“Daddy, I’m Angry”

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 13, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI was in London with some friends when the Brexit vote came down. We had gathered to celebrate the victory of “Remain” whose success, we thought, was inevitable. Around midnight, it looked as though “Remain” would be victorious. By one in the morning, things began to change. The “Leavers” had won. We were stunned. As academic and professional people from high-class institutions, we could not believe what was happening. Something must be malfunctioning in the makeup of those not-so-bright people.

In 1875, Henry Durant opened Wellesley College to educate women. In 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of its graduates, was running for the presidency of the United States. She was the first woman to do so. Imagine the joy and anticipation Wellesley’s students, staff, and faculty felt at the possibility of producing the first female president of the United States.

Over three thousand students, faculty, staff, and alumna gathered at the college, confident that we would have done what no other university in the country had done: produce the first woman president of the United States. I went to the Field House where about 1,500 students, faculty, and alumna had gathered.

Just as we did in London, we waited expectantly to hear the inevitable. At 1:30 a.m. we were hoping the battleground states would turn in our (the Democrats and Wellesley’s) favor. It didn’t happen. By the dawn of the early morning’s light, our hearts would be broken. I went home to sleep. Later that morning, the unfathomable was confirmed: Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

On Wednesday, my daughter wrote me from Texas. “Daddy,” she said, “I am angry.”

I responded: “My Love. I have just heard Hillary’s concession speech. It is really a sad occasion, but we must cheer up and live to fight another day. Don’t give up. You must resolve to continue your work and that will be your salvation.”

She thanked me for my support and added: “It was so hard to tell the results to your grandsons when they woke up today. America chose a racist, sexist demagogue.”

She was correct in her evaluation. She did not realize that over the past thirty years, America has been manufacturing that type because the major parties have failed to heed the cries of the poor folks who dwelt at the bottom of the social and economic ladder. The same was true of Britain and the triumph of the “Leavers.”

On Thursday, the New York Times recommended Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land as a way to understand Tuesday’s results. It said: “She takes seriously the Tea Partiers’ complaints that they have become the ‘strangers’ of the title-triply marginalized by flat or falling wages, rapid demographic change, and liberal culture that mocks their faith and patriotism.”

William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution and David Cohen of Akron University captured the mood of these people well. Frey said that this was “a huge blowback among older Americans, an older demographic that is responding to change that they are not comfortable with.” Professor Cohen added: “What you saw is the revenge of the angry white, working-class voter but this will be the last gasp of the angry white male” [Financial Times, November 10).

This feeling of marginalization drives poor folks outside the large metropolises of London and New York to resent the elites of those cities. They are angry. After they elect their representatives to positions of authority they suddenly forget them and concentrate their attention on the needs of the rich and powerful in society.

Nothing personifies this behavior more than Colm Imbert’s rant about the workers (March if yo’ want), the insults of Stuart Young and Faris Al-Wari against the members of the Opposition during the FATCA debate, the monies Imbert’s wife received, and the $148m contract that was awarded to Emile Elias.

No one sees any conflict of interest in these transactions, the disdain shown to their constituents, and/or the contempt shown to the poor. They seem to say: We are in power now. We can do what we want and, as Imbert says, “There have been no riots yet!”

In three years, they will shout: “We red and we ready,” but will the people at the bottom of the economic ladder be ready to support those who have ignored them for four years?

People are not stupid. You can ignore them for a time but when they rise up their vengeance is swift.

A friend said to me: “The US election was about the uneducated doing a French revolution type turn around.”

I hope PNM leadership is listening to what’s happening around the world. Take the people for granted and you pay the ultimate price. This is one of the lessons of Brexit and Donald Trump’s election.

