Category Archives: Racism Watch

Do Black Lives Matter in Trinidad?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 06, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhile the world has been impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement, none of the political parties of T&T has issued a statement on its relevance to black people of this country. Nor, for that matter, have they told us how they will deal with the impoverishment, unemployment, alienation and miseducation of our black youths.

Necessarily, black youths from these under resourced communities have reminded us that black lives matter and that there must be an accounting for past wrongs and present grievances. Predictably, there will be more clashes between the police and the youths of these deprived communities if things continue as they are going.
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Brute Force, Blame and Bigotry: Police Killings in Morvant

By A. Hotep
July 05, 2020

lettersSome people in this country are intent on shifting the dialogue away from the questionable and seemingly extrajudicial killing of three men by the police in Morvant, which was captured on CCTV footage, to centering discussions on the conduct of black youths in deprived communities. The obfuscation of the issue, evident in the commentaries by leaders, and echoed by radio and online commentators, perpetuates the view that when black people in poor communities are killed and otherwise abused, it is they who are at fault. Another twist to the narrative by the police and by the government is the claim that protests against the killings are part of an organised plot to destabilise the country. This perspective serves the agenda of those who have orchestrated and/or sanctioned the use of strong-arm tactics to stifle the protests. Meanwhile, the real issues of community neglect, crime (including white colour crime) and the heavy-handed approach of the police in these mostly black communities are pushed aside.
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Black American Lives Have Always Mattered…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 29, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAbout one hundred yards north of Whitehall, there is a short street, Maxwell Philip Street, that is located between Prada and Scott streets, in St. Clair, Port of Spain. It is no more than 500 yards long. Although it is located in an affluent part of the city, it commemorates the life of a very important member of our community.

Philip, one of the most respected and accomplished Afro-Trinbagonians of the nineteenth century, might be little known to our contemporaries. However, given the impact that Black Lives Matter (BLM) is having on the present era and the interest it has generated all over the world, it might be wise to become acquainted with Philip, his importance in our history, and the enduring connection of the BLM to Afro-Trinbagonians.
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Be Careful How You Treat Black People

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 29, 2020

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man, without finding the other end of it about his own neck.”

—Frederick Douglass

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFor the past three weeks, the world’s attention has been transfixed by the racial tensions that engulfed the United States. We, in T&T may have been spared “the most vulgar displays of systemic racism” as the prime minister said but, as the old people say: “What miss yo’ ent pass yo.”

The massive resistance against the racism that engulfed the US has to do with how white people and their government treat black people on a day-to-day basis. In T&T I am not sure that our government and those in power are treating its black citizens as they should. An immediate example is how PNM’s Screening Committee treated (and is treating) Robert Le Hunte because he took “a principled stance” on an important issue.
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The issues that matter most

By Raffique Shah
June 09, 2020

Raffique ShahAmerica was set to implode sometime soon when four police officers, going about a patrol in Minneapolis, did what many of their colleagues routinely do—subdue a black suspect with excessive force and recklessness, and quite possibly oozing rabid racism. Within minutes, George Floyd, who moaned “I can’t breathe” several times as one police officer knelt on his neck, was dead.

A courageous 16-year-old girl video-taped and broadcast the death live on the Internet, and almost instantly, millions of people were alerted to the atrocity. In Minneapolis, demonstrations against police brutality and racism erupted. Soon, protests against the police and other state institutions spread across America. People who had just emerged from two months of home confinement because of the deadly CORVID-19 pandemic, were outraged.
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“Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired”

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
June 07, 2020

Dr. Kwame NantambuEver since they were brought involuntarily and violently from Mother Africa in 1619 to be enslaved on plantations in the United States, enslaved Africans and their descendants have been the victims of Code Noir, Jim Crow laws, Lynch Laws, Ku Klux Klan, the infamous “Three Fifths Clause”, “Grandfather Clause”. Racial segregation, institutionalized racism, “selective prosecution”, racial profiling, “Stand your Ground” law, just to highlight a few injustices.
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Letter to My Grandson

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 01, 2020

My dear Josh:

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI write to you at what is supposed to be a happy time although it is tinged with sadness.

The happiness first.

You have spent seventeen years preparing for your graduation day. It is a time to celebrate with your parents and your friends, your teachers and loved ones, after years of hard work and dedication. You have been to summer camps—you even had a stint at one of the leading technology companies in the country—as you strove to carve out a space to begin your new adventure in college and to think about what you want to do after you graduate from college.
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The Lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 25, 2020

PART 2

“All that is needed on the part of the Negro to attain his rightful place [in this society] is to embark on a wild binge of destruction and plunder.”

—Trevor Sudama

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAbout five years ago several Eric Williams scholars were invited to investigate Eric Williams’s work at Oxford University before continuing on to Senate House, London. Brinsley Samaroo, one of the invited scholars, gave an illuminating lecture on Williams after which I asked him whether Williams had called Indo-Trinidadians, rather than a segment of members of the Democratic Labor Party, “a recalcitrant hostile minority.” His answer was an emphatic “No. He did not.”
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The Lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 11, 2020

PART 1

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI was stunned but not surprised by Roodal Moonilal’s letter to Joseph Mondello, US Ambassador to T&T, asking the US government to act against the best interest of our homeland. His lame excuse, a mea culpa perhaps, was: “If the United States imposes no sanctions against Trinidad and Tobago it will be because of the action of the United National Congress” (Express, May 5). As Mondello asserted, the US does not need Moonilal to tell it where its interests lies.
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COVID-19 & African-Americans

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
May 07, 2020

Dr. Kwame NantambuIndeed, one of the most tragic and realistic fall-outs of the novel, contagious COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is its most violent and deleterious impact/attack on African-Americans. Population statistics reveal that African-Americans comprise 13.4% of the national population but yet account for the following: in May 2020, Wisconsin African-Americans are only a miniscule 6.7% of the population but have accounted for a whopping 32% of COVID-19 deaths; in Michigan, African-Americans account for 14% of the population but 40% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths; in Missouri, African-Americans comprise 12% of its population but 40% of its COVID-19 deaths; while the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out that nation-wide, African-Americans are 33% of all hospitalized cases.
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