Community

CULTURE CLINIC: How Racism Looks In Barbados

Racism is ingrained, institutionalized, internalized, and insidious.

From the COVID-19 pandemic to the ongoing and repeated acts of black racial violence in the USA that have been occurring there since 1865 to silence about police brutality in Barbados, I hear the fluid and complicated ways that people use racism, institutionalized racism, and internalized racism to describe what we are experiencing and witnessing.

Peaceful protest against police brutality and for Black Lives Matter in Barbados

Racism refers to the systematic and strategic ways that events, policies, and laws are set up to reinforce entitlement and privilege for one subset of people while simultaneously belittling and dis-enfranchising others based on their appearance and experiences.

However, although “discrimination” may be prevalent in a lot of cases, the use of “racism” makes more sense when patterns and effects from these acts show a negative impact on the targets’ health, wealth and/or wellbeing.

In the USA, racism is more overt. Divisive lines are drawn in the very identity tagline. Such terms do not account for ancestry, location or point of origin. In the UK, white classism is understood, and then racism is reinforced. In that regard, the right to discriminate, discern and be decent in covert ways reinforce Eurocentric standards of class and decorum as ideal.

When we discriminate against other groups, we may call it institutionalized racism, especially when classism, homophobia, schooling, and sexism, (among others) help to uphold it. In the Caribbean, the ideal persona profile, the white, educated, rich patriarch is a myth. In its place is “white/adjacent”, people who construct their reality and are accepted as white. Because we live in societies where many people are not white, we may tend to think that racism is the term to apply when we are being critical. Further institutions like the banks and the legal system get trapped because their systems still reflect these biases in their operating practices.

Iakobi Maloney at his graduation.

In the Caribbean, our far-sighted lens does not often pick up these concerns because our racism is internalized. As descendants of enslavement and colonialism, we certainly carry the blood of African, Indigenous people and European in our veins (among others). Institutions like school, through language and decorum, help condition us to be “civilized”. We internalize Eurocentric standards to excuse racialized acts. We do not consider the ways that these violent acts perpetuate exclusive re-colonizing narratives that harp back to pre-emancipation times.

Institutionalized and internalized racism reinforces systems that continue to sow discord and exclusion in subtle ways. It succeeds because we continue to condone violent act normal in certain cases, while understanding that others, and especially white people, do not need this kind of treatment.

There is simple but not easy solution: STOP IT! Stop participating in acts of division and exclusion. THINK! Notice the places where you were co-opted to act out or accept these acts as normal. ACT! Let’s think about the ways we can be strategic about celebrating our personal histories, economies (of business), and realities as a matter of policy, instead of waiting to be “inspired” by the next media frenzy.

Please respond. Dr. John is happy to reply!

Dr. John Hunte PHD
Cultural Studies
UWI Cave Hill

Culture Clinic is a weekly column crafted by Dr. John Hunte. Photography by Adrian Richards.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Tell Us What You Think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Some Of Our Friends

Newsletter Sign Up

Why We Do This!

november, 2020

24nov7:30 pmLIVE Tuesdayswith Wesu7:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

24nov8:00 pmBetween The Lineshosted by Vayne with special guest Jordan English8:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

24nov8:00 pmHomegrown RoundtableLive on Facebook8:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

25nov4:30 pm5:30 pmBarefoot VybezDance Class4:30 pm - 5:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

25nov6:15 pmDanceFitTerm 36:15 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

25nov7:00 pmTheatre + Convos Body S.P.A.C.E The Masterclasswith Sonia Williams7:00 pm GMT-4

25nov8:30 pmRiteside Of Redat Mojos8:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Reggae

25nov9:00 pmComedy Open Micfeaturing Sunrokk Biko and Jason9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

26nov12:00 am11:59 pmCreative Writing Fiction with Glenville Lovell12:00 am - 11:59 pm Performing Arts:Literary Arts

27nov9:30 am12:00 pmWeb-A-Thon 2020featuring Edwin Yearwood, Joaquin, King Bubba, Marzville, Sluggy Dan, Boatman, Kareesa, Dwayne Jones, Jamal Green, Jamal Slocombe, Don Ross, Reckodrums9:30 am - 12:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

27nov6:30 pmAlan Sheppard LIVEat Horny Ram6:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

27nov7:00 pmShades Of Art Open Miclive performance by Mylon Clarke and Hashim Durant7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music,Open Mic

27nov8:00 pmFridayz LIVEwith Biggie Irie8:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

28nov9:00 am9:45 amYoMusic Dance ClassAges 2 - 89:00 am - 9:45 am GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

28nov11:00 am1:00 pmHear Wuh Gine On Radio Showlive interview with Faith Callender11:00 am - 1:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Radio Show

28nov6:30 pm9:00 pmDe Duppy Tour6:30 pm - 9:00 pm GMT-4

28nov7:00 pm10:00 pmMr Blood: Like You Never Knew7:00 pm - 10:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

28nov7:00 pmBack In Timewith Philip 77:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

29nov5:00 pm7:00 pmXion Network Variety ShowLive interview with Omar Kennedy5:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

29nov6:00 pmOnce Upon A Time In Bimfeaturing Varia Williams, Andrew Pilgrim, Winston Farrell, Michelle Barrow, Kenneth "Jack" Lewis, Melissa Hunte, $2 Philosopher, Janine White & D.J Simmons6:00 pm GMT-4

29nov7:00 pm11:00 pmSyndicated Sundays7:00 pm - 11:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

29nov9:00 pmLIVE Thursdaysfeaturing Joaquin and Nikita9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

30nov6:00 amRhythm Partywith Reac Fitness6:00 am GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

30nov2:00 pmunChainedfeaturing the reEmergence Band, Riddim Tribe, Adrenaline Dancers and Dancin Africa2:00 pm GMT-4

30nov6:00 pmOnce Upon A Time In Bimfeaturing Varia Williams, Andrew Pilgrim, Winston Farrell, Michelle Barrow, Kenneth "Jack" Lewis, Melissa Hunte, $2 Philosopher, Janine White & D.J Simmons6:00 pm GMT-4

X
%d bloggers like this: