Dr. Winfred James has already spoken out against the killing of George Floyd of Minneapolis, USA while he continues to be silent on the shenanigans following the March 02, 2020 General Elections in Guyana. When blacks are the victims, Dr. James’ conscience is awoken; however, when blacks are the perpetrators of injustice as in the case of Guyana, Dr. James’ conscience chooses to stay asleep.
Is it a curse or a blessing? I listened to the Mayor of Atlanta appealing to protesters to practice restraint. She was wondering what does arson and looting have to do with protesting against the unlawful killing of a black man. Clearly, the average protester has allowed indiscipline and the culture of the jungle to overcome him. Nevertheless, the world has come to expect that whenever blacks are aggrieved they vent their frustrations by looting, arson and vandalism of properties including setting fire to police vehicles.
Taking to the street is no doubt a sign of strength but it is also an expression of powerlessness. Had blacks any power in America, they would have articulated their grievances through Congress, the media or a direct call to the White House. But blacks have very little influence in these institutions. In his travelogue, A Turn South, V.S Naipaul explored the southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, etcetera, only to discover that blacks have political office but no political power. He cited Atlanta that was governed by a black mayor but the lands and properties are owned by white America.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the African-based PNM has been in power for almost 50 of the 64 years since 1956 and with the exception of Bob Yorke, black families are not the owners of businesses. But Trevor Sudama has chosen to refute this statement by arguing that blacks are owners of businesses and he cited the many State enterprises where they are directors, CEOs, managers, etc. And I want to agree with Trevor Sudama. Unfortunately, had these been truly black businesses they would have been declared bankrupt. However, being State enterprises, the Corporation Sole has always provided them letters of comfort to raise loans in the international money market to hide their gross mismanagement.
Now that the oil and gas economy is in limbo, it is to wait and see just how long the government can continue this “jobs for the boys” scheme (a kind of elitist URP) where qualified men and women go to an office well attired but failed in what they are doing, not because they are duncy but because they just don’t care a dam-the letter of comfort is always available only for them to request. The State is the panacea for black economic salvation!
A blacks continues to exhibit the mentality of the glorified house slaves who had only contempt for the field and factory slaves not because of any material or social success but because he was directly engaged in service to his master and hence, better positioned to copy his way of life. Today, all the blacks in Guyana and Trinidad view themselves as natural heirs to their colonial master’s territories; never mind how qualified an Indian man or woman may be the blacks have arrogated unto themselves a superior status, and thus their divine right to rule these territories.
Dr. Winfred James and his brothers in arms such as Theodore Lewis and Professor Slewyn Cudjoe have failed to develop a narrative to empower blacks; instead, they have made blacks out to be victims, that is, a people who cannot stand on their own feet. This weak narrative explains the reasons why Black people are always protesting in a most destructive and perverse manner. Blacks must seek inspiration from individuals like Bob Yorke of Yorke Structures Ltd. A Tobagonian, Bob Yorke left for England in 1956 to pursue reading for a degree in engineering. 1956 was the coming to power of the PNM led by Dr. Eric Williams. Bob Yorke could have joined the PNM bandwagon and hurl abuse at Dr. Rudranath Capildeo, beat steel pan or sing calypsos disrespecting women, etc. Yorke chose otherwise.
But I was informed that such was the spirit of a Tobagonian-small island but big dreams! A people with a spirit of adventure, daring and boldness except for those who get ensnared in the politics of the PNM and it poison of dependency and victimization. Bob Yorke chose the path of adventure, risk and entrepreneurship; Winfred James chose the path of dependency, crying victim and believing that blacks are hated because of the color of your skin; Bob Yorke believed otherwise!