12 Responses to ““Daddy, I’m Angry””


  • A few moons ago,I ,like former Works Minister Fitzgerald Hines ,was a member of the Grey & Blue brigade , with Randy, de Fox Borroughs, at the helm.
    You remember the time . Yes, selecting a Commissioner of Police ,wasn’t this hand wringing , politicized ,neo tribal exercise , as exist today.
    Back then , our Commissioner , could put on his big boots, grab his big guns, and with his loyal Flying Squad gang , run up to the Lavantille , Movant, and Carenage Hillsides, to smoke out, chiefly African criminals, but likewise made sure , he gave ‘a heads up call,’ before embarking on any such exercises in Central , where most criminals in such enclaves , looked exactly like his adoring wife.
    Part of my duties, as a young buck straight out of the St James Training college , we had to man the gate , to the entrance of Police HQ.
    Yep, and for those unacquainted with the spot, it’s almost on the middle of Sackville street, if you recall, where one of former Horse Police / Goal keeper , in Lennox Phillip , aka Yasin Abubu Bakr , Islamist goons, shot and killed a young Police officer , performing similar duties in 1990, during the failed attempted Coup.
    As I’ve said, nothing spectacular ,as far as function, but simply , to ensure ,cars enter , in and out safely, and no unauthorized folks ,enter, via that entrance.
    Pretty boorish stuff. On the wall, officers would inscribe their thoughts, in much the same way , folks would, as they sit in the 500 billion and one toilets ,across the globe.
    One inscription caught my eyes, and remained indelibly imprinted in my memory, to this day, some 35 years hence, and here it is :- ” Three of the worst people in the world are, a rich Indian, a poor White Man , and an educated African.”

    Something to chew on Doc, and sort of feed into your point ,about those angry ,poor White men,and we should add 53 % , chiefly uneducated ,White females, who voted overwhelmingly for The Donald, irrespective of all that was thrown in his direction, as being anti female.
    ‘Me think,’ many felt equally disgusted at Hillary hombre , Slick Willy , and his attitude towards females- especially underage Interns , with humongous jaws , that frequented the Lincoln bedroom.
    Can’t trust a woman , who stood loyally by his side during those moments, all so as to advance her own political career, yet has the audacity ,to stand as a Pro FEMINIST candidate , ready to protect the rights of women.
    She also stood by his side , as he halted fleeing – alleged economic -Haitian refugees , running from their troubled country , for America.
    She was right there , as he ushered in their first democratically elected President, then orchestrated his kidnap, and removal from office.
    They know who initiated major incarceration of “Black Predators,” and under whose watch, the Rwanda debacle took place. Black folks could afford to hold their noses , and vote en mass for Hillary – Tammy Wynnete, aka the Carpetbagger in chief, but that ain’t how White folks, and Hispanics roll. They look with disgust ,at the catastrophe that took place in resource laden Libya , followed by her wanton breach of laws , in the midst of Email Gate.
    Maybe no one reminded her , that when Richard- I’m not a crook- Nixon of Watergate fame , Iran / Contra – TRICKLE DOWN – ‘Voodoo Economics’ high priest ,Ronald Reagan,and her hombre Bill , committed their criminal acts – they were all President already.
    The advice you gave to your daughter was spot on. Keep the faith . If that’s here chief desire , then a female ,would one day be in the White House . Hillary was really , just not the right person.
    Sometimes timing is everything.
    She would have won, if she was trying to replace a sitting Republic President, and not a two terms Liberal , who happened to be a minority himself, like she is.
    White folks held their noses ,and voted for Barrack ,as they felt little treat from him , as they did for ‘Himi Town ,’Jesse Jackson, back in the day, when he too was a Democratic Political star.
    His Kansas mama ,was white like they are.
    You said Doc ,”I hope PNM leadership is listening to what’s happening around the world. Take the people for granted and you pay the ultimate price. This is one of the lessons of Brexit and Donald Trump’s election.”
    No truer word were ever spoken, but there is a different reality , that would explain away why the PNM leaders , will choose to thumb their noses at voters ,and here it is:- 1. The PNM have to only contend with the political clowns , that comprise the Kamla led , UNC dominant PP. She has personally lost a General Election,and will soon , a local election, after presiding over a THA lost, and ‘me think,’ 3 by elections.Yet she holds on.
    2.Cameron , John Kerry, Bob Dole, John Mc Cain, Al Gore , all rode off into de sunset , after their defeats,and so would Hillary , after her recent shellacking by Trump , but not the budding power mongrel Kamla.
    3. Even though she knows she is unelectable, the joy of seeing Basdeo Panday, aka Nerhu incarnated suffer , as his daughter is prevented from reigning , is too enjoyable.
    4. Citizens here , might not be stupid, but remain a divided bunch.
    With this in mind , and the awareness , that there is no viable alternative, the PNM leadership ,can keep it’s feet on citizens heads, while blaming everything, on still falling oil/ gas prices.
    America will be fine, and so would underachieving T&T , Doc.
    Come 100 days after January 20th 2017,and folks won’t remember, who the new President Donald is , as he revert to his old, neo Liberal self.
    Our citizens usually don’t give a hoot, if Good Friday , falls on a Monday, and so , every thing will fall in place , in due course.
    Stay vigilant people!

