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Racist thoughts precede racist actions; why Charlottesville and Kaepernick should matter to T&T

“Class determines how they express their racism, that’s all. Poor racists are more overt, elite racists are more insidious”  (Facebook comment)

 “[O]ur intellectual leaders have been so preoccupied with the campaigns against the hard-line white supremacists who make no compromise in their flaunting of Western civilisation that we have sometimes overlooked the more subtle attack from the mild mannered and friendly acting liberal(s).” Jacob Carruthers, Intellectual Warfare.

Photo: San Francisco 49ers players Colin Kaepernick (centre) and Eric Reid (right) kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to their NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium on 23 October 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Copyright Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

I wonder how many people here are paying close attention to the events unfolding in the US surrounding race and racism, events such as the ostracising of quarterback Colin Kaepernick—and the growing support for him? What about the Black Lives Matter Movement and, most significantly, the violence surrounding the removal of hundreds of monuments to Civil War era figures that were erected during a more openly racist period in US history.

I wonder how many Trinis have drawn parallels with similar efforts here to remove and rename certain statues and street names that glorify colonial figures who can only be properly considered as criminals?

Hell, I wonder how many people here understand the importance of any of this?

These events will be seen differently by different people. For me, what happened in Charlottesville and certain incidents occurring prior to that proved that the notion of a “post-racial” era touted by some after Barack Obama’s election was more delusional rubbish than Fukuyama’s “end of history.”

The brutal killing of a young, white para-legal was tragic. But it brought the reality of hate home to a lot of people who, before it happened, were blissfully ignorant of it. That’s the other tragedy, the other obscenity. Her very own cousin was forced to ask, echoing an uncomfortable question raised at a vigil in her honour, why did she have to die for there to be the outrage being seen now?

Photo: A car ploughs into a group of protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday 12 August 2017.
The driver struck and killed Heather Heyer.
(Copyright Ryan M Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

The reason is the same there as it is here in T&T: denial and insulation. Most people simply do not want to deal with it. Many people put racism in a neat box that may take the form of the KKK, say, or individual acts of prejudice. That way they can distance themselves from it and the possibility that they too may have the same ideas that other people put into practice—rule of thumb: if you were schooled or churched in westernised institutions, you do.

Hollywood and the media contribute to that lop-sided view. As such, the idea that those expressions of hate are connected to a wider institutional framework is harder to conceive and harder to swallow.

And that’s how we in T&T get ourselves bogged down with trite arguments. Many here think the racist displays of Charlottesville and previous incidents have little connection to the issues we face here.

Easily forgotten is the fact that the cultural base of the US is Europe. Yes, the same militaristic, misogynistic, xenophobic Europe that colonised the Americas and imposed its ways of seeing the world. I mean the Europe that emerged out of its self-imposed Dark Ages and a long period of tribal wars, plagues and famine, poor in land, resources and people.

Photo: A depiction of slaves serving their masters in Trinidad.
(Courtesy Netssa.com)

It took care of its land and resources problem by “parasiting” other and took care of its people problem by enslaving those said people—that is, when they were done with enslaving other Europeans from the Slavic countries (hint).

In the process, it normalised physical, psychological and sexual violence and created the idea of the rightness of whiteness. Almost every single person of the Colonial and US eras after whom a street was named or in whose honour a statue was erected in Trinidad became “great” by butchering, enslaving, raping—or all of the above—the people they led as well as peoples of Africa, the Americas and Asia.

From General Hampton to Lord Harris, from Pizarro to Picton, from Custer to Churchill, the history of the Americas is riddled with deified criminals we are expected to take inspiration from and to emulate—hence the statues and street names.

No wonder T&T, like the US, is so steeped in violence, nepotism and ratchafee: we have always glorified the ethics of individualistic aggressive masculinity over those of collectivist humanism.

There are those who argue that these figures are nonetheless part of our history and that they contributed to the making of the Americas—which is true. But these apologists need to pause and think about the other side of that argument: the implicit and explicit messages that nothing existed before them.

Photo: Neo-Nazis protest the planned removal of a statute to late Confederate leader Robert E Lee in Charlottesville.
(Copyright ABC.net.au)

Furthermore, note the dates many of the Confederate statues were erected. They correspond to specific time periods when African-Americans were becoming more assertive or major pieces of legislation were passed in their favour. The message was pretty clear: nigger, know your place.

