In the last few years I’ve avoided social media and tend not to get into dialogues about race relations, politics or religion. However over the last few weeks I’ve seen how our perceptions as individuals have been skewed by our own experiences and privileges. Being Jamaican, I was fortunate to grow up in a society where I was a part of the racial majority. As such, I never experienced systematic racism as many of my African American brothers and sisters. However I have been careful not to dismiss their experiences because of my failure to fully understand their reality. Continue reading
Emotions are raw as we bear evidence to police brutality and continued racial tensions in the United States. For decades we have understood that racism is real and it is a threat to our society. This year we have had a number of incidents that have brought the issue of racial profiling to the forefront of everyday dialogue. In guiding this discourse I believe the media plays a very important role which at times seem destructive. Continue reading
On Saturday, July 12, 2014 Laurie-Ann Chin was crowned the 2014 Miss Jamaica World, and almost immediately there were some Jamaicans who voiced their dissatisfaction with the winner of the pageant. Although I did not view the pageant, I gathered from the vitriol posted online that the dissatisfaction stemmed not from how Laurie-Ann Chin conducted herself in the pageant, but rather her perceived ethnicity. A few seem dissatisfied that a contestant with a darker complexion was not chosen. Continue reading
On November 6th the United States went to the polls and elected President Barack Obama for a second term in office. Just four years earlier history was made with President Obama becoming the first person of color to attain the nation’s highest office. The moment Obama signaled his intent to run for office, the issue of race became the focal point of many political discussions.
Recently the media have been dominated with reports of the incident which occurred between Dr. Henry Gates Jr. and members of the Cambridge Mass. Police Department. I am troubled by the way in which the argument has degenerated into such a divisive issue. No doubt, the issue of race and race relations in the U.S. has again resurfaced, and has been made more relevant due to an African-American commander-in-chief. Continue reading