Securing Our Future in Turbulent Times

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 01, 2009 –

Emancipation(A lecture delivered by Professor Cudjoe at the 9th Annual Emancipation Day Dinner of the National Association for the Empowerment of African People [NAEAP] at the Center of Excellence, Tunapuna, Trinidad, July 31, 2009. Professor Cudjoe is the president of NAEAP.)

The theme of this evening’s celebration is “Securing Our Future in Turbulent Times.” The “our” in this title refers to Africans in Trinidad and Tobago and their prospects in what we anticipate will be turbulent times. The government has advanced the prospect of creating a developed society by the year 2020 and that is a desirable objective. But development has more to do with the cultivation of the all-round development of human beings than it has to do with the accumulation of worldly goods and the satisfaction of our animal needs as Karl Marx observed in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844). For several years, the National Urban League in the United States put out a scientific survey entitled, “State of Black America” in which it gave a detailed report on where African-Americans stood in terms of the economy. If the National Association for the Empowerment of African People (NAEAP) had the necessary funds we, too, would mount a similar survey to determine just where Africans stand in terms of jobs in the various professions; family incomes; attendance at university vis-à-vis the national population. It is only if such a survey could prepare us to understand our standing in any future Trinidad and Tobago.

Emancipation Day has always been set aside to commemorate the dreadful experiences of Africans in the New World under the terrible ordeal of European slavery in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries and to communicate where we stood in our society at any given moment. In Trinidad and Tobago emancipation has been celebrated off and on since 1887 when African intellectuals and activists had a big row with Governor William Robinson as to how best to celebrate their glorious day. On August 1, 1888, fifty years after emancipation, Canon Philip Douglin, pastor of St. Clements Church in Ste. Madeleine, delivered the first Emancipation Day lecture in which he spoke about the psychological damage that slavery had done to enslaved Africans.

Canon Douglin was a Pan-Africanist. J. J. Thomas’s Froudacity, a magisterial defense of African people against the tirades of James Anthony Froude, Professor of History at Oxford University, drew on the work of Canon Douglin. In 1891 Sylvester Williams of Arouca left Trinidad for the United States. Eventually, he arrived in London where he organized the first Pan African Conference in London in 1900 that spoke to the total liberation of African people on the continent and in the diaspora. In 1901 he returned to Trinidad to preach his message of African independence. Many of the leading intellectuals and activists at the time such as Emmanuel Lazare, Edgar Maresse-Smith, C. P. David, H. A. Nurse, the father of George Padmore, Joseph de Suze, the author of Little Folks Trinidad, and Steven Cobham, the author of Rupert Grey: A Tale in Black and White attended Williams’ meetings. In San Fernando, according to the Mirror, representatives from “the most intelligent and better classes (both sexes) of the coloured and black sections of the town and the Naparimas” attended the meeting that was chaired by Canon Douglin. Mrs. Philip John, secretary of the Pan African group, described the work of Williams as “maturing the work begun by [Thomas] Clarkson and [William] Wilberforce.”

The teachers in Port of Spain also held a dinner to honor Williams who urged them to instruct their students in such a way that they would become “interested in the welfare of their country and so imbued with manly principles, that they would stand squarely together in their own cause.” H. A. Nurse attended the dinner. Williams could not predict that Nurse’s son, George Padmore, would emerge as the “father of African emancipation” as one writer described him. Padmore, who died in 1959, became one of Kwame Nkrumah’s most trusted advisers.

Dr. Eric Williams, the first prime minister of our country, was a close friend of Padmore who in1944 published the English edition of Dr. Williams’ book The Negro in the Caribbean. In 1955 Dr. Williams traveled to London to discuss PNM’s draft party program and constitution with Padmore, C. L. R. James, and Arthur Lewis even before the party was formed. Such a historical trajectory suggests a direct connection between our nationalist struggle of the 20th century and the emancipation movement of the19th century that is chronicled in the works and activities J. J. Thomas, Canon Douglin, Sylvester Williams, and George Padmore. Dr. Williams and the PNM took the lead to concretize this connection, and Prime Minister George Chambers completed the task when he declared August 1 a national holiday to officially commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Africans.

