Hijabonomics explained: Baldeosingh responds to column that saw him axed by Guardian

“The entire column makes the point that, rather than being a symbol of repression, Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab do so for cogent and rational reasons. It appears that Mr Umar Abdullah either does not understand this, or is pretending to not understand it.”

The following is a statement by satirist Kevin Baldeosingh on his dismissal from the Trinidad Guardian newspaper after a column entitled “Hijabonomics explained.” Wired868 has also published the controversial column:

Photo: Former Trinidad Guardian satirist Kevin Baldeosingh.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

On Monday May 29 at 10:48 am, I was informed by phone by Head of News Shelly Dass that the Guardian would not be renewing my contract, which had come to an end that month, due to financial constraints at the company and that she would officially notify me of my two weeks’ notice by a follow-up letter.

This surprised me somewhat, since I had been discussing over the past two months with Ms Dass a multi-media package that I could offer the company, and she had signalled that they planned to keep me on once we could agree on terms.

I later found out that certain leaders from Muslims groups—none considered representative of the majority of Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago—had complained to the Guardian about a column written by me and published in the Sunday paper, i.e. the previous day.

That article argued that Muslim women who wear the hijab do so for cogent and rational reasons, employing an economics paradigm to make the case.

Why this should offend these particular Muslim leaders is beyond me—but the owners of the Guardian of course have the untrammelled right to have the paper reflect or reject any views they consider offensive to any section of the public, including those individuals known to hold views which are considered extremist by most citizens and, indeed, most Muslims of the nation.

As a professional writer and author, I apply the criteria of evidence, logic and ethics in all my commentary. My column is the longest-running in this country’s daily newspapers and I have always tried to adhere to strict standards of professionalism and integrity.

Photo: Guardian Media head of news Shelly Dass.

If this is considered unacceptable to some persons, that speaks to the principles they apply in what they say and do.

In a media release responding to a column written by me and published in the Sunday Guardian on 28/05/17, Islamic Front leader Umar Abdullah misrepresents what I wrote through his selective quoting.

Mr Abdullah quotes one sentence from the column in which I rhetorically asked: “Why then does she simply not remove her Hijab so she can get the job” and then argues that I am asserting that “all women should strip themselves and compromise their true worth in order to get a job in this country. This is synonymous with prostitution.”

In fact, the following line of the column states that: “Applying the economics perspective, the answer would be that she believes she benefits more from wearing the hijab than she would from compromising her religious identity in order to earn money.”

The entire column makes the point that, rather than being a symbol of repression, Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab do so for cogent and rational reasons.

It appears that Mr Abdullah either does not understand this, or is pretending to not understand it.

Photo: Islamic Front leader Umar Abdullah.

(Trinidad Guardian column)

Hijabonomics explained

By Kevin Baldeosingh

The Guardian’s lead story on May 12 was about a 32-year-old single mother who was allegedly rejected for a job at the National Maintenance and Security Training Company (MTS) because she wears a hijab. The woman has an 11-year-old daughter and a handicapped two-year-old girl as well.

How you interpret this incident depends on your perspective. Muslims will see it as Islamophobia, while secularists will see it as another religious believer claiming unwarranted privilege. But, for an explanatory viewpoint, the economist’s perspective is the most useful.

The economic approach holds that human beings are rational agents, meaning that people seek to attain their goals using the most effective means available in order to maximise their self-interest. This definition passes no judgement on the goals people have, nor does it mean that people don’t make mistakes, since rationality in the economist’s sense is bounded by incomplete information and limited resources. And, crucially, rationality doesn’t even mean that people are aware of their self-interested calculations in making choices.

So the woman told the Guardian, “I have two children and I am seeking employment for them, not to put on fancy clothes and fancy shoes.”

Why, then, does she simply not remove her hijab so she can get the job? Applying the economics perspective, the answer would be that she believes she benefits more from wearing the hijab than she would from compromising her religious identity in order to earn money.

Photo: A Muslim woman in hijab.

This has nothing to do with religious beliefs per se. Economists categorise small religious organisations as clubs—i.e. groups in which goods and services are supplied only to members.

Large religious organisations, like the Catholic Church, are classified as firms. Clubs vary in their entry requirements, and the general rule is that the more stringent the membership demands, the more cohesive the organisation is. This is because the sacrifices required for entry eliminates free riders—i.e. individuals who join in order to get the group’s benefits but who give nothing in return.

In Islam, membership requires adhering to a certain dress code, attending mosques for several hours every week, and a month-long annual fast.

