I do not believe that the Commissioner of Police, Captain Gary Griffith, is a foolish man. He may be egotistic, over-sensitive, loquacious, combative. But foolish? No. I make this assessment of him purely by watching him from a distance, listening to his pronouncements on people from every strata of the society whom he perceives as being his critics.
Indeed, I write this column knowing that he will brand me a notorious mutineer, a disgrace to the uniform I once wore and blah, blah, blah. I am not as sensitive as he is, so I simply shrug off such epithets as par for this columnist’s course, a reality I have lived with for many years. Continue reading Total disrespect→
“Nobody can be properly termed educated who knows little or nothing of the history of his own race and of his country.”
—Frederick Alexander Durham, The Lone-Star of Liberia.
In his epoch-breaking work Capitalism and Slavery, Eric Williams noted that racism is a product of slavery. “The reason,” he says “was economic, not racial; it had to do not with the color of the labor, but the cheapness of the labor.” On the other hand, in White Over Black, Winthrop Jordan argued that racism predated slavery, citing three distinct prejudices that conditioned the English responses to Africans: our blackness, which signified filth, sin and evil; being uncivilized; and our not being Christian. Continue reading Thinking Race/Understanding Color→
Gary Griffith couldn’t have scripted a better opening act for his entry onto the national stage as the new Commissioner of Police, even if he were the Bard of Cascade or whatever suburb he lives in or comes from.
After six years of play-acting by career police officer Stephen Williams, and amidst much intrigue, controversy and good old Trinidad bacchanal over the selection of a new CoP, which featured principal parts played by politicians of every hue and persuasion, not to add cameos by a significant number among the “extras” in the 1.4 million population, Gary landed the starring role—and what an entry he made. Continue reading Enter Gary Griffith: Act One→
My first impulse was to congratulate the government for voting to appoint Gary Griffith Commissioner of Police (CoP). Whatever Griffith’s weaknesses, his appointment promised to give the police force the stability it deserves and the country the space it needs to breathe easier; that is, until Stuart Young, “Ad-minister of everything but master of nothing,” was recycled into the Ministry of National Security.
Without even being confirmed, Griffith hit the airways telling the population what he would and would not do although prudence dictated that he meet with the leadership of the police force, learn from their experiences, and tell them of his plans to make the force a more efficient unit. After such discussions, he could have determined how best to attack the monster called crime. Continue reading “Don’t Talk About It; Be About It!”→
I pity the poor bugger who finds favour with both government and opposition parties to be appointed the new Commissioner of Police. If that wretched soul happens to be Captain Gary Grffith as reported in the Sunday Express, then I’ll do something I’ve not done in 50-odd years: I’ll fall on my knees and pray that Jah makes the purgatory of that post easy for him for the few months that he would become the “Chief Bobolee” to blame for the crime epidemic that no mortal can mitigate, far less eradicate. Continue reading Looking for a commissioner or a “Bobolee”?→
I am not optimistic over the Prime Minister’s promise to citizens that the near-riot that erupted for the umpteenth time last week in the Beetham community will not occur again.
Dr Keith Rowley said he has directed the heads of the Police Service and the Defence Force to ensure that law and order are enforced in Beetham and elsewhere in the country even as people exercise their right to protest. He called for those who used the recent disturbance to engage in criminal acts to be prosecuted, and acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said he had a team of officers examining video footage of the mayhem to identify and arrest the culprits. Continue reading A time to kill→
The last hope we have for reining in runaway crime in this country lies with a leader yet unknown, the man or woman who will be recommended by the Police Service Commission to be named Commissioner of Police, subject to approval by Parliament. In fact, since crime affects so many aspects of citizens’ daily lives as well as the country’s economy, and because the Police Service is, or ought to be, the spearhead of any assault on crime, the new commissioner will carry on his shoulders a burden bigger than Government’s, and greater expectations than any other office-holder in the State-apparatus—the President, the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice. Continue reading Considering a new commissioner→
Not since late Commissioner of Police Jules Bernard publicly declared, “I’m a toothless bulldog!” have I heard so many outlandish statements coming from the mouths of senior officers of the Police Service.
“Criticism hurts,” screams Acting CoP Stephen Williams. Yet, Williams and his most senior officers say and do the most ludicrous things, inviting not just criticism, but oftentimes, bellyfuls of laughter. Continue reading Comic cops→
I am sure that People’s Partnership took a long time to select the three hundred persons they elected to the various state enterprises, statutory bodies, regional health authorities and key ambassadorial positions. In making her selection, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar enunciated two broad principles: a determination to make the correct choices and no one could sit on more than one board. Continue reading Leveraging Incompetence→