Maybe this article can give you some insight into that class system that has such a hold on the Trini mind..
The PNM is as much victim of this system (even doh some ah dem say dat they is RASTA) as the everyday Trini. Media is the most effective tool to break this system.
House of Black built by Jack
The recent controversies surrounding Citizen Jack have once again raised some important issues. Whether or not it is morally right for him or his holding companies to have sole or exclusive rights to this country’s allocation of World Cup tickets is a much smaller consideration in the totality of a bigger situation here. It seems that there is a latent, and oft-times overt, expression of intent in this country that it is somehow morally reprehensible and improper or just against the established and comfortable status quo for Afro-Trinbagonians to make serious money, in this our native land. And, mind you, the greatest proponents of this hogwash and gobbledygook are Afro-Trinbagonians themselves, who relish and delight in pulling each other down, and sometimes rejoice, when an aspiring brother has fallen.
Bob Marley’s chant to us to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery is as timeless and relevant, and as poignant and potent, as it was when he made it decades ago. Steeped in an ancient history of slavery and subjugation, it seems that our minds have become conditioned over the centuries, to be content that our accepted place, and the natural order of things, is that we should always occupy cellar position of the socio-economic ladder. So people like Lawrence Duprey and Citizen Jack are anomalies. They disturb the natural order and tranquility of the world as we know it. Standing like a colossus, straddling a global empire, covering everything from methanol, urea, housing, shipping, insurance, banking, alcohol manufacturing and distribution, land development, urban planning, malls and shopping centres, the giant killer Lawrence, has turned the business world upon its head. He has taken on Trinidad and has conquered. He has taken on the Caribbean and has conquered and now his playground is the world, with sights on China and the Far East.
Power and influence
Citizen Jack, too, in his own inimitable style, has conquered his own worlds. He clawed his way up through the ranks from our local football organisation, to become the king of Concacaf and thence to eventually sit at the right hand of the Fifa throne—a king in waiting maybe?
Along the way he has managed, through shrewd business dealings and with an eye for opportunity, to amass a personal war-chest of riches and fortune.
He has leveraged the power and control he achieved and turned it into tangible wealth. Isn’t that what every businessman does in his own way? Back in the days when people like Bolan Amar cornered the motor vehicle market and had consumers paying through the nose just to get an opportunity to purchase a Toyota and then he turned around and killed them with the prices of parts and spares, did anyone write in to the press and complain that he was using his family connections to exploit the nation? No. He was just seen as a shrewd businessman. When Ram Kirpalani was creating his family empire and crushing all competition, was anyone in the news screaming bloody murder? No, Ram was hailed as a financial wizard and genius.
White House too
So what’s all the fuss about with Citizen Jack making his money? Regardless of whatever personal gains or profits he has received from his position of influence in local football, no one can deny the Herculean efforts he has put out. So what are we crying and nattering about? In the real world, in the business world, making money is about leveraging opportunity and using every skill, advantage and influence you have, in order to ensure that your project turns a profit and yields a dollar. What difference is there between this situation and what is occurring now in Iraq with Kellog, Root and Brown and the associations with Halliburton? Isn’t there an incestuous connection there, which traces its genesis all the way up to the top echelons of the White House? Isn’t there an evidential link and “Chaney” of command, which would make a detective like “Dick” Tracy blush and run for cover in the “Bush.”
House of Black
It’s the “old boy” network all over again, the global order of things in the business world. Look at the family associations over the years between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family and what do you see? Do you see anything different? At the end of the day it is all about making the dough and it appears that the world is okay with it. So if it’s okay with every George, Dick and Chaney, and if it is okay in the White House, why isn’t it okay in the House of Black, built by Jack? What we need in T&T is more examples of black businessmen who are willing to go out there and take on the world and challenge the established status quo, and to pave the way and light a path, to show everyone that if you’re black you don’t have to be afraid to make money.
The author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of financial advisers Robert T Kiyosaki says that we don’t teach our children enough about money, we don’t cultivate and nurture a culture of “financial intelligence.” There is no group more guilty of that in our society than Afro-Trinbagonians. We always feel more comfortable taking our salary and then handing it over to others, paying everyone but ourselves. We are always more comfortable being employees rather than employers and business-owners. In the illustrious book The Richest Man in Babylon it is said that we should pay ourselves first. So before we rush off to buy that “irresistible” pair of sneakers, we should first pay ourselves a salary of 10 per cent of our earnings, which should go towards savings and investments. Just that discipline alone would be the first step along the way to breaking free of these centuries of slave mentality, and that backward, regressive thinking where we are afraid to make money.
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