Rejecting the State of Emergency

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 30, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIs either I stupidly or Anand and dem know many things I don’t know. But I didn’t know that one had to declare a state of emergency to capture some gang leaders and charge them with possession of marijuana or cocaine. I didn’t know that the only way to solve the crime problem was to declare a state of emergency and arrest about five hundred young people (call them gang members) from Black areas in order to solve the crime problem. If so, the PNM was more than stupid to hold its hands until the PP discovered that it takes a state of emergency to capture all these black people so easily.

The Attorney General declares that few crimes have been committed since the state of emergency was declared. Given such thinking it seems logical that they should continue the state of emergency for the foreseeable future. When Parliament convenes on Friday to discuss the matter one should have no objection to keeping the state of emergency in place for the next three months as I am sure that is what the PP will be asking for. In that way we will really solve our crime problem.

But such a solution suggests that the PP had no crime plan to begin with. How come after fifteen months in office the only solution they could come up with to solve the crime problem is to declare a state of emergency, arrest some young black men and, as I hear the A.G. and the Brigadier put it, commandeer Tarouba Stadium to house these black outcasts; the Mr. Bigs as they called them? At least this is one legacy that the PNM left for them—a place in which to incarcerate our own.

But is this any way to solve the crime problem? When the PP announced the imposition of a state of emergency many luminaries in high places endorsed the action but, as Martin Daly pointed out, he felt let down. He felt that the PP was not going after the real disturbers of the peace—the men and women who bring coke into the country; the men and women who launder the proceeds of the drug money; and the men and women who bring the guns into the country which we all acknowledge is a major source of the sky—rocketing crime rate.

But no one in high places has been snapped up by the government. We are told that the gang leaders from Laventille and Morvant and Nelson Street are really the Mr. Bigs; that they have attained a level of organization that would make our leaders of industry look like little boys; that their capacity for organization is such that they are the tails that are wagging the dogs or is it that they are the dogs (the Mr. Bigs) that are wagging the tails. In fact, they are so efficient they should have organized the state of emergency rather than leave it to the government who has made a mess of things.

It also might be that the young members of these communities have a penchant for committing crimes. While many crimes are committed in these areas it is also true that much crime—other than criminal acts—— occur in other parts of Trinidad. So that while the government is treating the symptoms of crime they are not concerned with the causes of these crimes which suggest that no matter how hard they treat the symptoms the causes remain. This means that the sore will fester and the on—going oozing of the wound will continue.

When the PP came into power they said that they had a plan for crime. We voted them into office because we believed they could solve the crime problem. God curse the days we got down on Martin Joseph and Patrick Manning when they showed an inability to solve the mounting crimes in the country. They were trying to tell us that there were ways other than a state of emergency to solve the crime problem but we were too stubborn to listen. They could have used the state of emergency option but they rejected it not because so many black boys would have been the victims of summary arrests and placed into detention camps but because they knew—and I am sure that they are correct—that a state of emergency only provides a temporary solution that does not attack the root of the criminal problem.

The PNM also knew that once you begin to criminalize the African community you set up two communities and the racial divide that you claimed so proudly to have bridged when you won the election only widens. In so doing you demonstrate to the populace that one community is the source of evil while the other is the source of all that is good.

Tony Frazier alluded to this tendency in a recent article in the Trinidad Guardian (August 17) when he discussed a national advertisement by the PP Government that depicted “a rude, teenage girl being completely unreasonable, demanding and grossly disrespectful to her mother” that was “offensive to the extreme, counter—productive to national development, cohesion, and racist to the core.” In modeling “an Afro—Trinidad mother and child, those responsible for the advertisement are saying it is a peculiarly Afro—Trini penchant to be unreasonable in the face of all indications by Government (mother) that it (she) simply cannot afford more at this time….The object here is to persuade the Indo population to the side of the Government and against an Afro—Trini population, stubborn, intransigent and desirous of replacing the predominantly Indo government.”

A similar design—that of depicting Africans as a source of national evil—— is at work in this declaration of a state of emergency which is why I do not support it and disagree with those who think it is the best thing to have happened in our country since slice bread. It is just another attack against black people to which I am irrevocable opposed.

43 thoughts on “Rejecting the State of Emergency”

  1. Manning could not dare declare a state of emergency in Trinidad 2 years ago when the ‘reported’ crime total was over 700 souls. It would heve been embarassing to the PNM to be rounding so many of their own seeds that they have sown for over 40 years – the descendents of the voter-padders from Grenada and St.Vincent that the PNM encouraged freely into the country. Hot-spot Enterprise is the best example where several hundred families are squatting on Badase and Sat Maharaj’s land (squatters proclaiming it’s Jah’s land). I got many relatives who have lost land that way. It’s amazing how quickly the Williams’ regime were quick to run water and electricity to these illegal settlers. So the chickens are coming home to roost in Tarouba.

    Manning was too chicken to declared a curfew else the UNC would have won by a landslide and wouldn’t need the COP et al.
    Selwyn, you are vex that the burnin, riotin and lootin didn’t take root in Trinidad as you and your ilk were inciting!!! The problem is that the people you are inciting don’t read – don’t but the papers, so your top-down approach won’t work. We all know that TT is ripe for a revolution (1970, 1990, 2010) especially now that PNM is out of office!! You guys want to destroy the country and then blame it on the ‘weak’ govt. You and your ilk are so angry that the TT 2011 revolution that was supposed to be masked as labor unrest, is nippped in the bud. Now all this fits nicely into your racist agenda. Well, who vex, lorse!

    1. “Selwyn, you are vex that the burnin, riotin and lootin didn’t take root in Trinidad as you and your ilk were inciting!!! The problem is that the people you are inciting don’t read – don’t but the papers, so your top-down approach won’t work.”

      Guess you meant buy (not but)… Grateful for the ‘free’ inspiration/hint.. You can really learn a lot from a dummy.

    2. Ramjit Gopaul, if a majority of Indo-Trinis and Afro-Trinis think as you do, T&T will, sooner or later, share the same horrific and unforgiveable fate with Sri Lanka and Rwanda.

