Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Eric Williams: opiate of the people

Posted: February 06, 2004
Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Deceased historian and Professor of Social Political Science at Howard University, Dr. Eric Williams once contended that:

"A nation like an individual, can only have one Mother. The only Mother we can recognize is Mother Trinidad and Tobago and Mothers cannot discriminate between her children. All must be equal in her eyes." *

Indeed, this contention not only raises a red flag but also speaks volumes as to the Euro- centric, a historical and dysfunctional nature of ancestral belonging, heritage and interpretation by this TnT scholar. Hence, it need occasion no great surprise that today Africans in TnT detest being called and or even considered Africans. They are Trinbagonians "2 D Bone". They are totally cut off and detoured from their Motherland. Their African historical -cultural umbilical cord has been severed and thrown / flushed down the commode. Dr. Eric Williams told this segment of the population that their history not only begins in TnT but that Africa is not their original, ancestral Home. He reinforced the ridiculous and insane notion that Africans in TnT are devoid of a historical, ancestral -biological African Mother; they are a Motherless people. Like all Euro-centric scholars, Dr. Eric Williams preached that Africans in TnT are a non - historical people, whose history only begins and is legitimised with their contact with Europe and Europeans.

Hence, the only recognisable Mother for such a people is Mother Trinidad & Tobago, according to his myopic mis-directed, a historical thinking and world view. In this morbid context, Trinbagonians should be thankful to a Euro - Spaniard who "discovered" them on his so called second voyage to the 'New World'. Thank you, Mr. European for "discovering" the "lost" people /tribe of TnT. Give me a break please.

As a side bar, has anyone ever wondered aloud what was the Old World at that time? Just checking Africans in TnT were never told or taught to be proud of their rich, unique, and glorious innate heritage and Africanness.

Africa was their forbidden fruit. It is in this specific context that Prof. Eric Williams did more visible, mental and psychological damage to the psyche of the Africans in TnT compared to the visible, physical damage the Euro -colonial slave- master ever did.

In terms of African history, Dr. Williams became the new Euro - centric-colonial Massa. He mis-educated /edjumacated Africans in TnT.

During his tenure, African - Trinbagonians "'ent see Africa" at all, at all, at all" while their historical - cultural glaucoma / cataract still persists and remains unabated, unattended and uninterrupted, as of this writing.

During his tenure, the state / condition of the country's libraries went to the dogs and their puppies, en masse.

According to social commentator Dr. Hollis Liverpool:" Eric was ah avid reader lady; now dey close de central library."

During his tenure, Euro-centric historian Dr. Williams never gave Africans - Trinbagoians " time to celebrate" and internalise their inherent Africanness to its maximum --the Prime Minister's Best Village Programme not withstanding.

Everything African was always posited within a feeling -good, looking - nice, carnival jump - up, having -ah-good-time, nutting serious, one -time -affair, party-time and liming atmosphere and context.

It was never presented as anything of serious, sustained, historical, cultural, indigenous value and consequence- and still is not even today.

The fact of the matter is that Eric Williams went on along with and/ or maybe initiated, encouraged and sanctioned this Euro- centric trivialization and programming of Africa.

Today, everything African is just political mammaguay, congosa and pappyshow -One ah - day Africanising is the game a la Dr. Eric Williams. Prof. Eric Williams subjected Africans in TnT to Euro - centric "brainwash education"; no small wonder they continue to act like "Certificated" fools.

Intellectually, Dr. Eric Williams never took African -Trinbagonians out of the European plantation sub-conscious mind-set; in other words, sub-consciously they continue to act like slaves while consciously, they are supposed to be emancipated.

Pan African Nationalist, African - Trinbagonian Kwame Ture once stated: "If you don't know who you are then you would not know what your interests are."

Historian, Prof. Eric Williams never told African - Trinbagonians who they are in terms of their rich, glorious historical past, hence they still do not know what their real interest are today.

So it need occasion no great surprise that they comprise 99.99 percent of TnT's vagrant population and have resigned themselves to be relegated as the nation's have-nots and the expendable dregs at the nadir of the social ladder.

In his independence book titled History of the People of Trinidad And Tobago (1962) Prof. Williams bemoaned the fact that Euro- British Philosopher David Hume had the nerve and audacity to opine in his essay entitled "Of National Characters" (1953) that:

"I am apt to suspect the Negroes (Africans) to be naturally inferior to the whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of that complexion, nor ever any individual, eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufactures among them, no arts, no sciences"(p.30)
Yet, Prof. Williams never did anything whatsoever as Prime Minister and educator - historian to rectify and expose this glaring bold faced Euro-centric Big Lie.