I understand that many well-intentioned people are tired of “the race talk”. But I support people like Earl Lovelace who argue that for us to move past the issue of race, we need to talk about it not less but more. Of course, that talk should be informed talk but it cannot not take place.

The more we strive to defer or avoid it, the longer will very toxic and dangerous ideas persist and be propagated. If comments posted on Facebook after the last general elections in T&T didn’t clue us in, what happened in Charlottesville removed all doubt.

Thus far, we in T&T have been spared the racial violence that is common to most colonised countries with different ethnic groups. But we forget at our peril that racist actions begin as racist ideas.

If when one thinks of racial violence, the reflex is to think of the US, then the reflex when one hears what Prof. Ramon Grosfuguel calls “epistemic racism/sexism” should be to think of Caribbean countries such as ours.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC.
(Copyright Power102fm)

As this article says, historians know that forgetting is as essential to public understandings of history as remembering. That definitely is the case with understanding Trinbago’s social history.

But I will go even further and state that, regarding this country’s history, the past is often what Napoleon Bonaparte once termed “a set of lies mutually agreed upon.” Those who “built” the Americas did so to exploit the mineral resources for their own enrichment. No consideration was given to indigenous peoples or the Africans they enslaved—they weren’t even considered people.

To justify this, the myth had to be created that the rest of the world was in savage darkness waiting on European settlers to bring the light of civilisation. They had to convince themselves (and us) that the indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia and the Americas had no formal political structures, no understanding of science and had no business utilising the lands on which they had lived for thousands of years.

They remained in power by force as well as by fragmenting those subjected peoples, teaching or refining certain hierarchies with the intention of creating mutual suspicion.

So the only way to get over it is to talk openly about it. The stakes are too high. The end game in the US, T&T and everywhere else hasn’t changed; it’s still the same: to exploit mineral resources and people without having to pay what they are truly worth.

Photo: A protester is taken away for medical attention after being attacked by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.

The events in Charlottesville may have shown that hate is still raw and open; however, it also shows that grassroots agitation is still effective. There is still much to be said for a group of people motivated enough to deal with a problem without waiting for officials to decide what must be done.

None of this would have happened had there not been sustained pressuring from the ground to remove offending monuments. Politicians didn’t up and do it; they think politically, first and foremost.

It’s up to us to think and act morally.

About Corey Gilkes

Corey Gilkes is a self-taught history reader whose big mouth forever gets his little tail in trouble. He lives in La Romaine and is working on four book projects. He has a blog on https://coreygilkes.wordpress.com/blog/ and http://www.trinicenter.com/Gilkes/. Vitriol can be emailed to him at coreygks@gmail.com.

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105 comments

  1. Oh this is why this ole ass thread came up. Never saw it before and I start responding like it new. Didn’t read the article, but interesting conversation.

  2. The debate on Gandhi is happening in India as well.

    • I remember listening to an advocate against the caste system say that Gandhi was vehemently in favour of keeping it just so. He said he knew Gandhi’s real fangs.

    • He def wasn’t who history books painted him to be. I discovered this recently as well.

    • Was easier to hide then I guess. Not so much now. You have to hide in plain sight like Trump now. Lol.

    • Quite. Many other heroes that we cherish in spite of their foul ups. Many love Mother T for her charitable works. Others hate her for being an abusive tyrant. Malcolm x when asked by a black American woman activist what the role of black women should be, is alleged to have said ‘on your backs’ which not surprisingly alienated him from most radical black women. MLK was alleged to be a notorious womanizer (see Hitchens on him) but again we remember him as an icon. Its complicated.

