Columbus and His Progeny

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 23, 2020

“White men, I curse you to your face,/ Curse you and all your hated race!/ Great war has placed me in your power;/ I am your captive; this is your hour/ To wreck your bitterest thought of ill;/ To bind or slay me as you will.”

—Horatio Nelson Huggins, Hiroona

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI do not have strong feelings as to whether we should move Columbus’s monument from its present location or whether it should be placed in a special museum. However, I am encouraged by the discussion the issue has engendered and the eloquent articles it has generated.

I am more concerned with the havoc the Europeans have wreaked on our civilization after Columbus’s arrival, the genocide that was perpetrated against our indigenous populations, and the subsequent barbarity to which brown and black people have been subjected.
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The leader must rally the masses

By Raffique Shah
June 16, 2020

Raffique ShahFinance Minister Colm Imbert, and by extension the Keith Rowley-led Government of Trinidad and Tobago, missed out on an opportunity to rise above the noise that tends to drown out sensible discussions about serious issues when Imbert presented the mid-year review of the fiscal 2020 Budget last Friday. Coming as it did during the aftershocks of the first wave of the Corvid-19 pandemic, the review necessarily highlighted the impact this global health crisis has had on the national economy, and what is required of all citizens to see us emerge stronger from it, whenever that may be.
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The Lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 09, 2020

PART 3

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history.”

—Marcus Cicero

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Friday, May 23, 1958, Lionel Seukeran, MP for Naparima (DLP) and grandfather of Faris Al-Rawi, AG, offered the following motion to the Legislative Council: “Whereas the Chief Minister [Eric Williams] is reported to have made an unwarranted and derogatory attack on the Indian community at a public meeting at Woodford Square, following the Federal elections, whereas his utterances on that occasion have aroused the indignation and caused grave concern among all sections of law-abiding people, and have contributed greatly to the embarrassment of people of East Indian descent…
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The issues that matter most

By Raffique Shah
June 09, 2020

Raffique ShahAmerica was set to implode sometime soon when four police officers, going about a patrol in Minneapolis, did what many of their colleagues routinely do—subdue a black suspect with excessive force and recklessness, and quite possibly oozing rabid racism. Within minutes, George Floyd, who moaned “I can’t breathe” several times as one police officer knelt on his neck, was dead.

A courageous 16-year-old girl video-taped and broadcast the death live on the Internet, and almost instantly, millions of people were alerted to the atrocity. In Minneapolis, demonstrations against police brutality and racism erupted. Soon, protests against the police and other state institutions spread across America. People who had just emerged from two months of home confinement because of the deadly CORVID-19 pandemic, were outraged.
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“Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired”

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
June 07, 2020

Dr. Kwame NantambuEver since they were brought involuntarily and violently from Mother Africa in 1619 to be enslaved on plantations in the United States, enslaved Africans and their descendants have been the victims of Code Noir, Jim Crow laws, Lynch Laws, Ku Klux Klan, the infamous “Three Fifths Clause”, “Grandfather Clause”. Racial segregation, institutionalized racism, “selective prosecution”, racial profiling, “Stand your Ground” law, just to highlight a few injustices.
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Think small, score big

By Raffique Shah
June 03, 2020

Raffique ShahMemo #3 to Post-COVID-19 Recovery Team: Friends, Trinis, countrymen (and women). I feel certain that by now you will have submitted preliminary recommendations to the Government. I imagine the most urgent challenge is the state of the country’s finances, how best to manage our dwindling resources and severely reduced revenues, balancing these with servicing our huge debt—well over TT $100 billion—repayments being some $4 billion per annum.
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Letter to My Grandson

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 01, 2020

My dear Josh:

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI write to you at what is supposed to be a happy time although it is tinged with sadness.

The happiness first.

You have spent seventeen years preparing for your graduation day. It is a time to celebrate with your parents and your friends, your teachers and loved ones, after years of hard work and dedication. You have been to summer camps—you even had a stint at one of the leading technology companies in the country—as you strove to carve out a space to begin your new adventure in college and to think about what you want to do after you graduate from college.
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Do not squander this opportunity

By Raffique Shah
May 26, 2020

Raffique ShahIf there is substance to the saying that in every crisis there are opportunities, then the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered spectacularly, if only we the inhabitants of the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago would recognise them for what they are, grab them, and infuse them into the post-pandemic recovery narrative and action plans, just so we understand they may never be on offer again.
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The Lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 25, 2020

PART 2

“All that is needed on the part of the Negro to attain his rightful place [in this society] is to embark on a wild binge of destruction and plunder.”

—Trevor Sudama

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAbout five years ago several Eric Williams scholars were invited to investigate Eric Williams’s work at Oxford University before continuing on to Senate House, London. Brinsley Samaroo, one of the invited scholars, gave an illuminating lecture on Williams after which I asked him whether Williams had called Indo-Trinidadians, rather than a segment of members of the Democratic Labor Party, “a recalcitrant hostile minority.” His answer was an emphatic “No. He did not.”
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Hypocrites with selective amnesia

By Raffique Shah
May 19, 2020

Raffique ShahSo what if Trinidad and Tobago sells a shipment of gasoline to Venezuela? Why must we citizens be concerned with or ashamed of such sale, once we are paid fairly and promptly? Why do members of the government employ fusillades of terminological inexactitudes in a bid to evade telling the truth about the transaction, a truth that might free their consciences? Why are leading members of the opposition United National Congress so consumed by the lust for power, they will stoop to any level, even kneel behind the uncertified lunatic in the Oval Office, just to sip the elixir of office?
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