‘Silent Racism’ Still Plagues Caribbean

Caribbean anti-racism ad campaign. Ad reads: “Do you really think she would print quicker if she was white?”

St. John’s Antigua- Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said racism remains alive today and the Caribbean must continue to fight the scourge in order to build a just and equitable society.

Spencer argued that “silent racism” continues to blight Caribbean society, pointing to “vile online commentators” as evidence.

“Some say that racism and discrimination are relics of the past. They claim that, because legal discrimination is a thing of the past, that somehow silent discrimination has also gone away. I do not share that conclusion,” said Spencer.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) Labour Day Banquet after reading “vile rhetoric” in comments on the Bernews website.

The following remark was singled out by Spencer. It read, “For those who blame white people for the situation they are in, don’t. You should blame your ancestors, they were offered a chance to go back to Liberia and they didn’t go.”

The anonymous comment continued, “Stop complaining because you are a thousand times better off than Africans and people from the Caribbean. There is nothing stopping you from receiving higher education, speaking proper English and getting a well paying job and being a pillar in the community, nothing.”

On an audio clip supplied to OBSERVER Media by the Bermuda Sun, Spencer said, “For me these are disgusting, vile and racist comments. This sort of stereotyping reminds me quite frankly of the bad old days. These comments are a clarion call to all people, black and white, who believe in justice and equality.”

He added, “We have overcome many great obstacles in the past but I wish to remind all of us that we still have much work to do.”

The Prime Minister was clear that he did not intend to bring up any old wounds and instead called for greater unity.

“Until we truly sort out racism those of us who are most victimised by it must stand strong together. There are those who seek to divide us and confuse us but we must not be divided…

Read more: Antigua Observer


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