  • *In three years, they will shout: “We red and we ready,” but will the people at the bottom of the economic ladder be ready to support those who have ignored them for four years?
    People are not stupid. You can ignore them for a time but when they rise up their vengeance is swift.
    A friend said to me: “The US election was about the uneducated doing a French revolution type turn around.”
    I hope PNM leadership is listening to what’s happening around the world. Take the people for granted and you pay the ultimate price. This is one of the lessons of Brexit and Donald Trump’s election.*

    Professor… You are so generous.. 3 Years?
    Doubt the PNM in it’s ‘detached’ state can survive 3 years of an ‘angry’ Trump’s world…

  • Trump won because rural aged white voters voted in numbers not seen before and they wanted change. Whether right or wrong they wanted a white male president. White aged males in rural america do not usually interest them selves with elections – they see as we see in T&T a waste of time…time they cannot waste as it is running out for them. Clinton was so tainted in character according to them they chose the lesser of the two evils. Other things worked again Clinton as well. So complacency did set in with her. but more importantly in the USA and to some extent in Canada people has little respect for God and plenty respect for material gains so consequences are occurring and I expect societies there will continue to fragment. WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE WORST YET.

    • “We have not seen the worse yet”………Jerry

      That is a prediction that sounds more like a prophesy.
      You are right on the money with your analysis of
      The election results. People of European descent
      are not used to hard times. The economic situation in places like Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, U.K and
      Western Europe do not have enough to spread to their
      Native populations. Because of this they see immigrants as intruders who are taking their places. The fear of immigrants have created a reaction to hate anything that ‘don’t belong’. This is what Trump supporters see and
      It will only get worse.

  • Nobody knows what is happening in TNT. Everyday a few people murdered, after awhile we all become numb and don’t know what to think or say. It doesn’t really make a diffrence because it is someone else pain. How can indifference set in so easily?

    A little over a year ago there was talk about the economy the plans for the future but 14 months and nothing. In fairness a new administration needs at least a year to get settled in but that period of grace must result in action for the citizenry.

    When the elitist are in charge ordinary citizens are generally ignored and problems become the norm. Today rusty water was flowing out of the taps no one bothered to come forward and instruct or assure the citizenry or afford them the good pleasure of an explanation. It is the normalization of the abnormal.

    A mother with two children disappeared it seems into thin air Ria family is still looking out the door hoping to see her pretty face again. So to the many others such as the Knights family whose son disappeared, they are left to wonder if anyone in the security services care enough to afford them some comfort. Folks one cannot be too hard on the ones in charge because they are clueless. I don’t mean that in an insultive way but just normalized way of seeing the world. To them it is normal for such things to happen.

    The minister of finance came forward and insulted the nation because that is his normalized contemptuous view of the citizenry. He came smiling ear to ear and apologized in parliament. Like stale bake the media describe it as being an edible apology. Yes rationalization for bad behaviour by those in authority is the new unsettling norm. Bad behaviour could just be doing nothing when much is needed to be done.

    Tomorrow has the potential for much good in the nation, but with the past like a cumbersome baggage filled with normalization of subhuman behaviour I do not hold out much hope. Opportunity to do good is written in our DNA but cannot find self expression because of normalized behaviours. Folks we are condemn to mediocrity and repeated errors unless we learn to use our “Cabeza ” for the betterment of society. Unfortunately 80% are followers and some 20% are thinkers, normalized people outnumber the progressive thinkers! Do expect much from such a society and you will not be disappointed….

