Not while racism exists

| 10/03/2010

(The Guardian): Standing at a hotel bar in Freetown, Sierra Leone, a few years ago with an unreconstructed Afrikaner and a white Briton whose racial politics I trusted even less, I was approached by a local, black hustler who put his arm around my shoulder, smiled and asked: "How’s my nigger?"

I turned swiftly, pointed my finger in his face and said: "Don’t you ever ever, call me that again." He walked away looking both baffled and upset and leaving me feeling both conflicted and annoyed.

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Category: World View

Comments (87)

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  1. ThEwOrLdIsGaGaGoNeDoWn says:

    The "N" word IS derogatory and racist no matter who uses it.  It is not a jest and it isn’t acceptable…lay it to rest.

  2. 20somethingCaymanian says:

    we should lay that awful word to rest..ppl say it thinking that it’s ok cuz i’m coloured (therefore i’m taking it back) or whatever but the more ppl say it the more they empower it and allow it to be said without thinking about the way it was first used.  It started as a negative word and many still see it as such and find it offensive therefore there’s no need for it. You think ppl are interested in "taking back" the word cracker in reference to ones "race"…don’t think so. that would be pretty moronic if you ask me…look at most derogatory names given to various cultural groups or nationalities and see if any of them are using it amongst themselves. that’s like slapping yourself in the face…unfathomable and pointless

  3. Anonymous says:

    XXXX XXXX! I just stumbled on this site. The fact that in 2010 there is any argument about this is astonishing.

    • anon says:

      honestly, as far as we think we’ve moved away from racism we really haven’t at all…ppl made a huge deal about Obama as 1st black president and how it was such a big step for America and to a certain degree I might agree yet one really has to wonder how far we’ve come because all anyone could talk about was his race…First Black President! whoo hoo! after a while I got sick of hearing it. Get over it already. Yes this is a great step forward for America.  Instead of looking at the ability of a man as an individual we look at his ability as a black man. Maybe I’m just ranting but I think just making a big deal about a man success as a "black man" is showing a degree of racism.

      • whodatis says:

        Good post.

        However, I think the "big deal" was not really of a Black man becoming the U.S. Puppet – sorry…President – but more so of America actually allowing it to happen.

        This world has a centuries long list of great Black leaders anyway – just not in America I guess. Well perhaps MLK, Malcolm X, Farrahkan, Marcus Garvey (yes, I know he was originally from Jamaica.)

        Lol!

        Come to think of it – America has its long list of "Black Presidents" as well!

        :o)

  4. RastaGal says:

    Stopo the hate my people and learn to appreciate one another…life is too short..instead unite and listen to the words of Bob.  

    Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior
     

    Is finally
    And permanently
    Discredited
    And abandoned –
    Everywhere is war –
    Me say war.

    That until there no longer
    First class and second class citizens of any nation
    Until the colour of a mans skin
    Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes –
    Me say war.

                              Bob Marley
     

    • Ex pat says:

      This is a song with lyrics that had a profound effect on me from the first time I heard it.  It should be the world anthem… but these words actually stem from a speech by Emperor Haile Selassie, they were not written by Bob himself.

    • whodatis says:

      Fair enough.

      However, what about the other elephants in the room…

      – Organized religion

      – Corrupt political agendas

      – Party system politics

      – Gross maladministration of wealth

      – Globalization

      – Greed

      … and the list goes on.

      Never before has there been so much infighting within the citizens of common nations. One can safely assume that they are all of the same "race".

      (Sorry – i’m just playing the devil’s advocate – couldn’t resist. Good post. I am a big Marley fan myself. However, I believe "Babylon System" is a timeless selection and never before has it been as relevant as it is today! Listen closely to the lyrics.)

       

  5. Anonymous says:

    First question you ask about a baby … does it have "good" hair or "bad" hair… I had good hair… but most of it fell out.  I wish I had any kind of hair now.  The figment of the pigment exists the world over!!

  6. Fact is . . . says:

    Only the ignorant, arrogant, out of touch or ill educated would use the "N" word on a radio show.  XXXX

  7. Fuzzy says:

    Keep up your good work Ezzard and dont let these haters discourage you from standing up for Caymanians.

  8. anonymous says:

    Racism has destroyed too many countries….it is clear from DNA historical records that NO ONE is from a pure race….I know a lot of people will feel betrayed by their own minds with that fact but that is the fact.

     

    We have had more negative discourse on this subject after we started getting American TV and people from countries where "Pigmentograpy" is practiced than in all of our 500 years before. 

