LTE

I listened to the very genteel Folade Mutota of WINAD (Women’s Institute for Alternative Development) speaking about the uprising in East Port of Spain on Tuesday.

In the interview on TV6 News, she was asked what changes she would like to see. She spoke about an overhauling of the way the Police Complaints Authority and Police Service Commission conduct their business, and called for a more sensitive policing strategy, not fully understanding that the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t have the killer white cop aspect here.

At the end of the interview, probably as an afterthought, she blurts out, “There should be economic and social change...” And there lies the rub. This apparently well-heeled, well-spoken and well-positioned black woman from East Port of Spain cannot honestly focus on the problem of the blacks in that community— the gimme-gimme syndrome; this woeful, crippling dependence on the “gubbament” for everything.

Mutota makes no appeal to these young blacks to “do something for yourself or suffer”. Today, many of these black youths are pathetic figures who squandered Dr Eric Williams’ legacy of free secondary, technical and vocational education.

The East Indians have grabbed it and bounded down the road to success. Dr Morgan Job used to rail against these young men and young women’s reproductive behaviour. When the children are born, many of their black parents have neither mind, morals nor money to raise and care for a young black family. They replicate the same dysfunctional homes that spawned them.

Mutota is mute about the personal, economic and social changes these blacks have to make to catch up with the East Indians who have outdone them. No need to say in what activi­ties the young blacks have outdone their brothers and sisters in the East Indian community. But what Mutota should ask is why do the police not have to go into those predominantly non-African communities? The problem is not about policing, granted changes are needed there.

The problem is many a black acti­vist and commentator like Mutota is scared to tell them no one owes them a living. The East Indians believe and practise that.

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Public abuse by a prominent person is always unacceptable, especially when that person is a leading defender of workers’ rights. Ancel Roget is well-known as a fighter against oppression and stands out as a fighter against all types of injustice.

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The general election should stay on course for August 10. The Secondary Education Assessment should stay on course for August 20.

I am sitting here in front of the TV just before the election, and for once not dismissing the non-government candidates on the assumption that the die is cast for them and theirs is an exercise in futility.

The recent statements of a union leader are another reminder that we need modern, sensible leadership for these organisations.