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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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Black Pain in the Neck

EVERY Donald Trump-voting American who saw Monday’s shocking video of the white police officer with his knee on the neck of the now-late George Floyd, an African American, is rightfully outraged. The dead black Minneapolis man, George Floyd, like the dead black New Yorker, Eric Garner, before him, can clearly be heard begging the white police officer to spare his life, saying, over-and-over, for the full eight minutes it took him to die, “Please, Sir, I can’t breathe.”

The righteous rage sparked by the incident is literally white hot.
On Tuesday, you see, all four police officers who had arrived at the scene of what was or at least clearly became a crime to arrest George Floyd (who, allegedly, had tried to pass a counterfeit $20-bill) were fired by the Minneapolis police chief.

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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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Drinking Lysol-Flavoured Kool-Aid

MOST SUPPORTERS of Fat Nixon I dismiss unthinkingly, the way I do the Mormons, who believe an angel actually named Moron-I (spelled by them without the hyphen) buried their kind of holy book Bible-add-on written on gold plates in the 4th Century until he led a farmer to dig it up in the 19th Century.

You can stretch incredulity only so far, even if you believe in miracles.
Trump supporters have now stretched it past the limit of elasticity.
Michael Moore’s documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9, showed how, in 2016, some voters who were not stupid, racist, neo-Nazis or fundamentalist Christian rightwing bigots voted, not so much for Trump, as against the superrich, privileged white elite who ignored their plight and ran America as if it were their own plantation.
Of course, it’s hard to follow that reasoning to the end to which they took it, namely, voting for Donald Trump, the clearest (and fattest) personification of the privileged class who despised them.
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