“Signals guide the marketplace,” says writer Larry Witham in his book Marketplace of the Gods. “For religion, what people wear and the rules they follow signal whether they are in one group or another. Who is committed and who is not? The signal reveals who can be trusted in the murky business of life.”

What signal, then, are hijab-wearing women sending?

If they are not married, they are displaying their chastity, which they know Muslim men value. If they are married, they are displaying fidelity, which helps bind their marriage by enhancing their husband’s manly status. It is unlikely, though, that a single mother of two children who are separated in age by nine years would be signalling either chastity or fidelity.

Instead, it is more likely that Afro-Trinidadian women from hotspot areas who adopt the hijab—and it appears that all Black Muslim women, unlike most Indian Muslim ones, do so—are signalling that they are protected by the Black Muslim community.

Photo: Jamaat-al-Muslimeen Imam Yasin Abu Bakr (centre) leaves the Port of Spain Hall of Justice in the company of his bodyguards.
(Courtesy Power102)

It is therefore ironic that the woman in the Guardian report should complain that her hijab prevented her getting a job, for this is in fact a specific function of the hijab. In his book Radical, Religious, and Violent, economist Eli Berman notes that “religious prohibitions tend to distance women in radical religious communities from the market, pulling them back into communities and households, where bearing and raising children is a more attractive activity.”

In Islamic societies in the Middle East, wearing a hijab is a rational choice for women. Islamic apologists often argue that Muslim women are at less risk of rape than Western women because the Muslim females dress modestly.

The argument is disingenuous, of course: Western women move about unprotected in public wearing fitted or skimpy clothes but, if this puts them at higher risk of rape, the trade-off for freedom is considered acceptable and, in any case, rape rates in developed nations are very low—the 1 in 4 figure typically cited by gender feminists is a false statistic.

Since Islamic cultures have a polygamous tradition, elite males often monopolise several women of child-bearing age, which in turn means that there is a permanent underclass of young men who are deprived of sexual relations and marriage. Modest dress and other strictures are therefore cultural devices to protect women from that predatory cohort.

In the context of Islamic societies, a woman who did not dress modestly would be sending a signal that she was not virtuous, which would be interpreted by many men—and women—as a justification to attack her.

This is not the case in Trinidad and Tobago, however, since most women here are neither Muslim nor modest—because the average Trini woman correctly calculates that displaying her natural assets adds more to her value in the mating marketplace than concealing them.

Photo: Silhouette of a Muslim woman in hijab.
(Copyright Muslimgirl.com)

However, within the Islamic sub-culture in T&T, the hijab tells a potential mate that the woman will not object to him taking additional wives or to being an additional wife, as allowed by the Islamic code.

From this perspective, the hijab might therefore be a rational compromise between Trini sexual mores and Islamic values.

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  1. Guardian axes everybody. He’s not alone. They dance to everyone’s tune.

  2. His “cogent and rational reasons” are underprivileged black single mothers wear their hijab show allegiance to criminal elements, as they obviously can’t be displaying chastity nor fidelity, because you know Single Parent. Also please note, the Guardian says they’re not renewing his contract. He claims it’s due to ONE organisation reacting negatively to the article.

  3. If a man offends with words I would think the appropriate response would be words showing him how his argument fails. But that might be too optimistic

  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J5bDhMP9lQ

    Muslims can’t seem to agree about the hijab….The same goes for Christian, Hindu and Buddhist doctrine

  5. Time to move on to better things

  6. They stumbled on “cogent ” and the rest went whoosh over their heads.

  7. It’s a great move in firing Mr baldeosing. His articles are very disrespectful in all regard.

  8. My two cents worth.. perspectives and opinions, oh how they differ.. Maybe depending on the source and their affiliation…nuff said.

  9. Baldeosingh is mostly a one trick pony. His trick is being offensive under the guise of satire. Having offended the majority of the population at one time or another he has now become a liability.

  10. Mr Baldeosingh…I am NOW reading this…but stopped half-way down to read something more interesting…
    So in your next column, whether it is the Daily Blah or not, explain to me what NUNS do when they have an interview…

      • Not sure how the Nun point is excellent. The genesis of all of this is that a hijab wearing Muslim was apparently denied a job because of the hijab. She then had to make a choice either remove the hijab and get the job, keep the hijab and remain jobless or publicize the issue and see what happens. Unless a job seeking Nun is denied a job based on her habit she would not be faced with that choice to make. The default is therefore seek the job wearing what you want and then make your choice when the situation arises. NOT make the choice before the situation arises as Reza suggests. In other words she has to do nothing.

