Editorial: Race and Racism in the Caribbean: “So many knees on so many necks”

The image anchoring this text is a photo of a John Crow Blow Nose or Basket Stinkhorn Fungus taken by the ceramicist David Pinto. Its hideous beauty perfectly symbolizes the raw and smelly wound of systematic racial and class discrimination still haunting the Caribbean. It’s an unpleasant thing to face down but face it we must.

Gabrielle Jamela Hosein

In the middle of the Black Lives Matter marches, on one such night, she asked me, “Mummy, do you wish you could be White?” She wanted to know if only White people were allowed to go to America. Her nine-year-old antennae had picked up news of protests, and she was struggling to understand the rules that had been broken.

Kei Miller

I do not understand how we continue to locate racism as something that happens over there – way over there – in America. I do not understand why we wouldn’t take this moment to reflect on how these things operate in our own world. It is obvious that the outcomes of racist ideology are often lethal in America – but we are not simply protesting the outcomes. We are protesting the mindsets that make such outcomes possible.


In truth, the so-called “1%” has become a racial slur against all Middle Eastern people on the island, but each race has a 1% within it, and the rest in that ethnicity occupy lower economic echelons, subject to the same unspoken condescension of those at the top of their own ethnicities.

Diana McCaulay

For myself, I’m trying to listen, to learn, to read, and to realize not just in my head but in my heart that my own discomfort, even hurt, is infinitesimal compared to the hurt and threat and violence experienced in black lives, here and elsewhere.


PREE Views is a new section in which we periodically feature short texts and commentaries on issues that are in the news or in the public sphere.

Image credit: Heather Gallimore

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