It pains me whenever I feel it necessary to confront the race issue in my column. I see it as a waste of valuable column centimetres where those of us who have been selected by the managers and editors of newspapers to highlight and comment on matters of national importance instead find ourselves discussing drivel.
But there comes a time when columnists cannot ignore attempts by influential people in the society resorting to race, playing the race card when everything else fails them, in the hope that controversy might save them from oblivion, a fate politicians fear more than they do the hell-fire that is promised to believers and non-believers alike for the sinful lives they lead, convinced they are so clever, they can fool even the Creator. Continue reading Finding African farmers→
Liberty trains for liberty. Responsibility is the first step in responsibility. Even the restraints imposed in the training of men and children are restraints that will in the end make greater freedom possible.
—WEB Du Bois, John Brown
When we voted for the PNM in 2015, we felt that we were voting to end corruption and to bring to justice those who had stolen from the State. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Seven long years after PNM’s ascendancy to power, no one has been found guilty of any major crime of corruption, but then again, all those allegations may have been a mirage in our collective imagination. Continue reading If the priest could play…→
Minister of Youth Development and National Services Fitzgerald Hinds receives backlash after posting this comment on facebook.
“Not even aware that I was in his focus, on exiting the Massy Foodstore, I entered my vehicle. I settled in and observed a body up to my window. Closer observation revealed a perhaps 30-year old, healthy-looking, muscular man. I looked for the piper in him and could not find it. He beckoned me to talk to him. I rolled down my glass window and he delivered! “ Ah just asking for a lil $20 to buy something to eat!” I immediately reflected on a previous occasion when another young man asked me for “ah lil $100”. I have given financial and other assistance many times in greater quantity, but I refused them both! Ah doh like the idea of young, apparently fit men begging! And ah doh like it more, when they tell me hummuch dey want!” Continue reading Fitzgerald Hinds: Not even aware…→
I met Sophia Chote once but was enchanted her intellectual sophistication and emotional maturity of her columns. Her writing reminded me of the qualities that one found in the thinkers of the romantic movement of the nineteenth century: a belief in democracy and republicanism; an appreciation for the sublime and transcendence; and most of all, a belief in the power of imagination. Continue reading The Last of the Romantics→
Last Sunday Jeralean John, one of the most dynamic persons to enter the political arena in the last year, invited me to visit Savannah Park, Waller Field, or what is known as “Gaza.” I eagerly accepted the invitation, excited at the possibility of hearing what ordinary people—although people are never ordinary—had to say about the conditions under which they live. Continue reading A Foolish Dog→
As Boris Johnson, UK prime minister is finding out, and Keith Rowley, T&T’s prime minister has found out, it’s easier to be on the opposition benches and spout invectives than it is to be in the driver’s seat making consequential national decisions. Boris lost pivotal votes last week in the British parliament as his Tory diehards voted against him. Even his brother—Jo Johnson—resigned from his ministerial post and his seat in Parliament. Boris is likely to have the shortest tenure as a UK prime minister. Continue reading Two Trinidad and Tobagos→
Fitzgerald Hinds made several fundamental errors in judgment that could have turned fatal when he ventured into the flooded Beetham Gardens last week Monday.
The first was to have gone there as the Member of Parliament for the area when there was nothing he could have done for residents whose homes were flooded out, except perhaps commiserate with them. I don’t understand why politicians believe their presence in such situations is obligatory. What the victims require is relief as far as that is practical, which means attention from the relevant regional corporations and disaster-management agencies. Continue reading Hinds should have stood his ground→
As I watched the assault on the Member of Parliament for Laventille West and the Local Government Councillor for the area by their constituents on August 14, 2018, I was saddened by the knowledge that what was playing out was a culmination of long unaddressed social and political factors that none of the actors, on either side, would acknowledge long enough to address. Let me be categorical in my condemnation of the actions of some residents of Beetham Gardens towards their Member of Parliament and Local Government Councillor. These men, Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Councillor Akil Audain, represented the entire political class, and those chasing them represented the underclass created and sustained, in part, by the political class. Continue reading Poor People Fed Up→
Heard the one about the tea bag? It only works when it is in hot water? Listening to such wisdom, I couldn’t help but think about my PNM government and my country. The prime minister is in California looking after his health. When a man takes his entire family (the old and the newly acquired) to be around him on such an occasion, then something may be amiss. He has asked the nation to pray for him. I think we should do as he asks. Continue reading Ode to a Tea Bag→