Caricom Engaged in Racial Distancing
The average Black West Indian should be aware of the The Middle Passage. As a youngster the blogmaster recalls his effort to visualize Africans shackled and crammed into boat to be transported from Africa to the West Indies and sold into bondage. It case we forget there was a dark period in the history of the world Blacks were legally regarded as ‘chattel’, no better than a mule or donkey.
The lineage of Black people living in the Caribbean means there will always be an inextricable connection between the West Indies and Africa. It is unfortunate our people have allowed North American and Eurocentric influences to permeate our psyche to wreak havoc to our identity.
It was reported last week that 54 African countries signed a letter asking the United Nations Human Rights Council to schedule a debate on police brutality against Black people around the world. It is a matter of record the killing of George Floyd in the USA has triggered a Black Lives Movement reminiscent of the 50s and 60s when MLK, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and others were at the forefront of the fight for civil and political rights of our people.
…In a letter written on behalf of 54 African countries, Burkina Faso’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva asked the UN’s top rights body for an “urgent debate” on “racially inspired human rights violations, police brutality against people of African descent and the violence against the peaceful protests that call for these injustices to stop…
As a proud Black man the blogmaster must share his disappointment at the lack of a strident response to the killing of George Floyd by CARICOM. All reasonable people agree it is a manifestation of institutionalized racism in the USA and global citizens have been galvanized to protest the need for urgent reform.
A scan of the official website of Caricom.org reveals no adequate communications posted to capture the prevailing sentiment of the people living in the region. Our Caricom leaders under the current chairmanship of Mia Mottley have failed us at a pivotal moment in the history of the world. Our nexus to Africa created the opportunity to add our voice to those of the 54 African countries who represent the Mother Country. How are we expected to forge and improve relations with African countries but are miles apart on how to correctly react to the matter of the Black Lives Movement? This has nothing to do with jumping on any bandwagon. Again the idea of cognitive dissonance keeps recurring. What message are our leaders sending to the masses?
It is no wonder we have to tolerate individuals who lack the understanding of the moment by insisting we should let the USA fight this matter alone. Why are White people protesting around the globe? Some of us have family residing in the USA. Some of us have relatives studying in the USA. Some of us may have reason to travel to the USA. Most of us are Black. Most important, a strike against humanity is simply that and should evoke the same response in humans everywhere.
Even the Germans are protesting for crissakes!
The poor response by Caricom to describe it mildly is a disappointment and although the perfect scenario is to strike when hot, it is not too late to offer redress. Now is not the time to be apolitical. Now is not the time to engage in racial distancing.