Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 3

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 20, 2018


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt’s an iconographic image, one that is indicative of our times: the destruction of black men in an age of unreason and indifference.

There they are: a brother in a blue polo shirt that reads “salopian” on his breast. Another brother holds him back as he vents his anger against Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds on Old St. Joseph Road. Brother Hinds, decked out in a Panama hat and trademark deadlocks that falls below his waist, seemed absolutely engrossed in the pain and anger directed against him (Guardian, June 9).

The scene: three black people gunned down in a day’s work.

Unendingly, the killing goes on.

Sixteen-year-old Joshua James was seated on the front steps of his Laventille home when a gunman killed him in cold blood.

Carlos Abraham, 38, was walking along Old St. Joseph Road when the same gunman who killed James shot and killed Carlos.

Curtis “Nagi” Hepburn, 49, was found in a dirt tract next to Liberty Bar in the same area. An unknown assailant killed him.

These tragedies took place in the island’s most densely populated African area, which, not so long ago, “affirmed its West African ancestors and provided a sense of how it functioned as a domestic/religious sphere for the construction of an external spiritual family” (Stephen Stuempfle, Port of Spain).

A Laventille resident who witnessed the killings shouted: “Allyuh in a war and allyuh don’t know who allyuh fighting against? Allyuh in a war and don’t know who are the targets.”

Minister Lovell Francis tweeted: “Condolences to the students and staff of Success Laventille Secondary School on the loss of another young life. This must stop.” He seemed a distant observer, viewing a surrealist event, unable to utter anything but vague platitudes.

Black people are being killed daily and yet they continue to support the PNM, the black party, uncritically, almost as though these killings have nothing to do with the future of our race.

Afro-Trinidadians “were first imported in 1517. They constituted only 11 percent of the population (310) in 1783” (Trinidad and Tobago Colonial Heritage, Library of Congress). In 1803, six years after the British captured Trinidad from the Spanish, there were 2,261 whites, 5,272 free people of color (mixed race), 20,467 Africans and 1,000 Amerindians making up a total population 28,000 people. Africans constituted 73 percent of the population although some of free people of color identified as black.

East Indians arrived in 1845. When indentureship ended in 1917, they were about one third of the population. In 1946, Indians consisted of 35.1 percent of the population; Africans 46.9; Mixed 14.1 percent. By 1990, things changed: Indians consisted of about 40.3 percent of the population; Africans 39.6; Mixed 18.4. The 2011 Census figures read: Indians 37.6 percent of the population, Africans 36.3 percent, and Mixed 24.2 percent.

In July 2017 the CIA World Factbook estimated that the population of T&T consisted of East Indians (35.4 percent); Africans (34.2 percent); Mixed 15.3 percent; Mixed African/East Indian, 7.7 percent. The 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects estimated that our total population was 1,364,962 in 2016 (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs).

I sent Stanley S. Chang, the Mildred Lane Professor of Mathematics at Wellesley College and Zhiqing (Peter) Chen, Chairman of the Mathematics Department at William Paterson University (New Jersey), our census figures from 1946 onward and asked them to project the ethnic makeup of T&T’s population in 2030.

Based on linear regression modeling, Chang estimated that by 2030, the Indian population would grow to 588,000 (or 40.5 percent); Africans to 525,000 (a decrease from 36.3 to 36.1 percent); and the mixed group 339,000 (a decrease from 24.2 to 23.4 percent). Chen projected Indians would grow to 775,977 (40.8 percent); Africans to 614,911 (32.3 percent); and the mixed group to 417,065 (21.9 percent.)

While there is a discrepancy in the round numbers, each scholar saw Indians growing; Africans and the mixed population remaining static. Africans will remain a minority while the influx of Venezuelans, Chinese, and other immigrants may change the mixed group percentage.

According to the 2011 Census, there are 435,875 citizens between the ages of 20-39 years of which 148,197 were black. We call them millennials, persons between the ages of 22 and 37. Banks define them as being in “the most important age range for economic activity. [It is] when babies are born and money is spent not just on going out but on settling down” (Financial Times, June 7.) They are pessimistic, do not believe things will change, and are incredibly skeptical of governments and big corporations (read “the one percenters”).

Blacks are killing blacks even as they decrease as a percentage of the population. They do not control any substantial part of the economy and have no reason to believe they ever will. They are the highest percentage of inmates in the REMAND YARD and prisons with little prospect of that figure decreasing. Yet my government proceeds as though we do not have an existentialist crisis on our hands.

Last Saturday MP Hinds, again with his Panama hat, conducted “a spiritual walk” in his constituency. After his walk, he declared: “God is truly great!”

I wonder if he expects God to come down from His heaven to save the people of Laventille.

9 thoughts on “Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 3”

  1. “In July 2017 the CIA World Factbook estimated that the population of T&T consisted of East Indians (35.4 percent); Africans (34.2 percent); Mixed 15.3 percent; Mixed African/East Indian, 7.7 percent. The 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects estimated that our total population was 1,364,962 in 2016 (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs).”

