We Can Achieve MLK’s Dream Without His Faith

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe(2)
Posted: April 08, 2015

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI have also ventured to draw parallels from the Bible and the Koran and the words of the great seers who drew their inspiration from those great books, in order to show how, in the deepest things of life, the Hindu and the Mussalman [the Muslim] and the Christian, the Indian and the European, in fact all who cared and endeavored to read the truth of things, are so spiritually akin.

Mahadev Desai, The Gospel of Selfless Action or, The Gita According to Gandhi

I want to thank Wellesley InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Wellesley Cru Christian Fellowship for inviting me to participate in their VERITAS Forum on the very important discussion, “Can We Achieve MLK’s Dream Without His Faith?” I have taken the opposite position: that is, “We Can Achieve MLK’s Dream Without His Faith.” At the very least, one can say that this is a very challenging proposition since one could never separate MLK from his faith although the task this evening seems to be that of disentangling MLK from his faith, zeroing in on his message, and how he delivered that message. I am convinced that we can achieve MLK’s dream without his faith; a proposition I hope to prove by drawing on three examples: those of Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx, and Mahatma Gandhi.

Necessarily, such a challenge sent me back to examine MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that contains the essence of his beliefs. Interestingly enough, this speech was delivered on August 28, 1963, on the same day the news of the death of W. E. B. Du Bois, that indefatigable black fighter for justice, was announced. It was almost as though King was delivering a message that had been passed down through the ages: from George Washington (and the Declaration of Independence) to Lincoln; from Lincoln to MLK via Du Bois and his struggle for justice that endured for the ninety-five years of his life. Garry Commins observed: “King believed in the ballot, in education, and integration. He joined young W. E. B. Du Bois in the post-Reconstruction dream that education and voting rights could deliver racial equality.”(3)

Anyone who examines King’s historic speech will be moved not only by his faith-as indispensable as that is-but also by the power of his oratorical performance, the grandiloquence of his language and his deft rhetorical moves. All of these rhetorical elements are discernable in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. It may not be coincidental that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was delivered on November 19, 1863, almost one hundred years before King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Such a trajectory is important. King, it seemed, in substance and cadence, was almost following Lincoln to the letter of the law.

Compare, if you may, the opening of King’s speech with the opening of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

MLK: Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree is a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustices. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

After this opening, King plunges us into the present [meaning 1963.] He continues:

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still badly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later the Negro still lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

So far, there is nothing about religion or faith in this address. This is purely a rhetorical argument, which can be discerned in the repetition of key words at the beginning of his sentences (linguists call it anaphora): the organization of key ideas; and the nature of the argumentation.

Here is the beginning of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Then, like King, he plunged into his present:

Now [meaning 1865] we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Without much fanfare, Lincoln, like King, went on to deal with the business of the day and what each had gone to their respective places to do: that is, to remind a nation of its unfinished work. In a way, each address possessed the same theme which Lincoln defined so clearly: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus so nobly advanced.” After this very workmanlike idea, he called on the nation to resolve “that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” These words ultimately became the definition of democracy.

It seems to me, that King did a similar thing. After reciting the promise of the United States, chronicled in the founding document, the Declaration of Independence, he plunged right into the challenges that faced the nation, declaring, “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now,” a phrase that President Barack Obama is fond of using. King then defines the obstacles that were placed in the way of African Americans becoming free and full citizens and then declares:

Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

He then expresses his wish that “one day in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

And then and only at this point he draws on Isaiah to drive home his point when he says:

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

The only phase he left out from that quote from Isaiah 40, verse 5, was: “for the mouth of the Lord had spoken it.” In other words, it was almost as though the joining of hands of all Americans-black and white, etc.—was commanded by God.

That was the hope and the faith that he wished to take back to the South with him.

It is true that King grew up in a social gospel tradition that was deeply influenced by his father and men like Benjamin Mays, the president of Morehouse College, and Mordecai Johnson, the first African American president of Howard University. Andrew Wilkes, my son-in-law, has reminded me that King’s sermons and personal reflections “speak frequently about his wrestling with everything from Marx’s Das Kapital and Reinhold Neibuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society to Walter Rauschenbusch’s Christianity and the Social Crisis and numerous texts on Church history”(4) which suggests that King’s mastering of these theological and economic texts played as important a role in the formulation of his dream as his faith.

