Posts tagged race
Posts tagged race
It’s been a while since I commented on Trinidad & Tobago’s State of Emergency, largely because of how political and controversial the exercise has become.
The Attorney General, who defended the protracted suspension of civil liberties with the rationale that “fundamental civil rights mean precious little if the state cannot ensure your security”, has also made plans to table vague legislation which will regulate and monitor the use of social networks. For some, the rhetoric is too Orwellian.
On top of all this, as columnist Raffique Shah points out, “there is a serious racial undercurrent swirling beneath the relative calm the Emergency has brought, [which] could prove to be explosive.”
Meanwhile, as debate continues in the Trinidadian Parliament on the extension of the State of Emergency, MP Colm Imbert cited fears about security forces’ ability to return to pre-emergency norms of power, and the possibility of a “deeply resentful black community” on cessation of the SoE.
Follow #SoETT on Twitter other updates and reactions to the State of Emergency…
The Independent’s Joan Smith argues, “the hunt for the ideal rape victim is never-ending but fruitless, for the simple reason that it requires unimpeachable conduct on the part of the victim in every area of her life, past and present. Women who have been drinking, who know their alleged attacker or who’ve ever told a lie to a public official, even in an unrelated matter, are not victims prosecutors want to put before juries.”
Historian David Starkey told BBC’s Newsnight that ”the whites have become black”, in a discussion on the England riots with broadcaster Dreda Say Mitchell, and the author of Chavs, Owen Jones.
Starkey asked Britons not to forget that the London riots, in his mind, started over the killing of a black man, and argued that Jamaican patois was just one aspect of black culture which has intruded England, making British culture become ‘foreign.’
Via my new follow, patrickmoberg:
My Senior year in high school, I spent almost every lunch period hanging out with this gigantic dude (6’11”) named Ranard Robinson. Ranard had this iconic red hoodie that girls would request to try on and be swallowed up into the absurd size of it. I’ve always had a desire to be much shorter than I am (6’3”), so I found a weird comfort in how much taller than me Ranard was. Around him, I was the little kid, the energetic sidekick to his gigantic, stoic presence.
Ranard and I would frequently walk off campus to a nearby office building that had a Chick-fil-A in the lobby, talking about classes, teachers, and how fucking good this (then) new rapper Kanye West was. We never really spent time together outside of school, so that walk was the time we got to know one another. I’m awful at small talk, so whenever our conversations hit a lull, my brain would default to asking a really invasive, personal question, which is a tendency I’m still wary of, but have learned to live with. I asked him what it was actually like being so tall, he said it was nerve racking to hear people whispering about him when he walked by. I asked him what it was like to be pretty much forced into basketball, he said he resented it but had no other choice. I asked him if he had ever experienced racism towards him, and he was silent. A minute or two later he said “yeah” in his deep voice, and I knew not to go any further. I knew that even if he had told me, I wouldn’t really understand. I realized there are some things that can be explained or learned second hand, and some that cannot.
Fantastic movie, even if Japan edited out the only black guy from the official movie poster.
In the most recent cable leak from the United States Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves leaves nothing to the imagination with his views on Alan Chastanet, St. Lucian tourism Minister and privileged mulatto.
Says Gonsalves, “[Alan] Chastanet talks a lot of rubbish when it comes to regional air transport.” He further criticized the Minister as being among “a species of brown people in the Caribbean with money” who are “not loyal to anybody”.
Gonsalves continued by noting that such people, whom he described as “Castries mulattos”, believe they are “oracles” and represent a “break in the social advancement in the Eastern Caribbean.”
PS. This really puts Gonsalves’ reaction to CARICOM Airways in a new context, doesn’t it?
PPS. Ironically, the US seems to think Gonsalves is a disloyal brown man with money too.
This photo accompanied an article titled Robbed Farmers Cry Out to Government in the February 9, 2011 edition of the Barbados Nation.
It came with the hilariously ironic caption: “Farmer Ryan Norris, after lending a helping hand to his workers in the fields, stops and waits for them to clear the weeds.”
I’m not sure that I saw him being the one who was “crying out”, but nonetheless, I thought it was a good photo to illustrate that post.
“The plantation system in the Caribbean has been likened to a total institution, which created its own cultural, political and economic ethos. A clear-cut, well-defined hierarchical structure, based on race, class and caste flowed from the plantation system.
Plantations became total institutions because they imbibed a dichotomous relation of dominated and dominant, whereby just as in a prison or a mental institution the inmate is resocialized into a new set of values, so too the African slave was ‘seasoned’ to remove his culture and basic self. Therefore, modern Barbadian society is a direct consequence of the plantation system’s all-encompassing value system which brought together several culturally and racially different groups of people, meant to coexist in order to satisfy Barbados’ incorporation into the world capitalist system as a plantation hinterland.” - Haajima Degia
A fascinating read.
Sir Charles Williams, one of the richest men in Barbados and the single-largest landowner on the island, claims to be a self-made multimillionaire who has benefited in no way from race or privilege, albeit in a society whose most affluent also happen to be white. This UK-produced documentary adequately kisses his ass.
Joseph Massad, Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University, argues “while Palestinian children endure lives of suffering, President Obama’s love for their Israeli counterparts knows no limit.”
The big noise on Twitter last week was, arguably, an Anje Woodruffe post on Outlish.
Anje, a black woman, wanted nothing to do with black men. Says the allegedly reformed self-hater, “there was no black man good enough for me. There was no black man who could treat this woman right. What I was saying to myself […] was that I was too good for any black man, and he couldn’t ever be worth my time.”
Interesting, crazy reading.