      In every one of these tragic societies and broken countries, there were also divisions between peoples based on ethnicity, unbreachable social classes, religious beliefs, etc., who despite living in close proximity to each other yet, who on both sides separated themselves into who were the ‘bandits’ and who the ‘patriots’, and therefore initially deserving of incarceration, and subsequently of death.

      Today, thosse who sow the wind leave it for the children to reap the whirlwind; those grow sour grapes put the children’s future on edge.

      There is nothing as enlightening, decent and uplifting as wisdom, even when out of favour, and nothing as criminal and deadly as foolishness baptised in indignation.

  2. I can see the prof being dethroned from his status as a leader of black folks. NAEAP has nothing of worth for black folks and now a kick against the curfew that is design to save the lives of young black men.

    The curfew is hugely popular across the nation. Minister Sandy was the top soldier from the commonwealth at Sandurst a man who I believe is slowly but surely emerging as the new leader of our black brothers and sisters. Quietly in homes the whisper amongst our black brothers and sisters to their children is “look at Sandy you can be like him”. Earlier this year he stood side by side with America’s top General Colin Powell to encourage black men to be fathers to their children. In the briefings held everyday Sandy has used a fatherly approach to encourage black families to keep their children away from crime. He used the right tone to remind the nation that he is concern about the youths. He is genuine in what he says.

    Therefore it comes as no surprise to me when Minister Sandy met with the PM and said we need to call a state of emergency due to a threat of gang wars that will result in the death of many young men. The PM’s response was positive because she knew that Sandy have the heart of youths within his heart.

    I can see after this state of emergency Minister Sandy working harder to turn the youths away from crime by using the resources available to point them in the right direction.

    In the mean time the prof should ask himself if his vision of black folks is “skewed” by his PNM ideology. The curfew is doing it’s job, keep up the good work Minister Sandy, the nation needs more noble men like you…. Cheers.

  3. Dr. Cudjoe you’re the lone “Portia” among a sea of “Shylocks.” Leave them to reap their “Shakespearean justice.”

  4. “God curse the days we got down on Martin Joseph and Patrick Manning when they showed an inability to solve the mounting crimes in the country. They were trying to tell us that there were ways other than a state of emergency to solve the crime problem but we were too stubborn to listen.”

    I was thinking about Martin Joseph today and a smile came across my face. I remember the picture of Martin with his boyish grin pulling up his pants and posing as Charlie Chaplin in front of a car. He was indeed the great “black hope” a man who could solve the crime problem. In fact Patrick Manning at the time said Joseph was his best Minister (lol). Under Joseph watch crime just kept on increasing. He said out of frustation that in 3 years time crime will be down. His hope was the brothers in hood would kill off each other and the good folks will take up the slack, but that was not to be. Rather every time a gang leader died three more was ready to take his place. Why? Because these men had a different woman each day and lots of money, that was and is the most attractive thing about being a gang leader. Poor kids were all “googoo, gaga” about that lifestyle.

    No Martin Joseph should not have been Minista of National Security. The PNM always selected misfits for the MNS position. The UNC on the other had selected military personel to lead that department, that is why crime will go down under their stewardship.

  5. Unfortunately, Selwyn you are demonstrating by your very words that you are “stupidy”, to use your own word. The state of emergency allows the police to arrest gang leaders since the police are not restricted by the conventional laws regarding arrests. Do you prefer that the government does nothing like Manning and his incompetent minister Martin Joseph? Or maybe they should bring back “Operation Anaconda” under the previous failure, was it Chin Lee?

    The evidence indicates that the criminals and shooters reside in hotspots identified by the police. If only Africans live there, who do you expect the police to arrest? Should they go searching for some Browns and Whites to balance the number of arrests? The statistics on murders in T&T indicate that a certain element is committing the majority of these murders. Obviously the police would make arrests in the areas in which they reside.

    If you are aware of whom the BIG boys are, please name them in your numerous articles. If Martin Daly is aware of whom they are, he should name them also. You imply that the identities of the BIG boys are well known. Then be a patriot, name them, or at least inform the police.
    “We are told that the gang leaders from Laventille and Morvant and Nelson Street are really the Mr. Bigs; that they have attained a level of organization that would make our leaders of industry look like little boys.”(CUDJOE) Do you have evidence to refute this? Then, provide it.
    You suggest the PP is “criminalizing” the African community. Are you serious? The African community is alive and well. The criminals who are arrested are no reflections on the African community. They are criminals, pure and simple and by the way, other ethnicities are also being arrested.
    It is true that a state of emergency only provides a temporary solution that does not attack the root of the criminal problem, but it is a beginning precipitated by events which included a spate of multiple murders. The minister of national security also alluded to other reasons which have not been fully revealed in the interest of national security.
    The SOE can also be interpreted as a measure to save the lives of young African males in our society. They have become an endangered species considering the rate of murders in this demographic in T&T over the last decade. This SOE is not an attack on Black people but an assault on criminals in order to protect the freedom and liberties of the people of T&T.

  6. Please explain to me how these “gang” leaders from what I know to be the poorest areas of our beautiful country,who never leave the country, in some cases don’t even go further then the east dry river,”whereever that is”;how in the world do they come by the heavy duty ammo and all the drugs they get their hands on,in what seems to be a daily occurance.Hey noone is fooled by any of this high profiling,no one is missing the true picture here;so I say good luck with this State of Emergency,hope and pray it changes things,I mean really changes things loooooong term.

  7. Happy Independence Day to one and all. In the midst of all the discussions let us take a moment to remind ourselves of the this great nation, that has the potential to achieve even greater things.

    Independence Day.

    T’was a minute to midnight and all stood still,
    The Union Jack slowly came down by our will.
    Up went the red/white and black in the wind it unfurled.
    Alas a new nation was born with stories yet to be told.

    Colonialism came to a predictable end,
    Citizens of the nation, a new nation now to defend.
    Such birth brought tears to all eyes that memorable night,
    They vowed to build a nation great and bright.

