“It was a palace in its time.”
That was New York Mets announcer Gary Cohen reminiscing about the Mets’ former home, Shea Stadium (1964-2008).
The Boss (my wife) walked by, heard Cohen, and responded, “You see that? That was Pa’s house.”
We just got back from the house in Trinidad that my late father in-law, “Raka” (1925-2009) built, in part with his own hands.
Indeed, much the same could be said about the two-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (“TT” ) itself. And, although it has only 1,328,019 residents, I’m afraid that TT and the U.S. are converging.
Every summer we go to TT, not for vacation, but out of obligation. A few months before Pa died, he made The Boss promise him to take care of the house, and made her executrix of his estate, even though she lived in the U.S. and four of her surviving five sisters still lived in Trinidad.
Whenever we arrive, the house looks abandoned, having received no upkeep over the previous 12 months. One sister-in-law arrives religiously to collect the rent money from the Obeah man from India staying “alone” with up to nine fellow conmen upstairs. We stay in the seedy, underground, downstairs area.
There’s a lot of ruin in a great nation. But how much ruin can a less-than-great nation—let alone one family—overcome?
A highly intelligent auto-didact of Victorian virtue and Indian origin, Pa worked in the oil fields of Venezuela, and was the master mechanic for the local bus service, before setting up his own business as a subcontractor to builders, picking up and delivering loads of gravel. His frail build—5’9,” and 120 lbs. in his last years—could not handle driving a truck in the blazing equatorial sun six days and 60 hours per week. He coped with the pain variously with rum and by ramming his head into the wall at home. With time, he found some way to cope without rum or head-slamming.
The entire family worked in their “garden” on their four acres, raising saboca (avocados), mangoes, aloo (potatoes), pigeon peas, paw paw (papaya), coconuts, cassava, chestnuts, oranges, fig (bananas), limes, corn, plums, sugar cane, cocoa, cherries, tomatoes, eggplant, and the sweetest Portugals (pronounced “pottigall”—Mandarin oranges) I’ve ever tasted. The girls sold fruit at a roadside table, and Pa sold hundreds of pounds of pigeon peas and such, that Ma and the girls had harvested and loaded in potato sacks, to merchants in town.
The “village” (neighborhood) where The Boss grew up was poor. Kids would taunt the sisters going to and from school, yelling “Raka daughters have money!”
“Ma” (1933-2006) and Pa (1924-2009) had two boys and seven girls. Only six quarrelsome sisters remain.
The family was so respected that at my brother-in-law and father-in-law’s funerals, in 2006 and 2009, respectively, MP Subhas Panday, the brother of Indian former PM Basday Panday, delivered the first eulogy. Panday called my brother-in-law, Meno, “my brother” and “Fat Boy,” and recalled Pa’s “self-reliance” and “generosity.”
The neglected land and crumbling house are still worth a small fortune. But it is not clear how much the quarrelsome sisters, as opposed to the lawyers, will end up with.
They are representative of their and their children’s generation.
Down the road at a Chinese restaurant, a Cantonese woman working there for eight years says that Trinidadians don’t want to work.
Those that do, tend to do “donkeydamn” (don’t care a damn) work.
TT, which was originally composed of Carib and Arawak Indians who succumbed to slavery and warfare with Europeans, is now Indian (South Asian) 40%, African 37.5%, mixed [Indian-black—are known in Trinidad as “Douglas,” pronounced doh-gluhs] 20.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.8% (2000 census) [CIA World Factbook]
Whites once comprised a few percent of the population. Only a few years ago they were listed as one percent. But, notwithstanding prominent exceptions such as MP Colm Imbert of the black party PNM [People’s National Movement], they have been reduced to a statistical nullity.
Statistics for Chinese are missing. But their growing economic influence vastly exceeds whatever their demographic slice is.