King’s themes, as my son-in-law has pointed out, emphasized the dignity and worth of all human personality—regardless of one’s religious commitment—and the need to reconcile love, power, and justice in society. Yet, it seems to me that there is nothing specifically religious about the themes, which King wrestled with in terms of his social and political work. As a religious man, he could always borrow from all sources, including the wisdom of the Bible. In this I see nothing unusual. Even as a nonreligious man, I always have recourse to the Bible to illustrate some of the noblest human principles.

In this context I am reminded of the young Marx who, in “Reflections of a Young Man in Search of a Profession” had no qualms about drawing on Christian theology to make his point. Francis Wheen noted: Marx was “a bourgeois Jew from a predominantly Catholic city within a country whose official religion was evangelical Protestantism.”(5) We all know the story of his later becoming an “atheist” and Communist. But when in 1835, he reflected on his choice of career, he was wise enough to acknowledge: “To man, too, the Deity [that is the creator or the supreme being] gave a general aim, that of ennobling mankind and himself, but he left it to man to seek the means by which this aim can be achieved; he left it to him to choose the position in society most suited to him, from which he can best uplift himself and society.”(6)

After eliminating some of the pitfalls that deflected a person from choosing a job rather than a profession, Marx concluded:

But the chief guide, which must direct us in the choice of profession, is the welfare of mankind and our own perfection. It should not be thought that these two interests could be in conflict, that one would have to destroy the other; on the contrary, man’s nature is so constituted that he can attain his own perfection only by working for the perfection, for the good, of his fellow man.

If he works only for himself, he may perhaps become a famous man of learning, a great sage, an excellent poet, but he can never be a perfect, truly great man.

History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy; religion itself teaches us that the ideal being whom all strive to copy sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, and who would dare to set at nought such judgments?

My reading of this statement suggests that the essence in achieving any goal—in this context, the transformation of society as in the case of MLK or Lincoln—consists in dedicating oneself to a task, fully in the recognition that a man’s greatest measure can be found in his giving himself to and for others even as one found in the example of Jesus, the Christ. Rob Stout, in reviewing Wheen’s book on Marx commented: “Not since Jesus Christ has an obscure pauper inspired such global devotion—or been so calamitously misinterpreted.”(7) Or, perhaps as Marx would say of himself: “I am tormented as Job, though not as God-fearing.”

Even the great Bob Marley, among the wisest of our philosophers, argues in his song “Pass It On”:

Be not selfish in your doings;
Help your brothers in their needs.
Live for yourself, you will live in vain;
Live for others, you will live again.
In the kingdom of Jah,
Man shall reign.
Pass it on.

Such an observation leads me to my final point. In 1933-34, while Mahatma Gandhi, the great Hindu prophet, was imprisoned, he translated the Gita, the great Hindu text, into English. The Gita for Gandhi became a spiritual reference book. In The Gospel of Selfless Action or The Gita According to Gandhi, Gandhi writes: “Man is not at peace with himself till he has become like unto God. The endeavor to reach this state is the supreme, the only ambition worth having. And this is self-realization. This self-realization is the subject of the Gita, as it is of all scripture.”(8)

According to Gandhi, the only way that one achieves self-realization is through the renunciation of the fruits of action. This, he says, “is the center round which the Gita is woven. This renunciation is the central sun, round which devotion, knowledge and the rest revolve like planets.”(9) Then he goes on to say:

I have felt that in trying to enforce in one’s life the central teaching of the Gita, one is bound to follow Truth and ahimsa (nonviolence). When there is no desire for fruit, there is no temptation for untruth or ahimsa. Take any instance of untruth or violence, and it will be found that at its back was the desire to attain the cherished end. But it may be freely admitted that the Gita was not written to establish ahimsa. It was an accepted and primary duty even before the Gita age. The Gita had to deliver the message of renunciation of fruit.

Gandhi, as we know, went on to lead India’s liberation struggle against the British. The country became free in 1947. Gandhi was not a Christian. However, he had a set of beliefs that allowed him to withstand in the evil day as the Bible suggests. My point is this. There is nothing incompatible with a great religious belief and the striving toward the attainment of human freedom. One need not have a set of religious beliefs (in this case, the Christian beliefs of MLK) in order to fight against oppression which ultimately fueled King’s dream and his striving toward a realization of himself in his work or what he might have called God’s work.

One might even argue that love was at the center of King’s universe as it was at the center of Gandhi’s universe. MLK at his majestic best put it this way:

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

During his early life Gandhi believed that God is Truth. Later in life, he went a step farther and affirmed, Truth is God.

