Wednesday 20th December, 2006

Clevon Raphael
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Willing to take up mantle?

There is a saying the ‘truth hurts’ and some of us cannot handle the truth.

Christmas is just around the corner and in keeping with the spirit of the season I do not want to dwell on the many negatives still plaguing us as we come to the close of another 365 days.

In any case who is really interested in any serious discussion on those problems at this time; the unwritten mantra is fete and be merry.

You know we Trinis have this amazing capacity to absorb psychological punishment; we just laugh them off.

But thank God, there are still many of us who are really concerned about the rudderless direction our country is taking and are willing to pick up the mantle—at the risk of being accused of all manner of nefarious motives a favourite one that you are playing “politics” things—and contribute to finding solutions to our problems.

Unfortunately because we are so racially and politically polarised anyone wishing to sincerely work towards alleviating our ills, have to be prepared to subject himself to vilification from party hacks, and those despots who believe that the only way they can get on in life is to vote one party until they are dead.

But we won’t go into that at this time and I thank all those patriotic Trinis who have accepted or are willing to accept the challenge regardless of the bricks hurled at them.

I am not calling names, they know who they are and all I can say is that in the interest of the nation don’t give up. One day your struggles will be rewarded.

Today some of the readers are airing their views with no comments except for the contribution of Gemma Garcia, who said I never respond to negative criticisms of my work, which of course is not true.

Her letter has been eidted because of space constraints.

“Hello Clevon

“I also read your articles every week. As a journalist you have to be able to take the criticisms that come with the job. Not everybody will agree with you.

“You show us the people who agree with your views and findings. I am sure there are a lot of people who don’t agree with your views. I would like you to show us those people’s comments as well.

“I remember writing to you on several occasions, you never respond to my comments. Is it because I don’t always share the same views as you do?

“It’s people like you who openly say you don’t belong to any political party who we can say are partial or impartial in your comments.

“A number of columnists have responded to me; Tony Fraser, Gillian Lucky, Peter Quentrall-Thomas, Dr Selwyn Cudjoe, Dr Bratt, Praksah Persad, Sat Maharaj, Anand Ramlogan, Overand Padmore, Dana Seetahal to name a few.

“You are the only one that never responds to me. You see Clevon; in the long run we all want the same things; equal rights and justice for all. Some people have a different opinion of our situation depending on which political party is in government.

“My issue with some political writers is that they are not objective. I do agree with some things that you say. Just not everything. Don’t hold it against me. Have a nice weekend be safe. No matter where I live. Trini to the bone, like they say, my navel string buried there.

Gemma Garcia


“Hello Clevon,

“Juan Guerra is one who talks all the time and never pays attention to what he is saying, and what makes people like him heroes is they never listen when spoken to.

“He is the type that could read the entire front page without knowing the headline.

“Mr Raphael you are one of the young (again I am almost 60 years old, the photo on this page was taken three years ago) writers who may be walking in the foot steps like Mr George John and CLR James.

“So do not let AHs like Guerra put you off track.

“I thank you for the job that you are doing and I pray that God gives you the health and strength to contiue.

Henry Goddard”

“Hello Mr Raphael,

“How are you? Hope well. Listen, I look forward to reading all your articles on line every week together with Peter Quentrall-Thomas. It’s funny the way you write, but you tell the truth the way you see it.

“You know as well as I do, you will always have folks like Mr ‘what’s his face’ having issues with you and others like you.

“There is a saying the ‘truth hurts’ and some of us cannot handle the truth.

“So, continue to write the way you do. I like it and so are your other fans. As one of your fans says, ‘you are a true Trini-say-it-as-it-is. By the way I am a T&T national residing overseas so I try to stay abreast of what is going on at home.

“T&T is in a serious state of affairs. We need some serious help with the problems we are confronted with.

“Looking forward to what you have to say about the fiasco concerning Abu Bakr’s release. Now that is some real *****. Oh! What about the individual who went free this week, or last week after killing a policeman about a year ago?

“More *****.

“Again keep on doing what you are doing, Mr Raphael, you will not please everybody and you never will.

“Good job. Your favourite reader/fan.



Have a good Christmas and may 2007 be less crime ridden and stressful.


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