Editorial: Race and Racism in the Caribbean: “So many knees on so many necks”

This post is a necessary read for activists in the fight for justice and reformations. I often wonder why is that the dark-skinned original peoples (Australia’s Aborigines, Japan’s Ainus, to name a couple) across all nations are subjected to dehumanization, exploitation, and a litany of other unfair ills. That said, this section really resonated with observations I’ve taken note of: “A pigmentocracy that has existed for centuries cannot be dismantled overnight. Unfortunately, decolonization couldn’t just be programmed into the national mindset at Independence. What the nation’s founding fathers did instead was to adopt a policy of non-racialism, fostering a myth of Jamaica as an exemplar of racial harmony, a melting pot of different races and ethnicities. The identity being promoted was Jamaicanness and being Jamaican, not Black Jamaican versus White or Chinese or Indian Jamaican. As a commenter on one of Kei Miller’s posts on the subject correctly said, “Jamaica’s motto, ‘Out of Many, One People’ is our own version of ‘All Lives Matter’.” So entrenched is this policy of non-racialism that the very utterance #Blacklivesmatter has elicited the pat response of #AllLivesMatter from some members of privileged minority groups here.” I’m also wondering if the coloristic and intraracism issues that arise in nonwhite nations (Haiti, Vietnam, Nigeria, and so many more) at one time or another under colonial white supremacy’s knee. We’re still struggling to breathe.


Annie Paul

What else have I missed today in apartheid Jamaica? Sarah Manley’s startling status update on Facebook a few days ago resonated deeply, pinpointing as it does the invisible walls that divide this society. These walls relegate poor, black bodies to oblivion while corralling the country’s profits and benefits for the middle and upper classes—Team Light-Skinned as Garnette Cadogan terms it—who run things here.

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