The need for self-esteem and self-knowledge

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 03, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe headline read: “It was a bloody weekend across Trinidad and Tobago”.

The news story announced: “From Friday night into yesterday, eight people were killed, pushing the murder toll for the year so far to 113. Victims were found dead in St James, Arima, La Horquetta, Valencia, Curepe, Embacadere, Tunapuna and Petit Valley.” (Express, April 26.) Two more people may have been murdered on that weekend.

All victims were black. There is no evidence that the murderers were black. However, all of these murders took place in black communities which suggests that there might be a lot of pain in those communities. The question remains: what can we do to relieve these communities of this constant trauma of hurt and ineffable loss?

Speaking at the La Divina Pastora RC Church in Siparia last Sunday, Archbishop Jason Gordon lamented that next to the Covid-19 pandemic, the pandemics of domestic and gang violence “are really the tragedies at this time”. He said those tragedies occur “due to insufficient communication skills and an inability to express oneself when in disagreements or when one feels powerless and disrespected. If we find those skills and teach those skills, I think we could bring the violence down and have a beautiful nation”. (Express, April 26.)

Although “an inability to express oneself”, a sense of powerlessness and a feeling of being disrespected are powerful motivators for reverting to brute force, I believe education in the broadest sense (one that inculcates aspects of self-esteem, self-dignity, knowledge of self, etc) can curtail this revolting expression of our animal passions. I also believe an enlightened curriculum, one that informs a pupil about him/herself, can go a long way towards freeing oneself of these crippling beliefs of worthlessness. About a month ago, the College Board (US) invited several scholars around the United States, including myself, to participate in a conversation about developing an advanced placement (AP) course in African American Studies for high school pupils. This was one of many sessions that the AP programme held to assist them in developing this course which they hope to offer by the fall of 2022.

The Advanced Placement Programme “represents the largest partnership between higher education and high school educators in the United States”. In 2018, “close to 40 per cent of US seniors (over 1.2 million students) took at least one AP exam while they were in high school. Growing numbers of low-income students, students from under-represented minorities, and students from rural areas, who are the first-generation of their families who plan on going on to college participate in AP”.

Such AP courses allow pupils to take college and university courses while they are in high school. Our goal was to create an AP course that reflects “the best practices within the discipline and provide the maximum alignment to introductory courses in colleges and universities”. Among other things, we were asked to suggest important texts and resources that allow a pupil to understand the field and its importance within the context of US political realities.

It was important to me that high school pupils were being tested in a subject that holds a very important place in the political and social climate in the United States. I have often wondered why such a course—on the history and culture of black people in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean—is not part of our high school curriculum. Such a course, I am willing to bet, will give our pupils, particularly our black pupils, a better sense of themselves, and provide an impetus to understand their being in this world.

Such a course at the high school level should be supplemented by annual vacation camps during the months of July and August for pupils between the ages of 12 and 17 that aims at increasing their self-esteem, self-dignity and their educational and cultural development. All pupils should be introduced to the literature, history and culture of Africa and India.

There is no reason why we can’t create approximately 100 vacation camps (of about 100 pupils each) around the country, conducted by our university students, graduates and community activists, that engage our young people in meaningful courses in the humanities, sciences, physical education, sporting programmes and related fields. These courses should be about a month-long, perhaps four days a week. We should provide these pupils with a meal and a small stipend.

I know it sounds old-fashioned, but the greatest gift we can give to our young people is the gift of reading and writing. I have always contended that any educated Trinbagonian should have read VS Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas; Earl Lovelace, The Dragon Can’t Dance; Ralph De Boissiere, Crown Jewel; Merle Hodge, For the Life of Laetitia; and CLR James, Beyond a Boundary.