Now, I do not wish to elaborate the point except to say that with Love and Truth and purposefulness we can achieve anything on which we set our hearts. The legacy of King’s faith, to quote my son-in-law, “is the understanding that religion can be a constructive force for racial equality, a source of solidarity, and an irreplaceable source of cosmic companionship (King’s words) with the Divine Christ. But King did not claim that religion was the sole or primary source of morality or action. He did, however, claim that ours is a moral universe that bends toward justice.

Surely, then, even as we admire King’s Christian faith, we certainly can achieve his dream of a moral and ethical world without his Christian faith.

NOTES

  1. This paper represents the negative response to a debate, “Can We Achieve MLK’s Dream Without His Faith,” presented by the VERITAS Forum that took place at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. Professor Marta F. Fredrick, Professor of African and African American Studies and of Religion, Harvard University, argued the affirmative position.
  2. Professor Cudjoe is a professor of Africana Studies, Wellesley College.
  3. Gary Commins, Spiritual People/Radical Lives (San Francisco, CA: Freedom Voices, 2000), 169.
  4. Andrew Wilkes, Personal Communications, April 1, 2015.
  5. Francis Wheen, Karl Marx: A Life (New York: W. W. Norton, 2000)
  6. Karl Marx, “Reflections of a Young Man in Search of a Profession.”
  7. Rob Stout, CER (Central European Review), September 11, 2000.
  8. Mahadev Desai, The Gospel of Selfless Action or The Gita According to Gandhi (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, 1946), 128-29.
  9. Ibid., 129.

31 Responses to “We Can Achieve MLK’s Dream Without His Faith”


  • The opposite of faith is fear. If MLK had shown fear (even though he might have been afraid) he would have failed in his mission. The same with Gandhi, he was facing the might of the British empire and his only weapon was truth, good timing and faith in the humanity of the oppressor.

    The book of Romans tells us that everyone is given a measure of faith. Wars are started out of fear, countries and nations are built through faith. Faith tells us that everything is going to be okay despite the dark clouds on the horizon.

    The world was created by immutable laws, the physical laws, the moral laws and spiritual laws. What Gandhi appealed to in the British was the law of conscience. He had to assume that the British people who prided themselves on civility would be aghast to discover their sons killing innocent people. When he began his campaign 300 men had their head busted as the bodies piled up during the night and the news reached Britan (thanks to the American reporter)the British began to lose the moral battle. It took the attack on Amrista where hundreds of Sikhs were brutally gunned down to finally turn the tide against the British.

    MLK appeal was to the moral law, in those marches which attracted both white and black folks he exposed the severe undercurrent of inequality that was taking America further away from the vision of one nation under God, indivisible. The image on the newspapers of children and women being attacked by dogs and water cannons simply fighting for basic rights made ordinary citizens think again about the kind of Nation they wanted. Might is not always right.

    • You can indeed read but you also need to read between the lines!

      • Mamoo you really feel life is as simple as you put it. You are really a treat. No wonder your bosses made so many mistakes in 4 short years of power. They like you must feel life is simple…black or white.

        • What are those mistakes o wise one? Are all these mistake Jerry baboon.
          No PNM old talk & Propaganda can beat this PERFORMANCE
          • Settled 83 wage negotiations 34 of which was left outstanding by the PNM
          • Settled $20 billion CLICO Crisis
          • Turn around a recession economy from negative 3.5% to positive 1.7% growth
          • Turn around the agriculture sector
          • Created the Children life fund
          • Reduced poverty by 4%
          • Created the Single Electronic Window for ease of doing business
          • Built the Couva Interchange
          • Converted Chancery Lane office complex into a teaching hospital
          • Replaced the Navet South Trunk Main which improved water supply to over 250,000 households
          • Paid $1.5 billion owed to contractors by the PNM
          • Completed the Aranguez Overpass
          • Constructed the St. Helena Delta Bridge connecting Kelly Village to Piarco
          • Completed the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway Extension
          • Constructed a Third Lane to Uriah Butler Highway
          • Rehabilitated the Tarouba Link Road.
          • Construction of the Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension from Golconda to Debe
          • Completion of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway/Uriah Butler Highway Interchange
          • Built 72 new schools
          • Built 8 new police stations
          • Provided 500 new vehicles to the Police Service
          • Created over 40 New Bus routes
          • Processed more than 1,000 Certificates of Comfort (COCs).
          • Commissioned 12 community centres at Gulf View, Marac, Waterloo, Union Claxton Bay, Malabar Phase IV, La Gloria, Hindustan, Bon Air West, Ste. Madeleine, Sisters’ Road, Second Caledonia, Duranta
          • Built over 30 Bridges
          • Ministry of Local Gov’t paved 1150 local roads in fiscal year 2012/13
          • FOREIGN direct investment increased by over 400% since 2010 from $3.5 billion to almost $16.1 billion.
          • Given out 95,000 Laptops to Form one Students
          • Reduced Inflation from 16% in 2010 to 4% in 2014.
          • Opened 17 MIC Technology Centre
          • Increased 24/7 Water Supply from 18% in 2010 to 69% in
          2014
          • Installed lights at 157 Recreation Grounds
          Delivery for Tobago
          • Completed the long awaited Tobago hospital improving health care in Tobago
          • Completed the Magdalena Grand improving rooms for Tourism
          • Opened a new gas station at Roxborough.
          • Fixing the problem with obtaining land title
          • IMPROVED BUS SERVICE
          • $150 million upgrade for ANR Airport
          • New Fire Station for Black Rock (In Progress, See Udecott site for status)
          • New MET Office (In Progress, See Udecott site for status)
          • Opened the Tobago Technology Centre at Bon Accord
          • The establishment of an integrated campus for UTT
          • 100% OF TOBAGO WILL HAVE 24/7 WATER SUPPLY BY JULY
          and the list goes on…