    T’was not so long ago when a Marina spotted the trinity hills,
    He took it as a sign from God and from his lips “La Trinidad”.
    There as he kelt on the sandy shore and kissed the ground,
    He dedicated this land to the true and living God the Trinity.

    Yes this nation blessed with so much resources,
    A land touch by the hand of majesty on high.
    A place to eat, sleep and rest with all who value life.
    A place of hope a land without strife(war).

    So on this birthday we celebrate our nation’s progress.
    We pause amidst the gloom to reconnect to it’s salient history.
    To draw inspiration from it mountains and valleys,
    Mother of us all, your children stands in thankfullness.


  8. The level of “Intellectual input” in these comments shames a country that has had free education up to the tertiary level since 1964 or so . We as a people, have not nmoved from Black and Africa used as derogatory words, since the Spaish conquest in 1497. I am fed up of you guys. I invite you to watch the World GAmes broadcast from Korea, and notice where the Trini person lies, halfway between the complexion of the Kenyan runners and those of Poland and Germany. We are a mixed race people, of all ethnicities, but some, wallowing in ignorance, continue to talk “When the PNM was in power” this and When the PNM was in power that, nd add Black as a derogatory adjetive to their remarks; yet by their comments they have appointed themselves spokespersons for the ruling party.If these are the examples of forward thinking that is displayed here, we are to be pitied as a country for producing such sorry human beings as some of these commenters.
    Dr. Phillip Sherlock, Pro Vice Chancellor of UWI when I was there said”Too much looking back upon history is bad for a people with a future to build.” I recomend his comments to your thinking.

    1. Linda, I full agree with you line of thinking. The part I really don’t understand is these preachers of Black Power do not really understand. Because they don’t believe that Black Power means black leadership. Whether it is above ground culture or underground culture. they believe that it really must have someone else to be in leadership and the black people must be following. They are really captured by their own inferiority complexes. And the persecution complexes that follow really amazes me.
      Maybe one day they will wake up and see that there are brilliant Black People, White People, Brown People, Yellow people and Green People, and for nations to move forward they all must be embraced because they all have contribution to make.

  9. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It is not a matter of race nor is it an assault on “black people”. If you are not caucasion you are black there is no distinction. Is missing a few fetes and “liming by the road” worth the lives of our children. The PNM if they were smart would support the SOE and try their best to ensure that measures are in place to return the country to peace and harmony when the current crime situation is abated. My only concern is that once the crime is purged we put systems and programmes in place to prevent the crime situation from regenerating. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the PNM and PP and other political rivals could put there petty differences aside and sit together and produce a plan to protect the citizens oof this country from clear and present danger.

  10. Attorney: They were held because they are black
    DEFENCE attorney Cecil Pope was admonished by Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar yesterday after he claimed the only reason his client and 17 others were charged under the Anti-Gang legislation was because they are black.

    …Mothers plead sons’ innocence before court

    Emancipation group calls for Gibbs’ head
    The Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) has written to the Police Service Commission (PSC) calling for the removal of Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs for what it is claiming is “unacceptable racist behaviour.” The call comes after Gibbs at a media briefing at the National Security Ministry last Friday said the police had to sort through all the people (arrested) and evidence obtained so far “so who’s who in the zoo will take a little work.”

    Kambon: ‘African communities’ targeted
    A racist, potentially volatile situation is developing in African communities that are being targeted as crime hot spots by law enforcement agencies.

  11. The story of our Trinidad and Tobago lifestyles is forever in our faces as dictated by the Guardian, Express and Newsday newspapers each and every day. We rush to read what is dictated to us from very early in the morning to late at night, sometimes as late as two and three in the morning. Yes we are captured by the imagination of those who control our lives and tell us how we must think and behave. Look at the people who gets the most accolades in our society!, look at those who get the worst!, look at those who are inspired, look at those who are uninspired, look at those who reap the most and those so sow the most. Look at thoser who are most admired, then look at thoser who are most despised. Why am I saying all of this? Our culture lavish praises unto those who are accomplished regardless of how that is attained, in the new emerging culture of T&T since the eighties a lot of riches emanated from the shipment, importation, distribution and sales of illegal drugs which as a commodity, takes a lot of ingenuity, planning and sophistication (need I say money?)to package to street level for consumption. This means that the producers of this commodity needs first and foremost rich people(moneyed people), doctors (who help in the human transportation of the substance, engineers who designs the schemes and vehicles of getting it to the next location, lawyers (who must always be asvailable to defind their wealthy and sophisticated clients), shippers whose jobs are to ensure the products get to their destination safely, gun runners (national security?), government officials who have to help with the safe landing and sometimes violent guarding of these products. All of this calls for a great deal of co-ordination, expertise, trust? (wink eye) and know how. All of this has top happen before we get to the punks who create havoc in our daily lives by random shootings, prostitution, territorial constituencies and street level control. There arte those who are so powerful that even the law cannot get them to stand trial of even be tried for breaches of the law if they dont want to. Back to those who we shower respect, praises and lust for, we never get any stories on how they came to be so rich and powerful, we never bother to ask for investigate why them and not us, or tell the secret of success. All we know is that our media tell us how good, rich, powerful and sophisticated these people are and we buy it wholesale and wish, wonder and sometimes pretend we are those people. No wonder there could never be true concensus of what our true values are or what they should be for that matter.

  12. OK. You have this 14-yr-old -what? student? Child-Whore?- inspired by years and years and years…and years of PNM and PNMism and Selwyn Cudjoe’s et al racist programming.

    Her response (14-yr-old) is the SUCCESSFUL(!!!!!!) result of that programming and internalization of PNMism!!!

    I say ‘throw the book at her!’
    Let the PNM and Selwyn Cudjoe and all those PNM others gee she legal representation and let them pay all lawyer bills, etc (you all know what I mean…).

    So 14-yr-old gyul: Go to Fitzgerald Hinds, Colm Imbert, Rowley for help in your legal proceedings in this matter; let them foot the bills for YOU!!!

    “Oh, I sowwy Pwime Minster. I is ah chile!!!!”
    Fakget Dat and stand the legal consequences for your PNM / PNMism-inspired actions; you take the ‘BONKS’ for dat, and let PNM and PNMism get orff! You save dem conmen!!!