Contemporary TT is a creation of the quest for cheap labor. The Spaniards enslaved the Arawak Indians, who died off under the whip. The Spaniards and then the British brought in black African slaves to cut sugar cane. When the slaves were emancipated in 1838, and refused to cut cane at any price, preferring subsistence farming, the British induced Indians to come as indentured servants. After indentured servitude was abolished in 1917, the Indians continued to work cutting cane in what was TT’s biggest industry, until the post-colonial government took over, ruined, and eventually gutted it.
Race mixing is celebrated by racial socialists, who claim that “Douglas” identify as black. Thus, as in America, racial congress, promoted as a way of breaking down racial barriers, is actually a stealthy form of black empowerment. Indeed, the term “Creole” in Trinidadian vernacular means “black,” though Indians no longer use it in public in that fashion.
Black Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, St. Lucian-born, longtime Trinidadian resident, celebrates “Creole” as uniquely dynamic and fertile. Discussions of this monolingual writer refer to “Creole” as “the language of the rural areas,” and describe him as “bilingual.” But the Boss, who was born and raised in an Indian town, knows almost all of the terms listed in Wikipedia as representative of this “rural” “language.” Pa fought a losing battle against his children speaking dialect, demanding of them, “Where is that word in the dictionary?”
“Creole” and “Creolization” are used to redefine monolingual or illiterate Third World peoples as bilingual, by depicting vernaculars, broken speech, and slang as “languages,” and to imply and promote a mixing of the races, what used to be called variously “amalgamation,” “miscegenation,” and “integration” in America. This anti-white, anti-literate attitude is synonymous with post-colonialism.
Thus on Trinidad’s Independence Day, August 31, the newspapers ran straight post-colonialist propaganda. But it seems to me, as a New York Jew, that everything culturally good about Trinidad came from the English—work ethic, railroads, fair bureaucracies and laws, education, etc.—and that the degeneration of Trinidadian life becomes ever more pronounced, the further British influences recede into history.
Back in 1962, in The Middle Passage: The Caribbean Revisited , Indian, Trinidadian-born future Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul (born 1932-) maintained that Trinidad had no “people,” and that Trinis obsessively imitated Americans. Like Pa, Naipaul was pro-white–in 2003 he made a speech in India telling Indians to stop “blaming the British for everything—and skeptical of blacks.
Now, TT does indeed look to America for bad influences. America has pioneered the method of using “education” to gut a First-World economy; TT is using the same method to gut a Third-World economy.
When I first visited Trinidad in 1999, a citizen had a right to only a primary school education through the eighth grade. But in 2000, Prime Minister Basdeo Panday, of the Indian United National Congress (UNC) party, made secondary education a universal right. [TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Government Promises Free Secondary Education for All by Peter Richards, Inter Press Service, July 6, 2000.]
Thousands of dunces now waste the taxpayers’ money in high school.
In 2001, Panday’s UNC lost power to the PNM, which promptly extended universal education to the university level, creating two competing, mass higher education systems, the University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT, or as I call it, Dunce U) and College of Science, Technology, and Applied Arts of Trinidad & Tobago (COSTAATT). Both systems’ enrollments have since exploded. (In TT, “college” has traditionally referred to a prep school between high school and university; COSTAATT has blurred this distinction.)
Trinidad reportedly has a national IQ of 85. [What’s Your IQ? by Kevin Baldeosingh, Trinidad Express Newspapers, July 23, 2010.]
There is no justification for such bloating of pseudo-education for non-existent jobs—not even in the high-IQ nation that America once was. (Before America was graced by mass Third World legal and illegal immigration, her national IQ was approximately 98.5. Today it is 95, and plummeting.)
All major industries and utilities are government-owned and patronage-based: Oil, gas, electricity, telephone landlines. No government services, not even water, can be relied on.
