Category Archives: Violence

Disliking African Materials

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 26, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn the same day Derek Chauvin, a white police officer in the US, was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a black man, Gerald Ramdeen, attorney for suspended Inspector Mark Hernandez, head of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), defended the innocence of Hernandez, who was charged with misbehaviour in public office.

Ramdeen remarked: “Mark represents a true patriot of Trinidad and Tobago and was responsible for weeding out heinous criminals and monsters who plague society off the streets. If there were more patriots like him Trinidad and Tobago would not be in the situation it is today.” (Express, April 20.)
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Who really are the monsters?

By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
February 23, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSome people described the killing of Andrea Bharatt as “monstrous”, “brutal”, “horrible”, and “barbarous”. Those responsible for her death were called “monsters” or “Lucifers in the flesh”.

An autopsy showed the horrendous manner in which Andrea was killed. Rich and poor, Africans and Indians, urban and rural folks, were all repulsed by the barbarity of her killers.
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Monsters & Monstrosities

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 15, 2021

“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

—Toni Morrison, Beloved

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFaris Al-Rawi was in a fighting mood last Monday. He was not afraid to outline the depths to which we, as a people, had descended. Calling on the Opposition to support the Evidence Amendment Bill to deal with the “monsters” who had committed a heinous act against Andrea Bharatt, he declared: “Today, we have an opportunity… to stop monsters.”

Ascending to rhetorical heights, he chastised citizens who were trying to salvage a sliver of their humanity by speaking out against an inhuman strain that had arisen in our society:
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Do not pollute protests with politics

By Raffique Shah
February 15, 2021

Raffique ShahI was wondering how many more candlelight vigils that seemed to be a genuine groundswell of public opinion on violent crimes against women would be staged in the name of abduction and murder victim Andrea Bharatt before two-by-two politicians sought to hijack what they would see as a mass movement they could ride for narrow self-interests, from photo-opportunities and media coverage to the prospect of political power.
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Candles, tears and selected outrage

By Aileen Alexis
February 11, 2021

lettersThe kidnapping and murder of a young court clerk, Andrea Bharratt has evoked strong emotions from a wide cross-section of the Trinibagonian population. Protests, vigils and calls for legislation regarding the use of non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray and tasers, and the resumption of hangings have all become some of the manifestations of these emotions.
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Be careful when you hunt rapists

By Raffique Shah
February 08, 2021

Raffique ShahTHE outrage expressed by many people over the most recent case of the abduction and murder of a young woman is understandable.

We cannot believe that there exist among us depraved people who are capable of committing atrocities, inflicting extreme violence on women with seemingly consummate ease and callous detachment. It’s as if they are cast in some science fiction horror movie, acting out their darkest obsessions and cruellest fantasies, except the victims are real live people who end up very dead, sometimes mutilated and tortured before they die.
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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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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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