    Question to YOU ALL:
    WHERE, HOW, etc, did that 14-yr-old -nice, sweet, beloved, ‘Salt of the Earth’- T&T ‘African’ -or African- girl -or Little Woman- learn such hatred and racism against T&T ‘Indians’ -or Indians???

    Someone intelligent: please tell me ‘how she get like that??’

  13. When people talk about the diffrence between ” intelligence” and “education” which so often don’t equate,Cudgoe is indubitably the shining posterboy for this assertion.

    Here is a man who , using his blackness, bullied his way thru graduate school in the US claiming the need for preferential treatment because he is black ; a man who sees racism and antipathy when legal action is taken against criminals who happen to be black. The man is all talk and zero substance!

    Why doesn’t he get off his backside and go to Laventille and Morvant and initiate volunteer training and education programs to deal with the “root causes” of the problems being endured by black youth?

    Cudgoe has found the ” ivory tower” and like so many of his kind believes that others should be getting their hands ” dirty”, not he.

    You know, Kevin B once wrote : those who can,do: those who cannot teach: and those who cannot teach become university professors….

    Cudgoe fits these sentiments to a T!

    1. Baker, if you must imbibe in order to tolerate having to live with yourself, at least, stick instead to the puncheon and stop drinking that koolaid.

  14. Bacon 172000, if this “gyul” could use her inexperience and childhood as excuse for her “hatred and racism against T&T Indians”, what is your excuse for comments so base and baseless?

  15. Maybe we should compare the PP advertisement with the young lady in the video about whom there is much in common.The malaise brought about by the United Nations some years ago and which was articulated by our Honourable Prime Minister, then Education Minister, ‘No more licks’

  16. Quoting the article:

    I didn’t know that the only way to solve the crime problem was to declare a state of emergency and arrest … young people … from Black areas…

    This too was prophesied. It is happening here and elsewhere in the Israelite (Afro-Creole) diaspora. Check out all the urban areas of the U.S., Canada, U.K., you will find Afro-Creole youth disproportionately represented in prison houses:

    Isaiah 42:22
    But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

    We are for a prey, for a spoil, and none saith Restore. By and large we have been a landless and therefore impoverished people. Our labor was stolen to build the country, and compensation has never been given. Therefore, we have remained a prey, and a spoil for those who have continued to steal our labor, even after so-called emancipation, but using control of money, markets and finance to do what previously had been done by control of the instruments of force.

    The PNM never addressed the issue of reparations (Restore!) when it had the chance, seeking peace and harmony over justice. The result is neither justice, nor peace, nor harmony.

    Rather, we Israelites (Afro-Creole) have remained a people in captivity, notwithstanding the fine education that some of us have been able to acquire.

    The captivity though is now at an end, all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. Our prophesied 400 years of captivity (Genesis 15:13-14) was fulfilled by the Afro-Creole Israelites scattered to the former British colonies, including the U.S. This covered the period 1611-2011, and ended with the celebration, this year, of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. As a servant of Yahweh, I am so guided.

    Strangely enough, this SOE and the spectacle of young black men being carted off to prison, more on suspicion than on evidence, and with the basis of suspicion being apparently nothing other than color of skin, kinkiness of hair, and place of abode, is in fact a sign that our captivity is now over.

    Isaiah 51:20
    Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of Yahweh, the rebuke of thy God.

    These boys are our wild bulls, caught up in the SOE net. Even the white Commissioner of Police, unintentionally to be sure, metaphorizes the spectacle in like terms, saying that it will take time to sort our “who’s who in the zoo“. The sons of Jacob literally could sink no lower. Somehow I doubt Gros Jean the slave would have been regarded as next to an animal in the zoo. And the erstwhile slave masters I think had some form of grudging admiration for their negre jardin (field nigger).

    But fear not. It is always darkest before the dawn. Isaiah after drawing the picture of the sons of Jacob reduced to the status of a wild animal caught in a net, goes on to prophesy redemption:

    Isaiah 51:21-23
    21Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: 22Thus saith thy Lord Yahweh, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: 23But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

    Yahweh said that at the point we are reduced to that state, is what marks the point at which he shall remove the cup of trembling from our hand, and indeed will put it into the hand of them that have afflicted us.

    Make no mistake, this SOE fulfils this prophecy: we have been made to bow down, nay lie down, that they may walk over. I cannot and do not support wrong-doing, and I have no problem when the police do their job and catch criminals. But I have a problem when they take us for fools and pretend to catch big fish, when the drug barons, of different hue and tonier address, are allowed to walk over as free and to all appearances upstanding citizens, some even being given awards and medals attesting same.

    So this is a sign that marks the end of our captivity, and likewise the end of the curses upon us.

    But, the end of our captivity (Genesis 15:13-14) and the end of the curses (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Leviticus 26) also marks the beginning of a 42-month countdown during which the Beast will be given power to “continue” (Revelation 13:5).

    This will be a time of trouble such as never was (Daniel 12:1), during which Babylon system will have its last hurrah, up to and including global dictatorship.

    This government here in T&T has instinctively lined up on the side of Babylon system, and will go the way of Babylon:

    2 Esdras 15:46-47
    And thou, Asia, that art partaker of the hope of Babylon, and art the glory of her person: 47 Woe be unto thee, thou wretch

    Woe … is the ultimate end of all who are partakers of the hope of Babylon. Ultimately the hope of Babylon is the wealth that may be ill gotten through land theft and/or labor theft, whether by force of arms or by deceit and trickery accomplished through money and finance, and social and political subjugation.

    The tables will be thoroughly turned, as Yahweh promises that it is the sons of Jacob who will inherit the kingdom. The least shall become the greatest, and the first shall become the last. So let them enjoy their last hurrah while they can. Isaiah lets us know their ultimate end:

    Isaiah 49:23
    And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am Yahweh: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

    So let us stand strong in faith. Let he who is unjust be unjust still, and he who is righteous be righteous still. God will sort out who’s who in his zoo. Some who count among the high and mighty today will be most surprised to find to which side of the cage they belong.