    • Yep. In this era, there might have been a headline like “Love rat MLK shagged choir singer while pregnant wife fought to save their child” or something.
      A lot of people may not have cared too much for his dream after that. Lol. Very complex.
      I mean I still enjoy R Kelly’s music for instance. But…

    • Lasana Liburd yep. There are too many cases where its complicated. Remember Winnie Mandela and her football club and the murder of the child activist Stompie Moketsi. The necklacing of many many people seen as traitors by the ANC. It doesn’t diminish their work or the respect we have for them given what they were fighting. Hard to jump on the moral high ground in life generally. We too have our own issues that we keep debating in our heads (well I do) trying as best as possible to be balanced and take a more humanist approach. I think one can do both, hate them for the bad things they say and do, but make sure that it doesn’t undermine the massive work that they did that we appreciate. Otherwise we]’d be hypocrites 🙂

  3. Onika Nkrumah-Lakhan, did you ever read this one?

    • Excerpt: The University of Ghana’s statue of Gandhi was unveiled June 14 by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee during a visit. As the statue was put up over the summer, many students did not know about it initially. Critics note that it is the only statue of a well-known figure on the campus, whereas there are no tributes to African figures. “Why should we uplift other people’s ‘heroes’ at an African university when we haven’t lifted up our own?” the authors of the petition write.

  4. Let us start our own movement down here

  5. this SJW garbage is beneath you Wired868

    • This is a page and site that welcomes debate. If you have a problem with anything written here, then refute the points advanced with researched, verified information. Talk is cheap YMC, and so is hiding behind a keyboard and shoo-shooing.

  6. Lyrics from “You Can’t Blame the Youth” by Peter Tosh

    You teach the youths about Christopher Columbus
    And you said he was a very great man
    You teach the youth about Marco Polo
    And you said he was a very great man
    You teach the youths about the Pirate Hawkins
    And you said he was a very great man
    You teach the youths about Pirate Morgan
    And you said he was a very great man

    All these great men were doing,
    Robbing, raping, kidnapping, and killing
    So-called great men, were doing,
    Robbing, raping, kidnapping, and killing

    • Mr Myers, if I remember correctly, one of the imams in the Enterprise, Chaguanas area was accused to teaching children who come to his mosque about weapons. When asked why did he expose them to guns, he reportedly said in reply: “Because you put it in the alphabet”

      PRICELESS!!!!

  7. There is a great local organisation working to address this issue #CrossRhodesFreedomProject @ #RhodesMustFallCaribbean and crossrhodestt.com

  8. The other major difference concerning these colonial characters and these civil war creatures is that nobody here reveres these colonial characters while people in the south consider these civil war people heroes and cling to their racist beliefs.
    That whole different attitude is completely ignored by this article. So when he talks about deified criminals and people drawing inspiration from colonial characters… who calls these people our heroes?
    Ask kids today and they might tell you Churchill Roosevelt is one person…

    • Excuse me? Have you been listening to the Deputy Mayor of POS recently when the subject of renaming Queen St came up? Have you listened to the arguments presented by Michael Anthony and Gerald Besson when Shabaka Kambon and the CrossRhodes Caribbean movement renewed calls to remove the Columbus statue and change the names of places named after Lord Harris, Milner, and Lopinot estate? Surely you not serious.

      • Yes, and those gentlemen are off plundering lands and enslaving other folks as was done back in the day.
        You’ve missed the point and you will continue to miss the point because you have an agenda and so will twist everything to suit that agenda.
        Good luck to you.

  9. We do have a movement here in the Caribbean that trying to start a Regional dialogue about the people and values that we venerate and honor in our public spaces and at the same time trying to rescue our real heroes and from oblivion. It was launched officially in June but has been working for the last year and a half. Visit the Cross Rhodes Freedom Project @ #rhodesmustfallcaribbean and crossrhodestt.com

    • You can tell us more about your own campaign Shabaka.

    • We have launched three campaigns thus far. Two regional: Columbus Must Fall (across the Caribbean), Rename Milner Hall (at the UWI) and one local to end the travesty taking place at Loppinot Estate where a sign at the entrance invites us to pay homage to the slave master and his describing the murderous human traffickers as “illustrious” and our ancestors as “loyal slaves”.

    • What do you see as the benefits to those name changes, Shabaka?

    • At the Cross Rhodes Freedom Project we see many of the Colonial Era honorees in this country and across the Region, as both emblematic of our current nexus of problems (racism and prejudice, inequality and inequity, inadequate and antiquated health care and education systems) and, as being themselves, vectors of the colonial values which both underpin those problems and define the parameters in which we can act to address them. We believe that if we can find a way to venerate the best of ourselves we will transmit a different set of values to contemporary and future generations of Caribbean people – hence our tag line – confronting the past to free the future. #RhodesMustFallCaribbean #CrossRhodesFreedomProject @crossrhodestt.com

    • I would invite anyone who wants to understand better to check out the facebook page @ #RhodesMustFallCaribbean and look for the debate between myself and Dr. Michael Anthony about renaming Queen Street in honour of living local icon Penny Commissiong

    • Sigh. We go from the barbaric to the banal.