Reading is the key to discovering one’s identity and sense of self. While Malcolm X was an inmate at Norfolk Prison Colony in Massachusetts, he discovered the joy of reading. He said when he discovered the riches of the prison library, “You couldn’t have gotten me out of books with a wedge. Between Mr Muhammad’s teachings, my correspondence, my visitors… and my reading of books, months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life.” (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)

The AP motto is “Clearing the path for all students to own their future”. We can prepare our young people to own their future if we inculcate in them a knowledge of our history as a people. Raising their intellectual and cultural levels is key to our country’s future development.

18 thoughts on “The need for self-esteem and self-knowledge”

  1. Mr. Cudjoe is showing us how totally out of touch he is.

    He thinks that the raw, primitive violence of the underclass in this country is a problem of “low self-esteem” that can be solved by reading “A House for Mr. Biswas”; by going to vacation youth camps, etc, to achieve self-discovery.

    OMG.

    I am a bookish man, a professional student, a scholar in a couple of disciplines. Not even I could get through a dull novel like “A House for Mr. Biswas”, though Lord knows I bought a copy of the book and made several attempts to read it. As for vacation camps, I have never seen even the most astute young man “get a sense of himself” from a vacation camp. Vacation camps do nothing but provide expensive diversions of the most trivial kind.

    “Low self esteem” is the feeble-minded explanation low-IQ social workers have for every personal deficiency or pathology they do not understand. When a dysfunctional society becomes a murderous society, the reason is not “hurt” or “pain”. No. We are dealing with those who have become so aggressive and so selfish that they have given themselves permission to be EVIL. In other words, the problem may be too many people who are “full of themselves” because they have too much self-esteem, not too little.

    We need more profound, more perceptive thinkers than Mr. Cudjoe.

    1. Yoruba,
      Chad Chen’s arrogant, obnoxious, racist onslaught to african trinidadians, with thinly veiled references like “Low IQ” and “Underclass”, as well as an especially bitter, envious contempt for selwyn cudjoe, reminds me of ravi ramsmearitall. Ravi Ramsmearitall is a typical brahmanist race-soldier, who pretends to be christian and an intellectual in order to disarm viewers to his tripe and mask his blinding hatred of african people. Indian racism has a certain flavour…dishonest, deception, and an obsessive compulsive desire to negate the humanity, qualifications and intellectual competence of african people, and especially those whose views or choices they do not like. Ravi Ramsmearitall ceaselessly makes illogical taunts at selwyn’s qualifications and competence, even though selwyn finished graduate school and taught at ivy league institutions before ravi was even born. However, ravi propagates that affirmative action is the reason and implies he is more qualified and intelligent to decipher the trinidadian reality of race relations and politics. In order to get a grasp of the class of human being ravi ramsmearitall belongs to, after this selwyn cudjoe expose’ on indian anti-african racism at an indian elementary school in trinidad, https://www.trinicenter.com/Cudjoe/2005/2903.htm ravi ramsmearitall reacted by dismissing the entire expose’, the parents AND CHILDREN, as lies and liars…just like the trinidadian presbyterian (Indian “Christians”) organizations attached to the school. This is how indian racism operates…it’s flavour…whenever indian anti-african anti-black racism is exposed, either by an organization or individual, the entire indian community or (almost) jumps in to deflect, ascrube blame elsewhere or cover it up with hefty denial. This is an ancient religiously rooted and cultural sickness in indian communities that are endemic and harmful to socially, religiously, politically unaware and ill-equipped african societies.

      Like Cro Cro said in 2011, “Compare And Contrast” the treatment of african and african-indian CHILDREN at indian trinidadian christian schools and the treatment of untouchable children at scools in india. Is there really any contrast though?

      India Untouched: Stories of a People Apart
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvke6ycgkL4

      1. Inconvenient:

        I am glad you make him out. I rarely read his articles, so I wouldn’t have.

        But I’m not surprised that the hapless trio stinking up the place with the smell of sulphur would seek reinforcements.

        No matter. Truth — inconvenient or not, bitter or not — tends to triumph in the end.

        The Emperor with no clothes ended up fooling only himself.