    • Ahhh, I dont think nuns interview for jobs to take care of their 2 kids, and I also believe that its just their head is covered not the face . Correct me if I’m wrong..

    • True Darren. But the nun’s habit is similar to the covering that most Muslim women wear. Does western society respond differently to each? Might be one to consider.

    • I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison. The nuns don’t cover their faces and they are much less ubiquitous anyway. You don’t see many nuns out and about anyway and they’re not in the general workforce. Just in Catholic schools.

    • That much is true Rose but if the idea for hiring Muslim women is that people feel uncomfortable about the hijab then I think it would be interesting to hear what they think of the habit.
      Do you mean a nun would be told to scram if she applied for a job at MTS? ?

      • Considering that many Muslim women do not wear the hijab, (Turkey, India, Egypt, TnT etc) The question may be about the perception of the difference between those persons that subscribe to wearing the hijab and the like vs the Muslims that don’t. Note that the hijab came to Iran when the Ayatollah came. Iran was a different place prior.

    • I’m not convinced the issue is the hijab per se…or is it the hijab on a black Muslim. Do Indian Muslims face the same issues in the workplace? No pun intended. I remember back in the early nineties working with hijab wearing Indian women and it seemed normal. And with regards to the nuns it’s a real stretch for me to picture a nun applying for a job. But given that even to this day the majority of nuns are little old white ladies I don’t think they would be judged by the same standard. Deep down I don’t feel people uncomfortable with the hijab as much as who’s wearing it. That’s what I think Baldeosingh was aluding to.

    • Well, I do think this conversation needs for us to dissect stuff like that. So we’re on the right path.
      The nun applying for the job was just meant to be theoretical anyway. Being a nun IS a job as far as I understand it.

    • The MAJORITY of muslim women wear the HIJAB…which covers their HEADS, not faces…similar to the NUNS…
      The NIQAB is the wear that covers HEADS AND FACES…

    • The wearing of the HIJAB is about modesty…whether married or single…a matter of CHOICE..just like women who wear strings for CARNAVAL..

    • Covering of the face is the challenge imo, not the head. Head coverage is widely accepted, the face cover raises other issues in our current situation. An important question to ask is this, is the covering of the face mandatory in Islam, why do some women cover and others don’t, what does the covered face signify to a fellow muslim?.

    • Darren, the young woman denied a job and who Baldeosingh wrote about didn’t have her face covered. There is even a photograph for that story.
      She was wearing a hijab and not a niqab.

    • A hijab is a head covering. It doesn’t cover your face

    • All of this further proves the importance of this conversation.

    • Lasana Liburd Nuns now wear mid thigh dresses and some even short sleeved shirts. So Nuns don’t come into this equation.

    • Debbie, so is it that Muslim women have to show more flesh to fit in?

    • Not at all. Just saying comparing their garb to a Nun’s is incorrect. Muslim women are free to wear what they please.

    • Debbie, they said she was asked to remove her hijab to be hired. They didn’t say there was a problem with anything else she was wearing.
      A nun’s habit is similar to hijab. Hence the comparison.

    • I agree it is wrong to ask her to remove her hijab but nowadays most nuns do not cover their heads unless it’s a formal ceremony etc.

    • Spoken from a former convent girl who saw their progression or regression, however you look at it, in Nun’s habits from then to now.

    • Debbie Espinal, regression girl. Some of them don’t even wear the habit anymore

    • Back in my day sister Paul D’Ornellas was a maverick. She wore a dress not a habit. And she didn’t wear a veil either. And she took a man’s name.

    • The NUN does nothing until a situation calls for her to do something.

    • Actually those two classes of females are in no way the same. Nuns wear their habit to signal that they’re celibate (basically their husband is Jesus Christ). Therefore they won’t have any children. They also don’t work outside the church so they won’t be placed in the position of having to remove their headwear to get a job

  11. Mantila, Urni, Hijab. All religions promotes Modesty among women.

  12. Has always been an evidence based writer. One door closed.. Fifty open

  13. Well he does have a history of inflammatory articles.

  14. Kevin Baldeosingh is a brilliant columnist, he does his research, quotes his sources and lays out his arguments. He is also an avowed humanist so his writings on religion could come over as a bit condescending. Nevertheless, the article in question, in my opinion is not offensive in any way . We have to be careful that we don’t give legitimacy to fringe and extremist concerns less they become more empowered and come back to bite us.
    People have become overly sensitive and less tolerant of opposing ideas and opinions, that’s not Trinidad and Tobago..