I recount this historic evolution of theory and practice to emphasize that the primary focus of Emancipation Day has always been the well-being of Africans in this land. As we contemplate the future of Africans in what we predict will be turbulent times, we need to recognize that although a black man was elected to the presidency of the United States black folks still have a long way to travel to achieve full equality as the arrest of my friend and colleague Henry Louis Gates of Harvard University demonstrates.

We are neither post-racial nor race neutral in this country. Race, as a determinant of our life chances, ought not to be minimized. Similarly, having a black prime minister and a black government in Trinidad and Tobago does not ensure that equality is guaranteed to all citizens nor that it will be in the future. In the absence of the attempt to empower Africans particularly through groups such as NAEAP one cannot be sure whether we are going forward or backward. Indeed, many believe that the latter is true.

Such a preamble brings me to the remarks made by our esteemed Member of Parliament Dr. Tim Gopeesingh about “ethnic cleansing” at the Port of Spain General Hospital and his observation that this institution is now an African hospital presumably because there are some Nigerians doctors work there now. In his worldview, there is no place for Africans in this land. If Tim Goopesingh does not know exactly what the term ethnic cleansing means after 1.5 million Armenians were killed in Turkey between 1915 and 1918; where close to one million Cambodians were killed in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979; and where almost one million Tutsis were killed in Rwanda in 1994, then I am more sorry for the country than I am for Dr. Gopeesingh especially when one contemplates the mentality of those persons who have put themselves forward as the leaders of an alternative government.

Ethnic cleansing is a war crime. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes ethnic cleansing as “the attempt to create ethnically homogeneous geographic areas through the deportation or forcible displacements of persons belonging particular ethnic groups.” In 1948 the United Nations defined genocide as any of the following acts “committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group including a) killing members of that group; b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of that group; or c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” The people of Trinidad and Tobago will have to decide whether what transpired (and is transpiring) at the Port of Spain General Hospital and by extension the nation reaches that threshold level of ethnic cleansing.

These charges get even more bizarre when statistics confirm that 80 percent of the country’s doctors are East Indians; 74 percent are radiographers while 44 percent are medical technologists. Approximately 55 percent of the medical doctors at the Port of Spain General Hospital are East Indians. Drawing on Thomas Sowell’s work Kelvin, Baldeosingh has pointed out a tendency of certain groups to gravitate towards certain professions which may have little to do with racism and much more to do with ethnic preferences in terms of occupations.

This, too, can be a tricky proposition. In his article “Race or Cultural Preference?” (Express, July 26, 2009), Baldeosingh pointed out that close to 80 percent of the medical students in Trinidad are East Indians. This may not be so much about ethnic preference in professions since many of the medical doctors in Trinidad during the early part of the 20th century were Africans or Europeans. Today African students who want to study medicine choose to go abroad since they are systematically excluded from our local medical school. At Howard University in Washington D.C., Trinidad and Tobago has the second largest contingency of foreign students after Nigeria; many of them are studying medicine there because they could not get into our medical school.

I want to place another claim of ethnic discrimination in perspective. The Maha Sabha and other advocates for Indian superiority usually advance the claims that East Indians in the Civil Service are discriminated against even though I don’t think they would go so far as to assert that ethnic cleansing exists in the Civil Service. Suffice it to say that the findings of eight cases of discrimination in a Civil Service of approximately 70,000 persons cannot be presented as a proof positive of the systematic discrimination of East Indians in the Service.

Such posturing leads to another example of how skewed things get in our society and how advocates of ethnic advantage seek to hide attempts at achieving racial advantage under the guise of democratic demands. I refer to a recent motion of no confidence in the attorney general that was passed by the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. Fifteen of the 16 members of the Executive Council of the Law Association are East Indians which suggests that if we are not talking of racial preference we are certainly talking of ethnic dominance. Such a motion stuck us in NAEAP as the use of a respected institution to promote a racist agenda.

On June 6, 2009, we wrote to Mr. Martin Daly, president of the Law Association, to express our concerns. NAEAP could see no legitimate reason why the Law Association should “mount an attack on the Attorney General who had in the past demonstrated his mettle by putting his shoulder to the wheel in an attempt to weed out corruption at the highest level.” We also noted the tendency of the Law Association to target Africans for disciplinary action and censure.