        Shalom.

        Jeremiah 49:7. “Concerning Edom, thus saith IYEHAWAH of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?”

  2. Well written and thought out article. Fully endorsed. Students of all ethnic strips will benefit from these studies. The community centres across the nation could be turned into summer camps. I was disappointed at Dr. Cudjoe did not include at least two of his books in the list. And Dr Williams “Capitalism and Slavery” along with Samuel Selvon books.

    A young mind devoid of imagination is a mind wasted through the sphere of time. During my school years I was an avid student of West Indian history. I learned about, the Maroons of Jamaica and the great revolt starring Daddy Sharpe. I also learned about Guyana through the book Black Midas. Of course there was Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul. Miguel Street with the primary figure Hat along with others going to Queens Park Oval, was a vivid part of Trini life.

    1. Please read the relevant scholarly literature in psychology, social psychology and sociology on juveniles who become thieves and killers.

      Most of these people are impulsive, manipulative or narcissistic predators, who demand instant gratification and social rewards that do not require much effort– easy money, easy sex, the attention and submission of others.

      They are not like you. Very few people who turn into murderers will ever become book lovers. Malcolm X was a freak.

      1. Chad you are an intelligent well read individual. I appreciate your insight. Personally I didn’t want to say this to the doc but I will tell it to you. The age group targeted is too high up. They have to be reached earlier…

  3. The common African saying about upbringings, “it takes a village to mind a child” is true for every culture regardless of geography. Yes READING AND WRITING is very important in the development of a child, but so is community involvement and character. I grew up in Morne Diable. A town of a few hundred (at the time) with an immigrant population of about thirty percent, where agriculture and fishing were the main occupation and products. From my knowledge, every parent in the village made every effort to educate their children. Most of the residents were poor and illiterate but proud and honest. We got our first elementary school in 1953. And till this day its the only school in the district. Residents (merchants and peasants alike) lived in harmony. Even though we lacked support facilities such as a library, healthcare, proper roads, higher learning agencies, governmental assistance and connection to advanced learning, we still were able to produce Doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, engineers, builders, university lecturers, playwrights, musicians, civil servants, politicians and outstanding citizens. That could not have been achieved without the strong backing of a community that used education, culture, respect, history and a sense of pride towards development. In growing up, there were elder members of the community who did not have university degrees but were learned men and women who imparted knowledge freely to the younger ones. Today, we boast alumni such as Dr. Yvette P. Taylor-Kanarick Phd, renowned author, historian, lecturer and therapist who came from a humble beginnings of this little village in the south.
    My point here is that our youths of today cater too much to materialism and too little to character building while at the same time ignoring the benefits of knowledge from their elders.
    Crime is a by-product of ignorance and lack of mobility. To turn our youths from the scourge of idleness and intolerance, we need leaders who can inspire and channel hope to the young and weary in our communities.

    1. You are wrong. Crime has little to do with either “ignorance” or “lack of mobility,”

      When Trinidad and Jamaica became independent in 1962, both islands had low crime rates, despite having poorly developed education systems and fewer opportunities for jobs and migration (abroad) than today.

      As schools and teachers have improved, as more education has been offered to youngsters, and as the number of jobs and the level of incomes have risen, crime has INCREASED.

      Presumably it has increased because society has become more permissive. In addition, political independence has empowered the lower classes, making many of them unafraid, more demanding, impatient and aggressive than their parents and grandparents at the time of British rule.

      Under the British we had the death penalty for murder. We are paying a price for abandoning its use. Countries like China, which executes more than 10,000 people a year, and Singapore, which has sometimes hanged between 70 and 80 people in a year, know that swift, severe punishment can be useful in maintaining a safe, orderly society.

  4. Such a course, I am willing to bet, will give our pupils, particularly our black pupils, a better sense of themselves, and provide an impetus to understand their being in this world.