          THE Ministry of Works and Infrastructure is virtually remaking the landscape of Trinidad and Tobago.
          A review of the major construction projects over the past few years show significant and a variety of undertakings across the country, resulting, in many cases, in new-look communities, easier traffic flow and fresher aesthetics.
          Completion of the Uriah Butler-Churchill Roosevelt highways interchange, for example, has led to a freeway at that critical crossroad and to an internationally modern outlook.
          The overpass, with its modern designs, facilitates seamless traffic flow across the four cardinal points in the country.
          The expanded Diego Martin Highway is a project which has been much lauded and well appreciated by motorists and commuters.
          The launch sometime ago of the Golconda section of the extended Hochoy Highway is leading to immeasurable benefits to thousands of motorists.
          The extended highway is also a pleasingly beautiful structure that has added to the artistic outlook of the land.
          The D’Abadie Bridge along the Eastern Main Road is also facilitating improved traffic flow and is much easier on the eyes than the previous dilapidated structure.
          The Charlieville, Chaguanas walkover is fulfilling a need for people who walk across the busy Butler Highway.
          The walkover, like several other public projects, is publicly illuminated at nights.
          Vehicular and pedestrian traffic are also benefiting from the improvement works to the Southern Main Road.
          That project has opened up new vistas for its users.
          The rehabilitation of Mayaro-Manzanilla Road is one of several showpiece projects, for its beauty and purpose and the rapid time in which it was completed following earlier destruction by floods.
          Also, the Valencia by-pass access roadway works have put an end to a frustrating traffic bottleneck and are leading to swifter traffic flows.
          The Couva-Preysal interchange project is another example of public facility and attractive appearance.
          A number of bridges – from Guayaguayare to St. Anns to St. Joseph – have also been completed, resulting in obvious benefits to motorists.
          Bridges have just been completed at Toco Main Road and Pluck Road.
          They are part of a bridge reconstruction project that was launched last year following a year-long assessment.
          A total of 62 bridges were identified for rehabilitation.
          Altogether, 94 bridges are in need of structural works and are on the ministry’s agenda for repairs.
          The Rivulet Road, which leads to and from the critical Point Lisas Industrial Estate, is currently being rehabilitated and upgraded.
          Scores of potholes across the country and motorists have been invited to report any road craters to ministry officials.
          Equally, some 486 landslides have been repaired.
          Consultancy contracts have been awarded for design of works for 33 landslides identified as urgently in need of repairs.
          Those landslides are in such areas as Dougla City, Moruga Road, Cunapo Southern Main Road, Mt. Stewart and St. Julien Villages, Naparima-Mayaro Road and Morne Diablo Quarry Road.
          Detention pond is another feature of the ministry’s operations, with such projects being utilised to as a flood prevention method.
          Detention ponds are also being constructed at Charlieville-Felicity and at Calcutta, both in central Trinidad.
          Basin studies are being conducted by the Drainage Division at several low-lying areas.
          Interestingly, Minister Dr. Suruj Rambachan was recently praised by opposition parliamentarian Colm Imbert as committed to assisting the people.

          • Every thing stated here Mamoo is correct on the checklist I have established. I have to agree with you on the performance rendered by this present government. I believe to err is human and sometimes we pay the price for some detractors at time. In any government you would have the intermingling of some detractors especially where corruption is alleged. I would not put my head on the chopping block for any dubious character. However, it is my opinion that the PM is really riding a wave of popularity and performance. This upcoming election will be very interesting as to see who will come out in front.