In his gracious reply to us on July 2, Mr. Daly rejected our charges and assured us that election to his Council was open to all regardless of color, creed, or race “provided they are willing to give up the considerable time necessary in order to serve,” which suggests that only East Indians were willing to undertake the hard work of representing the legal profession. A meeting of NAEAP and ten other concerned groups that took place at Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union Building on July 18 to protest the racist posture of the Law Association got little coverage by the media although this meeting was held one day after Dr. Gopeesingh made his infamous comment on ethnic cleansing. We released a press statement on this matter. Nothing was heard about it. One might think the African community had no position on this matter or any other matter. In this country Africans were and continue to be voiceless.

This brings me to the central thrust of my argument. Dr. Gopeesingh is free to say what he wants to say; the Law Association is free to attack a black attorney general; and our medical school is free to take in who it wishes to even though such racial exclusion is illegal. The press of this country says nothing of the systematic silencing of our people, yet their headlines are blazoned with everything that is negative about black people. The Honorable Prime Minister has pointed out the bias of the press as has Stanley John, former Court Appeals Judge. Both have insisted on the media’s responsibility to inform and to educate the public. Taking exception to these characterizations, the Express informed its readers that the Prime Minister “appears to have confused the media’s duty to inform the public with the media’s having an anti-Government bias” (Express, July 30).

Yet the truth remains: nothing that we say in the black community is ever reported as is evidenced by the press release we sent to the media about the Law Association. Nothing of importance to the black community is given any space in our media. No black person who expresses a view contrary to the dominant ideology of the media is ever given any space in the newspapers or on the television. Only negative stereotypes of African people are presented in our media. If one were to look at our newspapers on a daily basis, one would be led to believe that the only thing that black people do in Trinidad and Tobago is to kill and maim one another. Nothing of our uniqueness or our contributions to this society is ever published. Instead, anything that GOPIO or the Maha Sabha says is news. Nothing that NAEAP or the Emancipation Support Committee does ever make the news. Looking at our newspapers, no one would know of the tremendously important work that Brother Khafra Kambon is doing with the African Union.

Yet, we cannot cast all of the blame on the media. The black community has not built up its social and cultural resources to promote our achievements and to withstand the onslaught that will only intensify as time goes on. We do not support black organizations such as NAEAP and the Emancipation Support Committee. I can point to no one who has committed his or her resources to the work that NAEAP is doing. Although the founders of the Pan African movement were instrumental in commemorating emancipation, I am not entirely sure that our present government supports the work of African organizations as fully as they might. I call upon the government to give more systematic support to organizations such as ours.

Whether we like it or not, there will be turbulent times ahead for Africans in this country. Africans are now a minority in this society. The Central Statistical Office tells us that presently 40 percent of the population is East Indians whereas 37.5 percent are Africans. This divide is likely to grow as time goes on. If the ethnic trends in voting continue, it is likely that in the next ten years we might see the same pattern that has emerged in Guyana in which the dominant group will hold power in perpetuity. Ninety percent of our prisoners are Africans, and of these 50 percent are unable to read and write. Yet, the Maha Sabha has rejected the Education Act of 1965 in which Dr. Williams called for the total integration of our schools. The Maha Sabha is on record as saying that “schools are to promote love and duty (dharma), not to promote racial integration (douglarisation) or equality in mediocrity” (Express, April 16, 1998). Given the ideology of Tim Goopesingh, the trends seen in the Law and Medical Associations, and the racist exclusivity of the Maha Sabha, we can be sure that our children and our society will be in for turbulent times ahead.

Is there a way out of this dilemma? I think it is imperative that we practice consistent democracy in this land. Our government must be conscious of its responsibility to be seen as acting fairly to its entire people. It must also be aware of the implication of its actions. If we postpone the local elections for three terms for any reason, we should not be surprised if, in the future, a democratically elected government, say the UNC, postpones national elections for three five-year terms which could result in a party remaining in power for close to fifteen years, no matter what the reason it gives.

A government should not lose its moral authority to govern. We must make sure that whatever precedence we establish does not turn around to bite us in the back.