  15. Baldeosingh writes thought-provoking commentaries, and may well be provoking. Does it mean he is wrong? Or right? Clearly, the matter is subjective.

    There is a major problem with subjectivity. The very nature of subjectivity means that it is the viewpoint of the receiver that is important, which is why an objective saying may be interpreted by the receiver as being subjectively insulting. This is the key problem with discrimination/antidiscrimination laws, slander, libel et cetera. It is the view of the receiver and whether he or she feels slighted that makes the case. Even where no offence was intended.

    Sadly, the majority of people do not understand satire. More unfortunately, they do not realise that satirists who are atheists also backup their writings/viewpoints with evidence. So what is objective becomes subjective and as already attested to, cannot be defended.

    So who is right? Or wrong? Neither? Or both? Herein lies the rub.

  16. Clearly he searching the wrong place because Allah orders the believing women to veil themselves.

  17. Thanks for this. This move is for the best as this media house is circling the plug hole. Move on and up

  18. Let’s go international for a moment… CNN fired Kathy Griffin for her picture with a bloodied Look-alike Trump head. Did CNN go too far? Griffin for sure is protected under US free speech laws. No, I’m not going to compare US and TT constitutions! But for me, the situations are comparable…


    • Free speech is a non-starter in the Griffin case. The two are also not comparable. Griffin was hired as an entertainment host and fired for actions that cross the line of both good taste and common sense. Baldeosingh is/was a journalist, working for a newspaper. More importantly, he worked as a columnist, which by definition, means he was paid for his opinion. If the allegation is true, then he was also terminated for voicing his opinion… and voicing it in a less than controversial manner. But controversy aside, terminating an opinion writer for having expressed their opinion is censorship. Censorship in any manner is troubling. When carried out by those who should be at the vanguard of any putative free speech movement themselves, becomes hundredfold moreso.

    • No my friend, the parallels are there. Griffin is free to make a statement using photography, Baldeosingh is free to express his opinion. Just as the public found Griffin’s photograph distasteful, a lot of people find Baldeosingh’s opinion crass and not worthy of the paper it’s printed on! How many times is he allowed to cross the line? Satire? Where?

      Some may beg to differ of course and that is fine but alot of people flat out don’t care for the manner in which he expresses his opinion.

      It is not about censorship, it’s about your audience. Why would I pay you to continuously piss off my customers? If we paid an entertainer to perform every week and every week we receive complaints about his performance, are we not entitled to review our contractual obligations?

      The paid opinion of a journalist is not free from scrutiny nor does it mean they have licence to say and do as they please, your employer has every right to say “I have had enough of you!”

    • I don’t care for him as a writer but my personal opinion of him is immaterial to the larger point being made, a larger point which sadly seems lost on you.

  19. I really think we are being distracted from the very serious issues facing us – that being those of Islamist extremists and the “power” they are beginning to wield in our society. When you have an Attorney General legitimising the existence of radicals by singling out and embracing him as pictured and captioned in the article below, then we are heading down a slippery slope. When these same radicals have admitted that they once considered jihad and people arguing about Baldeosingh’s ability to insult anyone who doesn’t agree with him, then we are missing the boat. Every one on this forum should use Dr Google and get an insight into the real Umar Abdullah.

  20. i don’t have to read the article . to agree that every time this so called imam or representative of the muslims speaks-and he loves the camera-he does not understand what he speaks off

  21. Personally I enjoy Kevin baldeosingh’s writings. I have found that he forces us to think, reflect and question. I’ve read that article three times trying to see where and if I can take offense- didn’t find any. But I do admit that we all come with different perspectives and filters so each will get something different. In response to one post I read, let’s be clear that some folks in TT do hide behind being Muslim as a form of protection. I had an accident in TT 3 yrs ago. The fella was wrong. When I insisted on certain things like DL, insurance and police report he got belligerent and one unfortunate comment from him was “don’t f$&$ with me because I’m a Muslim”. I did proceed to the police station with a report but it shocked me that he used that as a tool of protection and intimidation. These are worthwhile conversations and firing him for this I have a problem there

    • So you had one a bad experience with a man claiming to be a muslim thus it’s ok for Baldeosingh to claim that every black woman wearing the hijab is demonstrating that they are under the protection of black muslims?

