Have black people become more or less economically empowered after 28 years of the black based PNC rule in Guyana or some 50 uninterrupted years of the black based PNM ruling Trinidad? Maybe Trinidad is an excellent case study to logically indicate if there is a racist policy to keep blacks out of private business or entrepreneurship. Currently, most of Trinidad’s major businesses are privately owned and controlled by local whites and Syrians.
There are no Indian business listed on Trinidad’a stock exchange. In fact, Indians are mostly scattered in the smaller grocery shops at the street corners. No rice, coffee or cocoa industries exist and the PNM shut down the major sugar industry without any Indian rioting or revolt. They were promised state lands but the PNM delayed on their promise.
Something could be fundamentally wrong where blacks with better opportunities, better education, an ethnically stocked favourable government bureaucracy, excellence in the English language, complete political emancipation and many legislated freedoms are still unable to originate and manage businesses creating a perception which measures seeming Indian economic progress to demoralise their otherwise magnificence.
With so much talent, what can be the reasons for Trinidad’s black people not excelling in private business just as they are unable to skillfully do the same in Guyana or even in the Caribbean?
These observations are by no means a criticism of black people’s economic aspirations with which I have no problems conceding that they have every right to be just or even better than others.
But both the PNC and PNM engaged in massive black ethnic stocking of the public service and armed forces, conditioning them into a comfort zone of unparalleled lethargy. With black workers safely entrenched in cushy 9 to 5 jobs with guaranteed super salary incomes regardless whether they produced, performed or procrastinated, was there any incentive to enter private enterprise?
Perish they could not with the state under their complete control.
Trinidad’s Dr Eric Williams earnestly believed that blacks have patrimonial exclusive rights and ensured it within the state. Most present day black leaders reinforce such expectations long after Dr Williams and even without Forbes Burnham making it popular.
But race alone cannot be the most preeminent qualifying criteria for success in economic well being; or does culture, or other factors such as intermarriages play much more significant roles? Black history has previously reinforced a proud legacy of successful empowerment to proactively own land, e.g. Victoria and Buxton with back land farming as their head start.
Recent PPP/C government initiatives to nurture black business enterprises must be accelerated whereby they overcome any reluctance and face all the risks of growing in private business.
What can therefore negate the conclusion that a state dependency culture and an old time outdated leadership mentality is actively militating against black hopes and aspirations for their entry and success in private enterprise? Indians still survived and grew in spite of black impediments and despite the communism of Dr Cheddi and Janet Jagan.
Their ideological PPP favoured blacks more so, yet they rejected his political embrace. With the PNC now headed by a man of war as their leader possessing absolutely no knowledge of private enterprise, economics and government, can Indians still be guilty for black inadequacies?
Indians still strive for progress even outside Guyana where the PPP has absolutely no power.
With entry into the government sector strangled by black power, (it still continues), Indians simply had no alternative except to continue in back breaking, sun drenching and muddy agriculture or go into private business. All the financing capital vital for the latter was personal saving made by their thriftiness and sacrifices anyway.
Until the current tainted black leaders and their Indian impediment supporters become less influential in shaping black people’s destiny, they would always be perpetually stuck in the public sector. Absolutely none of these leaders have any knowledge or experiences whatsoever how to facilitate, nurture or manage private enterprise! How are they honestly expected to make black people wealthy or successful in business? Even with the PNM management of Trinidad’s Caroni’s sugar industry where the mostly Indian working class was employed, things did not go well.
When the industry started to fail, Prime Minister Patrick Manning wanted to privatise it but old guard PNM leftwing leftover Mr.George Padmore warned that divesting control of the public sector would not be in black peoples’ interest! Manning scrapped the industry and dismissed all the Indian sugar workers.
Obviously, with the current black leadership in Trinidad and Guyana squandering a respective 50/28 year advancement in black power and education, black unfulfillment can hardly be ever blamed on Hinduism as per Dr Kean Gibson’s despised racist attacks on Indians. Haiti has no Indians so what makes them so glaringly impoverished?
This historical enslaved tethering to an outdated black leadership can only be changed by a proactive new generation of leaders, sufficiently empowered to change black thinking and cultural practices away from state dependency.
The fact that black Trinidadian MrCyril Lucius Duprey was able to build up Clico into a giant Caribbean enterprise should give hope of black private enterprise capabilities. Such changes must begin within and among black people as a necessity for a new emancipation.
In the meantime what prevents them from utilising the better business opportunities that the PPP/C is now offering?
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