  17. This is regardin TMan Unfortunately, you don’t understand what the word stupid means, You need to look at contend of the statement and you will know what Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe is replying too.

  18. first I must give a thumbs up 2 Mamoo 4 his poem,I don’t know if it is original 2 him or not but it does not matter, I love the message it conveys;next high praise 4 kIAN my sentiments exactly,on my FB page some said 2 me d drug lord is d problem;in my opinion I beg 2 differ. I do agree if theywere 2 b taken of d streets a different picture would emergebut having said that;I believe we all as a people know with out a doubt they answer 2 higher powers ,actually (Principalities n powers in high places)our PM certainly cannot b so naive as 2 believe her subjects r not aware of this;oh no but we can’t bring our selves 2 throw our friends under a bus can we,they r all buddies, members of d same clubs golfing 2gether parting 2gether come on u know every onE is squeaky clean drugs what drugs we don’t take part in illegal activities;n d beat goes on nothing changes and we’re given a State of Emergency, d government is working in high gear they’re solving crime arrests are being made curfews r in place things r happening,mean while grandma is scared out of her wits 2 walk d streets in broad daylight people don’t feel safe not even in their homes.Every one is affected by this in and out of d country, forget about tourism and how long b 4 d economy is affected;did I forget 2 mention I’m a CHRISTIAN and blame christians 4 this situation escalating 2 this point? here is why, we as Christians cower in fear behind our security gates; as if that can save us we keep our mouths shut n keep our heads bowed we don’t want 2 hear or c , in church we chant out loud ” God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power, and of love and a sound mind” do we really understand what that means; so how come we are not organizing to take ours streets our neighbourhoods our country back.If God be for us who can be against us, who a drug lord; may be one day I’ll be able to give my experience with a drug lord; how many of them are dead even with all their body gaurds, Trinidad and Tobago are blessed countries and who God bless no man curse it’s biblical.I implore all Christians praying is great really great we cannot stop doing that but it is time to take prayers a little further, right into action

    1. The poem is orginal to me but people are free to copy it and use just give credit to mamoo. Great thoughts keep posting. I enjoy reading it.

    2. Quoting Interested:

      I’m a CHRISTIAN and blame christians 4 this situation escalating 2 this point? here is why, we as Christians cower in fear behind our security gates; as if that can save us we keep our mouths shut n keep our heads bowed we don’t want 2 hear or c , in church we chant out loud ” God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power, and of love and a sound mind” do we really understand what that means; so how come we are not organizing to take ours streets our neighbourhoods our country back.

      Since I’m the only one here quoting scripture, I’ll take that as an oblique response to my earlier post.

      I need to clarify that I’m not Christian, and my message is not a Christian message. However, I do not deny Christ. I expect, and happily, to be among those whose knee will bend to the Christ who will be king of kings in Yahweh’s kingdom.

      But the Christianity that has arisen, that makes of Christ a god next to God, and an idol — moreover falsely depicted as having white skin, blue eyes and blond hair, all of which flatly contradict the scriptural evidence — to whom we should bow down, is scripturally misguided, and contrary to Christ’s own teachings.

      Christ it was who said, if you love God, keep his commandments (1 John 5:3).

      This injunction appears many times in both Old and New Testaments (Exodus 20:6, Leviticus 22:31, etc.). Therefore, there is something wrong with a Christianity that leads its members astray by having them violate the 4th commandment (keep the sabbath) even in the very form of (Sunday) worship, not to mention also the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, and even the 5th. (There is a long sermon here which I’ll omit).

      If Christians violate the very Law they profess to follow, they are misguided at best, hypocrites at worst. In either case, God is not with them, and would explain your lament: Xtianity is powerless to stop Satan when Satan has already taken up deceitful residence in the very pulpit of the Church.

      But God’s word stands. His Law and Covenant stand: “I, even I am Yahweh, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). His prophetic testimony, as revealed through his prophets, is unfolding before our eyes.

      Even the uselessness of the pastors has been prophesied:

      Isaiah 56:10-11.
      10His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

      They “cannot understand”, misled as they are by false doctrine. This is what Yahweh says, not I. He says it also through Jeremiah:

      Jeremiah 10:21. For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought Yahweh: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

      And through Ezekiel:

      Ezekiel 22:26. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

      Most assuredly the Xtians have violated — and as a matter of doctrine — Yahweh’s holy law. Xtians now think that circumcision is optional, when those who are of the house of Israel are bound by the covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17:10-14) on pain of being “cut off from his people”. They think eating of swine and other unclean foods (e.g. shark,, manicou, gouti) is okay. How can it be okay when Yahweh says explicitly that it is not (Leviticus 11)? And of course Xtians think that the 4th commandment (sabbath keeping) is a light thing, when Yahweh has reiterated it at many places (over 100 times) throughout scripture.

      It hardly needs to be stated that you cannot call on God’s protection, when you despise his laws. It is what got us (Afro-Creole slave descendants) scattered to the four corners and put in the sorry state we have been put in, in the first place. The fathers ate sour grapes, and now the children’s teeth are set on edge (Ezekiel 18:2).

      No, this fake Xtianity that we have been caught up in will avail us nothing. We are to return unto Yahweh instead, and as Christ advised, we are to keep his commandments (1 John 5:3), as did Christ.

      Regardless, the prophecies will unfold. The ultimate end of Babylon system is doom. It is not too far off. And it is the sons of Jacob who will be Yahweh’s “battle axe and weapons of war” (Jeremiah 51:20). It is with violence that Babylon system will be thrown down (Revelation 18:21). Obadiah 1:18 prophesies violent action by the tribe of Joseph (likely a reference to the bani-Israel of Afghanistan, or Taliban, marching straight into Jerusalem when the time comes).

      As to the tribe of Benjamin, to which the Afro-Creole of the West Indies belong, there is a chilling prophecy at Genesis 49:27: “Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” It will not be cowering Xtians who will be the fulfillment of this prophecy. It might however well be the Benjamite “bulls caught in the net” (Isaiah 51:20).