    This is a question of very “being”. Prof. Cudjoe does not know who his people are. We are not “black”. The starting premise being wrong, the cogitative exercise that follows will be wrong, and therefore useless.

    The word “black” is a common adjectival noun of category, used here as proper noun of identity, of “being”. The common adjectival noun means a thing of no value, no worth, a bleached out, bleak, or blank thing from which all the value or substance has already been extracted, a piece of garbage. As a proper noun of category used to define identity, it should be clear that this cannot be any correct definition of our very “being”. Even if we were to take as true the mis-use of this word as referencing a skin color, — which in original, etymological and vibrational meaning it is not — it still could not stand as a proper noun of “being”. Come, come Professor, do better than that.

    Nevertheless, it is useful to reflect that as a people, we are indeed in a “black” condition, for it was prophesied that we would be a valley of “dry bones”, people in exactly that bleached out, bleak, blank condition connoted by that term.

    Ezekiel 37:1-5. “The hand of IYEHAWAH was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of IYEHWAH, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
    2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
    3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord Eloah, thou knowest.
    4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of IYEHAWAH.”

    Who then are we? We are exactly the people spoken of here at Ezekiel 37:1-5, the people of the “valley of dry bones”, figuratively the so-called “black” people of today. But in existential terms of “being”, we are the people of the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — IYE-EBRA-IM, IYE-ZAKAKA, and IYE-CHOB. We are those people called by HIS name, IYE (pronounced “eeh-YEH”, an onomatopoeic way of representing the breath — in-breath followed by out-breath). Thus this name, IYE, represents life itself, and forms the core of the name the Creator requires us to call Him by. Of this family, He is the highest, — IYE-HAWAH (mis-represented as JE-HOVAH). Our forefather, IYE-CHOB (misrepresented as JA-COB) is destined to eternal life with IYE-HAWAH. Our Saviour is IYE-SHUAH (misrepresented as JE-SUS). He resurrected Himself to show us what we too must do. We must go from our “dry bones” condition of being “black” — bleached out, bleak, blank in its true meaning — to a resurrected condition of life, moreover of life eternal, IYE, with IYE-HAWAH. That is the very broad outline of the letters left behind for us by our forefathers the prophets, all of them sons of IYE-CHOB.

    The Gentiles — especially our near-kin the sons of Esau and the sons of Ishmael — have resented this election, and have sought to cut us off from this remembrance of who we be, in the existential sense of very “being”:

    Psalms 83:2-6. “For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
    3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
    4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of IYE-SHARALOH (Israel/Jacob) may be no more in remembrance.
    5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
    6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;…”

    Thus, we have gone from being Israelites — our proper term of being, to “black”, by design a term of non-being. False Gentile Religion has been used to accomplish this sorcery. They have enslaved our behind, then our mind. Then did it again … in reverse order. It shall ultimately be to no avail.

    Jeremiah 16:19-20. “O IYE-HAWAH, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited LIES, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. 20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?”

    The valley of dry bones — the “black” people — shall be resurrected, as Ezekiel went on to prophesy. Others of our forefathers the prophets did the same, e.g.:

    Wisdom of Solomon 5:1-6. “Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours.
    2 When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for.
    3 And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves, This was he, whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach:
    4 We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour:
    5 How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints!
    6 Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us.”

    I have always contended that any educated Trinbagonian should have read VS Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas; …
    Reading is the key to discovering one’s identity and sense of self.

    Yes, reading is “key to discovering one’s identity and sense of self”. The only question is what.

    That is to be found in reading the letters left behind by our forefathers, the prophets, for that very purpose. That is foundational.

    All the rest is a matter at best of taste — the professorial vanity of constructing a cultural “canon”. That will certainly fail, as being unfit for the stated purpose of defining “being”.

    The multi-cultural monstrosities nowadays defining nation-states such as T&T were constructed with the very aim of making the Negro to forget who we Be.

