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​Dear Amanda

EVEN BEFORE the opening lines of your open letter to Trinidad (Newsday, 13 May), I knew you were in trouble. Despite all that goodwill you flung so liberally at Trinidad in your first paragraph — it was like you were swinging champagne bottles against the hull of a new ship — I knew you yourself were going to end up dead in the water and the same Trinidad you were praising would very quickly sink you.

Newsday, you see, ran a colour picture of you above your piece. No matter what you, or anyone, wrote underneath that, everything was going to be coloured by blonde hair and blue eyes. The best you could have hoped for was dismissal as irrelevant.
Blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skins, Amanda, remind us that, for all our pretensions to modernity, we’re mired in the past. We still labour upon the plantation. It still defines us.
But we now regard it differently.
When our only aim was to burn the Great House to the ground and dance on its ashes, Amanda, we had the right ambition. We might not have got far, perhaps, but we would have been carving out our own path.
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​Songs in the Key of Lockdown

PARTLY BECAUSE he turned 70 on Wednesday, but mainly because I really “ent able” to think too deeply about this week’s shipload of Trinidadian, British & American firetruckeries, I want to pay a TGIF tribute, today, to Stevie Wonder, President Barack Obama’s favourite musician. Read more

​God Help Those…

EVEN BY TRINIDADIAN standards, which always manage to slip smoothly below the limbo bar, no matter how low you drop it, People’s National Movement Minister of Social Development Camille Robinson-Regis excavated a new low this week.

Indeed, even by PNM standards, that most moronic of oxymorons, her suggestion that religious groups set to receive $30m of public money to “feed the needy” would be kept in check only by “Almighty God” beggared belief. It was not the Fraud Squad, it would seem, but the God Squad that had the power. Almighty God, the minister said, was the “ultimate guardian against abusing funds.”
So much for Parliament. The Finance Minister short-changed.
Newsday’s Sean Douglas reported on Monday that 14 religious groupings would receive $10m each month over the next three months, for “food support to citizens and permanent residents adversely affected by covid19”, including migrants (for which read, “Venes).

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