      Street for a beauty queen. Who has done what with her fame? Just asking.

      Do we know how many silent overlooked giants passed through this place. Unnamed.

      Like the man who dedicated his life to researching application and usage of bagasse… The greatest of which, to mix with asphalt for sustainable roads. He might be dead by now. He was already eighty something when I learned of him.

      How about the sculptor who.lived in south in an old board house, yard, garden and house full of sculptures. I wonder if he ever had a show.

      How about the brother who made all those wood instruments Onulu? If I have the name correct.

      We need a project to unearth our unknown unnamed talented skilled basic citizens.

    • I believe our stalwarts’ names, including Penny, are all worthy of replacing those streets named in honor of past colonials. I still remain disgusted about the renaming of King George 5th park aka Pompei to Nelson Mandela. Why not Francisco Slinger, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Mtumi) or Lord Kitchener or one of the many reverred scientists, engineers, lawyers, authors, activists we have?

    • Hm.
      I am pushed and inspired.
      A book of our local greats is really needed. A time actually. And not just the popular populist establishment greats.. But the overlooked nobodies.and know how I learned of the few I have heard of? Not books or records, but from being on the street, the bars, talking to regular folk. That is one of the most amazing aspect of Trini unknown culture. But the information is going, as folk die.

      Go out today, you lucky to find somebody talking anything big, huge, or constructive.

    • *sigh*. More fluff rather than substance

  10. WOW.PRAY FOR PEACE.FOCUS ON JESUS,HE.IS FOCUSED ON YOU. HE IS OUR SAVIOUR AND MANKIND WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO OUR DEEDS

    • Europeans has made black people very STUPID!!! Your ANCESTORS were ENSLAVED in JESUS name!!! lol

    • MARK×3.LOL . Though I am not black,I am a PROUD CATHOLIC.MANY THEN AND NOW HAVE USED JESUS^S NAME IN VAIN,THAT DOES NOT STOP HIM FROM LOVING THEM AND HE LOVES YOU AS MUCH AS HE LOVES EVERY BLACK PERSON AND ALL OF HIS CREATIONS. BE BLESSED IN JESUS’ NAME.?

    • JESUS is not real he never existed you are A VERY RETARDED BLACK PERSON THAT WHITE PEOPLE MADE THAT WAY!!!

    • Unlike you I would be proud to be black instead of posing as a white person blaming white people for your miserable existance.If Jesus does not exist in your feeble mind,then SATAN has control of your soul.BE PREPARED THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.??

    • Audrey Trestrail please take off your Caps lock. We don’t allow All Caps posts. Same for Mark Mark Mark. Thanks

    • Santa (The devil) never existed either!!! You are proud to be black with a white man’s last name are you??? lol you must be also a proud African that speaks English!!! lol Since you believe that JESUS was not beaten in the heads of Enslaved Africans means you believe you are a free black person not living under Whits rule!!! You believe that your PRIME MINISTER is not in power to seek white people interest you also believe T&T is a independent country and the queen of England is not your queen!!! I reckon that you have mistaken indoctrination for education!!!

  11. Well said.good food for thought. We have so many local heroes and sheroes not sure why we are not renaming some of these streets after them. I do undetstand you cannot change the past but as a free people we could sure re imagine the future.

  12. Gosh you are so right, just keep looking inward like paranoid xenophobiacs, don’t try to learn from the mistakes of others, keep saying God is a Trini, partying, refusing to comprehend that TT is part of a global society and it will all work out fine …..

  13. Oh ! Gawd, let us stop following the US of A with this shit and start recognising, acknowledging and accepting “our own” and moving on.

  14. Granted though, some of those confederate monuments are nor really about mourning the confederate dead, they do glorify some truly hideous creatures, eg Roger Taney who wrote the Dred Scott decision, his statue in Maryland came down like lightning….

  15. Think of all those countries who rushed around renaming monuments, replacing statues, etc and they’re in the same mess as they were before….it takes a great deal more than those gestures to change a society …

      • Ms Carr, show where anyone has said that it’s *only* about changing names and removing statues.