  • The problem with American politics is the right wing and left wing agendas. A clever politician need to appeal to the undecided by staying near to the right of center or left of center.
    Issues that divide (1) Abortion. Hillary supported Wade and Roe the right to abortion. She supports late term abortion. The Rebulicans wants us to believe they are anti abortion. What Barrack did was find the near center. He said he will like to see less abortion and the need to take the emotion out of the debate. He also said that this was a decision between the woman and her doctor. A clever response.
    I could go on but I cited one example of how to cross the bridge safely.

  • *Trump demands apology from Hamilton cast after Mike Pence booed*

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-demands-apology-from-hamilton-cast-after-mike-pence-booed/ar-AAku2i4?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

    Professor… I guess we need an ‘update’ of your take on Alexander Hamilton..
    I heard a loud-mouth on the airwaves of T&T commenting on the ‘pending’ return of Trinis (And by extension Caribbean people) from the US, claiming that Caribbean people hardly contribute to the US economy. Little he know that a Caribbean man (Hamilton) actually was the architect of the US economy..

  • Hey RamK ,’me think, ‘ it’s time you stop drinking dat Debe, or is it Barrackpore Babash / bush rum, or better yet , put down the crack pipe, since it’s apparently affecting your sense of logic.
    Least you forgot ,Alexander Hamilton, was a White hombre. As to why the insecure hot head ,was shot to death, in a idiot duel , by a political rival, is another story, for another occasion.
    The thousands, that are unnecessarily fearful ,they’ll be kicked out , if it comes to that ,are folks of color- be they illegals, or criminals.
    Just why you guys are getting so worked up about Pax Americana,and The Donald , is beyond me , when we have ongoing Roti Wars , right here in La Trinity, hmmmm?
    The world , and especially folks of color , survived lame brain,incoherent , GW Bush ,and his Neo Cons. They survived ,Quasi Black President Barrack Hussain Obama , and they’ll certainly do the same , over the next four years.
    The fact of the matter is , that Donald Trump, and any American president for dat matter , cannot pass gas, or decide what color negligee, the 1st Lady can wear on any given night/ day , unless Congress gives the green light.
    No one is getting deported anytime soon. Y por que tu pregunta? Their are more White criminals , and illegals living in America,than all the Caribbean islands populations put together.
    The loud mouth , Supertroll candidate Trump, now El Presidente Elect , ain’t touching that situation, with a 10 ft pole- as we like to say on de streets.

    http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,236113.html

    Tell me something Ram K , were these Roti your UNC /PP ordered for that Dewali festival , mentioned by our ever honest PM, imported, and if so, from where ?
    Certainly, not India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Nepal,since last I checked , Roti was a T&T indentured invention,si?
    Well ….,so is BOBOL , some say.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXhT2pj1EEY

    Sing with me and Chalkie , Ram. “Dey don’t have Roti up in India , Dey don’t know bout curry ,& Cuchila ….Is right here you would find your IDENTITY!”
    More stupid, escapist nonsense, by politicians , and the ever sleeping co- opted / compromised 4th Etate, in de midst of another free fall election season, destined to end in only one fashion.
    I luv dis land , Y Tu?

    • The PNM roti shop closed a long time ago with 25,000 unemployed people since they won election. Many families are wondering if they can afford to eat roti again. Imbert making sure no roti for them. He planning another gas tax increase so no money to buy roti.

      While the election is about roti a staple in TNT, where there is nothing better than a roti and curry duck, one wonders if the good times are already gone. Over 413 dead Trinis will never be able to taste roti again due to their untimely end.

      While $1/2 million was spent on roti by Kamla, she made sure everyone who came to the diplomatic center had roti to eat and some to take home, Rowley is now making sure roti is no longer an item at the diplomatic center. What is the replacement “pink slips” to all and sundry. He said don’t depend on the government for anything…. lol. People did not fully understood that statement. Today they are seeing the results of it roti gone.

