Category Archives: International

America’s New Jim Crowism

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 06, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn March 25, Georgia’s Representative Park Cannon, a Black woman and state senator, was arrested for knocking on the door of the private office of Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, as he and six white men signed a law that effectively suppressed the right of Black people to vote in local, state and federal elections. Cannon was charged with two felony counts for obstruction of law enforcement and disruption of the General Assembly that is likely to send her to prison for eight years if she is found guilty.
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Don’t Let God Stueps on Us

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 31, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe UK and the EU have populations of 68 million and 746 million people respectively. On Tuesday the UK tried to make up with the EU over its misunderstanding about the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. Boris Johnson, UK’s prime minister, sent Lord Eddie Lister, to Brussels, the headquarters of the EU, “as part of an effort to secure millions of doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine vital to UK’s fight against coronavirus” (FT, March 23).
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Right, wrong, but spot on

By Raffique Shah
March 29, 2021

Raffique ShahLast week, dealing with the new vaccines that are unfolded almost daily to fight the Covid19 pandemic, I unfairly targeted the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation as having betrayed countries like Trinidad and Tobago that have adhered to the rules of engagement, quietly awaiting their turns to the first allocations of whatever brand of the vaccine the global and regional health organisations have secured.
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Remove these shackles

By Raffique Shah
March 08, 2021

Raffique ShahIf a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.
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Backward Ever

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 09, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am still trying to understand why Blue Waters needed to import 39 non-nationals to work on its bottling plant when there is such high unemployment among our youths and specialized workers from Petrotrin and other related enterprises.

When Kamla Persad-Bissessar questioned Stuart Young about this matter, the latter mansplained: “This was a request by a manufacturer to bring in specialized workers to upgrade their plant. This is not unusual or unique. The persons entering would have presented their negative PCR test, they will be paying for their quarantine at a State-supervised quarantine facility” (Express, January 30, 2021).
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Leaders or Liars

By Raffique Shah
February 01, 2021

Raffique ShahI prefix what I write here today with an article of faith that I have learnt to value, especially as I grow older: speak up, speak out, whenever I feel strongly about something, when I see lies being promoted as the truth, when I see evil portrayed as good, mine must be a voice of reason in a world that appears to be consumed by misinformation at a time when ‘fake news’ is ingested by herds of humans and regurgitated as gospel truths.
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A Skinny Black Girl

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 26, 2021

“We the successors of a country and a time/Where a skinny Black girl/descended from slaves and raised by a single mother/ can dream of becoming president [of the United States].”

—Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn May 31, 1849, Owen Finnegan, Joe Biden’s great-great grandfather from Ireland, arrived in New York aboard the ship Brothers. He was part of an oppressed people who were fleeing their country because of “caste oppression and a system of landlordism that made the condition of the Irish peasant comparable to those of an American slave” (Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White). “America,” Ignatiev explained, “scooped up the displaced Irish and made them its unskilled labor force.”
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Looking Beneath the Surface

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 12, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeViewers around the world were struck by the Trump-inspired mob that stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday. The Boston Globe editorialized: “‘When did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?’ That’s what the reviled monster asks Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s classic novel, but it’s also what the angry mob of thousands who stormed the US Capitol in an insurrection on Wednesday could well ask soon-to-be-former Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans who fled the House chamber” (January 7).

The US has never dealt fully with the monsters of race and racism that is buried deep within its entrails. The white insurrectionists who invaded the Capitol feared that their positional superiority would be undermined and they would no longer control a republic they had dominated since the republic began.
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America’s shame

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2020

Raffique ShahAs decent Americans try to come to terms with the shameful conduct of their president and his robotic army of white supremacists, dumb nationalists and sundry dissidents of multiple obscure persuasions, billions of people around the world who have suffered at the uneven, prejudiced hands of the world’s greatest power will be inclined to gloat, to celebrate its implosion.
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Be Very Afraid

By Raffique Shah
December 22, 2020

Raffique ShahAs we come close to the end of the year 2020, millions of people around the world who believe in God in one form or other will be praying to their deity that nothing cataclysmic happens in the dying days of what is probably the most tumultuous year in our lifetime. Really, after Covid-19 swept through planet Earth with a death-dealing ferocity that numbed the mind, what worse punishment could God conjure to hurl at man to teach him just who is who in the planetary pecking order? How much more adversity can tiny Trinidad and Tobago withstand, caught as it is in the cross-hairs of an economic meltdown multiplied by a migrant crisis that has damaged our reputation as well as strained our resilience?
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