Prof. Williams did not contradict, destroy or denounce "the conventional rationalization expressed in Hume's dictum."

He never passed on nor enlightened Africans Trinbagonians about corrected version, analysis and interpretation of their own history as the world's original people with original ideas.

To date, African - Trinbagonians not only stand uninformed with this Euro- centric uncorrected version of their history but they also prefer to wallow in Prof. Williams myopic Trini, anti- Africa mind- set and world new That's the scary part.

Maybe, Professor - Historian Eric Williams agreed with his fellow Euro-British philosopher that Africa and Africans contributed nothing to world - human civilization and that nothing came out of Africa but powerless, defenceless slaves, uncivilized, barbaric, non- human beings.

Prof. Williams was never Africa-centered in his public, intellectual life as a renowned and respected historian in TnT.

The sad legacy of His Euro-centric - Story is that Prof. Eric Williams is the primary reason why African - Trinbagonians are suffering from African historical - cultural anorexia today.

African - Trinbagonians are also brain -dead, brain damaged, anaesthetized and the innocent, awed victims of mental paralysis as part of Williams continuing Euro - centric historical legacy.

The fact of the matter is that a Mother gives birth to children, who then grow up to become adults in their own right.

The same holds true for a historical, ancestral Mother and grown -up citizens of any country.

History has already proven that Mother India gave birth to the Indians who are now citizens of TnT.

The record shows that various Europeans went to the Continent of Africa illegally in 1441 and then legally and authorised in 1455 to grab and drag millions of Africans from their ancestral Homeland to be involuntarily enslaved as dentured "infidel peoples" in the Diaspora.

Europeans went to Africa and then brought Africans to TnT. Europeans did not bring Trinbagonians from Africa to TnT. Let this be very, very clear.

Europeans did not leave TnT with guns, gold trinkets, ships, alcohol, etc, travelled to Africa and then came back to TnT laden with human merchandise.

Europeans left Europe (Britain), sailed to Africa, got their human merchandise(slaves) than sailed back to the plantations where they auctioned off their cargo to the highest bidder.

The items the slaves produced on the plantations, that is, raw materials such as cotton, sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, etc., were then shipped to Britain to be manufactured.

This exercise is known as the Triangular Trade.

Euro- Britain is highlighted here because Britain is the European country that benefited the most economically from the enslavement of African people. Most manufacturing of raw materials took place in Britain and most importantly, the Industrial Revolution 1750-1850, also took place in Britain.

However, the sea leg in the Triangular Trade from Africa to the Americas (plantations) was the most vicious and the Mother of all journeys.

This leg is known as the infamous, dreaded Middle Passage during which millions of African human beings died.

The European Triangular Trade represents the African Holocaust during which 100 -140 million Africans were killed. However, the salient point that must be emphasised is that the Africans who were dragged kicking and screaming in chains from Mother Africa to Father TnT all had original, indigenous African names, all spoke only original African dialects or languages, all had an original Africa- centered mind set and all had their original African family unit intact.

Euro- Christian Roman Catholicism was not their major religion and they did not pray to nor worship White Gods nor Gods who did not have African names.

On the plantations, in the Diaspora, these Africans, now transformed into chattel slaves under "sub-human bondage", were branded with Euro- Christian names and European languages, were imposed upon them.

Today, their descendents throughout the Caribbean, including TnT, speak English, French, Spanish, etc. They have all lost their original African tongues.

In addition, the European slave- master imposed, albeit instilled, the Christian religion on these enslaved Africans cum the praying to and worshipping of White Gods, who have "good - sounding" Euro -Christian names.

Hence, today their descendents are1,000 percent faithful, loyal, devoted Christians who voluntarily worship White Gods 24-7-365 in supposedly independent countries like TnT.

Indeed, Africans in TnT have taken this European religious imposition to the next level by accepting a Euro- American as their Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

He is their leader and Shepherd at a price, which is determined under a voluntary- encourage system of "Stewardship" or "tithe System".

And this is not withstanding the fact that the Euro - Roman Catholic Church is one of the largest and most profitable Multi- National Corporations (MNCs) or international business conglomerates on the planet with a fully functioning Central Bank also.

