People who want to chat with an intellectual sometimes contact me, to ask if I know any. I tell them I know three, but they overseas in Italy, living in Tobago, or mostly deal with mad people. I usually tell them they can talk to any PhD because, when you have a doctorate like pastor Dr Pastor Winston Cuffie or sexologist Dr Raj Ramnanan, then you are a real smart man who could get national award or TV show.
I also tell them to read newspaper articles by people with PhDs so they could learn to be intellectual. This month, for instance, Prof Theodore Lewis had an article with the headline “Young Afro males need more positive messages” (Express, 04/10/13) and Prof Lewis not only have a PhD but is a “Emeritus Professor” of the University of Minnesota. If you search the Internet you will only find a couple of academic papers by him, but they brilliant enough to make him emeritus, and even his students on the university’s professor rating website say that “If you do not share his view, you are wrong.”
So if you disagree with Professor Theodore argument that young black males are underperforming academically because of, as he say in the article, “the body language of schools and teachers”, you mustn’t use statistics from the Central Statistical Office or MORI Caribbean to show that the same percentage of Afro- and Indo-Trinidadians have Ordinary and Advanced Level passes, as well as undergraduate degrees. That would mean it have some other reason Afro males hardly on the scholarship lists, which can’t be the case since Prof Lewis say is because “these children are not being taught, or in the way that yields excellence”.
But it gets complicated when one PhD badtalk another PhD, which is what Dr Raymond Ramcharitar do in the Guardian on October 9, writing that Prof Lewis had “No facts, no statistics, or theory needed, just clichés of victimhood. Evidence, anecdotal.”
Dr Ramcharitar was arguing that small-island immigrants and their descendants, who was bought by the PNM after 1956, mainly responsible for crime in Trinidad. But in Breaking the News, the book he write in 2005, Dr Ramcharitar also say that, like Prof Lewis, he have no evidence. “Apart from the anecdotes of those who were there, and visiting villages in Laventille, Carenage and along the East-West corridor and listening to the accents,” he say, “there is no way of proving this (influx) through official data, since the data were very likely manipulated in anticipation of this purpose.”
That official data say that, in 1960, it had 58,000 West Indians from other Caribbean countries in Trinidad, making up seven percent of the population, and in 1970 and in 1980, it had 46,000 (five per cent) and, between 1960 to 1980, the small islanders living in Port of Spain drop from 9,000 to 4,000. But Dr Ramcharitar say that crime went up in the years when PNM come in power. That prove that the census people lie.
By 2013, Dr Ramcharitar had got statistics that wasn’t official from officials, using articles from the Guardian newspaper which prove that illegal immigrants was coming into Trinidad like cockroach. This show how Dr Ramcharitar’s brain so complex that it could contradict itself without getting a conniption. You see, in his book he show how the local media unreliable, how editors racial, and he badtalk the Guardian too bad for being bias, writing that the newspaper “according to Gordon Rohlehr was, in the 1960s, the ‘mouthpiece for the Caucasian upper class interests’. Historian Sahadeo Basdeo also identified the Guardian as the organ of the planter class. This has not changed.” But it must have change soon after Dr Ramcharitar book get publish, since he join the ANSA McAL Group a few years later to be a communications manager and columnist.
So he write in the column: “The number of illegals given by police and immigration (Guardian editorial February 21, 1984) was 150,000,” and he add, “these facts are undeniable: much more than 100,000 illegal immigrants from the small islands, mainly Grenada and St Vincent, came here between 1961 and 1986. The communities they settled in are today the criminal centres of Trinidad.”
Since this so undeniable, you better not ask Dr Ramcharitar how police and immigration was able to count all these illegal immigrants for 25 years. And you mustn’t read Behind the Bridge, which is a study that study Laventille, and which say: “The view that most of the people who live in Laventille are recently arrived ‘foreigners’ from the eastern Caribbean is however not borne out by our survey data. Eighty-five percent of our respondents said they were born in T&T, 61 percent said their parents were also born in T&T.”
All of which shows that, when you have a PhD—whether it purchase, or print, or pabulum – you could talk intellectual with no facts, no logic, and no breath mints.