    Not only are we sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the core definition of who we Be, we the Negro are of the kingdom of JUDAH, moreover the people from whom come NEGA IYE-DEOD (king David) and NEGA IYEDI-DIYE (king Jedidiah, more popularly known as king Solomon (IYE-SHALOHMON)).

    Thus the term, Negro, is a better term of identity than “black”. Yes, the enemy has succeeded by “crafty counsel” in making it a term of derogation. It is part of a conscious program of making us an object of derision, of literally de-nigrating — taking the NEGA out of — the Negro. It was prophesied that that program would fail (Wisdom of Solomon quoted above; elsewhere).

    Neither are we “African”, a catch-all category that includes all our enemies that have sought to cut us off from remembrance of who really we Be. It is also a term of essential derogation, — and subtle de-nigration as well — although seemingly a term of some dignity. I have expounded on that elsewhere on this Blog.

    We can prepare our young people to own their future if we inculcate in them a knowledge of our history as a people.

    Yes. But we must go back to the beginning, to who we were, before they enslaved our behind, and our mind.

    As it stands, Cudjoe’s canon would do nothing to free either. Rather it would shackle both even more firmly, easy prey for those who would continue the colonial project of affliction and exploitation of the “blacks”. (Even the most praise-worthy author on Cudjoe’s canon, C.L.R, James, is ultimately a snare, because in adopting a Marxian posture, he threw out the Scriptural baby with the bath-water of false Gentile religion. Any “black” that goes down that road will have a very hard time of finding his way back to the Fundamental that was James’ ultimate concern — that of finding and reclaiming Zion. That state of righteousness cannot be found on a tacit premise of atheism, though it is necessary to reject the religions of the Gentiles — all of them — to get there. But that is a separate and long discussion, and its better starting point would be Black(!) Jacobins, not Beyond a Boundary. Another thread perhaps.)

    Shalom.

    Romans 1:22. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,…”

  5. “Speaking at the La Divina Pastora RC Church in Siparia last Sunday, Archbishop Jason Gordon lamented that next to the Covid-19 pandemic, the pandemics of domestic and gang violence “are really the tragedies at this time”. He said those tragedies occur “due to insufficient communication skills and an inability to express oneself when in disagreements or when one feels powerless and disrespected. If we find those skills and teach those skills, I think we could bring the violence down and have a beautiful nation”. (Express, April 26.)”

    When the PNM brought in the huddled mass into Laventille, Morvant, Beetham, Moruga and Point Fortin, in the 1960s to create a voter base, they did not understand that these youths were exposed to a culture of illiteracy since birth. That when they come to the once great jewel of the Caribbean, Trinidad they will begin to exhibit social problems.

    I am thankful that Dr. Cudjoe raise this issue as a matter of public discourse. It is one of the pressing issues of failed communication skills that has given birth to this horrible gang culture. It is no surprise that PNM constituencies have produced more murderers by the huddled mass. Except for Point Fortin where youths got jobs in the oil industry but other areas have failed our beautiful black children. Yes these classes that Dr.Cudjoe so wisely proposed could teach these youths better communication skills instead of the cussing, brawling, rage and un tempered baccanal. The ghettoisation of black youths by the PNM is one of the curses of the last century that continues to this day. These masses are easily controlled by the 1% who use them for nefarious purposes as Inconvenient racist suggested.

    But there is hope if these ideas are pursued through community gatherings or in the safety of electronic means. https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2012/02/08/gang-violence-takes-rising-toll-in-lives-threatens-caribbean-economies-says-undp.html