The Euro - plantation system is still alive and kicking in TnT, in the era of independence.

The European slave-master also purposefully, callously and deliberately not only destroyed the original African family unit but also stripped these Africans of their original Africanness, customs way of life and mind- set.

Dr. Williams did not absolutely nothing to undo the European imposed quartet on the psyche of the Africans in TnT.

Today, the typical African in TnT doesn't know where his mind is and he doesn't even seem to care - all thanks to Dr. Williams. However some solace is provided by Dr. Marimba Ani as follows:

" You're not an African because you were born in Africa. You're an African because Africa is born in you. It's in your genes . in your DNA.. your entire biological make up. whether you like it or not that's the way it is. However, if you were to embrace this truth with open arms.. my my, my. what a wonderful thing.

The Africans whom the Europeans deposited in TnT and else where in the Caribbean in 1516, all have Africa as their original DNA roots, home land. They are all original people of Mother Africa.

The fact of the matter is that we were all first, primarily Africans with Africans names before we became secondarily West Indians and Trinbagonians with "good sounding" Euro -Christian names.

Mother Africa represents our originality- our original, ancestral - biological Homeland.

As a result of different European geographical dispersions and enslavement, transplanted and uprooted Africans have now become citizens of other respective countries outside the Continent. Their imposed citizenship or nationality are accidental and is based on and determined by, the port at which their European slave -master's ship docked / unloaded them.

Therefore in term of the reality of African history, mother Africa is the inherited original, primary, ancestral - biological Home of African- Trinbagonians and that is no accident.

TnT only represents the accidental, imposed- citizenship - nationality and \or Destination of African - Trinbagonians - it is their secondary Home.

Africans in TnT did not choose where the European docked his slave ship. Ergo, African - Trinbagonians could have been African- Haitians , African - Jamaicans, African- Cubans, African - Brazilians and so on.

The European slave- master just happened to unload some slaves from Africa in TnT.

The stark reality is that our African Originality is a gift from Mother Africa, while our Nationality or Trinibagonian citizenship is a quintessential indictment from Father Europe.

It is just that simple, Africa- centered, irrefutable, historical fact. Africa is the ancestral - biological Mother of Africans in TnT; TnT is just our surrogate, historical Mother.

The same is true for the Indians who were" lured" to TnT as indentured labourers from India in 1845. They were all first, primarily Indians before they became secondary West Indians and Indian - Trinbagonians.

India is the ancestral - biological Mother of Indians in TnT; TnT is their surrogate, historical Mother.

Mother India is their original, inherited ancestral Home; TnT is just their Destination. TnT represents their accidental, imposed - citizenship - nationality. Indians in TnT did not choose where the Euro - British slave-master docked his ship. Ergo, Indian - Trinbagonians could have been Indian - Guyanese.

So for Dr. Eric Williams to state that "the only Mother we recognise is Mother Trinidad and Tobago" only proves that he had turned history upside down to suit and fall in line with the thought process of His - Eurocentric - Story.

In other words, Dr. Williams saw and interpreted African history from a total eurocentric frame of reference and sought to imbue, albiet brainwash, Africans in TnT with that same mind -set.

Events in February 1970, however, were set in motion to stymie such a reality.

Historian Dr. Eric Williams is a responsible for the dis-location, dis-orientation and historical- cultural dis-memberment of Africans in TnT. He single-handedly has made them a lost people and the repercussions are ricocheting in society 24-7-365 today.

The majority African - Trinbagonians are acting and /or seeing themselves as a people without a past, a dismal present ad a scary future, at best. Thanks to Euro-centric historian Dr. Eric Williams. Eric Williams capitalized on the "Doctor politics" mantra in order to maximize his own altruistic political agenda. And he succeeded exceptionally well, thank you.

Dr. Williams was dead, dead wrong to utter such an unfortunate afore-mentioned statement that our only recognisable Mother is that of Trinidad and Tobago.

Such a statement reminds this writer of a poignant observation by deceased Afro-centric, African - American scholar and historian, Dr. John Henrik Clarke as follows:" A Negro with a PhD is dangerous". Dr. Williams, the historian resembles this observation. He and his legacy continue to be very dangerous to the well - being of Africans in TnT.

The sad commentary is that this dangerous legacy still flourishes today under the nuttin, de- Africanised PNM- Manning regime.