      I do not here seek to incite. My job rather is to give prophetic and scriptural warning. For all prophecies of doom may be averted if there is repentance, and in this case, reparations. This precept is clearly stated at Jeremiah 18:8 (“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them”) and elsewhere (e.g. Ezekiel 33:11).

      Therefore, as a servant of Yahweh, I urge this government to desist from its present wicked course, which plainly leaves the root of the problem (the fat cats that win national awards and such) untouched, while casting nets instead to catch Israelite young men as though wild animals off to be sorted out in a zoo.

      In any case, Interested is correct that Xtianity as it has been practiced now for so very long is not part of the solution, rather itself subject to some damning prophecies. As Neverdirty pointed out, it is a case of the fathers eating sour grapes, and the teeth of the children being set on edge.

      As we celebrate 49 years as a once-hopeful model nation, I humbly ask God’s blessing that we may not tip over into the abyss.


  19. Dr. Cudjoe,
    Question: How many of those young African men you spoke with before the State of Emergency? and what was your conversation to them on Crime and Violence within their communities.

    Are there alternatives for those young men rather than accepting the guns, drugs ans cash from the “Big Boys”? Can anyone communicate with them to acqire some skills to be self-employed or find a Job? Should they persue this route then the “Big Boy” will have to find others to do their Drug Trafficing,and the crime associated with these activities.

    Somethig had to be done in T&T about the Crime situation, the PNM did not do it,and the the PP was Bold engough to do so. And finally what about the “Rouge Cops” who suppose to protect and serve us all? How come; you did not mention the rouge cops? The uniform criminals in Trinidad and Tobago. If you Live by ” The Sword” someday you will reap your Reward. Thank you DR Cudjoe.

  20. I am only paying half-attention to all these pontificators of nonsense. I am watching the prelims. of a track and field event, and the Trini flag was posted for third place, qualifying for the semis. I will not care if its an Indo -Trini, and Afro- Trini, a Chinese-trini, or a combination of all named Andrea Ali-Stuart Chen. Its my flag,I feel good. I cheer for TnT, then every Caribbean counry, then Africans in Africa,the African Americans, then Africans running for Quatar, the UAE, Norway, Britain, Canada and France, then, for the USA. Fortynine years ago, this night I stood on the east lawn of the Red House when our flag was raised. The pride I felt then is only slightly battered by the animus of those who call others offensive names day and night, and see badmind in every thought. What happened to us?
    Happy Birthday, TnT, and may we possess once again, the common love that binds and makes us one.We cannot legislate loyalty, but how I wish that civic-mindedness and patriotic songs were taught in schools.
    Can any of our children today sing “God Bless Our Nation of Many Varied Races?”

  21. To piggyback on Bakar: Cudjoe can also look at the murder rates in Boston – he’s very silent on this. A total of 90 or so and 75 of that is in the black West Indian areas of Dorchester, Mattapan & Roxbury. Strong parallels with Laventille, Enterprise Morvant. No bias here – just facts.

    1. If these facts are true ( I have not examined them so am not going confirm or deny them), do you not think they are symptoms of a larger sociological problem?

      You allude to the fact that people of African descent are congenitally disposed towards criminality. I am not sure I agree with this statement and I will tell you why.

      As a youth growing up, I was constantly amazed by the extremely low level of crime in Tobago, where the majority of its citizens are of African descent. I hardly ever heard of any violent murders or even petty thefts in the island.

      My father, who had a business in Tobago, once left his office door open for an entire week, while he was in Trinidad. When he returned, no one stole anything. An even more telling example, my father left his passport in a government office in Tobago and the office called him a week later saying that someone had turned in his passport.

      Also remember that Trinidad and even other Caribbean islands was once like Tobago. My Jamaican uncle told me that the murders were extremely rare in Jamaica when he was growing up and even petty thefts and robberies were uncommon occurrences. Don’t Trinidad and Jamaica have significant African-descended populations? If so, why were the crime rates so low in my parents’ and Uncle’s youth?

      I would say that something happened between the mid-60s and the time we are living in today.

      So in a nutshell, I disagree with your implied claim that people of African descent have a predilection for criminality.

  22. watch out T&T , as the ways of the barbarians are quite deceptive.
    Notice from all the empty commentaries, by most clueless fans, these closet criminals, and clan apologist ,will take no responsibility on the part played by their own tribes , for the transformed ,ghastly state of their country.
    It’s always the other. Would someone tell comedians such as T- Man, mamboo, and now this MC Rich, that they can build 500 more prisons, start daily executions , and selectively round up already maligned , lower caste folks from the poverty stricken underbelly of our country as much as they want, but it will never make them safe. Remind them again of the importance of making ‘the other,’also into respectable ,stakeholders.
    The reason for this is simple folks, and here it is:-‘One should always beware of a man with nothing to loose,’ YES?

  23. Ramjit Gopaul, and facts are hard to argue with, especially those numbers-based. Aren’t they?

    That is, until you become aware that while the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, the shortest distance between two facts can be a very convoluted one.

    That is, until one places, or tries to place them all—despite one’s preconceptions, bias, and desire to come to conclusions which confirm one’s expectations—on the table of history, reason, and prudence . And having a sense of honour to suspend judgement until reasonably assured that one’s conclusions are indeed factual.

    While it is understandable that a person, based on such ‘facts’ as their ethnicity, class bias, ‘education ‘, motives and such arbitrary elements can become emotionally involved with a particular side of a given issue, it is really unimportant who wins, as long as truth wins. As long as it is T&T that wins.

    However, having the truth win and the lie lose is not automatic. This is because even though these are at polar opposites, they are similar in that the ‘facts’ which become attached to each of them has their own ‘bodies of evidence’.

    How many people have hung despite being innocent, and how many freed despite being guilty, and occurring within systems structured on centuries of legal opinion, common law, jurisprudence, and rules of legal engagement on what is ‘fact’ and what is not.

    Therefore, on how many other occasions has one not overheard or heard either in private conversations and on more public fora similar conclusions being made on Black youth in many capitals in and out of the Caribbean?

    For example, in Canada, the US, Britain, and in other European capitals and countries where children of Black West Indians now reside similar stats exist. They also offer easy conclusions. But do they add up?

