard. I believe that yo are mendacious as usual. Not only mendacious, but particularly backward. Because you are advising that a third party contact a second party to authenticate what a first party claimed to have heard. I challenged what you said you heard. It is up to you to produce evidence to corroborate that, or admit that you extrapolated what you heard to a convenient dimension in order to ethnically jerk off.

    The Hip Hop culture is no more perverse than the prostitution of children culture. African Americans have a foundation for that musical genre. You are always at the back waiting to step in and enjoy the fruits of their struggles, produce Zilch as far as grass roots activivism and struggles to open up the societies of the West, have no moral authority to pronounce on that. You are like the Heyena’s who creep in after the Lion has made its kill to rip and tear from the carcass to sate your appetites.

    I read some of the shyte most you write about the US and have to laugh. What a bunch of narrow ass bigots and social scavengers. You should be crawling on your bellies and thanking African Americans for changing that nation so that many of you could get a PHD there today. But I suppose your Aryan complexes are so damn convoluted that even though you benefit from the blood sweat and tears of African Americans, the pull to see them through the eyes of your Aryan brethren is too strong, to genetically historical be ignored. That the Monkey chants against black football players in Europe is replicated against black cricket players like the Australian Symonds in India, is tangible evidence of that genetic twinning.

  • I am not in the least bit suprised and astounded by the fact that some you get your rocks off by peeing on Africans as a group. It is in your nature, and evidence that Sigmund Freud was visionary in his identfication of the phyche of those who use psychological defense mechanisms for feel good comfort. But we as a people, regardless of our enforced conditions, even in the most oppressive and inhuman environments, made contributions that are beneficial to mankind the world over. And that is a form or evidence of our exceptionalism.

    For those of you who continue to feed at the trough of our struggles I say, try doing something that benefit humankind for once. Try engaging in activisms that benefit people as whole and not just for your “awee people”. When those manifestations become apparent in real terms, then your enunciations will have value. Until then you remain screaming Heyenas feeding off the carcass of the Lions’ kill, while skulking in your holes and dens opining about his life style. That is as fitting an analogy that describes your postulations on this board.

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