      A black man robs you at gunpoint so every black man is a bandit?

      In 2017 we, as Trinbagonians, are making these kind of statements?

      Just so we are clear, I am not muslim, nor do I believe that everyone who wear muslim garb are true adherents to the faith. However, we cannot paint with a broad brush!

      I cannot sit here as a black man and believe all crap other people have to say about black people. I cannot as a Trinidadian “tote” too much when people from up the islands refer to us as Trickidadians, I’m not buying that BS!

      Baldeosingh’s can keep his “us” vs “them” language. Together we aspire, together we achieve, all of us have the same Trinbagonian birth certificate that informs our entitlements.

      I refuse to let fear inform policy, I hope more Trinis would do likewise!

    • That’s not the point! I never broad brushed. I simply suggested that it’s a consideration. I didn’t see hate in Kevin’s article nor disrespect.

    • If it’s one thing we will agree on is that words have power! And whilst you may be able to discern what he may be trying to convey, at face value, let’s call it what it is, discrimination under the guise of satire and journalism.

      He is very free to write a book and publish his views himself but if you are writing a column for a daily newspaper and your words are easily misconstrued to be divisive language, here in a multicultural society to which some of us still take pride, he could take a back seat!

  22. im just confused by both kevin & the editors to publish pieces on eid, ramadan etc which are targetted toward the muslim community and expect to not be any repercussion. he has a history of being a troll, now he wants to talk about being a professional?? LOL another joke journalist. good riddance

  23. …..and Guardian press the panic button.

  24. I really don’t think Abdulah was pretending not to understand. I am sorry Baldeosingh didn’t get his contract renewed.

  25. Baldeosingh’s column is not satire! Let’s get that out of the way one time! It is nothing but his OPINION and it’s always condescending!

    In that article he said that every single black woman that wears the hijab is demonstrating that they are under the protection of black muslims. Where is the satire?

    From his soap box high in the sky atop some latrine pit he spews his diatribe under the guise of “columnist” offending one section of the population after another. I stop trying to read his crap years ago and marvelled that somebody was still affording him space in dailies.

    In my opinion, he is nothing but a puppet for populism. The kind of crap that swayed 60 million Americans to vote for the current U.S. president.

    Stop insulting the satirists by including Kevin Baldeosingh with the lot!

    • I think you misunderstood Baldeosingh’s statement. This is not what he said at all.

      “Instead, it is more likely that Afro-Trinidadian women from hotspot areas who adopt the hijab—and it appears that all Black Muslim women, unlike most Indian Muslim ones, do so—are signalling that they are protected by the Black Muslim community.”

      The only thing he said about “all” is that it appears that all black Muslim women, unlike Indian women, wear or “adopt” the hijab. And he wasn’t even generalizing per se, because he qualified it with “it appears”.

      Now there may be several Kevin Baldeosingh articles that inspire an offensive response in some people but for the life of me I can’t see anything offensive in this one. To me it seems to have more painstaking analysis than usual if anything.

    • LoL! That is such a Kellyanne Conway response!

      So let’s delve into the logical sematics of that statement. The phrase in between the dashes can be omitted to show the intent of the statement and that’s where his “appears” is located. Furthermore, even in the additional phrase he states “it appears that ALL Black Muslim women….” That is using a broad brush and that is injurious to black women who do not use the hijab in such a manner. That little dashed phrase compares indo hijab wearers to black hijab wearers and eventually says black women are wearing it only to intimidate the populace of the possibility of some black muslim man showing up on their jobsite if you don’t give this black muslim woman what she wants! To denigrate the hijab in such a manner is offensive to ALL muslims!

      And him making such statements now will have the population looking at every black muslim woman a certain way. Again, “us” vs “them” divisive bulls&!t language construction!

      Deconstructing the above is already broiling my blood! The inserted words “it appears” do not save Baldeosingh! As a matter of fact, it’s cleverly inserted so that the Kellyanne Conways can mount a defense of the hogwash!

    • Boy ah could see it making yuh blood boil?. Yuh know this is probably the exact reaction Kevin was going for?. Anyway I’m not really trying to pull a Kelly Ann eh. Lord knows that is impossible to do without ending up looking like a hag. But seriously I just found your synopsis that Baldeosingh said that “every single black woman who wears the hijab was demonstrating ….etc”. I don’t think from a linguistic perspective that your statement follows from what Kevin wrote.