      • Mamoo wrote, “Rowley is now making sure roti is no longer an item at the diplomatic center. What is the replacement “pink slips” to all and sundry.”

        Easy Mamoo… I guess yuh din read the Sunday Express…. Here…>

        *We are a roti people, says Rowley

        “We are a roti people…roti and red Solo is the national dish. This is about wasting and stealing money,” Rowley said as he addressed supporters during a People’s National Movement (PNM) public meeting on Friday night in Chaguanas, in the lead-up to the local government election on November 28*

        http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20161119/news/we-are-a-roti-people-says-rowley

        What yuh tink Neal? Look like the Mason hall kid doh like callaloo anymore… What a disappointment… unbelievable..

        Stuppes…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZJTy8jjEY4

        • “What yuh tink Neal? Look like the Mason hall kid doh like callaloo anymore… What a disappointment… unbelievable..”
          RamK

          Ha, ha ,ha, & funny stuff Ramk. Luv de proffered outrage, mi Pizanno. Nah ,for as Shakespere – or is it Trini Englishman Nobelist V .S Naipaul -once said , ” much ado over nada.”
          It’s called political electioneering gimmick season once again, and what’s ‘ah lil bit oh pandering ,’ to get some votes, hummm? Got to appreciate , and or draw distinctions , between de forest from the trees, RamK. Tell me , you didn’t think former UNC hombre , in Cuz Dave Persad, was chosen , just for ‘his good looks,’ ehhhh? No , for it too is a well orchestrated , power move , with an obvious end game in sight, by de Mason Hall Kid, and ardent student of de Papa Deffy Eric School,si?

          http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,234692.html

          All our phony , self aggrandizing leaders , from vindictive ,Papa Deffy Eric, to smart man George Chambers, and arrogant, nepotistic Tobago hating , phony Christian Patrick Manning, have played the game to perfection,and hence the reason as to why , our Indo Trini cousins , with few exceptions – have repeatedly lend support at de polls , to the Afro Dominant PNM, through the decades.
          Tell you what RamK,- as played recently- even big Brother, Pax Americana plays the game.
          Here is de deal RamK,and you could put this in your pipe , and smoke it ,as we like tp say on de Streets.Yankee Black Islamist , Louis Farakan ,or Osama Bin Laden , American born Grand child , has a better chance of becoming a President one day, than any American Jew- be they Socialist Bernie Sanders, or Dr Jill , the fringe Green Party chieftain.

          Notice however Ramk , that the Zoo Yorker – 1% , political neophyte Donald Trump , repeatedly took pot shots at Africans, Arabs, women,paraplegics , immigrants chiefly of color/Mexicans, and ‘me think,’ homeless bums, but not once, did he make the mistake, of saying anything negative towards Jews?

          http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/us/politics/jared-kushner-donald-trump.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

          As a matter of fact, don’t be surprise , that his loyal Son in law – an elitist Orthodox Jew himself- might soon be his Chief of staff, or some similar big end , influential , paid advisor- even as the neo racist, nationalist, media savvy , Right wing , ne racist, handler , Steve Bannon ,helped the Donald shape his brand, and will likewise be rewarded.