     

    So what about a little pigment or lack there of??  Caymanians had dealt with much of this on the Turtle ships…now the Insecure have brought it with them.  

     

    Be happy with who you are and Caymanians forget about this post and the American TV…love yourself and everyone else.

     

    We are not interested, thank you.

  9. Sarah says:

    I remember having a meeting with a mature well respected Caymanian gentleman (or so i thought) he was watching the news about the riots in Paris and made a comment about those "n*******" ruining a country". I honestly don’t think that I have ever been more offended, I was so angry that I was almost reduced to tears.  It doesn’t matter that I have pale skin.  What does matter is that the word has been used in a deliberately derogatory manner for a long period in history (and not such distant history really).

    I sturggle to comprehend the adoption of it by the very people who were persecuted by its use.  The appalling abuse that it was partnered with and the toxic manner in which it was used, means that it should forever be a "bad word" and should never be acceptable for ANYONE to use, because it still hurts.

    I will never judge anyone by their skin colour – nor will I allow that kind of behaviour in my house – I have ejected a friend and ended a friendship for persisting in making belittling jokes based on skin colour in my home.

    The N word is NEVER acceptable – and frankly every parent of any skin colour should stamp down on the use of the word by their kids – who have no idea how much hurt and suffering was attached to that word – even as recently as their great grandparents.  It needs to be stamped out – for good.

    • whodatis says:

      @ Sarah:

      Although it is clear to see that you are an individual of far greater class than that pitiful excuse of a human being …

      You could have just as easily countered with the following:

      "Look at all of those white "honkeys" ruining the economy of the entire world!"

      Funny how people only see what they want to huh?

      • Sarah says:

        Unfortunately I was working in a sales role and representing the company so felt I could not have responded how I would have like to have done – but, believe me – my boss heard all about it when I got back.

        And besides – I don’t think I can bring myself to speak like that about anyone even if it is to prove a point – besides being against my priciples, it would only bring me to his level, which was a low that I am not willing to reach.  That said, if I had felt free to speak , I certainly would have told him what I think of people who do! (But yes I totally agree that everyone has the capacity to wreck or help our society regardless of skin colour or status!)

  10. slowpoke says:

     The world according to Ezzard:

    1) If the medical director uses the phrase "sexy-time", it is so morally reprehensible that he must resign immediately.

    2) It is perfectly acceptable and culturally appropriate to "act like a nigger" in the Emergency room.

    The phrase “stupid is as stupid does” comes to mind.

  11. anonymous says:

    You want the truth?  Here is how you get it.  Ask any year 3 or year 4 caymanian student what colour they are and see what response you get; the great majority will say white.  

    • look ya says:

      How you know dat? Wha you boderin de children wid yo foolishniss bout wha colour deh is? Leewe deh chilrin loone

      • anonymous says:

        r u in need ov re-me-dial english??

        • look ya says:

          Actually i have an O-Level in the Queens English I just choose to use the "Local" dialect sometimes. You should try it.

          My post was more about why an adult would ask a child such a question? It would seem to be more useful for the adult to ask the parent, after-all where do children usualy get their character traits and values? Unfortunately many adults find it much easier to find fault in others (including the younger generation) than ask the more useful questions of self.

          • 20somethingCaymanian says:

            Niiice speak the way you want to speak! This is a forum for anyone who has anything to say regarding Cayman issues. So why all this criticism about ppl writing in cayman dialect? So are these insults going to start happening face to face. Boy I’d like to see someone tell a Trini or Jamaican to "talk probably"…this is part of the culture. every country has some kind of dialect…we’re talking about racism here and there are ppl poking fun at the cayman dialect. Talk about discrimination…grow up ppl

            • anonymous says:

              nobody would tell a trini or jamaican to talk "probably" – properly maybe, probably, never. 

              • ThEwOrLdIsGaGaGoNeDoWn says:

                i’m sure that’s what the above post meant to convey but yes they may but it’s ignorant to tell ppl in their own country to speak…that’s the point..stick to it pls

      • anonymous says:

        It’s only natural to ask that question when you hear one black child trying to insult another by calling him/her BLACK.

  12. anonymous says:

    When I first arrived in Cayman, a Jamaican at Public Beach told me how some/many Caymanians look down their noses at Jamaicans and their darker skin colour.  When I asked him if Caymanians are not black, he laughed; he said that they are, but warned me never to call them that.  Something about offending them.

