Monday, October 19, 2009

New US ambassador

As published in the T&T Guardian. The interesting parts are the comments. As I pointed out in the case of the Harvard Professor and the Cop, the election of Obama isn't going to make white people less racist, but it will make black people less tolerant of white racism.

Beatrice Wilkinson-Welters, the new US
ambassador-designate to T&T and her
husband Anthony in a 2008 photograph

´╗┐Obama chooses woman as US ambassador to T&T
Francis Joseph
Published: 17 Oct 2009

Francis Joseph

Nine months after he took over as President of the United States, Barack Obama has chosen a black woman as the new ambassador-designate to T&T.

Her name is Beatrice Wilkinson-Welters, 58, of Mc Lean, Virgninia. She replaces Dr Roy Austin, who left Trinidad at the end of last year after Obama was elected the new President. Austin was the nominee of the last US President George Bush. Austin, a close friend of Bush, spent more than six years as the ambassador to T&T. A native of St Vincent, Austin has returned to his home in Pennsylvania.

T&T was without a US ambassador for most of this year until Obama nominated Wilkinson-Welters for the job. Her name has already been forwarded and approved by the Patrick Manning government. The T&T Guardian was reliably informed that Wilkinson-Welters is packing up her belongings at her Virginia home to come to Trinidad for the next three years. It is expected that she will arrive in Trinidad next month and present her credentials to President George Maxwell Richards. She is married to Anthony Welters and they have two sons, Bryant, 19, and Andrew, 17.

Wilkinson-Welters is the founder and chairman of the AnBryce Foundation and the Vincent Wilkinson Foundation. These foundations focus on underserved youth and young adults to provide multiple settings for their personal and scholastic development.

When President Bush first
Submitted by PETEMAN on 17 October 2009 - 3:05am.
When President Bush first appointed Roy Austin, I wonder if the Guardian wrote "George Bush has chosen a black man as the new ambassador-designate to T&T."
I doubt it.

Peteman - Agreed.
Submitted by trinigirl_00 on 17 October 2009 - 4:39am.
Peteman - Agreed.

This lady is a professional
Submitted by SaD Trini on 17 October 2009 - 7:22am.
This lady is a professional and here to do her job. I wonder when she continues to blank we from getting visas if we will still refer to her as a black woman?

We need to move away from
Submitted by don1 on 17 October 2009 - 8:02am.
We need to move away from racial identification unless it adds value to the story. Her picture would have sufficed if anyone were curious as to her race. We continue to expect much higher standards from the Guardian,but I am beginning to wonder why. Don S. NY

Thanks for that great
Submitted by rowell1608 on 17 October 2009 - 9:39am.
Thanks for that great contribution DON. It is time we stop this nonsense. What does it matter anyway ? Black woman or white man it will be the same policies to follow.

Submitted by fairplay on 17 October 2009 - 11:29am.
Who decides what is of value? My ancestors were valued as one tenth of a human. Stop trying to dictate thoughts, say your say but let others have their day. Drag yuh bow Mr Fiddler.

In a place wher the majority
Submitted by Dinah on 17 October 2009 - 10:06am.
In a place wher the majority of the population is "BLACK" some with curly hair of varying tightness and some with straight hair, I do not understand this headline. But such is the nature and mindset of Trinbagonians. SHAME

Submitted by fairplay on 17 October 2009 - 11:27am.
I do not see BLACK in the headline. To give recognition to positive black achievement is motivational. It helps us to move away from stereotypes on the other hand we should not hide but seek to correct underachievement. It is good for all black and white and all in between.

This is to the blogger who
Submitted by houstontrini2 on 17 October 2009 - 11:33am.
This is to the blogger who said that regardless of whether Obama appointed a black woman or a white man to the post of Ambassador to TnT that the same policies will continue.
Firstly, unlike Tnt, the US for the most part is a country of laws. The embassy staff, from ambassador down have to follow the laws that are set in place by the US Congress and signed by the sitting president. The embassy can't make up arbitary rules or "look the other way" as some would want them to, because "we are Trinis" and deserve some special favours. That is not how it works.
So to suggest that Ambassador-designate Beartrice Wilkinson-Welters should somehow be different that the ex-ambassador Roy Austin in ludacrious. In fact most ambassadorships, to include this one, are political appointments and serve to reward the "party faithfuls" who do work for the political parties or who are "friends" of the sitting presidents or the Sec. of State. They have nothing to do with these people's diplomatic abilities since they are not "career diplomat."
So, this lady, based on her resume as outlined in the article, falls into the catagory of either "friend" of President Obama or a "party faithful" of the Democratic Party to be awarded this ambassadorship. I wish the lady well in her new cushy 3-year assignment. But do not be too hard on her or expect too much from her in her new role. She has rules and laws to follow just like the previous ambassador. The only difference may be style and how she carries out the job. In local parlance, it is a different monkey in the same suit.

