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On the Colfire Dress Code
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2016

THE EDITOR: This COLFIRE caper illuminates some deeper issues that have always crept up every now and then. This doesn't mean I expect said issues to be addressed; by and large, as a society we don't like to face uncomfortable truths, preferring instead to deflect, trivialise and live in denial.

To be clear, I agree that in professional circles there should be dress and grooming codes. But that in no way precludes us from challenging and re-defining what those codes should be. Face it, we've never really determined who we are because we have for the most part scorned what little we did see in answer to that question. At the very bottom of all this is a reflexive contempt for appearances, dress patterns and hairstyles that do not fit into the "ideal" image set by Europe/Euro-America – the "Default White" model that's so all-pervasive it doesn't even need to be mentioned. Many callers to Power 102 and i95.5 following the death of the Chief Servant Makandal Daaga showed that very clearly.

Prof Glenn Sankatsingh, in an article on "Trailer" societies talks about the mindset that what is good for the West is best for the rest. That pathological mindset is crystal clear in T&T's corporate sphere, courthouses, electronic media and Parliament (Gerald Yetming notwithstanding). Fifty-four years into our alleged independence and we still lack that almost arrogant self-confidence that designs then adopts patterns of dress conducive to our climate yet reflecting the dignity of high/corporate offices and then demanding that the rest of the world respect what we've created. Ditto for hairstyles that reflect our non-European ancestries. S. Hylton-Edwards – a WHITE BRITISH soldier – mentioned it in his book "Lengthening Shadows" and still………we remain in denial, finding all sorts of lame excuses.

COLFIRE just opened the bag of worms, but other financial institutions are no different (and schools too!!). Forget the fact that global trends are shifting towards digital/creative economies and the research that shows that persons who think and operate differently are at the cutting edge of these new shifts. No, cut yuh hair, put on the suit and tie and keep yuh little tail quiet.

So millennials, I strongly suggest you create your own space and don't strive too hard to get into the muddled ones we over 40 are occupying. We don't have nearly the answers you think we do. Look at this latest issue for an example.

Corey Gilkes
La Romaine

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