    Well, there are generic reasons why facts do not necessarily add up. One is that people may be late arrivals to a set of circumstances and while they now know what is currently knowable, they still remain ignorant of causal factors. This does not excuse the present, for example, the case now in T&T with unacceptable, deadly and debilitating surges in crime.

    However, neither does what is obvious also explain the present.

    So, here are some other episodic stats and historic numbers to add to your ethnic subtraction.

    For example, among the West Indians now living in many coastal towns of Britain, Edinburgh, Brighton, even Bath, all cities that were used since the days of Elizabeth Regina I to create what after her reign became the British Empire, are the descendants of former Black Brittannia who, as members of West India Regiments served in British wars going back to the 17th century.

    Those who served in every area, especially in WWII as merchant seamen, while praised and recognized for their defence of the Empire, on returning after the wars, and with unemployment high, were not only denied jobs for which they were qualified, but were also burnt out of home and means by Britishers who having praised them in the morning, now burnt them out at night.

    In fact, and later with immigrants seeking educational and employment opportunities, and arriving after Independence in their countries were those who had to face in the 1950s the wrath of British gangs of youth, the dreaded Teddyboys!

    The historic descendants of these thugs today form the ranks of Hitlerite youth gangs from the Ukraine to Madrid to Manitoba.

    Who, in the case of London tamed these youth? Youth who beat and killed, not only Black West Indians, but also those these thugs dubbed, “Pakis”? These same Black West Indians, between whom, and these TeddyBoys, representatives of officialdom oversaw a peace agreements being signed.

    In addition, these same Black West Indians, by dint of their prowess in areas of politics, sport, culture et al: that is, in football, cricket, being elected to political office, creating reggae, and carnival etc., tamed British society making it less threatening for other immigrants.

    These are among those ‘facts’ of which you, as well as others for example in T&T’s Parliament, Judiciary, media, etc., remain blithely unaware yet hold and make policies on what they cconsider to be eminently ‘clear-sighted’ opinions, conclusions and convictions.

    There is more, but to cut it short, it is these same West Indians who also tamed Canada, especially in cities like Toronto. There, they also created carnivals which are the flagships of the city’s efforts to industrialize culture.

    They also tamed some of the most racist Immigration laws in the former British colonies. In Canada, there was a time, one not too long past, yet long enough for Indians to forget, and for Black people, too, when an Immigration officer, for every Black person to whom they denied entrance was, in addition to their regular salary was paid a bonus of $11.00

    There was also an official policy of Keep Canada White, one after being destroyed by Black Trinis and Jamaicans, were of benefit to Indians from the West Indies and from India.

    However, while the same Black West Indians, now African Canadisns were at war with ever public institution: in those of Education which were streaming Black children into dead-end classes; piling them into the Prison system with the first private-sector prison in all former British Commonwealth countries being built; in Employment systems, private-sector and public in which a white youth without a high-school diploma and with a police record was more assured of employment than a Black youth with a University degree and no police record; yes, when the Black communities were reeling under the murders by Police of their youth and, with the splendid support of a former Canadian ambassador to the UN, Stephen Lewis, were seeking solidarity from other ‘ethnic’ communities to press government officials to recognize a deadly and virulent form of Canadian racism: anti-Black racism, who do you think was among the most strident opponents?

    The same people who, when a politician in T&T (whose name is forever enshrined in the ranks of those inimical to the interestss of Black people) had made accusations against Black Trini men raping Indian women; accusations which went country wide and which were as injurious as they were false?

    I will leave you to conclude as to which ethnic community I refer.

    In conclusion, no one as individuals or communities has a monopoly on truth or on virtue. And the best that we can sometimes do is, before judging others, to recall our own imperfections and frailties and not condone wrong-doing or crime anywhere.

    Therefore, this government, while it might succeed in criminalising more Black communities, and eventually, like Ontario possibly build private-sector, for profit prisons, will not succeed in stemming the major causes of criminal enterprise. It will not, and I contend, it cannot go after those who are the CEOs of crime but of PR necessity, go after the street-level entrepreneurs. It will not succeed in stemming crime because among the issues which create fertile soil for criminals are children growing in neighbourhoods of despair; of streets broken and garbage-strewn; of uncivil public discourse among those who carry status; of communities, soem gated and others garrisoned in which the differing types of policing are among the best barometers not of official opposition to crime, but to the social realities of communal vulnerability and invulnerability.

    Each of us, appearing before Yahweh, the Creator of all mankind is called, not to be judges but witnesses, and more than witnesses, to be His evidence before all humanity of what and who as our better angels we each of us is called to be.


  24. Greetings in the name of our God and Saviour, I did not read your last post in its entirety it seemed just a bit confusing to me; but the thing is u made specific references to remarks made in my post, please allow me to clear up some things (1)when I posted what I did I had no clue about u or anything u posted I read it after (2) u are not the only one quoting scripture,the excerpt you pulled came from the word of God2 Tim. 1:7;(3) I am an Adventistso the Sabbath is near and dear to my heart, which since your are Israelite I’m assuming you know all about the Sabbath teaching so I will not delve into that, my main and only focus is the situation facing the country today, how we can come together and solve it, not blame or any thing else, because there is enough to go around. Also before this comes up and some one decides to call me on it I truly don’t have the time to waste, I am posting from N Y, but am a Trinidadian preparing to return in the very near future, and like most of us on this side of the Caribbean my heart bleeds for the young men who get caught up in a situation they do not understand; all because they are for the most part illiterate and do not know who God is, and they have no one giving them the word of God. The Bible declares “And ye shall know the truth ,and the truth shall make you free”.John 8:32Jesus speaking;The thing is what truth do they need to know and how will it free them and from what,so I beg of you let us not quarrel over trivial matters while our young men perish,go out there and enlighten them, find a way;Hosea 4:6declares My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ;because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,impart knowledge to them its what they lack most, its the reason they are perishing.May God bless and keep you to do a good work and your loved ones.

    1. u are not the only one quoting scripture,the excerpt you pulled came from the word of God2 Tim. 1:7

      I stand corrected.


