The people of the world are beautifully and wonderfully made in the creator’s image. The Caribbean and the Americas have benefited from the various cultures brought by various racial groups from around the world, making it the most diverse and racially homogenous part of the world. This has resulted in the creation of very beautiful people of various shades, hues shapes and sizes making them one of the most attractive set of people on the earth. Despite all of these benefits and advantages however, we have managed to separate ourselves based on the colour of our skin, thus creating inequality based on irrational logic and injustice.
Origin of Injustice
This injustice has its roots in colonialism as Europeans, in competition with one another, set out to lay claim to as much land as possible in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, subjugating the indigenous people to their system of Governance and religion. In the Caribbean, before the African slave trade, the coming of the Europeans brought disease and abuse inclusive of forced labour, which resulted in massive deaths of the indigenous population. In order to satisfy their appetite for money and power, the colonizers turned to Africa to fill the gap left by the indigenous people of the Caribbean and the Americas. Their intrusion into Africa was responsible for the disruption of the daily lives of Africans as the African slave trade came into being. This heinous act tore people from their families, their homes, destroyed cultures, destroyed societies and dehumanized people as they were reduced to livestock to be traded on the stock markets of Europe, before being shipped to the Caribbean in the most unsanitary and inhumane conditions. Those who survived the harrowing journey, went on to work on plantations for free, deriving great wealth and prosperity for their European and eventually, their American colonizers for over 200 years. During this time, our enslaved African ancestors were subjected to punishing treament, overwork and abuse, namely rape, which created the mulatto offspring which were treated better than their black siblings. This treatment continued until the end of slavery but the miscegenation of the races never ended.
Shades of Irrationality
After the end of slavery, the planter class, which would then become the upper class, not only consisted of full European descendants but mulatto offspring as well. These new gatekeepers of society decided to further disenfranchise the newly freed black man by hiring indentured workers from India and China. This development further lead to the mixing of the races and the creation of beautiful people of different shades and hues. The development of diverse and interesting cultures which would influence all facets of everyday life including our food, fashion, music and all things that make life in the Caribbean and the Americas most interesting and vibrant was a beautiful offspring of this heinous past. In spite of this however, the system left behind by the European colonizers was never changed but merely modified without addressing the wrongs of the past. This resulted in racial oppression against black people in the United States and class and shade oppression in the Caribbean and Latin America. The ruling class, which was mostly white and people of a shade close to white, never saw it necessary to address the disproportionate distribution of wealth and resources and in some cases sought to entrench it into society. The past became an inconvenient truth which the new gatekeepers of society would rather sweep under the rug and forget about. This past would always come roaring back however; whenever the black man has suffered due to injustice and in seeking justice, is denied it.
Shades of The Future
In the 21st Century, we as a people have definitely come a far way from where our ancestors were in the 19th and 20th century. We have managed to address some of the issues of the past and have made great strides in all facets of society. Despite this however, there is still a disproportionate distribution of wealth and resources and there are still cases where inequality based on race still exists. In order to tackle these issues, there needs to be a serious discussion by ALL members of society, taking a honest, serious look at the past, addressing it and be at peace with it once and for all. After this is done, we should then be able to look at the systems in place and create a more equitable one for the benefit of ALL in our society. There have been reparation committees set up that specifically deal with these issues and should be taken seriously by ALL members of society. These committees should not only seek financial compensation but also to educate and reconcile all the injustices and the various emotions felt by ALL members of society. The media can play a positive role in bringing the issues being dealt with these committees to wider society and help spark discussion in a positive way (unlike the negativity that it continuously highlights). The people of my generation and I may not have directly suffered from or took part in slavery but it does influence our economic, social and historical positions.