        Furthermore, I am not disputing that many countries that attempted to de-colonise are in just as much mess as they were before. Don’t you think we need to examine in greater detail why that is so? We now have the benefit of hindsight and more documented history. From what I have seen thus far, a lot of that ‘mess’ stemmed from incompetent, often overly-romanticised leadership and of course internal corruption.

        But that then begs the question, where did these corrupt leaders come from? Where were the incompetent leaders (and their followers) educated? Who taught them and what was the content of said education?

        Most importantly, who supported many of these corrupt leaders? Why are we even having this discussion when I can direct you to a whole list of sites and just as many books where it is openly admitted that many places that today are war zones, drug-riddled or just plain dysfunctional when they started out as so progressive and promising, were destabilised by the United States, Britain, Israel, France and Belgium. The British Guardian newspaper posted not one but three online articles admitting Britain’s complicity in the overthrow and murder of Congo’s Patrice Lumumba; Stephen Kinzer has given lecture after lecture showing in detail the US involvement in regime change going back to the 19th century. It was the CIA who funnelled weapons into Jamaica to foment violence when Michael Manley attempted to experiment with what he called “democratic socialism”. I am no fan of Dr Williams but I know that given the power of the then elites, had he tried to implement too many reforms, they would have had him removed by Washington. He already had the label of being a communist hanging over his head and he saw what happened to Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz, both of whom came from aristocratic families and weren’t even close to communist orientation. Not that that mattered to the Dulles brothers.

        So let’s critique, yes, but do so with proper and honest presentations of the historical contexts.That’s all I am asking for.

    • Lasana Liburd however his arguments that parallel racism and colonialism and also USA and TT are weak at best and not constrained by history or economics . Pure conjecture. What has he used to support or constrain such thoughts ? He misses Tanya’s point though.

    • Boy, did he seriously not get it….whatever….

      • Well please enlighten, Ms Carr. I thought I made my position clear in my response to you above. Point out which country or countries you are speaking of and explain how and why exactly they are in a mess. Clearly I missed something. I thought on the one hand I was agreeing with you.

    • Well when people refer to me as ‘Ms. Carr’ in a regular discussion, I know things be getting kinda dicey….

    • Tanya Carr it means an intended buff (or attempt) is coming. It’s simply condescending and foolish

  16. Surprised this article passed the editorial filter. It’s really bad

  17. Colonialism and racism are two different things. People seem to be using the terms interchangeably. Further there’s no evidence that colonialism gave rise to racism or vice versa. The article confuses historical facts and social structures. Some statements made me cringe frankly

    • Brian Harry, racism is what lay at the heart of slavery and colonialism. What evidence does the world need to understand that bigotry, supremacism, racism are core driving factors of colonialism? Racism is a white man’s ‘invention’ whereby people whose skin is white have historically considered themselves superior to those with darker skin tones. When the devoted Christian, Christopher Columbus (Catholic) landed in Trinidad, he saw inhabitants whom he labeled savages and suited, he reasoned, to be subservient to him and his men and he suggested the inhabitants will be good providers of manual labor. If you need scholarly reviewed evidence, check the following: The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi; Rx for Racism: Imperatives for America’s Schools by Gerard J. Pine and Asa G. Hillard III; Psychiatric Contributions to Understanding Racism by Laurie Jo Moore; Capitalism and Slavery by Dr. Eric Williams; British Capitalism and British Slavery by DR. Eric Williams.

    • Boy

      People’s response to this article, which I did not read. Just the responses alone indicates how much people do not know of their history… And it is so much: colonial, slave, indentured, plantation, national, regional, global, domination, subjugation, and robbery for one. And the biggest of all MisEducation of the Negro. That’s a book!!!! That can be read

    • Kenneth H. Ransome Jr. there are no facts to support that !! Cite one source . That’s conjecture . The basis for colonialism was t race but capitalism

    • Source:
      Read Study, if you can
      German Economist’s
      Gunnar Myrdal’s work!!!!

      Source: google search:
      “Race and Capitalism”
      “The creation of race for a capitalist context”
      (Context and Constructs: Capitalism)

    • Eric Williams – Columbus to Castro. Isaac Dookhan, Thomas Friedman . I can present many more – but yiu have to promise to read then

    • Lol. Love reading.
      Can I sign up for a monthly book care box?