    • Ezra you have interpreted what you think “protected by the Black Muslim community” means. In fact I think you have done quite a bit of speculation.
      That’s your right and it is an opinion piece after all. But there is the possibility that you are wrong.
      I don’t see the need to compare anyone with Kellyanne Conway just because they didn’t agree with your speculation. That’s pretty ironic.

    • I agree with you Lasana, I too was not too happy with the Kellyanne Conway analogy, I certainly did not mean to cast Rose-Marie in that light, but was merely making a point, my apologises to you Rose-Marie.

      Coincidentally, Lasana, you have taken umbrage with my opinion and I, like Kathy Griffin, have apologised for the innuendo, too bad others can’t do the same eh!

      There is no possibility of my opinion being wrong though! My opinion and interpretation of Mr Baldeosingh’s work is just that. If he doesn’t want his opinions mis-interpreted by the masses, then maybe he should speak a little more plain. If it’s geared to a much smaller audience then find a new medium for delivery. Like Rose-Marie said, maybe my blood broiling is the actual reaction he does want!

      It is definitely my choice whether to read his column or not and as you can see, I rather choose not too! Objective analysis of his opinions are difficult at best and certainly not worth my peace of mind!

    • Why does Mr. Baldeosingh have the right to unfettered opinion but I can’t or shouldn’t make a comparison to Kellyanne Conway?

    • I don’t say you can’t compare anyone to Conway. I just didn’t feel it was merited this time.
      I don’t really take umbrage with your opinion. Like I said, you could well be right. But it is an opinion so it could also go the other way.
      I have no problem whatsoever with your passion. It’s a good thing in my books.

    • Ezra I really didn’t take offense at your Kelly Ann analogy so no apology was necessary…unless yuh say I LOOK like her. Then yuh looking for cuss?

    • By the way, I’ve been reading Kevin Baldeosingh for a long time and invariably if you read 10 articles I might take offense at 1 or 2. But generally I think his writing style is brilliant and I usually enjoy reading his take on certain issues. As a Catholic I don’t take personal offense at his religion bashing.. he’s an unapologetic atheist. Mostly I find his writing entertaining and thought provoking

    • Much thanks for that Rose-Marie! And looks wise Kellyanne is in a league of her own ?.

      This little thread, for me, does symbolize Baldeosingh’s problem. His musings are acceptable to some whilst making other’s blood boil! Some believe he goes too far and without merit and I’m not sure if he has ever apologised for any of his comments. Others will say apologies are not necessary at all.

      How much grumbling and pitch-fork should the Guardian put up with so a man could express his opinion?

    • But remember Ezra, if Guardian felt his thoughts were so offensive then they should not have published in the first place. So they can’t divorce their editorial staff from this.

    • If the editor holds similar views as expressed by Rose-marie then it will be published. He was under contract and therefore must produce something and newspapers need columists, apparently!

      But certainly the response from the public should also be taken into consideration.

      Let me go to the extreme and mention sedition. Mr Bakr expressed his opinion within the confines of a mosque but I believe it was being broadcast on radio and television live. His opinions led to charges of sedition!

      Of course Baldeosingh doesn’t go that far but in my opinion, he isn’t too far down the road.

      Another comment mentioned the word ‘censorship’. I’m not sure how it works in the media business but in this case, what’s the difference between editing and censoring?

  26. This issue is much larger than Mr Baldeosingh.I did not personally have any difficulty with the column though I know persons who did and who have found other things that he has written in the past offensive.To their credit those persons are as appalled as I am by his employers handling of this matter.This has a great deal to do with journalistic independence and integrity and that is where we need to be looking.It cannot be desirable for journalists to feel that every piece they write needs to be sugar-coated or that they need to be walking on egg-shells lest they offend one group or other.

  27. Would love to have read the original article though

  28. Satirist? He seems to go out of his way to be vindictive and mean to those whi don’t agree with his pov. Free speech also comes with responsibility. The bigger picture here is the extremists and what he does doesn’t target their rigid beliefs, but make a mockery of those who do not share his beliefs. Let’s not even go into the issue with Dr G Hosein.
    Disclaimer: I couldn’t bear to read the statement

  29. If Mr Baldeosingh sincerely believes that his dismissal has more to do with this one piece and less to do with his history of poor attempts at hiding bias and bigotry in his many prior pieces then more woe be unto him

  30. You self Lasana, you really expect him to get an article like that? That’s just waayyyy above him….

  31. Lasana Liburd do you have a link to his original article? I didn’t read it.

  32. Lack of functional literacy is the number one crime in TT

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