Is Trinidad a real place? March 20, 2023
Last Sunday, Terrence Farrell, one of our premier public intellectuals, sought to explain why some people say that "Trinidad is not a real place". Speaking of the mess in which Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard found himself when he dismissed the Piarco airport corruption case, Farrell observed that it is these failures that prompt our frustration and "give weight to epithets such as 'Trinidad is not a real place'" (Sunday Express, March 12). Full Article
Eugene Chen: a forgotten Trinidadian - Pt III March 13, 2023
Walton Look Lai has written an indispensable book about the life of Eugene Chen and the important role he played in Chinese history between the 1920s and 1940s, the full flowering of Chen's career. Chen, a shrewd diplomat, possessed a superior command of the English language which he used as a weapon against his internal antagonists within the party and external foes.
Eugene Chen: a forgotten Trinidadian - Pt II March 06, 2023
Between 1921 and 1925, the year of Sun Yat-sen's death, Eugene Chen was on top of his game. He was described as "Sun Yat-sen's personal representative and spokesman in Shanghai" while the US Consul General in Shanghai described him as "one of the ablest, if not the most able, of Chinese political writers". (Look Lai, West Meets East.) Full Article
Eugene Chen: a forgotten Trinidadian February 27, 2023
In 1944, when news reached Trinidad that Eugene Chen had died from neurasthenia in China, Chien Chiao (the Chinese homonym for Trinidad), a Trinidad Chinese community journal, made the following announcement: "Eugene Chen (1879(sic)-1944), Trinidad's greatest son and for many years Chinese Foreign Minister, died from a heart attack in Shanghai this year. Born of humble parentage in San Fernando, he practiced as a solicitor in the courts of the colony before going abroad." (December 1944). Full Article
Cro Cro: our warrior king February 20, 2023
A few days ago, businessman Inshan Ishmael issued a pre-action protocol letter to Cro Cro (Weston Rawlins). He demands Cro Cro respond favourably to his letter within the next 28 days or face legal action in the High Court. Ishmael says he is the subject of Cro Cro's calypso, "Another Sat Is Outside Again".
Defending our noble art form February 13, 2023
Businessman Inshan Ishmael plans to take Cro Cro (Weston Rawlins) to court over what he says are Cro Cro's "highly defamatory lyrics about him" in his (Rawlins') 2023 calypso, "Another Sat is Outside Again". He says that he never listens to Cro Cro's calypsoes because they always denigrate the East Indian community. This time, he is really offended. Full Article
'Stand Together, ye Damned of the Earth' February 06, 2023
Jonathan Smith (not his real name) is one of my dearest friends. Last Sunday, after reading my column, he sent me the following note: "Dr Cudjoe, I can't remember when last you wrote so much unrealistic and unadulterated crap. I never heard your good friend Sat Maharaj or any Hindu leader pleading the case for the poor, dispossessed African community. Why not make the case for the Orisas or the Shouter Baptists or the Rastas? Which society in the world has woven all their cultural and racial/ethnic strands into the perfect tapestry you seem to want to yoke the government with? The US, France, Brazil?"
If you start with a lie... January 30, 2023
I wish to congratulate Christine Kangaloo for having been elected to the highest office of the land. Whatever her strengths and/or weaknesses, she now represents all Trinbagonians and so we ought to pledge our allegiance to her. As she said in her acceptance speech: "Now that the election is over, I look forward to serving our country in the only way I know howówith love for all and with an unwavering belief in the innate goodness of our people."
An apology January 23, 2023
Apart from the years that I have spent abroad, I have lived most of my life in Tacarigua, a village that is located about ten miles east of Port of Spain. In 1976 Lance Murray, an official of the Trinidad Sugar Estates (known then as the Orange Grove Estates), sent Fr David Benjamin, the pastor of the St Mary's Anglican Church, a letter offering the church an opportunity to purchase a plot of land adjacent to the church. Elated by the possibility of expansion, the members of vestry voted unanimously to accept the offer; they built a parish hall on the land. Full Article
It's always political January 16, 2023
A few days ago, the Prime Minister defended his Government's choice of Christine Kangaloo for President of Trinidad and Tobago. He argued that those people who objected to the Government's nomination were indulging in "nothing but pure politics... There are people in this country who set out deliberately to mislead the country, and I go as far as to say, incite the population". (Express, January 9.) Full Article
Patriotism and its vulgar application January 09, 2023
Over the past two weeks Minister Stuart Young has proclaimed his patriotism and his commitment to the central tenet of our National Anthem: "Here every creed and race find an equal place." Anyone who objects to his interpretation of this aspect of the anthem is accused of being a racist or, as he said recently, of playing "the unsavoury race card". He has accused me of attacking him "on the basis of race" (Express, January 2). Full Article
Pride in our origins January 02, 2023
Two weeks ago I cautioned the People's National Movement about the Prime Minister's desire to foist Stuart Young upon the party as its next political leader. I also asked party leaders to recognise how important black people are to the sustenance of the party. Full Article
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