    • Brian Harry I have presented some scholarly reviewed articles and books to read. There are hundreds more. If you wish to read them and be informed do so. Otherwise, no need for us to go any further with this discussion. Thank you

      • Kenneth Ransome, while I’m not sure every person making a comment here is interested in debating or learning as opposed to just making a comment to air their own entrenched view, I believe there may be a confusion over the term racism and how it applies to the beginning of the Middle Passage as well as colonialism.

        Now the statement that colonialism and racism are two different things is hilarious to say the least, one only has to read the writings of the early colonial administrators to see that. I quoted Lord Harris in a previous article, for instance.

        But it is correct to state that the basis for both enslavement and colonialism was economic — i.e. capitalism. What Mr Harry overlooks is the justifications that were expressed, *that’s* where you pick up the ethnocentrism of the Christian Europeans, particularly the British who took the slave “trade” to an entirely different level when they got into it. Mr Harry, read “Freedom’s Debt” or better yet, listen to the author’s lecture here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_PI_nMW_3Y&t=354s

  18. “There are those who argue that these figures are nonetheless part of our history and that they contributed to the making of the Americas—which is true. But these apologists need to pause and think about the other side of that argument: the implicit and explicit messages that nothing existed before them.”
    #masterclass

  19. But if we’re renaming things… do we need to start with Queen’s Royal College?
    Wonder how the multitude of intellectuals coming out of that institution would feel about that…

    • Forget about names of entities and institutions… You have young people in 2017 whose highest ambition is to be a queen’s scholar

      • “You have young people in 2017 whose highest ambition is to be a queen’s scholar”

        Well if this has been presented as the only model to aspire to; if that has been presented as the pinnacle of all achievement and intellect…….

        For my part I don’t care if QRC is renamed or for that matter all the street signs currently being questioned. What are the philosophical, epistemological constructs to go with that? Have we been working on that before? Are we working on it now?

  20. The stories of race and country formation in America and Trinidad and Tobago are two very different stories.
    Trying to compare the two is to take a very simplistic approach to the issue. Not to mention revert to the colonial trap of looking to a mother country for examples and solutions.
    America emerged from slavery and colonialism with a white majority in terms of wealth and numbers. How many other colonized territories did the same?
    What monuments or street names from the colonial era is anybody here trying to cling to?
    And some of these person comparisons? Custer fought on the side of General Lee. How is it not a stretch to compare his to Churchill? Exaggerations don’t help one’s case.
    I have no objection to any discussion about race in this country. But the problem with the discussion is that most people are not honest. So the same people who get upset when somebody says everybody in laventille is a criminal are the same ones who will say everybody in barrackpore is a squatter and vice versa. So you try to have a discussion about race and people talk as if the racist devil doesn’t live within.

    • Ms Haynes and Mr Harry

      Please understand that in these articles I am (1) restricted by the number of words I am permitted and (2) faced with the reality that a great many people are simply not interested in reading anything over a certain number of paragraphs; no matter how complex the issue, it needs to be addressed in sound/word bites that take seconds to read or listen to. I am preparing a longer version of this article for my blog page which I will post later today.

      However, I stand by my connection of racism in the US and the colonised Caribbean – T&T included. The fundamental difference lies in the *ways* white male supremacy was/is expressed. In the US it was/is more direct whereas in places like T&T, which had its own unique set of social dynamics we don’t have space for here, the white and coloured elites (who internalised Western European culture anyway), living under constant terror of revolt right up until the 1960s, placed greater emphasis on psychological violence. This was done through the school system, religious instruction and the legal system. If you like I can cite primary and secondary documented sources for you. All were tailored to reject the absolute power, authority and superiority of the white, male, Western European.

      Keep in mind that many of our colonial educators were white North American missionaries who came here with their brands of bigotry. And, as I alluded to in the article, the racist worldview of the US and Canada came from one common source: the philosophies of Europe. It gathered momentum in the 15th and 16th centuries (see the link below to my blog on the Valladolid debate of 1550/51) and was refined in the 18th and 19th centuries by David Hume, Kant, Locke, Kipling, Voltaire, Hegel and Heidegger.
      https://coreygilkes.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/binary-reasoning-and-decoloniality/

      The rightness of whiteness/lightness remains strong here, largely because there has been little sustained discussions on race and how white male supremacy was manifested in societies such as ours. Doubt me? You try and flout the dress code in Touch-n-Taste Restaurant in Couva or 5i Degrees and the other establishments on “The Ah-Ver-Nue” (cyar even say Ariapita Avenue again), and then observe white male foreigners flout those same dress codes and neither the management nor the security say one word. I saw this with my own eyes.

