Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

Poisoning Minds and Sickening Bodies

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 5, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was a light drizzle, or so I thought. Two weeks ago I was making my way to City Gate to get a maxi taxi to take me to Tacarigua. The drizzle turned into a downpour and then the deluge started. Like many fellow travelers, I sheltered beneath the canopy of RBT Royal Bank, hoping that the water would drain away quickly.

Minutes turned into an hour as the water poured into Lower Lara Promenade South and the street in front of City Gate turned into a river. After waiting another hour, like other travelers I eased my way southerly towards the western side of City Gate from which I made my way to the Arima maxi stand where I boarded a maxi to Tacarigua.
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Diversity Matters

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 29, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 2003 I fought a doggedly battle to convince educators at (The University of the West Indies) that grades and standardized tests should not be the only criteria for selecting students to enter our university. Many people castigated me and a few called me a racist. Morgan Job bleated: “If Selwyn Cudjoe’s racist quota is implemented, UWI will have semi-illiterate African lecturers teaching illiterate students. They will go into the classrooms, the Public Service and police to compound the problems which plague the nation, and are a necessary consequence of the blight of mediocrity we have nurtured and promoted” (Trinidad Guardian, August 21, 2003).
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Mobilizing Our Social & Cultural Capital

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 22, 2019

All you guys have done is reference to us getting jobs. I do not want a job. I want change, I want a future….You are ignoring our future….What are you doing to give us a voice?

—Stefan Lander, student, St. Mary’s College

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTo hear Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance, tell it, the 2020 budget has nothing to do with the upcoming local elections or the 2020 general elections. It emanated from the government’s genuine interest in the welfare of our people.

The words had barely come out of Imbert’s mouth when Rohan Sinanan, PNM’s campaign manager, declared: “I am very pleased; I think my job as campaign manager was made significantly easier with a wonderful budget” (Express, October 10).
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Consultation Versus Coercion

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 14, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Wednesday evening I attended a consultation at the Tacarigua Community Center that was organized by Susan Corbett, director of Community Development (CD), with the assistance of Terrence Beepath, Senior Project Manager of UDeCOTT, to tell us what CD had in store for us vis-à-vis our proposed community center. We, mere supplicants, were supposed to listen and presumably to acquiesce. We were not supposed to question the bearers of these new gifts.

I raised this issue in this column in June of this year. I reported that in January 1965 the Trinidad Sugar Estates gave ninety-four thousand, six hundred and ten square feet of land to the Tacarigua Welfare and Improvement Council for “a site of a community center.” The first center was built in 1965.
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Turning the Clock Backward

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 09, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTrinidad and Tobago is a difficult, contradictory society. Every time we take one step forward, we also take two steps backward. Imagine a progressive leader saying that she won’t invite a man or woman to a government function unless he/she is accompanied by his/her married partner. One would have thought our foremothers had solved that problem two hundred years ago but one of her great granddaughters is doing her best to turn the clock back to even darker days.
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A Magnificent Breakthrough

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 03, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the early 1970s when Marxist economics was all the rage, several Caribbean graduate students attended to the classes of Jaroslav Vanek, an economist and professor at Cornell University. He was known worldwide for his research on labor-managed economies or what he called “participatory economies.” Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1843-1980) was in power and was following this approach to social and economic development.
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In Defense of the Prime Minister

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 26, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt is easy to criticize the Prime Minister. I also take my shots when he makes egregious errors. This is why I suggested that he write what he says before he pronounces on national and international issues. His critics also need to be cautious before they condemn his failings.

The government, with all of its shortcomings, has acted responsibly with regard to the Venezuelan refugee crisis. The PM reported with pride, “American politicians commended this country for its position in treating with economic migrants coming to this country.” The politicians appreciate his achievements since they are dealing with a president who has intensified his crackdown on migrants and asylum-seekers.
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Misplaced Philanthropy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 20, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne cannot help but be amazed by the indigestible piffle that emanates from the mouths of our politicians when they speak about issues concerning the society. We hear their speeches and read their statements, yet we wonder if they understand what they are saying and the implications of their actions.

Take, for example, the prime minister’s response to the concern that most of the students who were selected for the national mentorship program in energy are Indo-Trinidadians. After fierce criticism about this imbalance, he replied with self-evident pride: “I initiated this program by sending out personnel to find our national scholars…trained in areas of expertise useful to the Ministry of Energy. We decided that those who had done extremely well, with first class honors, should be gathered to rebuild the pool of expertise in the ministry and enable the country to cope with the requirements of the energy sector….
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Two Trinidad and Tobagos

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 11, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAs Boris Johnson, UK prime minister is finding out, and Keith Rowley, T&T’s prime minister has found out, it’s easier to be on the opposition benches and spout invectives than it is to be in the driver’s seat making consequential national decisions. Boris lost pivotal votes last week in the British parliament as his Tory diehards voted against him. Even his brother—Jo Johnson—resigned from his ministerial post and his seat in Parliament. Boris is likely to have the shortest tenure as a UK prime minister.
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A word to the wise…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 3, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeJoy Cushman wrote that Barack Obama revolutionized his campaign “by putting his faith in hundreds of volunteers. ” She continued: “I was a top organizer in his 2008 campaign and trained thousands of campaign staff workers. If Democrats want to win in 2020, they must get back to investing in everyday people again” (New York Times, August 26).
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