    • 20somethingCaymanian says:

      appreciate what you’re trying to say here yet what the hell is black anyway? what the hell is white? In regards to either being colours guess what..black is the absence of colour and white is all colours.  when we try to apply colours to pigmentation I think we get it all wrong…ppl use race to empower themselves or discriminate against others.  I can understand if ppl want to say they are african decent or european or whatever but I honestly think all this race crap is unnecessary.  Caymanians are all mixed up so who gives a crap about black or white..the world isn’t black or white ppl

      • anonymous says:

        wow, real deep.  i guess when some uppity caymanian who has the same skin colour as a jamaican looks down his nose at said jamaican because of his skin colour, you’ll be there to explain it all…

        • 20somethingCaymanian says:

          love the sarcasm but i don’t apologize for wanting to see ppl beyond their skin colour…I’m a Caymanian Jamaican and proud but despite that i’d have something to say if I see something like this happening..in fact I have but that’s besides the point…the point is to open our eyes

  13. anonymous says:

    this black girl that i worked with once told me that she used to run a lot when she was younger. i asked her if she still goes out for runs.  she said no.  i asked her if it’s because she was busy.  she said no.  so i asked her how come she no longer runs.  she said it’s because she gets "too dark" if she’s out in the sun for too long.  i asked her if it matters.  she said of course it does.  she then told me how SOME "black" girls look for white guys to marry because it’s considered a "step up".  those who argue that colour is a thing of the past are either blind, deaf, or dumb.  lizzard knew exactly what he was implying with the use of his "N" word…  it certainly wasn’t complimentary.  and if the "N" has been adopted by the caymanian culture and language, it hasn’t been adopted for its positive connotations.  how exactly does a "N" act anyway lizzard???

    • look ya says:

      Neither does it sound complimentary to call someone lizzard!…

       

    • Fuzzy says:

      To Anonymous Sun.10:22 Your post is supposedly against disrespecting people ,but it is really about you disrespecting Ezzard by calling him lizzard.It would serve you right to wake up and find a lizzard talking to you.One of the big ,green ones.

  14. anonymous says:

    racism does NOT exist in the cayman islands.  you know how primary students (as young as year 3) insult each other at times?  you BLACK.  they don’t know what they’re saying, but they’re very good at repeating what they hear and see.  so let’s not kid ourselves that racism does not exist.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What has yet to be identified is the local skin color racism among born Caymanians. The darker the skin tone the lower one stands in the local social order. Marry one of a dark skin tone and lose standing in the local social order.

    People of color in Cayman do not think of themselves as black and will be offended to be considered black.

    This sets people from Cayman apart from people from Jamaica.

    But if you get a Caymanian to be honest with you they will share this. So to pretend skin color means nothing among Caymanians is mendacity at its finest.

  16. Q says:

    Further below a writer explains the innocent use of the "N" word, how it’s used in jest by people of color/mixed race who live in Cayman. I fully agree with the sentiment but I’m curious if it’s ok for a white guy like myself, living in Cayman, to use the "N" word in the same context. I suspect it’s not.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many "white" Caymanians who use it freely without it being an issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      hey my friend what’s up?you really want to find out if it’s ok for a white person to use the "N" word in Cayman as in the same context as a previous poster,……….well this is what you must do,ask for directions to one of the following areas( visit between the hours of 3-8PM)…..1)Rock hole,2)Swamp, 3)Dog city, 4)Harlem, 5)Scranton, 6)Central, 7)Old Sound Road,8)Bodden Road,9)School House Road or 10)Windsor Park,after arriving stand in the middle of the road and with all your might shout the "N" word from the bottom of your belly right up thru your throat,after doing that just stand still and a few seconds later your answer will be revealed.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have a real problem with people’s explanation of the use of the N-word. Somehow, some people seem to think there is no racial element to their use of the word. How can that be?

    "Nigger" means "black person". By using it to describe someone’s behaviour as loud, ignorant, etc, then they are stereotyping black people as showing that type of behaviour. That MUST be racist. How can it be anything else? The fact that the user of the word is too ignorant to fully understand what they are saying doesn’t excuse their behaviour.

    Would it be acceptable if an expat said that they use the word "Caymanian" to describe lazy, indolent, ignorant, workshy people, but they don’t mean it in a racist way, it is just part of their culture to describe them that way? Of course it wouldn’t. Stop defending the indefensible.

    Although, no one has tried to defend the use of "Jewed"…

    • Anonymous says:

      "Nigger" does NOT mean "black person". If it did then it would not have been derogatory to say nigger. The point, which you have missed altogether, is that meaning of this slang term depends upon intent and context. There is no comparison with the use of "Caymanian" which is simply  our sub-nationality.     