      So Mr Harry, you think I talking rubbish, show me where. Prove your points. I await your debate.

    • Chabeth Haynes Winston Churchill is known to have once said “I hate Indians, they are a beastly people with a beastly religion” He is responsible for the Bengal Famine (1943) in which over 3 million Indians perished. Asked about it he said it is good for them because they breed like flies”. And this is just the tip of the iceberg: Churchill’s crimes would make Custer blush.

    • Yeah Custer fought to keep slavery in place and then died at the battle of Little Bighorn. So idk that anything Churchill said or did would make him blush.
      But you’re talking about what Churchill said and did 70 odd years ago as if we don’t have people in 2017 mocking Hinduism one way or the other and other people talking about who making too many children.
      That’s what I’m referring to when I talk about the racist devil within and that’s why we can’t have honest productive discussions about race in this country.

      • Ms Haynes
        The point you make about the racist devils within is a valid one. All I am saying is that you need to deepen it. HOW did the people who mock Hinduism today come that way? WHERE did they get the disrespectful ideas they hold? The answer lies in the propaganda that was embedded in the Christian indoctrination that was taught in churches all over this country since the 19th century. Go read the translated diaries of Abbe Armand Masse, a French Catholic priest who was the minister for Oropouche parish in the 1880s. Go read the accounts of American missionaries who came here shortly after. It didn’t just start, Ms Haynes.

    • lol Churchill more than mocked

      Churchill committed genocide of millions

      Plz check the history

    • Chabeth Haynes Custer fought AGAINST Gen. Lee… not on the same side. He was a Union officer while Lee was Commander of the Confederate forces. Whatever his personal take on slavery, he fought in opposition to it, as a Union officer.

  21. SO TRUE Cory Gilkes IT’S TIME WE STAND UP AND DO THE SAME…THE MORE I LEARN IS THE MORE I LEARN I GOT MUCH MORE TO LEARN…I’m dead already

  22. So Mark Trinidad wasn’t ruled by colonialists with dark agendas ?

    • I now wondering the same thing. Also racism and colourism are alive and well in Trinidad. I’m not sure why people are adamant about pretending otherwise. That’s not the way to fix it.

    • Who trying to fix anything.
      All the moulies work for one class and ethnicity. Who not working in jail. Who ain’t in jail yet on the streets for target practice.

      And all the males of that specie are weak minded.
      Women are the buffers

      Game Over

      Let’s continue to list how the us and Trinidad , and to other places are the same.

      You know the biggest part of our puzzle and struggle is to see how black.lives the glove over are in the same condition, subjected to the same phenomenas. As if the estate plantation did not exist everywhere. From Zimbabwe to Kenya to Lousiana to New York, to Gran Couva, Trindad

    • Yes,I agree with you on that Kyon ,but I’m not disputing that,what I’m saying is that those same colonist saw the potential of what America could be and the power they have ,So they brought their ideals and dark motives to put America in a place of authority to the world ,so that they could influence the rest of the world ,America is the British in that they are located in the west

  23. Earl Best

    Mr Gilkes, Have you thought of offering your services to the Minister of Education to write a history syllabus for the primary school? I seem to remember the PM talking before he became PM about the need to teach history properly in the school system but I have heard precious little about it since the end of the election campaign…

    • Cockroach have no business in fowl party Mr Best 😉

      I just heard, while listening to the discussion on i95.5 with Reginald Dumas and Michael Harris that the history book in question has finally hit the shelves. So let’s see.

  24. A very interesting article ,but to be comparing us to the US in this department is kind of a stretch ,even though we may have our problems like any other country ,it’s the love and respect of each other races and religion that have us together as one on this twin island republic ,Cuz you look at the US ,even though they are “1st World” they were founded by people who had dark agendas and that from the beginning America has always had problems of race ,but they always hiding it like everything else ,now the cracks are showing in there armour .