          • This is just the problem with the UNC boys and girls. Its all about self. Their cut and paste attitudes since their school days were always to take somebody’s else thunder and spin it as theirs. You jokingly built endless houses and bridges and did endless time consuming road works in five years. You feel you are so smart and we are all dotish!

          • Its the UNC PP people/persons/members/affiliates… way of responding to their ills, missteps…that is to denigrate…mud sling…name calling …even lies. But these sins catch up with you and strangle you … as you get older. To your long list …no yardsticks/revenues gains/ returns on investment etc…. are given as to what we gained or benefited as a nation or how much was paid out in contracts, grease hand, kick backs etc…to who…or who were responsible for starting the numerous named projects (???? how many houses UNC built left out conveniently I suppose but 1000s of PNM houses will be assigned to mostly UNC persons even though they were built by the PNM). ANd the hospitals …including the SNC fiasco etc. But they take credit for everything…typical boldfaced Indian methods ….. stealing someone else’s thunder. But everyone knows that the Kamla’s government got the HIGHEST energy prices ever starting with the oil price. How much was put in the De-stablization Fund…does anybody know? What revenues were recorded between 2010-2014 for T&T? And of course how much was the grand total paid out to SIS and others connected to the UNC. What were the grease hand or kick backs amounted to? Should we not know what she did with our monies or does Kamla thinks it is her money to build a house twice the one she has in Canada or the USA or the UK, countries that she loves to travel to and not tell us what those trips meant to the citizenry. And of course where she plans to retire. But God doh sleep. Her turn will come as to whom much is given much will be required/expected and I do not mean booze.

  • “Gandhi, as we know, went on to lead India’s liberation struggle against the British. The country became free in 1947. Gandhi was not a Christian.”
    Gandhi was sent to England by Missionaries to study law. He read the Bible and was fascinated about the teachings of Christ. The beatitudes shaped his thinking. His favourite hymn was “when I survey the wonderous cross”. His most famous statement on Christinity was “if Christians were to follow their great captain Christ all of India will follow”. The issue of non violence came from his religious upbringing. He once said that the Hindu priest would read from the Hindu holy books and move across to the Koran effortlessly. That is why he had no problems with Muslims and was very disappointed when “partition” occurred.
    Did his faith influence him, I would say yes…

  • As a Hindu yourself, do you know who killed this great man called Gandhi?

  • Anybody God sends will be cut down by Man…always was the case and always will be the case …..those who love self. God gave Man a free will….he can choose for self or to serve….

  • Mamoo…you need to be very careful who you serve.

  • The lowest unemployment in the Western Hemisphere. Gandhi, MLK, Garvey, Mandela, Malcolm X would have been proud of this achievement except you lowlife Jerry C. Hussain. You are an example of a sad commentary on reality.

    Next Article
    ‘Lowest recorded unemployment rate’
    The unemployment rate in Trinidad and Tobago fell from 4.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 3.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. Turn green with envy but you cannot spin the truth, it stands alone.

    “This is the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded in Trinidad and Tobago, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said yesterday as it released the Labour Force bulletin for the first quarter of 2013. The information contained in this bulletin is based on data collected in the Continuous Sample Survey of Population conducted between January and March 2013, the CSO said.

    From a gender perspective, the unemployment rate for women decreased from 6.6 per cent to 4.7 per cent, while the rate for men decreased from 4.6 per cent to 3.0 per cent.

    The decline in the unemployment rate was reported in specific industries, including “financing, insurance, real estate and business services”, “wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels” and “transport, storage and communication”.

    The labour force of Trinidad and Tobago registered 635,100 people at the end of the first quarter of 2013. “This represented an increase of 5,400 or 0.8 per cent when compared to the fourth quarter [of] 2012. From a gender perspective, this increase in the labour force was reflected among males which rose by 0.1 per cent, and women which increased by 1.9 per cent when compared with the previous quarter,” the CSO said.”

    • Well if it is you or yours that measured the unemployment rate then we may as well leave the country for good. you would lie to your own mother if money is the name of the game.

  • “Its the UNC PP people/persons/members/affiliates… way of responding to their ills, missteps…that is to denigrate…mud sling…name calling …even lies. But these sins catch up with you and strangle you … as you get older.”Jerry Kian Hussain
    Here is an example of PNM lies…yuh hear lie that is lie, lie.