Dr. Williams, President Obama, and even our present government see the promotion of an emancipatory education as one of the ways out of our present dilemma. One must also see the development of entrepreneurial competence as an important adjunct to our quest for liberation. However, if we do not pull ourselves together as a group and support one another, I see only a negative future for Africans in this land. There are some higher class Africans who believe that they are better off than the lower class blacks; light skin blacks who feel they are better off than dark skin blacks; blacks who live in gated communities who feel they are more privileged than blacks who live in the ghetto; and educated blacks who look down contemptuously at less-educated blacks. In the final analysis, most of these distinctions are irrelevant if we do not feel and understand a commonality that is founded more on our culture than our color; on our social and cultural capital than our financial capital. Under the circumstances, I feel it is appropriate to leave you with words that have been attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the Jews and
I did not speak out because
I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and
I did not speak out because
I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and
I did not speak out because
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me.
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

Please, do not let this be the fate of any African person who is listening to my voice or who perchance may read my words.

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13 thoughts on “Securing Our Future in Turbulent Times”

  1. While this is a well written and important piece of work that the good doctor has presented to us, I feel somhow that the intellectual nature of it may pass over the heads of some of our less informaed non-indians. Dr. Cudjoe made all the salient points and given us a straightfor picture of where we are now and wshere we are likely to be, if we dont take stock now and re-position ourselves (racially) to meet the onslaught of future Sats, Devants, Pandays, Gopiesinghs and even Fuads. All these men use words like discrimination, balance, equality, ethnic cleansing and many such related words to indicate that somehow the Indians are the victims of horrible acts by the government to hold them down. When the facts are examined the cases are almost always far from the truth but it highlights a position that catapulted Panday’s reputation into electorial politics. The operating idea is if you make enough noise, people will listen. To underscore Dr. Cudjoe’s point, the media is forever telling us that Devant Maharaj is the leader of GOPIO, ITEC and other groups but the media never educates us as to what these organizations are and what they represents to the rest of the population. How do we benefit by these organizations. How long has GOPIO and ITEC been in T&T and what credentials do their execvutive hold to make national claims of ‘discrimination’?.Coming back to the article, I feel that the ordinary (African) will miss the essence of the history that Dr. Cudjoe is explaining of what happened to us right here in T&T. We need to get the message to our youths that their future is better served in getting a good education and not wasting their money and time in acquiring sneakers. We need to let them know of the innate talent that they posess and how best to channel their talent. We need to find ways to tell our music talents that we have orgaanizations that will help nurture them, our sportsmen that we will recognize and promote them, our future leaders that we will build them, our curious that we will motivate them, our well-learned that we will encourage them to pursue their calling, we must do that no matter where they live. We need to get the word to our less educated and to the curious in our community. We need to make the experience of acknowledgement less complicated and more accessable to the less fortunate in our community.

  2. “We can meet our match with a poodle or with a raging guard dog, but the interesting question is – what happens next?” Pema Chodron Buddhist Nun.

