Williams said there was little intellectual life in T&T. All the
parties to the political exploitation of ethnic insecurity are proving
Dr Williams perspicacity. Our children need less partisan propaganda
and more objective analysis of the dangerous mix of ethnicity and political
President Richards planned racism committee add to the confusion,
obfuscation and impotent, if dangerous, denial of State-sponsored affirmative
action projects? Too many careers have been built, or are being sustained,
by deliberate posturing as ethnic leaders or champions of co-ethnic
Minister Patrick Manning told us that CEPEP is good: It will solve
our race problems. It deals with people who have had a historical disadvantage.
Too many politicians are ignorant of the fact that whenever information
is valuable, users will seek the best. So it is with the matter of discrimination,
racism and intellectually shallow affirmative action projects in our
country. Political platitudes will not conceal the facts of discrimination,
or absence of racism in State behaviour.
Richards seems unaware of the document Ethnicity and Employment
Practices in the Public and Private Sectors in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Centre for Ethnic Studies was established by Prime Minister Manning
in 1992. Mr Manning must be entirely ignorant of the contents of the
report: Volume 1 The public sector which he requested to conduct
research into problems arising out of cultural divergence in an ex-colonial
society and to make recommendations for addressing such problems in
the context of public policy making.
executive summary which President Richards must study tries hard to
avoid stating its own conclusions in clear and simple English, but reports,
inter alia, that:
was also striking that certain sections of the public service were regarded
as the preserves of one group or the other. Competition for such preserves
and for what were regarded as lucrative or strategic sections of the
public service often degenerated into ethnic rivalries.
of the major findings of the investigation was the tendency for Indians
to be heavily under-represented at the higher reaches of the public
sector. In the case of the public enterprise sector, of the 17 companies
studied, only five had a reasonable representation of Indo-Trinidadians.
Six had no Indo-Trinidadians on their boards, while on the remainder
they were under-represented. In only two companies were the CEOs Indo-Trinidadian.
In only six of the companies could it be said that Indo-Trinidadian
representation was adequate.
President and Mr Manning cannot both be right: that we have racial polarisation
at the same time that there is total integration of Indos and Afros,
while CEPEP is devoted to solve race problems.
Mr Manning implemented the recommendations of his Centre for Ethnic
Studies? Number three, of 16 recommendations, requires that a
positive attempt should be made to ensure a measure of racial balance
on all interview panels in the public service, municipal corporations,
and in the public enterprise sector. Has such a panel distributed
CEPEP contracts or employed workers in the State sector? President Richards
must have an interest in logical consistency between thought and action.
will President Richards find out that Dr Eric Williams did not know
in 1970? Perspectives for the New Society: the Peoples Charter
1956, Revisited, a Special Convention of the PNM, November 27, 28, 29,
1970, outlined ideas as a foundation for implementing black
power. Dr Williams said:
the PNM Government has sometimes in the past gone too far in being paternalistic
in the face of severe lack of social amenities and appalling levels
of unemployment. The new society must now place greater emphasis on
self-reliance and personal and group initiative. Economic independence
and popular participation have to be earned by the people, not handed
down by the Government. What is more, only a bigot would deny that the
people in the country of African descent need to develop greater pride
in themselves and a greater degree of constructive consciousness in
order to secure much of the necessary motivation.
years after Dr Williams spoke, we are still defending an education system
which leaves 80 per cent of the 16-year-olds barely literate in a sense
relevant to the 21st century economy, and a PNM Government designs CEPEP
to solve race problems, while President Richards plans to
use taxpayers time and money to investigate racial polarisation.
our politicians refuse to do the intellectual analysis of the reasons
why Dr Eric Williams Perspectives for a New Society
and Mr Mannings Ethnicity and Employment Practices
has left us begging community leaders to manage the unemployed,
the urban youth and ethnic protesters!
Prime Minister needs to reconcile his statement The East Indian
fellow citizens are as integrated as any other into all aspects of national
life with President Richards plan to investigate racial
polarisation, and his own statement about CEPEP to solve race
problems. Mr Manning needs to reconcile the statement of Mrs Glenda
Morean and others who suggest that the UNC criminalised URP or
ETP with the facts that Dr Williams created the Crash Programme
to employ ex-criminals.
must reconcile the idea of a recent criminalisation of URP/ETP/DEWD/LID
with the Errol Mahabir Report requested by Dr Williams which said that
violence and killings had taken place over fighting for money from the
projects. The UWI has a report done by Selwyn Ryan and others specifically
on Laventille which also reports shootings and murders over control
of Special Works/Crash Programme/DEWD projects.
intellectual work President Richards needs to do must analyse the impotence
of the State to change ethnic preferences, culture, and the implications
of Sharks and Sardines: Blacks in Business by Selwyn Ryan and Lou-Ann
Dr Williams to Patrick Manning, we have failed to discern the costs
of affirmative action, and the lessons of the successful Igbo in Nigeria,
the Bamileke of the Cameroon, the Kikuyu of Kenya, Jews all over the
world, the Chinese in Malaya, Arabs in Trinidad, and Gujeratis, Sikhs,
Ismailis and Patels in East Africa.