Exactly what I am saying
Submitted by rowell1608 on 17 October 2009 - 11:54am.
Exactly what I am saying "Houstontrini". They both have to follow the rules as laid out by congress. Perhaps you missed my point . There is no doubt whatever that these people Ambassador et al have to follow given policies at all times and these policies come from congress. What I cannot understand is why it has to be specifically stated if the person doing the job is black or white. It is time that we move away from this scene, Are we not all equal ? What difference does it make ? Blacks really dont need this to be uplifted. This can be done on merit .

This is the headline I saw
Submitted by The Prince on 17 October 2009 - 12:23pm.
This is the headline I saw :"´╗┐Obama chooses woman as US ambassador to T&T". No mention of "black".
Then in the first paragraph the article mentioned that she was a black woman.
I honestly see no real problem in that. The lady and her husband cut an elegant figure in the photo and I offer them my sincere congratulations.
She is well-qualified to assist T&T with the kind of problems affecting our lost youth. And contrary to what some say, an Ambassador can shape the way his or her Embassy deals with issues and nationals in the host State. There is such a thing as sympathy and influence.
I know that in the US if you are not white you are black, but this prejudice is slowly eroding as the melting pot melts further. The election of Barack Obama broke down racial barriers, although coming after George Bush made it easier.
Obama regularly uses the word "black" to refer to himself. In my view he is no ordinary black American. He is the genuine Afro-American, the son of a black African father and a white American mother. And what's more his ancestry straddles the world's two largest faiths, Christianity and Islam. You couldn't have a more ideal person in the White House to deal with some of the most sensitive and threatening issues in today's world.
Let us not be oversensitive to a passing mention of the word black. See the wood, not the tree.

Houstontrini, I wish it was
Submitted by bottom-line on 17 October 2009 - 12:31pm.
Houstontrini, I wish it was as simple as having a set of rules to follow as far as the granting of visas is concerned. We hear one story from the Embassy officials but another from the officer at the window when you go to apply for your visa. One guy went, placed his documents before the officer and was told 'you don't look like you will come back' and was rejected. One woman went with $600.00 in her bank account, owned a small wooden house and no other assests to her name and was accepted. Her sister had $14,000.00 on her bank statement, owned an upstairs/downstairs house, had a car and a regular job but was told she did not have enough money in the bank and was rejected. That I guess is following the rules. A woman went well dressed as the professional she is as was refused for no apparent reason. She returned six months later without make up and jewelry and was granted the visa. I wonder what really are the set of rules which they follow.

The guidance for US visa's
Submitted by patddictator on 17 October 2009 - 4:18pm.
The guidance for US visa's are simple: if you lack skills, education and potential to excel you will be granted a visa because you will be an asset in the US by accepting menial work (security, illegal cab driver, laborer, nurses aid). If you believe that you are educated, skilled, and important because of the worthless tt dollars you have you will be denied a visa. Why? first because of your ego you will not accept employment that you are qualified for (janitor, watchman etc), second Third World Education, especially from UWI is not accredited or recognized in western countries and it is not accepted.

We welcome the new
Submitted by bottom-line on 17 October 2009 - 5:04pm.
We welcome the new ambassador-designate to our country and do hope that she will clear up this visa issue for us. After all, we have to put out so much money for what they call administrative fees (a whole lot of administrative work taking place) and then we are turned away for frivolous reasons. A woman who had been to and through the US for years was recently denied a renewal of her visa because she 'did not have enough ties to this country'. Well, my argument is, if she wanted to stay in the US, she could have done so the many times she visited. What a joke. You just don't know where you stand with these people. Probably if they had to go through what we go through, things might have been different.