Extravagantly clothed One- Ah Day/ Quasi/Honourary / Psuedo Africans is the accepted phenomenon every 1st August- thanks to the shameful legacy of Euro-centric historian Dr. Eric Williams.

The fact of the matter is that if it were not for European colonialism, Age of Discovery and enslavement, then there would not be anyone called an African - Indian- Trinibagonian.

We would then be only Africans still living in Mother Africa and Indians still living in Mother India.

And some other people (Amerindians) would be inhabiting TnT -maybe TnT might have been a much better, safer and more humanised, civilized, nature - oriented, acculturated, family values- driven and spiritual place in which to live.

That is no off- the- wall, carnival calypso season "bligh"

However, since none of us had any control over the course of Euro-History, Africans and Indians are now doubly emboldened with an original inherited, primarily, ancestral - biological Mother Africa and Mother India on one hand and accidental, imposed, secondary, historical Mother TnT on the other.

This is our most potent asset as one former colonised, oppressed and enslaved people.

Our history started in Mother Africa and Mother India; their children have only grown up to be African- Indian- Trinbagonians in another Home away from Home. As such, contrary to historian Dr. Eric Williams, Trinbagonians must recognise Mother Africa and Mother India as our twin original, inherited, primary ancestral - biological Tree and Mother TnT as our secondary, imposed, accidental national Fruits therefrom.

We are all legitimate children of Mother Africa and Mother India and discrimination by any one of our Mothers is a non-starter in this familial relationship. We are all equal children in this Home away from Home that we all call "sweet, sweet TnT"

Truth be told: We Africans are the only people on this planet who have been duly conditioned to be ashamed of ourselves and to disdain/ diss our history. Prof. Eric Williams as Prime Minister did absolutely nothing whatsoever to remedy, reverse and rectify this deleterious, suicidal trend among Africans in TnT.

Indeed, Eric Williams gave them the White Euro-centric cold shoulder and finger.

Indeed, when one looks "below the surface" in terms of the interplay between the European coloniser and the African colonized, the chips clearly reveal that Prof. Eric Williams is the perfect caricature of Frantz Fanon's Euro-colonial syndrome of" Black Skins, White Masks".

In terms of the delivery of African history to the people from an Africa-centered perspective, Dr. Williams was more Euro-British than the Euro-British Massa himself. Massa day done, give me a break, please!

The fact of the matter is that Neo-colonialism can only function effectively when there is a Neo-colonial Massa in the Euro-colonial mansion - a mansion called White Hall in TnT today.

Any Euro-Neo-colonial Massa must be trained in the image and likeness of his Euro-colonial Massa\Master.

In this way, the White Mask fits perfectly as it did on the face of Euro-centric historian Prof. Eric Williams.

African history was neither taught nor even discussed in TnT public schools under Prime Minister- historian Dr. Eric Williams; it is still not taught nor even discussed in TnT public schools today.

The current Euro-Neo-colonial Massa in White Hall has taken a page out of his predecessor's Euro-centric history book.

Under the present scheme of things, his geological Euro-colonial White Mask is a perfect fit- talk about a well-fitted and well - suited Euro-colonial hand-me-down.

This mas(k)querade which he has worn since 1991 is not a "quite innocent error". It is the real stuff of which Euro-colonial Massas are made.

Truth be told: Euro-centric historian Dr. Eric Williams is directly responsible for the African historical-cultural amnesia, induced collective lobotomy, powerlessness and wanton hopelessness of African-Trinbagonians today. But give the European much credit. He has done an excellent job on African people in collusion with African Tribal Chiefs in the 15th century and in collusion with educated African-peans like historian Dr. Eric Williams in the 20th century.

Bro. Malcolm X once retorted: "the problem with African people today is that we left our minds in Africa".

When he was educator-Prime Minister and 1st Vice Chancellor of UWI, Dr. Eric Williams did absolutely nothing to equip African-Trinbagonians with the necessary information and tools to engage in critical thinking, analysis and interpretation of their history.

Such action could have served as a solid foundation and potent ammunition so that they could retrieve and rediscover their lost mind and also regain and refocus their lost tongue both in more positive self-fulfilling and self-maximizing directions.

In addition, when Prof. Williams held that high profile academic/administrative position, African-Trinbagonians (former African colonized) had to leave TnT, travel to the citadel of their former Euro-British colonizer in London, England and sit at his feet to be educated about his own African history in the London School of Oriental Studies.