          In Pax Americana , most neo tribal ,White American folks,such as say a Donald Drump, Hillary, and her hombre Slick Willy, will often looks with contempt , and disgust, at most American Jews ,who they hate to the same degree ,as they do towards Africans , but won’t publicly admit same .
          Instead , the former – if a political figure – will talk up a storm about protection of allies Israel, use the latter huge financial cache , and social influence to elevate their game , wile secretly wishing that the latter all go to hell, for murdering , dat revolutionary ,carpenter son- spiritually conceived Jesus.
          Likewise , in our T&T,aka Baby America RamK? Well, we play a similar game.
          Indians , and Africans , fake progressive leaders, ‘hate the very ground,’ each other walk on, but you won’t know that , for politics makes strange bedfellows.
          If you doubt dat , then when you get to heaven , or maybe in another life , ask the late ,2 Tobago seat ANR Robinson, and his one time NAR pal Basdeo, or better yet ,Jack – FIFA-Warner, Mama Verna St Rose,THA TOP – Duck man – Tobago Jack, Makandal Dagga ,Winston Peters, aka Gypsy, de Culture Vulture , Ralph Maraj, Linda Baboolal, Kamal / and Mastana bahar hermano Sham, Errol Japanese Garden Mahabir, Wade – MBA Mark , and our recent former UNC , now PNM selected Ambassador to India Dave Persad.
          Put differently RamK , De Right Honorable PM, or more so, MP for Westmoorings, and we can throw in Caranege , and crime front Bagatelle Rd Diego Martin , in Dr Keith , ain’t give a rats behind about no Roti , Dewali ,Pagwah , or Tassa Drums , to the same degree dat your similar media posturing , Auntie Kamla ,could care less about dem ugly West African head dresses, and bright color, Nigerian/ Ghanaian gowns , she was forced to repeatedly wear, during Afro – escapist Emancipation Day festivals , to give the impression , dat she adore Africans, in la Trinity.
          In America , politicians kiss ugly , spoil babies, and eat tasteless breakfast , in diners , all across the land ,for some 18 months, in efforts to woo voters. In our T&T , we too ‘do our thing,’ as expected by gullible voters.
          Then again, I just wasted half an hour writing this response RamK , for I’m almost certain , that what I just laid out for edification , weren’t breaking news , to a savvy , quasi trolling , cyber joisting player, like yourself.
          Am I right, or am I right?

          Oh , and by de way RamK, I’ve tried without much success , over the years , to tell our resident , ‘Trini Center Nation -cyber nut job-‘Mamboo, to stay away from topics , that are beyond his level . Here he is buying into the stupid notion of ideologically divided America. with his -” The problem with American politics is the right wing and left wing agendas. A clever politician need to appeal to the undecided by staying near to the right of center or left of center.”
          Need I remind you RamK, that the Democrats play the same public Jewish , neo pandering game?
          The Clinton did the same media posturing , jig and dance ,tribalistic game , as their daughter , in similar fashion, married into …, well …,even you , are smart enough , to get my drift?

          http://forward.com/news/334269/why-is-hillary-clintons-jewish-son-in-law-avoiding-campaign-spotlight/

          In like manner ,we have media comedians , claiming that Indo Dominant UNC/ PP , is vastly different – ideologically -to the Afro Dominant PNM,& what folly? Tribalism rule in both Yankee / Pax America fiefdom, as is de case in fractured T&T, trust me on dat, and I don’t need mo intellectually dishonest clowns ,such as Hamid Ghanny, Selwyn Ryan ,or life time -so called- Independent Senator Ramesh Deosaran , or any such ,’political eat a food bozo , to set me straight , on such facts.
          They are both controlled by a bunch of self centered , neo elites, with totally disregard for poor folks , who blindly support them each elections, then sit around and cry/ wallow in self pity, for the next four years ,as they get the middle finger.
          It’s your call RamK. You can sit around on social media ,for the next umpteen years ,’ de Rowley Afro Red ,& Ready gang ,’rule de political roost , and finger point , like so many get a hard on doing.
          You can do the typical stupid ,Tribal pissing contest , and so pontificate ,as to which tribe culture is better, who is more , or less of a tribal criminal, who is responsible for the Socio- political ,precarious state ,of our under achieving country , or instead,….. find ways to be a difference making player, with a pro solidarity , neo progressive bent. . Stay tuned . I wish you well.
          Stay vigilant people!

  • Neal… Please… Dem PNM women are tired of wearing that same dress about Kamla and her Roti-wars etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=103&v=bWy-ipt6y7E

    Dem women dem saying, “We Black and we Ready”.. They say they tired of struggling in the RED (In an oil /gas rich country)… Now they want to get into the BLACK and get a FAIR share of T&T’s economy…

    Anyway, The Professor wrote a wonderful piece of Hamilton before this Broadway play (Which is sold out for YEARS) even existed… I could not find the article… But, I think you need to read up on him before you go any further…. Peace..

    Not this article…

    http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/blog/?p=8284

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