Over the last few months we’ve attended and covered many various events from the Orlando Curry Duck Curry to the Jacksonville Carnival, to Miami-Broward One Carnival to the Orlando Jerk Festival and it is absolutely amazing to see the National pride as we wave our collective National flags from Trinidad, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Barbados, Antigua and all the other great countries of the Caribbean.
While national pride is great we need to understand the importance of not just Caribbean unity but also minority segregation. I know I’m guilty of it and I know many of my friends and colleagues are too – we don’t always identify ourselves as African American, we’d rather say we’re Caribbean American of African or Indian (Asian) decent but this actually hurts us when it comes to our political and economic power. Politicians and big business develop policies and strategies based on voting groups and market segments. We constantly hear about the Hispanic vote or a Hispanic marketing strategy. I’ve rarely ever heard of a Caribbean political strategy or a Caribbean marketing campaign, however none of these groups; Caribbean, Hispanic, Asian, African, or Creole are mutually exclusive. If you were to draw a group of circles and put every racial or ethnic group into their individual circles; there must be an intersection where all of these circles overlap each other, simply because there are Hispanics from the Caribbean, there are Caribbean people of Asian heritage, there are African from the Caribbean and almost every Caribbean Country has all of the above.
We need to start making our voices heard by supporting our Caribbean American candidates running for elected local Government Office, support those who have already been elected and start the process of grooming those within our community who we think would serve the interest of us as Caribbean people. We must come out in numbers at every possible platform, not just the Carnivals and Jerk Fest’s or the Curry Duck Curry.
The harsh reality of both local and national politics is that soon, if not already, the minority will be the majority. If we were all to stand together, the Hispanics, the Asians, the Caribbean, the African Americans, Creole Americans and those of us of mixed race/heritage we would be the majority and therefore policies, campaigns and corporate America would be forced to launch programs and strategies targeted to us. The Donald Trump’s of this world be forced into hiding or be eradicated from the fore-front of the political news.
Dating back to the earliest times; from ancient times, to slavery, to the civil wars; the rule or underline strategy to defeat the masses was to divide and conquer. The system is designed to divide us by race, by nationality, by economic status, by community and even by the color of our skin. In the words of the great Bob Marley from his song titles - “War”
“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned”… “That until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes”…”That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race”…”That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain in but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained”
We must learn to stand together and support each other; for too long we have been trained into the ‘Crab in a Barrel’ mentality