    “Ninety percent of our prisoners are Africans, and of these 50 percent are unable to read and write.” Interesting statistic Doc, I would have thought that all our present criminals activities were the result of foreign raised returning deportees, based on what we were subjected to as facts in our media. This proves your point quite well Doc. Now in the interest of honesty and balance, give me a break down on the amount of suicides, along with rape ,incest and murder of young family members in certain unmentionable parts of our country that are glossed over by our media because it might offend the sensibilities of corporate sponsors . While you are at it tell me who are the usual culprits. You might want to get a survey to indicate how many of the African folks that make up the prison rolls had affordable and competent legal representation, because mom or pop could use their 100 acres of land as collateral for a bank loan or bail money? In the mean time do you hear any bourgeois middle class elites leading the charge for meaningful land reform, as an indirect mechanism to curb recidivism?
    Now if none of us are prepared to hire an ex convict robber, and he cannot plant any garden for survival in John John hills, or open up a five story import food / car business on daddy’s land, then how is he to survive out side of killing, maiming and kidnapping?
    There is this yardstick that a one time Sociology Professor gave me as a tool to test the relevance of a research piece that I might be contemplating. It was called the “so what,” test.
    What is the purpose of my thesis I should ask myself? Is it going to make a dent on society, and advance the cause of mankind, or learning in any tangible way, or is it just going to sit with the millions of others and take up valuable space in some university literary archive, or in our case media? I do not wish to belittle this piece by our good Doctor, but after all is said and done, what may I ask is he proposing? We obviously knew that blatant discrimination and neglect is the norm in our country when it comes to issues relating to our African community. It is also a well known fact that self loathing is common amongst our African Sun God folks that make up 37% of our population, from the virgin continent, and part of this stems from the fact that many have inculcated the negative stereotypical depictions of themselves that are daily displayed by agents of the corporate complicit media.
    The question now therefore is this, what does he propose we do about it? Pat Chokolingo recognized years ago that his Indian community could not depend on main stream media which ten consisted of the Trinidad Express and Guardian to represent the interest of his people , and as a result created the Bomb newspaper , and T&T Mirror, and the rest as we say is history. 9out of 10stories through the years were about atrocious and alleged injustices against his people. Today we have over 40 media outlets, but yet outside of Joseph Umbala , all we are subjected to by mainly African DJ’s and commentators and directors , are stupid jump up music ,and request for tickets for the next Yardee festival , water down Carnival in one of the 50 Yankee states, or visiting overpriced Yankee or similar foreign artist – go figure.
    If the conscious are prepare to remain fixated on old talk whether through fear, or failure to appreciate their responsibilities of giving back in terms of fostering efforts aimed at elevation by building confidence in their own .Then others would take it as a green light to run rough should over their people, and culture, and surprise , surprise, African folks will remain at the back of the pack ,and stupidly think that the only way forward is become someone else either via marriage ,racial and cultural genocide, and other defeatist actions- all the while still naively believing that we are in charge and running this country. What folly!

  3. Curtis questioned why Obama considered himself African American since his mother was White. Curtis knows that 20+% of Trinbagonians ‘considered’ themselves mixed. Maybe he know the impact the Obama effect can/will have on the way these folks see themselves in future censuses …. Plus, that ever growing population never had or will ever have much love for the hostile boat brahims political machinery.

  4. Ironically, I was going to post this as part of my response in another post( Race and Identity in TNT).
    All that I’m trying to say is that you have to have power to defend yourself. Power comes in many forms. Right now if African Trinibagonians had more social and economic power that this so called “DR” would have made such offensive comments? I don’t. As a matter of fact, I believe that instead of being reactive, that as a group of people we should be more proactive. It’s nice to be well informed on history and where we came from. I think for the sake of our children that it is more important to discuss where we are going and how we are going to get there. One thing is for sure, and that is that we need more power.
    Now with that being said, as it relates to how we got into this is that I believe that many is not most African leaders have power, but they are currently giving it a way. Is that a wrong assessment? If not, is it racist or bigoted to say that most of the problems concerning Africans are their own because they allow these corrupt individuals to lead the masses to an untimely death/ extinction?
    Neal spoke of what Garvey advocated. He stated,” self-discipline as the basis of pride, and was severely critical of complainers”. How many years will we continue to allow bad leadership to plague us because of pride rather self discipline? That is when will we say,” yeah he looks like us and talks like us, but he won’t or doesn’t talk for us or walk for us”? That’s just a general question across the board without singling out any one particular leader at any level. It could be a question pertaining to a womanizing male leader of a family.
    When we discuss reasons for our lack of modern day prominence throughout the Diaspora it is important to remember the past. However, when it comes to others who criticize us for our journey because we may have not made their timeline and we can’t respond powerfully enough to at least intimidate anyone else aware of the situation enough to sway them from making the same mistake, it is our fault especially if we aren’t trying our best collectively. Not for the outside bigot, but because we should be proud, and self disciplined. Now which one of you has a problem understanding that?
    I have eaten at Bens on numerous occasions. It’s very, very good.

  5. Yes Roger , but we have another confusing dimension to consider here in sweet T&T aka Rainbow Country. Is 1% black , considered black , or 1% Indian , Indian, and what role is economics a factor ?I left out white/ French creole population deliberately from this discussion, as they are the minority in our neck of the woods, and is of no significance in our case.
    Our East Asian Chinese community have to grapple with that problem. What a clueless Mickey mouse , confuse, self loathing bunch we are, desperately striving to be something that we are not!