    PNM LIES AND PROPAGANDA.
    All of the PNM propagandists including Faris Al Rawi (PNM PRO) have been lying about the amount of money spent by the PP govt during their term in office . They have been quoting wildly that about 400 Billion dollars were being spent .The figures quoted below are the actual budget statistics from the Ministry of Finance .
    FISCAL YEAR EXPENDITURE
    2011 $ 49 Billion
    2012 $54.6 Billion
    2013 $ 58Billion
    2014 $61 Billion
    2015 $ 66.4 Billion
    Total $289 Billion
    The total realized budget deficits for these years were $21billion .
    This data proves that the PNM propagandist figure of $400 billion spent is wrong.

    • You expect me to believe you. Ha ….time will come when the truth is spoken.

    • https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206513743468300&set=gm.807596556000553&type=1&theater
      The $400 billion lie catch legs and is running on facebook with the chief liar promoting it…when will the PNM learn to speak the truth???

    • Not millions but billions of dollars of expenditure from the public purse but no rate of returns. This is a gross sickness with this government and they are boasting. What ECONOMICS…the stealing cannot get worse. As for the PNM we just need to drive around to see where the monies were spent. No infra structure by them. no housing, roads and pavements in a very poor state. The bridges they built must be to heaven. The south bound highway is in bankruptcy. All the problems they need to fix are still problems. They bought Pheonix Park to sell it back for a grease hand. Well, well what a waste of intelligence.

      • Stay in the U.S.

        • And you please DO NOT STAY IN THE GUTTER YOU ARE IN. But first you must admit you are a real suck up…paid or not paid by your recalciitrant minority government but it really doesn’t matter but you too were created by God and so we must all respect that. But more so, you believe you are ONLY ONE SET of people who must enjoy all of Trinidad….NOT US anyway. How wrong you are for I cannot recall one “Indo-trini” that made any significance to T&T since the second world war began and even before this. My dad and his bothers built the first concrete structure to call a home in St James. My great grandmother was an African slave forced on by her French master. On my mother’s side, her gandmother/grandfather were Jewish / Spanish missionaries running from Hitler. My father built health offices around North Trinidad…the Norman Tang era ( William Scott was a small hardware then). One of these health offices is still standing next to the St James Police Station (over 60 years old}. Sheik Hussain, my grandfather was a devout muslim. He became the first and only non white chief Overseer in T&T – these were the days of British rule when there were no Ministers of government. I grew up in the catholic faith, mother’s religion. My grandmother was Hindu, a gentle loving woman and great mother, hated by her peers in the Hindu sect faith as she was raised by a christian faith. She became an out cast from her family in her youthful years. She suffered immensely all by them. Yes Mamoo there were many Ghandis among us but we never crave the limelight like you. What is your claim to fame anyway? I can talk about my achievements…can you state yours or are you simply a loser who is gasping for fame of some sorts. You talk about Ghandi…he is from India not T&T. Is that who your peers believe in as well as you. Then please take your leave from our blessed country and with your kissing foot Kamla help yourself with some treasury money and leave here for good. For your information I do not live in the USA. My home is too important and remember the tar brush according to our former British masters once said the tar brush touch all ah we. So do not pin false hopes on India ….nevertheless they do not consider you one of theirs. Your blackness, your hair, your standards, even your food do not compare with theirs as they tell me. They even talk a different language to you. You are just a lost soul clinging to stinking skirt of Kamla who in my books is a common thief even of the SC she now claims to have.

  • It also turn out that the money spent by the former AG’s office was also a lie.
    The average spent per year is less than what was spent by the former PNM administration. The new AG gave a full accounting.

  • FACTS! Not PNM propaganda.

    It was $408 million, not $350 million as was originally stated, that was paid out in fees by the Ministry of the Attorney General during the period June 2010 to 2014.

    In a release issued yesterday, Attorney General Garvin Nicholas sought to correct the errors contained in the written answer provided to the Parliament a month ago, in response to a question from Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley on the fees paid to attorneys and other consultants by the AG’s ministry.

    Nicholas said some $30.5 million in fees paid to local attorneys was in fact “duplicated entries” and that the figure paid to local attorneys was in fact $165.1 million over the period.

    However, he noted that some $80 million in foreign payments had been omitted from the initial report. Of this figure, $45.3 million was paid to Deloitte and Touche while $7.7 million was paid to Trinidad and Tobago’s long-standing Privy Council agents, Charles Russell, the Attorney General said.

    “This brings the total paid out during the period to $408,260,340.48,” he said.