  6. Dr. C udjoe is obviously excited by the prospect of Advancement Placement programs for high school students. AP programs have been in existence for decades in most jurisdictions, but mainly for academic courses. The introduction of African studies as an AP program is an idea which only has relevance for the academic students who will qualify. Most if not all students who select AP courses are top academic, university bound candidates.
    The young people involved in crime from the communities in T&T identified by Cudjoe as crime areas are probably elementary or high school dropouts. AP courses are of no concern to them.
    Many of these youngsters are intelligent individuals failed by the system of education under which they were subjected. In addition they were failed by the lack of parental, church and community support.
    Many of the parents in these low socioeconomic communities are uneducated and disadvantaged themselves. The “village to raise a child” phenomenon is absent as community members struggle for survival.
    Trapped in an outdated, traditional education system, these young people are not receiving flexible and informed programs to cater to their strengths. Their strengths are not identified through proper psycho educational testing. They are subjected to teaching methodologies and academic, examination oriented courses focussed on gaining entrance to secondary schools and universities. We are in a different world. This is not the sixties and seventies when the “village” monitored the behavior of individuals.
    Prisons are full with individuals possessing high intelligence, musical talent, artistic skills and superior coordination. Prisons are full with individuals with depressed verbal skills and superior performance skills, who learn differently. The education system in T&T is failing these individuals, as the enlightened Minister of Education is struggling to reform the system by getting rid of the SEA.

  7. “About a month ago, the College Board (US) invited several scholars around the United States, including myself, to participate in a conversation about developing an advanced placement (AP) course in African American Studies for high school pupils. This was one of many sessions that the AP programme held to assist them in developing this course which they hope to offer by the fall of 2022.”

    It is a good initiative. American history presented Africans in a poor light. They were treated as nobodies and ignored by white folks. I have experience that where I was treated as the invisible man. One white guy came up to me and said, “don’t mine these white fellas, they see you and in their mind they think do I have to speak to him”.
    Historically, the life of black folks and their achievements were ignored. As VP Kamla Harris noted in her acceptance speech “I know you black mamas out there you are the backbone, praying, meeting, talking….” (paraphrasing) she understood that power lies under the tear stained apron of the black woman.

  8. Contrary to the racist ravi ramsmearitall/UNC narrative of lies and propaganda, african caribbeans, whites and chinese, have been migrating across former slave colonies in search of opportunities, since before indian arrival.After emancipation, skilled Bajans and Jamaicans particularly, were sourced by the colonials to work in trinidadian sugar factories and the police force. The oil industry attracted many immigrants, like grenadian WW I veteran, Tubah Uriah Buzz Butler in the early 1920’s, 30+ years before PNM even existed. Is it then, that only africans were migrating to T&T post independence?
    Catherine Kumar’s father migrated to trinidad from india and became a politician. https://www.guardian.co.tt/article-6.2.425951.1eb6493cb5. UNC’s Vasant Bharath’s wife migrated to trinidad from india, by way of the UK.
    UNC’s Herbert Volney, migrated to trinidad from Dominica (indian wife),
    UNC kirk meighoo’s indian wife is from mauritius,
    UNC/PP/MSJ David Abdullah and moneylal’s wife are Jamaican immigrants.
    This doctor, now infamous for his racist, abusive anti-african comments, is also guyanese https://www.looptt.com/content/dr-sawh-apologises-racist-comments. The law, business and health sectors in particular are filled with indian immigrants. Sat Maharaj was accused in guyana, of not just banning africans from sdms schools there, but using the schools as a pipeline to smuggle and launder illegal guyanese indian children into trinidad to fraudulently naturalize them and their parents.Sat Maharaj, alleged that his co-host is a grenadian or st. vincentian immigrant whose entire village of indian residents migrated to trinidad. What about all the indians who migrated to trinidad and elsewhere post independence? Why isn’t that ever mentioned?Because the propaganda serves a purpose…to imply that indian migrant, indentured labourers, not the enslaved africans who were trafficked to the hemisphere centuries prior to their arrival, were entitled to racially, culturally, religiously and politically dominate trinidad and guyana post independence…because of racial superiority. That is where the phantom pain and anger in indian politics via their minion’s on this blog comes from…racist envy!