TT’s first prime minister, black, post-colonialist ideologue Eric Williams (PNM, 1962-1981) began the tradition of providing show-no jobs, predominantly to blacks, that paid better than many private-sector jobs. Williams founded the Development and Environmental Works Division (DEWD), which spawned URP (Unemployment Relief Programme); CEPEP (Community-Based Environmental Protection & Enhancement Programme); Labour Intensive Development; the Civilian Conservation Corp; and People and Projects for Progress. [Ghostbusters by Jason Julien, Trinidad Express, Nov 20, 2012.]
These “jobs” pay $69 TT ($11.50 US) for a four-to-six hour day, and entail things like one black man cutting grass with a weed whacker by the side of a road, while two superfluous black women stand by, holding a tarpaulin, presumably so the grass doesn’t go into the road.
One newspaper reader recently complained that it is just these make-work programs which spawned TT’s out-of-control crime problem.
It’s the PNM who created this monster. If you are part of the problem, how can you be the solution? A monster called DEWD was born many years ago, and that beast never died, the beast just had a couple of name changes through the years.While wasting fortunes on educational and labor boondoggles, the government ignores thousands of potholes in a nation whose populace is completely reliant on the automobile.
I believe one of its current names is CEPEP. Without a doubt, today we are certainly reaping what we sowed. The People’s National Movement planted the seed of laziness, handouts, and working for half-a-day, and getting paid for ten days. These criminals that are [wreaking] havoc in East PoS are the children, grandchildren, and greatgrands of those who did “Ten Days” under the DEWD programme.
DEWD beast spawned present day crime , Newsday, August 23 2013
In fighting crime statistics, TT has slavishly imitated America. Whenever there is a rash of murders in a black area, officials at the national Police Service imitate Chicago officials, assert that “crime is down,” and cite some fanciful numbers that no one believes. Meanwhile, polticians allied to the black felons who commit most of the crime seek to leverage crime to extort ever more from the Indian taxpayers, while Trinidad’s media refuse to report on which gangs are doing the killing.
During mid-August this year, six people were murdered by black gangs in a “shooting spree” in and around the predominantly black Port of Spain East area of TT’s capital. Some of the killings were clearly planned gang hits, but they were reported as if they were acts of random madness.
Supporters of the criminals demanded “proper housing and sustainable jobs,” as opposed to $69-a-day sinecures.
“‘Very few people spoke about crime per se, but these are the social issues I believe which so long causes crime within the area. Jobs and housing,’ [UNC Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar] said of yesterday’s meeting [with residents in Port of Spain East].”Translation: Unemployable, black, young cut-throats would be models of decorum, if only one paid them, say, $200 a day to do nothing, and gave them new, free apartments—fancier than their current free apartments.
[Give us houses, jobs by Julien Neaves, Newsday, August 22, 2013.]
Unwed black working moms in Port of Spain East pleaded with the government for protection for them and their children against the gangs. [PM to meet again with East Port of Spain residents, Aug 21, 2013] No one asked publicly where the children’s fathers were.
An Indian friend responds that in earlier generations, Indian fathers and mothers left their kids alone at 3 or 4 a.m., to go to work in the sugar estates, without having to worry about the kids being attacked.
The police and the army joined to arrest 90 people in a lockdown and sweep on August 18, though half of the arrestees were quickly released. PNM critics said the sweep was an unofficial repeat of the three-month State of Emergency that had been declared on August 21, 2011. [Rowley: Arrests of 90 suspects a repeat of SoE by Sean Douglas, Newsday(Trinidad), August 21, 2013.]
Trinidad today—America tomorrow!
Nicholas Stix [email him] is a New York City-based journalist and researcher, much of whose work focuses on the nexus of race, crime, and education. He spent much of the 1990s teaching college in New York and New Jersey. His work has appeared in Chronicles, The New York Post, Weekly Standard, Daily News, New York Newsday, American Renaissance, Academic Questions, Ideas on Liberty and many other publications. Stix was the project director and principal author of the NPI report, The State of White America-2007. He blogs at Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.