Category Archives: Politics

The politics of redemption

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 04, 2022

We must never forget that there is something within human nature that can respond to goodness, that man is not totally depraved; to put it in theological terms, the image of God is never totally gone.

—Martin Luther King, Jr, A Testament of Hope

PART II

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI had hoped to write about another aspect of the Foster Cummings debate, but other questions arose since last week which means I have to clear a lot of ground before I continue these observations.

Reading (or the explication of texts) is not so easy as many people believe it to be. A theologian goes to theology school to learn how to interpret theological texts (we call it exegesis). The lawyer goes to law school to learn how to read legal texts (whether the original intention or from a contemporary setting). Literary scholars go to graduate school to learn the most fortuitous way to examine literary texts.
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SEA Results Must be Published

By Stephen Kangal
July 03, 2022

Stephen KangalPrimary students write an annual competitive SEA Examination that determines, inter alia, where the students are to receive their best secondary schooling of choice to foster their academic development and their career paths.

These results have been published since its inception.

First the PNM interfered with the CAPE scholarships criteria by cutting down the number and even tinkering with the allocation based on subjectivity.
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The politics of redemption

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 27, 2022

Old pirates, yes, they rob I / Sold I to the merchant ships/ Minutes after they took I / From the bottomless pit / But my hand was made strong /By the hand of the Almighty / We forward in this generation / Triumphantly.

—Bob Marley, “Redemption Song”

PART I

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the 1970s I had the privilege of teaching the late Fr Henry Charles at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He was one of the most brilliant students I have ever taught. In fact, he was more brilliant than I in certain respects. I taught a course on West Indian literature, and he seemed to know everything about the writers we were discussing. I deferred to him on many occasions when difficult questions came up in class.
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What’s in a slave name?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 20, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe controversy started when Camille Robinson-Regis called Kamla Persad-Bissessar out of her name. Kamla responded by casting aspersions on Camille’s “slave name”, which played right into a deep cultural fissure that exists within our fragile social structure. Whatever the merits of either argument, as my mother would have said, “Is de answer does bring the row.” Hopefully, in this case, the answers should allow us to see our cultural blindness.
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Doh mess with ma name

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 13, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAkan people of Ghana, from which my lineage springs, have a naming ceremony eight or ten days after a child is born. It is called the Outdoor Ceremony, where the child is brought into the outdoors to see the light of day.

During that ceremony, the child is given a name that confers a specific identity upon him or her. Not a tear is shed if that child dies before the naming ceremony. It is as if that entity never existed, so precious is a person’s name in that society.
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If the priest could play…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 24, 2022

Liberty trains for liberty. Responsibility is the first step in responsibility. Even the restraints imposed in the training of men and children are restraints that will in the end make greater freedom possible.

—WEB Du Bois, John Brown

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen we voted for the PNM in 2015, we felt that we were voting to end corruption and to bring to justice those who had stolen from the State. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Seven long years after PNM’s ascendancy to power, no one has been found guilty of any major crime of corruption, but then again, all those allegations may have been a mirage in our collective imagination.
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A leader of destiny

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 09, 2022

PART I

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe“The greatest supporter of the movement is / A young barrister who has made the workers’ struggle his / I’m referring to Adrian Cola Rienzi / Undoubtedly a leader of destiny / Who is working the workers to agi­tate / To eradicate and co-operate.”

—Attila the Hun, “Trade Unionism”

Last week I concluded my article by highlighting that Independence brought us many challenges. They included fusing the many ethnic groups together, bridging the increasing gap between the rich and poor, and the spectre of corruption in our midst. I hadn’t yet heard Karen Tesheira’s comments on the possibility of the Government’s corruption so I couldn’t comment on it.
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Enter the jesters

By Raffique Shah
May 09, 2022

Raffique ShahTry as you might have done to ignore the launch of three political parties in tiny Trini­dad and Tobago over the past few weeks, you really had to be a recluse or monk to escape the noise emanating from the war zones that politicians occupy.

While on my own business, as Trinis would say, seeking information online on some issues pertaining to trade, seemingly out of nowhere popped the Duke of Tobago (and Trinidad), Watson his given name, oozing bombast as he spoke about his party, the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP), coming to Trinidad on a rescue mission. The Duke was addressing his soon-to-be subjects, assuring them his party was the only hope to save the country from collapse.
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The price of progress – Pt II

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 02, 2022

PART IPART II

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe general election of 1946 ushered in a new phase in Trinidad and Tobago’s political development, in that it was the year in which universal suffrage was introduced into the island. In that year, Patrick Solomon formed the West Indian National Party with Dr David Pitt, which later became the Caribbean Socialist Party.

Between 1950 and 1956, Albert Gomes, who considered himself “the logical successor to Captain Cipriani”, formed the Party of Political Progress Groups to contest the 1956 election. Owen Mathurin argues, “Gomes’s outstanding ambition was to outdo Cipriani and replace him as the hero in the hearts of the black working class.” Although the Colonial Office saw Gomes as their “blue-eyed boy”, he was not regarded as the champion of the working class, as he had seen himself.
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Bad teachers, bad parents

By Raffique Shah
May 02, 2022

Raffique ShahGood news is hard to come by nowadays. So young journalists, spawned on a diet of blood, gore, corruption, crime, suffering and worse, have become nihilists without knowing what the word means. And readers of conventional newspapers and electronic media audiences, especially the misnamed “social media”, will not recognise a decent story if it hits them between the eyes, so immersed are they in the lies, half-truths and raw sewage that pass for information on the 5G superhighway that rules our lives, imprisons our minds with such stealth, we degenerate into clones, drones and assorted mindless, brainless creatures to the extent that when we look into the mirror, we see nothing, because there is nothing to see.
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