  9. “Although “an inability to express oneself”, a sense of powerlessness and a feeling of being disrespected are powerful motivators for reverting to brute force, I believe education in the broadest sense (one that inculcates aspects of self-esteem, self-dignity, knowledge of self, etc) can curtail this revolting expression of our animal passions.”

    Brilliant exposition on the core causation of many un regeneration words and action. Yes the language of the youths today is riddled with obscenities. Instead of an intelligent discourse curses become a form of empowerment and attention getter. Dr. Williams would have said “let the donkey bray”. Unfortunately words are followed with action.

    Many years ago I was speaking to a young married couple needless to say they were at each other’s throat. There were many underlying issues the incredibly attractive young lady had lived half her life and in the process producing a son. The young man was now starting off. I sat with them and we did some mirroring/listening exercise. It was the balm in their relationship, until a few years passed and they returned with the same problems she being a 50 year old woman in a girl body and he being a boy in a man’s body. An old experience soul with an almost uninitiated soul. I hardly doubt they are together today. Youths today suffers from the disconnect.

    Education opens a door of opportunities and understanding. Proverbs 26: 4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him… The danger of responding to a fool is that you can become like him…..

  10. Here are some practical ideas for reducing the crime rate that are much better than Mr. Cudjoe’s proposals.

    REFORM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: The criminal courts are slow and expensive. Their procedures and jargon are incomprehensible to most Trinidadians. To punish lesser crimes and settle petty disputes, we should rely on lay magistrates and informal community courts.

    IMPROVE POLICING: This means establishing Neighbourhood Watch programs with the help of community leaders, recruiting police informers, paying for tips from anonymous whistleblowers, and installing a dense network of surveillance cameras in high crime neighbourhoods.

    TEACH TEENAGE GIRLS PARENTING SKILLS IN HIGH SCHOOL:
    To graduate from high school, all teenage girls should be required to complete a course in parenting skills and familiarise themselves with the resources offered by social service agencies of the government.

  11. I seldom see sense in what Mamoo writes and sometimes agree with TMan but in this series of comments, I pick some comments made by both that I agree with. Mamoo wrote in part “When the PNM brought in the huddled mass into Laventille, Morvant, Beetham, Moruga and Point Fortin, in the 1960s to create a voter base, they did not understand that these youths were exposed to a culture of illiteracy since birth.” As a young man, I opposed the way in which the then government introduced multi-housing complexes in the African communities. What they did was provided ‘a place to live’ for the new residents. That means a young person growing up in that environment had a stake in only one thing – his place of abode. The United States made the same error when they provided housing for black people in large cities. The only thing they owned in the multi housing community was the space that they occupy. That mean they were not connected to anything else.

    A planned community involves housing, small business, medical facilities, playgrounds, recreational facilities, informational mediums, support facilities and sometimes educational facilities.
    No such extensive commodities were introduced to these young residents, so when it came time to engage in extra curricular activities, crime was the most engaging for the idle minds. Most ethnic communities live in communities that provide all or most of their needs. The child from these ‘housing communities’ did not know what the baker does to make bread available for him to buy. He/she does not know what the pharmacist had to do to bring medicine to his neighborhood. He does not know what the agriculturist does to make fresh food available, he does not know what the merchant has to do to bring his favorite snacks to him, he does not understand the presence of the pastor, priest or preacher in his life and yes, the role of the teacher becomes diminished. This makes him functionally illiterate but maybe street smart too. In order for us to function and progress, we must understand the rudiments of communal living and this is what most of our criminals lack.

    i see the banker as one I can trust with my money, but the criminal see him as someone he can steal money from. There is a role for the social scientist in society but such person must come from a background that understand the mindset of the criminal. we are all social beings but our association with one another almost always rely on familiarity, religious acceptance, ethnic norms and instinctive trust. Thus, when Kamla put Anil Roberts to run Life Sports to help “little black boys”, paid an African entrepreneur handsomely, but employed Indian executives to govern its success, defeated the very purpose for which it was intended.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.