    So who is killing off the Indians? They seem to be in a steady decline. The modern Indian woman had her liberation, thanks to the PNM with those ‘wonderful’ policies that have her successful today… They say the price of success is high…
    No wonder that UWI lecturer was calling on ‘them’ to give up their ‘careers’ and return to being ‘good housewives’ in that Indian Arrival Day speech at the Nagar… But she won’t give up hers.
    Kamla just did not have the numbers to pull off a second term.
    They know what they are up against if TRENDS continue as they are… It’s why their agents are in the media pimping this Rasta City/Muslim gang war on African.

    *A Laventille resident who witnessed the killings shouted: “Allyuh in a war and allyuh don’t know who allyuh fighting against? Allyuh in a war and don’t know who are the targets.”*

    As I pass thru DC and witness GENTRIFICATION… One thing I did not see much of, was children… Only Pet Parents.

  2. It would be interesting to have statistics on Indians, Blacks and Mixed in relation to application towards: work ethic, productivity, horticultural/agricultural hobbies, control of the economy, etc. Then choose one of the criteria e.g., economic control and introduce the Syrians and Chinese in relation to their percentage makeup of the population into the equation and see if we can elucidate an explanation as to who really controls the private and public sectors of the economy on the knowledge that the Africans control political power.

    Further, let’s look at the crime rate and see if we can figure out from your dissertation if one of the reasons for African decline (73% 1783, 46.9% 1845, 39.6% 1990, 36.3% 2011 and now projected to 32.3% 2030) can be asserted here taking into account the litany of woes from Boysie Singh, Dalipsingh Dole Chadee et al of the Indian brotherhood. Who really should take responsibility here? I like your submission of Hinds ‘God is truly great’. Is that frustration or desperation on his part?

    Maybe the future is in the hands of the Mixed race who would be the stabilizing force as Generation Z (today) and not the present Millennials. Eric Williams projected (without regression analysis) the dougla to be one race that precipitated his move to replace white faces from banks 1956 onwards. Keep in mind the hands that fed that thought (Eric Williams) was soon to be bitten off by the black power movement in 1970. Lee Quan Yew took an insignificant country and transform it to a powerhouse and yet we have failed being blessed with abundance of mineral wealth.

    By the way keep up the research and good work as knowledge is power.

  3. Many Africans are turning to crime as a source of income and economic activity.
    African youth are being deprived of educational opportunities by an outdated, traditional system of education which is failing to meet their needs.
    Ironically, the last Minister of Education under the PP government had begun to make the right changes to accommodate learning and instructional needs of different learners. The new Minister is a traditional dinosaur who has reversed many progressive initiatives which would have benefitted disadvantaged learners.
    The African areas mentioned by Dr. Cudjoe have an overabundance of different and disadvantaged, non-traditional learners whose strengths are not valued or recognized by the system of examination oriented education offered by our schools.
    Our system does not value artistic, cultural, sports, creative or musical abilities for entrance into the better schools.
    If many differently gifted African youths continue to be deprived of better educational opportunities, they will turn to criminal activities as forms of economic advancement.

  4. Africans in T&T are too obsessed with keeping Indians out of the corridors of power, political and symbolic.
    The PNM is and has always been the puppet of the one percenters, whose primary interest is maintaining the status quo and perpetuating the racial and ethnic imbalance.
    Hind’s Panama hat is indeed very symbolic.

  5. Dear Loyal Trini:

    Thanks for your kind words. I really think we need to know a bit more about our origins, particularly as we get ready to celebrate the 200th anniversary of our formal liberation. I believe “knowledge is power” and education is an important tool in our quest for our liberation.

  6. i wonder how the political climate would be now if the mass migration did not take placed in the mid 80′ and the 90’0. Many Indians like myself left TT for better economic opportunity, the Indian population would be much more than it is today.

  7. TMan, you say “african youth are being deprived of educational opportunities.” Let me ask, by who? You know who are depriving them, their deadbeat sperm donours and single mothers who do not push them to get an education or learn a trade. That’s the problem with black youths all over.The learned Ductah knows what’s happening with black youths in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, DC, POS etc, etc.Blacks are always blaming somebody or something for their failure. As I asked before, who has controlled the Gov’t, the civil service, the education system in T&T for the past 50 years?

  8. I don’t see why the the fate of a few residents of a backward place like Laventille needs to consume so much time and space and literature in T&T. What about places like Arima, Point Fortin and La Brea which are thriving. Can we learn for these more successful places?

    By the way a cursory study of world history will show that populations come and go based economic forces. Before 1492 the entire continents of North and South America were entirely populated by Amerindian tribes. Where are they today? and who cries for them. I suggest Mr Cudjoe stick to social studies and stay away from statistics and other similar scientific disciplines since he has neither the training or understanding of these subjects to be informative.

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