Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

Integrity and Probity

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 27, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am an old timer. I believe integrity in public life predates the establishment of the Integrity Committee. My mother, born in 1909, used to say: “When ah dead, if anybody say ah owe dem any money, tell dem dey lie.” Her word was her bond. She believed each of us possesses an innate sense of what is right and wrong which tells us when we have transgressed those boundaries. Such a credo was part of an ethical value system that we, as black people, learned from our nineteenth-century ancestors. In those days, we did not need an Integrity Committee to tell us what constitutes ethical behavior.
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Every Cook Can Govern

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 19, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of this week, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival shall premier “Every Cook Can Govern: The Life, Impact & Works of C. L. R. James,” a film that was produced by Worldwrite, an English non-profit or charity organization. The producers describe this documentary as “The world’s first film on the life of a fearless and uncompromising revolutionary.” There is much truth in advertising here. “Every Cook Can Govern” is a well-crafted and informative film about one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most distinguished intellectuals and Marxist theoreticians.
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The Monumentality of it All

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 14, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt’s Sunday, September 4th. I am in Rome, Italy. The sun is ablaze but it is not a Trinidad hot sun. There is no breeze and the heat radiates from the earth, making you feel as if you are being roasted alive. I visit the Palazzo Barberini, the National Gallery of Ancient Art that was conceived to celebrate the artistic passion of Maffeo Barberini who became Pope Urban VIII in 1623. As a cardinal, he sponsored many artists with his patronage.
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A Cry for Social Justice

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 05, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn his article “Black Caucus, Black Humor,” Raymond Ramcharitar pours scorn on the BCM’s (Black Caucus Movement) demand for “land in Caroni for ‘Africans’ and saying it’s a love thing” (Guardian, August 17). He sought to reduce its position to “black humor” and to deride its claim for social justice it wishes to bring to the public’s attention.
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Intellectual Honesty

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 29, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the latter part of the 19th century when thinkers were reducing Karl Marx’s notion of man’s economic dimensions (an analysis he began in Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844) to saying man is an economic animal exclusively, Frederick Engels wrote to Joseph Bloch on September 21, 1890: “According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life. Other than this neither Marx nor I ever asserted. Hence if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he transforms that proposition into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase.”
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Normalizing Non-sense

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 22, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne of our problems in Trinidad and Tobago is our attempt, sometimes, to normalize non-sense and call it wisdom. Take the non-sense offered by Joan Yuille-Williams that Patrick Manning called the 2010 election to expand our democracy or that by so doing he expanded our democratic possibilities. Not content with such non-sense she threw God into the mix as if to say, “God make him do it.”
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Ode to a Tea Bag

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 14, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeHeard 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.
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My Friend, The Late Karl Case

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 07, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThis week I want to talk about my friend Karl “Chip” Case and his greatness in the same way Rudyard Kipling talked about its manifestations in the following lines: “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,/ ‘Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch.” For the past thirty years I have walked with a king but did not know it. But then again, if I knew it, I may not have treated him as just another person.
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May Their Bread Be Buttered Over

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Submitted: July 31, 2016
Posted: August 02, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTomorrow (August 1st) is Emancipation Day. It’s a day on which the formerly enslaved commemorate their freedom; a practice they have undertaken since 1848 although there have been interruptions over the years. Generally, two different strata (those whose bread had been better buttered and those whose bread have been larded) have celebrated their emancipation in different ways.
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Let the Jackasses Bray

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 24, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMy good friend called. She was irate: “Why don’t you speak to [not with] yo’ good friend Sat?” “Why yo’ say so,” I asked. “He called Manning a racist.” I don’t know if I was supposed to return the insult, but I am aware that if everyone is a racist then no one is really a racist. Counter accusations are generally useless.

Sat claimed Manning was a racist because, among other things, he closed down Caroni 1975 Limited and paid the workers $2m. That Manning may have calculated that the sugar industry was no longer economically viable did not enter into Sat’s thinking? But even if Manning paid the workers $4m it would not have endeared him to Sat.
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