  6. Culture of Wealth and Prosperity 04, Jan 1999 No wonder, in our world, in our culture, “wealth and profits” literally became “bad words.” We hated to see any of our kind amassing wealth and put deliberate obstacles in the way of any of us projecting any such tendency… We did not grow up in a cultural world in which people prayed for money and wealth. In the culture we knew, people prayed for health strength, knowledge and wisdom. In our cultural world, it was indeed believed that it was easier for a “camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Riches’ and ‘righteousness’ were made to seem by nature contradictory. Profits, by extension of the same logic, seemed vulgar negative and probably even unworthy of our best endeavours and creative energies In terms of careers for the young, business involvement, the enterprise of buying, manufacturing and selling were relegated to a kind of “poor brother,” second class status. Preference was indeed given to the supposed lofty professions of medicine, law, teaching, engineering accounting, etc, as well as certain areas of the fine arts In our time, and in our cultural world, most youths found themselves programmed to be teachers, clerks or clergymen. In fact, there is truth in the view that the grammar schools were designed to produce a society of clerks, who were programmed not to challenge anything but to accept the status quo and rubber stamp existing arrangements.

    I know the Dr. is an educator and values success in terms of PHDs BSCs and MBAs.
    Later Nah.

  7. Neal, I have friends in T&T that are so mixed (not just with Indian and African) yet they more identify culturally as African… Callaloo every Sunday, the whole works. I have never seen a so called ‘dougla’ hindus before.
    So I don’t buy the Dr’s doom and gloom message when it comes to political power (not to say I have much love for the PNM), I think it is more a problem for the boat brahmins.
    Economically, the Dr. should be demanding a BAIL OUT.. A call for REPARATION is well overdue.

  8. The Doctor unfortunately -for him- is obviously locked in a Catch 22 dilemma , and would never choose to ‘bite the hands that feeds him,’ even if a heavy flood suddenly attack our country, and wash away every African from Lavantille Hills or similar PNM backward and neglected constituency into the Caroni River. Notice Uncle Gates modus operandi in big brother America as well. He choose to write and produce all those lofty generic and harmless African historical documentaries, but based on his recent commaentaries seemed surprise today that racism is still alive and well in his beloved America, until a racist Cop decided to lock him up like a common criminal- with his 500 dollars Polo shirt and gator skin shoes and all. That’s because he likewise as Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Tiger Woods, and Oprah are beneficiaries of the system, and was insulated from the hash realities.
    One interesting fact that emerged from this phony ,was the unnessary report from him that he was not racist , since he was half white, had a white wife, and half white kids. In addition the Cop retorted, that he too could not be racist sice he taught racial sensitivity classes.
    As for Curtis concerns as to why Obama, the media’s proclaimed first American Post racial President, that guy is either one of the best political animal of the past two centuries , is extremely good at playing chess , or is one of the most calculating creatures since Winston Churchill.
    Does anyone really believe that if this skinny looking half white kid with the exotic sounding Arab name had not found his roots on the South side of Chicago, and hitched his bandwagon up with Liberation Theology guru Rev Wright, and a lovely, big butt, kinky hair, full Mandingo Harvard / Princeton educated black skin Queen, he would be sitting on Air force one today as Commander in Chief? His Kansas white matricidal roots were a mere aberration and caused him more psychological pain during his early years and resulted in drug experiments to handle conflicting identity crisis. Of course it became useful conveniently to encourage Yankee closet racist ,and guilt ridden voters from the Midwest to abandon opportunist Mc Cain, the military, illiterate nut.
    As to “Boat Brahims,” as you enjoy calling them. I have a distinctive philosophy when it comes to people and their prejudices. I have come to recognize that you cannot force others to love or care about you as you would desire. All you have control is yourself. Let us therefore keep putting African leaders hands to the fire, so that they too would finally begin the task of also showing self love, and responding to the needs of their own without the need for resorting to defensiveness. From Toco to Lavantille, John ,John to Signall Hill, Grande to Caranege and beyond. Running around like headless chickens and making a bunch of interracial babies to some might seem to be progress , but when 90 % or more of the interactions includes a black male , then you know a problem exist- but that’s a different story.

