Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe said: "So that the freedom struggle that began under the leadership of the Yoruba Social Leagues, the Mandingo Freedom Society, and Dagga was taken up by other freedom fighters such as Maxwell Philip, JJ Thomas, Sylvester Williams, Uriah Buzz Butler, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, C.L. R. James, Eric Williams, Makandal Daaga, and our own indefatigable, forward-looking and visionary leader, Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning who is destined to join that illustrious body of freedom fighters, elders and priest who have sought to liberate our people in a land that seeks at all times to devaluate our worth. And while we are at it, let us today consecrate ourselves to our OLUWO, PATRICK MANNING, OUR SENIOR CHIEF AND PROTECTOR TO WHOM ALL THE MEMBERS OF OUR ORDER OUGHT TO PLEDGE THEIR DUTY OF LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE."
What a load of crap!
Having personally experienced the thuggery and corruption of the PNM under the leadership of Patrick Manning, I will never support Dr. Cudjoe's attempts to use African culture and issues to get Africans to blindly support the PNM. People should not be encouraged to pledge loyalty and obedience to anyone, especially to these corrupt politicians and political parties. In an attempt to lionize Patrick Manning, Dr. Cudjoe is also trivializing the struggles of other esteemed freedom fighters. Prime Minister Patrick Manning is no freedom fighter.
The government invested more resources in the Emancipation Celebrations this year as it is in an election season and they wanted to rival what the UNC did during the time they led the government. The UNC increased funding to the Emancipation Celebrations in an attempt to win some African support. They invested in Indian cultural programs to sustain their support base. PNM is just trying to do the same but with more funds.
Pouring funds into their election campaign machinery through increased funding for the Emancipation Celebrations does not suddenly make the PNM more sensitive to African concerns. As a matter of fact the Prime Minister chose the stage in the Emancipation Village to talk about honouring the Chinese presence in Trinidad. Of course, he was just demonstrating his own fear of being seen with a large mass of African dressed African people. The Chinese have not called for any special recognition, so why else would he beat that drum? Chinese were not robbed of culture and dehumanized when they came to Trinidad.
The PNM has historically blocked moves that were about the development of ordinary people, especially African people. The PNM largely sees blacks as pawns for the few members of the PNM hierarchy to amass wealth through kickbacks, thuggery and other forms of corruption. Blacks are just the means for a few of them to make it to political leadership and control of the treasury. Of course, they really serve the financial interest of the White community. They usually maintain their Judeo-Christian pro-white colonial positions and conditionings. PNM never allowed sustained African programs on the state media, although they allowed the Indian community to use the state media to spread their idea of religion and culture.
The issues we are trying to address today concerning the affairs of the youth, drug abuse and violent crimes can be traced to how PNM has neglected the development of people. Instead they have supported and promoted the colonial oligarchy; they have ensured that whites amassed more wealth and the majority of Africans remain dependent on government handouts.
Dr. Cudjoe is again using black issues to do exactly what noted Indians did with Indian culture to galvanize Indians around the UNC. They lied, distorted, and exaggerated racial fears. It was not right then and it certainly is not right now.
It is a shame that Dr. Cudjoe is trying to promote himself this way and is being rewarded by the PNM government for trying to encourage Africans to remain in mental slavery under the disguise of Emancipation.
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