      1) I make it a point generally to quote chapter and verse which you did not; and

      2) I was responding to what you wrote regarding … so I thought … what someone else not yourself wrote regarding Christians … it was to that that I responded.

      I’m sorry if what I wrote you found confusing. But I can assure you that there is no quarreling going on. I do take the time and effort to give reason and logical argument to support the views I express. This is not the same as “quarreling”.

      Scripture promises that God’s watchmen will come to see eye to eye in the latter days (Isaiah 52:8). To this end, it helps to reason together (Isaiah 1:18), which again, is far from quarreling.

      All that said, welcome to the Board.


  25. when I started doing this I never thought I would become one of the people who actually do it regularly, but here I am willing becoming one of these “pontificators of nonsense” any way here goes, to Mr Ramjit Gopaul it is obvious to me that you are also misinformed when it comes to reporting of “certain issues”,crime in the “other” communities are just not flashed on the news and other places oh some has to be aired and so a few are but just enough to skew the reporting; white crime is the stuff we get the movie of the week from,ironic is’nt it ,that they can make money even from committing crimes and please I’m not writing about what is referred to in the media as “white collar” crime,what an insult to black people, the crimes that are refered as such what do they call them when black people commit them because oh yes black people do those as well;ahhhh it’s just another crime added to the black community no distinction,is every black person percieved as stupid, I’m having some difficulty wrapping my mind around this whole issue. In certain segments of societies rush to see themselves as better than others they are willing to over look simple reasonings, the next time you see a movie of the week advertised based on some horrific crime just for the heck of it check it out more than likely it is a true story and you did not catch that one on the 6:00 oclk or any other news for that matter.Let me say right now that yes lately we saw a few of these acts televised for the ratings value I assure you but for the most part white on white crimes go unnoticed;so all of you out there who have this better than you complex please take a moment and give it some thought before voicing it because when you think you just elevated yourselves with fancy thinking…..well that’s just what it was; their are those of us out here who are thinking.God bless you and keep you and yours safe MR Gopaul.

  26. Will all the people blogging here, quarreling about this and that, who have EVER conducted ONE programme for young people, in poor circumstances, in places where they themselves do not live, please sign your name, and the date and programme you conducted? It must be out of your own pockets, with no fundrasing, and must directly benefit under-served children in TnT.
    Here, I’ll start:
    Linda Edwards, assisted by Judy Gupton, Merle Howe and Joy-Aulyn Legall- a two week remedial reading programme for elementary school children from the greater Laventille area, at the Russell Latapy Secondary School- July 2006. We served 51 children. Supplied them with books and instructional material. We were assisted by two teachers from Morvant area eleentary schools, and one retired teacher fron South. The Min.of Education helped feed them.

    Linda Edwards, assisted by Merle Howe, Rodney Foster, and Judith Gupton- A reading enrichment programme at the St. Mary’s Children’s Home- July 2007. We sered about twenty-seven children. Again, we supplied all the materials needed, and were aided by Newsday with a donation of thirty newspapers. It turned out that the children could not read them, but we used the pictures to build the stories, before we, the teachers read to them.

    Now, its your turn.What have you done besides badmouth other people’s children?

    If we have raised a whole generation of illiterates, who will continue to be the poor, criminal underclass, what have YOU done about this. I am waiting to hear.

    My mother had a hymn she used to sing
    “We shall do so much in the years to come, but what have we done today”

  27. “God curse the days we got down on Martin Joseph and Patrick Manning when they showed an inability to solve the mounting crimes in the country. They were trying to tell us that there were ways other than a state of emergency to solve the crime problem but we were too stubborn to listen.”

    Really? What were these other ways? Where was the evidence to show they were working? How come then, the last few days is the only period in the last 8 years to show a statistically significant dropoff in homicides? Or is it just easier to believe in normative PNM ‘if we waz dey, crime woulda be zero’ pie in the sky-ism than to accept that their administration did absolutely nothing to decrease the vulnerability of african youth to criminal participation and recidivism in T&T during their administrative tenure?

  28. Most of the crimes problem is cease by marijuana or cocaine.Ok we can’t stop the drug from coming into the country. But let us try and solve the crime problem by arresting all the people are baying and using it and you all know who they are…And we will not need a State of Emergency to do that because (They are not gang leaders or young black men.

  29. Perish the thought, but “And the word went out to all the criminals from Babylon and Zion, as well as east and west Asia, that they should cease their activities for the time being. That if they go forth for any reason, they should go dressed like a child of ethiops- dark of hue with matted hair”.

    Bags of guns by the roadside (and nobody saw them dropped off, like kidnapped children)and house full of car parts in Central. Every person under sixty knows what the sole industrial activity of “De Bamboo” is. Any arrests there yet?When it comes to the sinister manipulations of the crooks in high places, we children of ethiops are babes in the woods. In our hunger, anger and despair, we sell our birthright for a mess of pottage. We seem to be the inheritors of the load Simon the Cyrenean was forced to carry.

  30. Hello Linda,I must commend u 4 all u have done 4 d children of T&T,my self I did nothing 4 d children but tried in my small way 2 help another segment of our community with d little time I had allotted 2 me while in T&T; as I mentioned in an earlier post I spent more of my life in d US than in T&T and truly admire your body of work.I am aware it is not your intention to solicit praise from any one,but u do deserve it; now having said all that u mention 2 words which I think your remark was directed 2 me; if I’m wrong please forgive me, but referring to illiterate and quarreling, in my limited interaction with that segment of our society, I found them to be illiterate I did nothing to help them and that I regret,so for that reason I am not trying to belittle them but given the situation we are now faced with I call it the way I see it; as for quarreling, well it may have been an unfortunate choice of word, but at the time I felt the gentleman was a bit high handed in his response to my blog, particularly since what I wrote had absolutely nothing to do with him. Any way he has since explained his position and I am fine with it.Well at the risk of offending you, which is not at all my intention but I must ask, given your experience in helping the youth do you have a plan to help in this situation; a recommendation ,anything, it’s all very unnerving to say the least.

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