All posts by News

A Macabre Display

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 01, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTrinidad and Tobago, a weird place sometimes, is given to extremes. Imagine an embalmed man in a sitting position, placed in the tray of a hearse and given an open-air last ride past the Prime Minister’s office on his way to his final resting place: “Dressed in a suit and seated in a chair, Che Lewis’s body was placed in the back of a vehicle by the Dennie’s Funeral Home and driven around the capital city” (Express, November 26).
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We Must Control Our Destiny

By Raffique Shah
November 30, 2020

Raffique ShahIf there is not now on our statute books a law that empowers us to deny entry into Trinidad and Tobago to any alien, man woman or child, more so persons seeking to enter our territory illegally, then Government must move post-haste to rectify such anomaly that foreigners are using to breach our borders. Further, if some government in the past compromised this inalienable right that every sovereign state in the world must surely enjoy by signing on to some nebulous convention that purports to promote human rights, then unshackle us, damn it if we are deemed inhumane, sub-human or maybe animals.
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Demonizing Black People

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 25, 2020

“Me nah know how we and dem a go work this out/But someone will have to pay/for the innocent blood/that they shed every day.”

—Bob Marley, “We and Dem”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThere is a notion that Trinis are a happy-go-lucky people, a description that may be more applicable to African-descended people than to members of other groups of the population. Such a description may be more illustrative of those of us whose world view has been influenced by African religions and philosophies as put forth by John Mbiti in African Religion and Philosophy, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, or Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities.

Such a notion (“happy-go-lucky Trinis”) has led others to believe that we care mostly about the celebration of the flesh and other worldly pursuits as depicted in our carnival celebration. Some have even said that while their people were “beating books, we were beating pan,” a cavalier dismissal of an important aspect of our creativity and identity.
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BOOK REVIEW: God, The Press and Uriah Butler

Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool. (2020). God, The Press and Uriah Butler. Trinidad: Juba Publications.

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
November 24, 2020

Dr. Kwame NantambuThe history of the trade union movement in Trinidad and Tobago would be totally incomplete and unfinished if the life and times of the man called Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler are not the DNA of such a history. Butler was accredited as being the “Chief Servant of the Lord.” That was the “Buzz” in his revered personality. Butler believed that man’s purpose in life was the fulfillment of God’s purpose and as such, his inherent belief system informed him that he owed no obligation to anybody or anything but to God.
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Focus on T&T, not Trump

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2020

Raffique Shah“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights…whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers…”

Like Samuel Johnson’s proverbial scoundrel who seeks refuge in patriotism, I fall back on the American declaration of independence, especially its “unalienable rights”, and in particular the right, nay, the civic duty it imposes on citizens, to rebel with force to remove a government that is trampling their rights.
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Beware Trumpism

By Raffique Shah
November 18, 2020

Raffique ShahDonald Trump seems prepared to plunge the United States of America into civil war if that becomes his only option as he clings to the office of President, refusing to acknowledge that he lost the presidential election to Joseph Biden. The world looks on with much foreboding as this real-life tragi-comedy plays before an audience of billions of people.

Trump refuses to recognise the official counting of votes that are presided over by state governors and their staff, many of whom belong to his Republican party. In so doing, he is showing contempt for the state institutions that he, as president, oversees. And he ignores the political and social mores of Washington that hinge on the loser graciously bowing out of office to allow for a smooth transition of power.
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The Racial Divide

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 16, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen T&T gained independence in 1962 we reveled in the possibility that we had set ourselves upon a path to deal with the problems of colonialism, particularly the sinful racism, that had disfigured our society. In 1970, disappointed that Black people were still being denied jobs and position because of their color, the Black Power Rebellion added the struggle of anti-blackness to the national agenda.

Fifty years after independence, we are still plagued with racial discrimination even though it has taken a different dimension. In the 1970s we were faced with white over black racism, today it’s brown over black, the former having inculcated some of the nastiest racial biases of the white ruling class.
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Biden/Harris and the Diverse Faces of US Imperialism

By Dr Tye Salandy
November 13, 2020

Dr Tye SalandyI remember when Barack Obama won his first term as US President in 2008. Late that night, I heard a massive noise of joyful screams and applause from the neighbourhood, the moment his victory was confirmed. At that point, I knew we were in for a rough ride. In the immediate aftermath, my colleague at Trinicenter.com wrote an insightful piece titled President Barack Obama: Change…What Change? that was prophetic of Obama’s presidency. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, yet his two terms showed an appetite for war-making and violence, albeit cloaked beneath polished words, diplomacy and the goodwill of many people excited to see a non-white face leading the White House. Obama, Biden and Hilary Clinton oversaw the illegal invasion of Libya, turning a stable country into a zone of conflict. Critics would describe Obama as being more “Bush than Bush” as covert drone strikes were dramatically increased, some estimate ten times more than what occurred under George Bush Jr. Despite a seemingly tense relationship with the Israeli Prime Minister, he signed a $38 billion military aid package to Israel. Under the fancy rhetoric of “hope” and “yes we can”, mass surveillance programmes expanded internally and externally.
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Who will lock up the President?

By Raffique Shah
November 10, 2020

Raffique ShahIt was a critical juncture in the history of the United States of America, when its outgoing president, having lied his way to sitting in a position of close-to-supreme power back in 2016, was poised to steal the keys to the Oval office for the second time, in plain view of hundreds of millions of Americans who had just exercised their right to elect a president and other high government officials, a momentous occasion that the rest of the world monitored with a mixture of disbelief and trepidation.
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Basta Trump; Welcome Biden

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 09, 2020

A presidency born in a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace appeared on the edge of ending in a lie about his own faltering bid for re-election.

—Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt’s 5:15 am on Friday morning. CNN has announced that Joe Biden has taken a lead in Ruby Red Georgia by 917 votes and many of us believe we can begin to exhale. We are about to get a president who will allow us to breathe again.

At 5:39 am, the NY Times headline announces: “Biden edges into a lead in Georgia as Nation awaits winner.” It was almost as though most of these outlets wanted to breathe a sigh of relief: “We have had enough of Trump.”
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