Tag Archives: Selwyn R. Cudjoe

Never sit on your laurels

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 13, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was 2013 and the UNC (United National Congress) government decided to place a stadium and a swimming pool at the Orange Grove Savannah (now known as the Eddie Hart Savannah), a place that was used by “districkers” for recreational, health, and educational purposes for generations. Angry by this atrocity, the “districkers” of Tacarigua and the surrounding villages (Dinsley, Paradise, El Dorado, Trincity, and St Mary’s) took on government with all of its resources and prevented it from destroying one of the most idyllic areas in Trinidad.
Continue reading Never sit on your laurels

Turning democracy upside down

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 04, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDuring the early days of our democracy, Eric Williams and CLR James, founding fathers of the People’s National Movement (PNM), cited Greece as the quintessential example of what a functioning democracy should look like. Williams developed this theme in his address to the Black Writers Congress in Rome in 1959.
Continue reading Turning democracy upside down

The importance of work

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 28, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAnyone who believes the PNM Government will solve the problem of black underdevelopment, joblessness, and criminality in the depressed areas of the island had better think again. It will not happen in the near future. The elites who have taken over the party have no interest in these problems, they do not have the will to solve them, nor the intelligence to know the difference.
Continue reading The importance of work

Normalising failure and callousness

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 21, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeQuestion: Would you select someone to lead a company or an organisation where, previously, that person had failed in that position and shows no sign of improving his/her leadership skills or comprehending the job-challenges that lie ahead?

This question arose last week when National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds explained why his Government retained Erla Christopher to lead the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for another year even as crime and disorder worsen and every sign suggests they will get “worserer.”
Continue reading Normalising failure and callousness

Africa’s holocaust

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 14, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 1985 I interviewed the president of the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) Sam Nujoma when he visited the United Nations Decolonisation Committee to plead for his country’s independence (West Africa, present-day Namibia). Namibia was a German colony from the 1880s to the First World War when South African troops occupied its territory.

From 1904 to 1908, the Germans waged a war that exterminated over 100,000 Africans from the Herero and Nama ethnic groups. It was deemed the first holocaust of the 20th century. In 1920, the League of Nations allowed South Africa to administer the territory.
Continue reading Africa’s holocaust

Student outrage over US behaviour

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 07, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFrom New York to Los Angeles, from New Hampshire to Texas, thousands of students have risen up against how the Palestinian people in Gaza are being treated. US police have arrested over 2,300 student protesters, and many more will be arrested in the coming weeks. We should congratulate the moral courage of these students.

Edward Luce reminds Americans about their foolhardiness. He wrote: “America is in knots over the foolishness—or worse—of its campus protesters. But it is the adults who are making the biggest dunces of themselves. The role of the grown-ups facing student unrest is to keep the peace without sacrificing rights. These include free speech and physical safety. The task requires principled consistency.” (Financial Times, May 2.)
Continue reading Student outrage over US behaviour

Please stay home

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 29, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI do not know what Cabinet intended to achieve when it changed “Emancipation Day” to “African Emancipation Day”, beginning August 1, 2024. Our Prime Minister declared that too many people at the international level were attempting to “add appendages” to the reasoning behind emancipation. He felt he had to change that. He declaimed: “We in T&T, who led on this matter, will have none of it. We made it quite clear that emancipation in T&T is a result of the emancipation of slaves,” even though most enlightened scholars refer to people who were stolen from Africa and brought to work on the plantations of the New World as “enslaved” people rather than “slaves”.
Continue reading Please stay home

Age of retirement

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 23, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn June 30, 2024, I will say farewell to Wellesley College, a place at which I have taught for 38 years. I have taught at several elite institutions in the United States such as Harvard, Cornell, Ohio and Fordham universities, but Wellesley holds a special place in my heart. I have grown fond of it over the years.

The college yesterday held a symposium and dinner to honour my services to the institution and my academic contributions internationally. Paula Johnson, president of the college who was a student at Harvard University when I taught there in the 1970s, and Prof Kellie Carter Jackson, chairman of the Africana Studies Department, opened the function.
Continue reading Age of retirement

A sterling example

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 16, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe passing of Michael de la Bastide, former chief justice and first president of the Caribbean Court of Justice, signified the end of an era in Trinidad and Tobago or even Caribbean jurisprudence. Archbishop Jason Gordon says he was concerned about mercy at the end of his days. However, what stood out during his active years as an attorney was his commitment to law and justice.
Continue reading A sterling example

Israel’s colonialism

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 08, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Monday night Israel killed seven humanitarian aid workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza who were attending to the suffering of Palestinians. Israel apologised for its deliberate barbarity because all but one of the victims were of other nationalities— Australian, British, Polish, and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. If Hamas had done such a thing, it would have confirmed its barbarity.
Continue reading Israel’s colonialism