The African colonized was conditioned to accept (and maybe believe) the fact that the European colonizer knew more about his history than he himself did. The African colonized had to look up to hi s European professor to find out about himself. In these academic circumstances, the European colonizer, under the guise of a university professor, was supreme. Maybe, Prof. Williams believed in the intellectual superiority of the European colonizer vis-a-vis the African colonized. Also, maybe that's why Prof. Williams never challenged David Hume's racist, ethnocentric, supremacist convictions cited earlier; they were both on the same Euro-centric historical page.

African-Trinbagonians are still being bamboozled, hoodwinked and took by these treacherous, Euro-colonial Mask Massas.

As a result, the London School of Oriental Studies now functions as the de jure intellectual Privy Council when it relates to the final adjudication in the granting of a PH. D. degree in African History to any West Indian. Is this real independence from our former Euro-British colonizer or is it in the apt words of Dr. John Henrik Clarke: "flag independence" just waving in de carnival, winin, soca jump-up air?

My fellow Trinbagonians: " Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds".

True emancipation, freedom and total liberation can only permeate and impact all aspects of daily life in TnT when and only when all the Euro-colonial Mask Massas are removed from office.

It is just that plain and simple. Furthermore, the notion that "a nation, like an individual, can only have one Mother" is a puerile and preposterous statement to be uttered by such an educated individual-in history.

A nation is made up of thousands or millions of individuals; an individual is made up of only one person.

Is the good "Doctor" saying or implying that one equals a thousand or a million?

Maybe, he was having flashbacks of his West Indian federal mathematical calculation that "one from ten equals zero".

Yes, an individual has only one Mother but a nation has several ancestral-biological Mothers based on the different national origins of its diverse individual citizens.

So, for example, Irish-Americans have Mother Ireland as their ancestral-biological Mother; French-Americans have Mother France; Jewish-Americans have Mother Israel; African-Americans have Mother Africa;
Japanese-Americans have Mother Japan; and on, and on, and on. Ergo, the American nation has several primary-secondary ancestral-biological Mothers, not just one Mother United States of America. In fact, all of the afore-mentioned individuals are not even the original people of America in the first place.
These same analogies also apply to TnT.
The fact of the matter is that all individual citizens of the world can trace their natural origin to one and only one source and that original source is Mother Africa.

She is the Mother of all Mothers. She gave birth to all humankind. Mother Africa is the cradle of civilization. All human life started or originated in Africa; it did not start or originate in TnT nor America nor any other place else period.

All other human races have emerged as a result of the emigration and adaptation of the original African man after he left Africa to populate the rest of the world. Mother Africa is the world's original Tree; TnT, America, etc., are just the secondary Fruits.

In discussing the creation theories of the original man, Martin R. Delany in his magnum opus titled The Origin Races and Color (1879) states quite categorically that the African (Black) is the first creation of man, "consequently the oldest of the Human Family". (p.9). When a musician produces or creates a CD, there is only one, original master copy.

From this original master copy, he can then produce or create millions of other secondary CDs, including dubbed or re-mix ones.

In the creation of man the African is that one, original master copy from which all other secondary, dubbed or mixed human species are created or produced. This is the totally undisputed Monogenetic Theory of Creation.

So this writer will not waste any more valuable space to dignify Dr. Williams' undignified, unintelligible and unwarranted non-statement.

Truth be told: Correct information, analysis and interpretation of history lead to power to and empowerment of, a people; misinformation and Euro-centric analysis and interpretation of history lead to the powerlessness and self-inflicted genocide of a people- the deadly poison for the average African-Trinbagonian which encapsules the legacy of Euro-centric historian, Prof. Eric Williams.

Prof. Williams should have paid attention to the wisdom of the Rt. Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey when he warned: "Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people. Action, self- reliance, the vision of self and the future have been the only means by which the oppressed have seen and realized the light of their own freedom".

The fact of the matter is that it is important for a people to relate to the past in order to understand the present and deal with the future. A people will never look forward to posterity who never looked backward to their ancestors.

Truth be Told: As a politician, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Eric Eustace Williams, PC, is the unmistaken, maximum Father of the Nation; as a professor - historian, Dr. Eric Williams is the unmistaken, maximum Opiate of the People.

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

* Source: Quoted in Ivar Oxaal, Black Intellectuals Come to Power: The Rise of Creole Nationalism in Trinidad and Tobago, 1968, p.174).

Nantambu's Homepage / Trinicenter Home