    The AG also stated there has been no payment of $408,000 for the preparation of a pre-action protocol letter, as originally reported. “That sum was paid for a number of matters which included trial fees as well as the pre-action protocol letter,” he said.

    He also said the fees paid to Tiger Capital which totalled $1,750,000, were for services rendered in conjunction with Senior Counsel for the extensive analysis of many complex financial documents in the exercise of mutual assistance obligations with the United States of America and the Central Authority.

    He said of the $408 million in total payments, forensic audits and probes accounted for approximately $95 million; inherited legal fees from the PNM administration and Privy Council fees accounted for approximately $80.7 million; while fees paid for the DPP’s Office accounted for approximately $ 67.4 million.

    “If one were to subtract this total of $243.1 million from the $408.2 million, the balance is $165.1 million, and spread over four and a half years it represents approximately $36.7 million per annum, which is in line and in some cases less than previous administrations spent on legal fees,” he said.

    He said preliminary checks at the ministry indicate legal fees paid by the ministry during the period 2002 to 2010 amounted to $372 million. This represents an average of $41 million per year.

    Nicholas said the sum of $95 million paid for the probes is not comprised solely of legal fees since $51 million was paid to auditing/accounting firms. Further, the sum of $67.4 million paid as fees for the DPP’s Office included payment to Deloitte and Touche in relation to the ongoing investigation into the CLICO fiasco. So far the sum of $54 million has been paid to this firm, he said.

    • It is nice when all that money can be paid out from the public purse to people who you can make great deals with later. The AG is the job to acquire for those who want to get rich real quick isn’t it? Was it Panday the only public figure ever make a jail and he got of on very poor health and next day attended a World Cup game and fetted down the place showing the entire world what a disgrace the state of our governmental and judicial systems were in then. And now!!!! well that’s another question all ah we would like an answer for. Sicko after sicko after sicko have robbed us of a good life as we become poorer and poorer….

  • Good grief,and people,if this loquacious/braying donkey ,called TMan ,or the simi literate ,Mayaro lifetime drunkard Mamboo ,were to put out another bogus statistic, skewed poll figure,or ‘paid for byline ,’by a subjective,tribal journalists,touting de virtues of their political light weight PM ,Kamla,I will throw up ,then go and jump off the twin towers.
    Enough already guys!
    Ok ,we get the newsflash- Queen Kamla ,with the help of Image enhancement-Chief Strategist,in former Journalists,Andy Johnson , is -after a long petition-about to get her coveted ,White house,and Nobel award ,for putting pressure on Barrack Hussain Obama,in Margaret Thatcher like /Iron lady like -fashion ,to lift Venezuelan US sanctions/and embargo,against Cuba .
    Seriously folks,and here is the deal Tman, re the stewardship of your Kamla led,UNC dominant PP.
    No one cares!!
    The beautiful ,educated ,supportive lady ,Sharon Rowley, is ordering the Prime Ministerial residential drapes ,as we speak.
    Our PM in waiting,is polishing up his victory speech,as his God faddah, Papa Niza, has done his job.
    There will be another political shellacking ,as we like to say on de streets.
    Good,strong governance ,is about to finally come to T&T.

    Hey Uncle Rowley, a bit of magnanimity is in order ,hmmmm? We don’t wish to see dem unmentionable Trinis ,start selling out their stolen property,and run to Columbia,Panama,and Mexico.
    Ooooops,I forgot dat these ‘self serving ,gime gime- dog with ah bone -rogues ,and vagabonds,prefer white dominant -majority fiefdoms, not de ones-that are laden with Africans.
    I luv this land ,Y tu?

    • Racial tensions have always been part of T&T’s election machinery, with each side of the divide expressing irrational preferences based primarily on race. This impending campaign, already initiated by both major parties, is once again bringing out the worst qualities and reactions possible. The almost equal population split by ethnicity creates uncomfortable tensions among citizens who are usually unconcerned with this type of rivalry. While the two major ethnicities try to dominate and control the agenda, the mixed population is regrettably sidelined. Recently, the politicians have been paying attention to this powerful group of swing voters, because they are recognizing the objectivity of decision making by this group.
      The recent, “take back our country” campaign by the PNM is serving no useful purpose. The similarities of this slogan driven action of PNM supporters with the White anti- Obama surge in the USA, are noticeable. The insinuations and implications of this “take back our country” slogan in T&T are far reaching. Who are you taking back your country from? Indians? Ironically, the present PP government is the most diverse this country has ever seen in its history.