  9. That was very well stated Neal. Of course I disagree slightly but over all, you were on point.
    Professor Gates knows so much about history and nothing about the current laws and how they are applied in his town. That’s why after being confused about what was happening that he could only assume that it was race based. Usually people like Gates, Oprah, etc…, are shielded by their high priced lawyers, not some social pass although that does help. Look at O.J. Simpson. He is serving time for retrieving his own property. He didn’t do it lawfully.
    I’m convinced that in order to participate in society, you have to know and fully understand the rules for such participation. That’s why it always seems like overseers, I mean officers are always on the right side of the law when dealing with minorities.
    After all, would the treaties that were signed by Native Americans giving their land away have been signed if they had English, and or Colonial lawyers?
    We have to understand the law before we can alter legislation to best serve our purpose.
    Know the law, and then work to change the law if you don’t like it. Without knowledge, anyone on any class level is vulnerable to arrest.

  10. Yes Neal, some of the biggest idiots I have encounted are the so called ‘educated’ types. Prof. Gates,”I am not some crazy black nationalist”. I don’t think I can enjoy watching/buying any of his videos anymore. Maybe he needs to teach the NAEAP about the power images… yuh mean yuh cudnah record the lecture an put it on youtube? Bitching bout the dying media in T&T….
    Just saw this device ‘jadoo tv’… I guess one does not need GOVERNMENT LICENSES to broadcast WORLDWIDE now, (hint Trinicenter)…

  11. Let ‘them’ imature Yankees keep ‘dey’ country for all it’s worth. The phony Canadians ,and confused Europeans can do the same ,for who cares? My navel string bury right here in Sweet T&T aka Rainbow Country,and ‘here it go remain,’ and now you see why brother Roger . Listen to this song by my VP of Operation of theglobally respected ‘Black Socrates Circle.’
    Think big picture Brother Roger . Some of us need different situations to make us see the light aka develop true consciousness. Prof Gates is no exception. You are therefore illadvised to burn his videos because elements of his phoniness just came to light. Remember, that even Hitler , Lucifer ,or the most dispicable creature on earth,can be useful learning tools for our sdification.
    Dr. Eric Williams for example might have never left his white wife and siblings in America to return home and hitch his bandwagon on the spiritual Baptist movement to liberate his people from white colonial subjugations, had he not unceremoniously been kicked out by Howard University and elite threatened intellectuals in the USA. Obama would not be in power today had Eric Williams not banned his former philosophy student Stokley /Kwame Ture from our soil. The result was the Black Power movement , Panter , Dr. King pit-bull , and his African forays. ANR Robinson and Keith Rowley both conveniently recognize that they were Tobagonians only after they were given a kick in the butts by two respective PNM leaders through the decades. One parlay his initial premature political demise into a political fortune via positions as PM , founder of the ICCJ and President of our country, and the other is still biding his time to see which of the country’s nepotistic kings would stumble first and perhaps eave the grand stage tso that he could rush in -Patrick or his so called arch nemeses Basdeo, or better yet decide if he wants to take over as President of the UWI Engineering Faculty in St Augustine to develop nothing of worth for the next 10 years of his tenure.
    Keep the faith , and your head up my friend, as it looks as if you are pondering ways to make a difference. It’s called networking my friend. The greatest woman that ever lived always chided me into accepting the now acceptable view that “one hand cannot clap.”

  12. Surprised Trinicenter did not post this one from Dr. Ryan.
    Seem like he is reluctant to tell that Roger Khan was behind the execution of Black youths in Guyana. Seems ‘we’ are not that great people we once were when we cannot call it like we see it.

    ” US Court of Shaheed ’Roger’ Khan, a Guyanese citizen wanted by the US and Surinamese authorities for allegedly trafficking drugs into New York. According to the DEA, Khan controlled the cocaine industry in Guyana in large part because he was backed by a paramilitary squad which Guyanese called the’phantom squad’ that allegedly murdered, threatened and intimidated others at Khan’s directive What is of particular concern to us in the Caribbean is the allegation that Khan had virtually captured the Guyanese state. He reportedly had close links with high ministerial officials of the Guyanese government who protected him, and was only apprehended because he made the mistake of going to neighbouring Suriname which was also looking for him because of alleged links to plots to assassinate government officials belonging….”

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