      • SORRY BUT NOT DIVERSE WITH RESPECT TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE COUNTRY”S WEALTH. Here IT IS A COMPLETE REVERSE FOR THE NON INDO POPULATION WITH THE EXCEPTION OF COURSE OF A FEW UNCLE TOMS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

  • Hey Tman ,mi country hating amigo,you are too clever a bloke,to be parroting these half bake ideas,on this here Trini Center Nation ,as if you believe,you are in fact speaking to /trying to impress,a bunch of gullible,old white ,European foggies,at de Toronto Kiwanis Business club.
    Worst yet ,this kind of distorted,psychobabble ,is what one might expect ,from the ‘not too closeted dunce ,Mamboo,’or perhaps ,some naive,pimple face,impressionable High school ,or 1st Year college kid, attempting to write an overdue,social science class paper,on T&T politics,after partying all night,and not doing the proper research.
    Listen to you Tman:-“Racial tensions have always been part of T&T’s election machinery .”
    LIES PEOPLE!!!!!!Your tribe,has always preyed on the sensibilities,of their chiefly uneducated/illiterate,rabid underclass,and in most cases have failed,since even a high school drop out ,from Beetham,or Point Fortin knows ,that it is virtually impossible,for a party to win an election,in a country-whose racial demographics,are almost identical in numbers-by only foolishly,appealing to one fraction-their own.
    It’s not racist to say ‘take back your country from self serving,greedy,neo elitist bastards, like Kamla,and her UNC dominant,PP goons,who have not only made us-being de richest English speaking island in the Caribbean-into the region’s laughing stock,but also, have us ,tittering,on the brink of fail statehood.
    I’m not surprised, that you tribal clowns ,would wish to flip the script ,and refer to this as anti Indians politics.
    Pathetic!
    Give it a rest,for no one gives a hoot,as to the racial composition of your leader,and most of the PP hierarchy.
    Five years from now,I too will lead the charge, to remove Uncle Rowley and his government,if he should follow,an identical part.
    I’m happy to know that you recognize ,that there is mixed population ,it has been sidelined,by those use and discard ,leaders of your government,but more importantly,they can make up an influential swing voting body.
    Tell us what became of that weed head,Chief Dougla guy,called Anil again?
    You know folks,one of most important lines,I obtained from…well ..who else ,but my late,extremely wise,Tobago Granny.
    She would often remind yours truly,of a fundamental truism, which was dat ,”one hand don’t clap.”
    Tell you what ,and in spite of my frequent /ribbing chiding, I don’t mind ,occasionally throwing Brother Tman,a bone,as it’s only a fool would not see that his heart is in the right direction-ummmmm…..Love of country.
    However,when it comes to de Mason Hall kid,and or, PM in waiting,he just seems to loose all objectivity,and ain’t that right?
    Only yesterday,he was ‘me think,’denouncing de PM in waiting,for reaching out to Indo Trini brothers and sisters,even as I had to remind him that this was nothing new,or even as mammoth a task ,as he Tman ,was describing it-since members of de tribe ,already disgusted with Kamla,and her PP bunch,were breaking down his party headquarters door ,to get on board.
    Fast forward to today,and here he is, idly boasting about how diverse his party is,in contrast.
    Ungrateful bastards!
    Basdeo Panday rode the back of Ahh wee Bouy ANR ,to political respectability,and eventual power,then tried to sabotage the global Statesman regime.
    Thankfully the late PM,as President-in true Machiavellian fashion-got his revenge.
    His ardent protege,in Siparia Queen Kamla,likewise,rode the back of Jack FIFA Warner,to fame and glory,only to dump him ,like a sack of rotting bodi,once he got too big for his breaches.
    Trust me when I say ,dem progressive,cross tribal voters ,who held their noses ,and voted her in 2010,won’t have no compunction,in kicking her ,and gang to the curb,for they were the ones ,who felt the negative effects ,of her mentor , Basdeo Panday “dis is our time ,” policy on steroids,as played out over the past 5 years.
    What you and kind ,characterize as “irrational,”others to view as democracy at work.
    As for Obama/White conniving America,and Far Right race scoundrels? Please don’t insult our intelligence ,as we like to say on the streets,with this idiotic,comparative analysis,Tman.
    Just sing with me ,and enjoy de ride on a Soul Train,where all are welcome,along the partway to authentic change.
    I am talking about economic progress,equal playing field justice,empowerment of the weak/less fortunate,and over good ,transparent governance,plus overdue, sustainable development.
    Well….,ummmmm,so I hope.

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=aint+no+stopping+us+now

    Long live the Republic of Tobago….ummmm,lo siento,T&T!

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