      • Anonymous says:

        The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines nigger as black person. Various American dictionaries give the same definition. Unless you have a Caymanian English dictionary to cite, and are arguing that the Caymanian version of the word and the word used in every other English speaking country to mean black person are homonyms, or perhaps polysemes, I think we can safely assume that nigger means black person.

        Ezzard Miller used the word on radio to describe a particular type of behaviour – loud, ignorant, etc. Now, given the etymology of the word nigger, he must have been relating that type of behaviour to a black person. Otherwise, why use the word at all? There are other perfectly comprehensible ways of describing his threatened behaviour that he could have used without resorting to that word. The fact that he uses that word, and that so many people here defend that particular usage, arguably shows a particular mindset – that they perceive black people as stereotypically showing those behaviours.

        I entirely agree that context is important. So, for example, Roddy Doyle described the Irish as the niggers of Europe. Not offensive. Some African Americans sometimes use the word in a neutral or familiar way within their peer groups. Not offensive. A white man using it to describe aggressive, disorderly behaviour? Offensive.

         

         

         

        • Anonymous says:

          "I entirely agree that context is important. So, for example, Roddy Doyle described the Irish as the niggers of Europe. Not offensive. Some African Americans sometimes use the word in a neutral or familiar way within their peer groups. Not offensive. A white man using it to describe aggressive, disorderly behaviour? Offensive."

          So just because a white man says it, it’s offensive? That’s racist.

          • Anonymous says:

            FYI Roddy Doyle is white…

          • ThEwOrLdIsGaGaGoNeDoWn says:

            As far as i’m concerned the use of the "N" word at all (no matter the context) is racist…don’t give a damn how much fools rationalize the use..NO ONE should refer to another person in this way…even if a "black person uses it to refer to another to me that’s black on black racism lol silly as it sounds…y reinforce a word that has no positive history or present…better off saying "what’s up my brother" cuz atleast that suggests kinship

        • Anonymous says:

          You appear to have defeated your own point by saying that "nigger" can sometimes be used inoffensively and mean different things according to the context. Did you think that Ezzard thinks he is a "white man"?  You quote Roddy Doyle’s use as inoffensive and yet ask why given its etymology use the word if you do not intend offence. 

          • Anonymous says:

            I have no idea what your last sentence means. 

            My point, consistently made, is that it depends on context. The context in which Miller used it was not inoffensive.

            Look, this is a pointless argument. I am not going to be persuaded that it wasn’t offensive, and you and others are not going to persuaded that it was. Let’s just agree to disagree, shall we?

  18. Anonymous says:

    This excerpt from The Guardian by Gary Younge is a fine example of how misunderstood Caymanians are by our foreign guests. No doubt "the local, black hustler" was left feeling as conflicted and annoyed as the writer did. It is all about cultural understanding folks. Words that might be an insult to some is in fact known as words of affection to others. You are in Cayman folks … take the time to get to know us and stop insulting us by your lack of understanding of our culture and local dialect.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry – I am deeply offended by him being described as black. The correct term (in the culture being imposed on us) is African American.

      • Anonymous says:

        sorry 03/14/2010 – 10:00. African-American is a terms which applies to black people from America (The United States). No one in the story, not even the author, is American. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m Caymanian and I neither use the word in the "cultural" context that you describe nor condone such usage as local dialect. And I assure you that I don’t lack understanding of the culture and local dialect. 

      I don’t accept use of the "N" word in any circumstance and refuse to accept your opinion that is a part of Caymanian, and therefore my, "culture" and local dialect. You are more than welcome to use the word with your friends and family in the "affectionate" way that you describe, but I am more than welcome to be offended by anyone using this word in any context. I’m also entitled to my opinion that the historical significance of the word means it will never be okay to use it and my opinion that this attempt tot re-define it as bad behaviour, etc is even more insulting to black people.

      p.s. The Guardian article had nothing to do with Cayman, so how can it be an example of foreign guests misunderstanding Caymanians? CNS seems to have chosen to post this excerpt and link here because Mr. Miller’s on-air comments sparked quite a lot of debate on other threads. It seems quite appropriate to post a viewpoint that was related and which would allow the discussion to meander on over here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because you are bigots, doesn’t mean it is ok.

      In certain backwaters of the states or the UK (i.e. Scotland and Wales) you will hear these racist terms frequently, it doesn’t make them any more acceptable even if some of the locals believe it is local dialect.

       

  19. Wake me when it's over says:

    People seem to be defending Mr. Miller.  But as far as I can see it is only because he has played the "them vs. us" card whenever necessary, which is quite common amongst all the politicians here.  People have fallen for it as a form of being represented.  The problem is, the island as a whole is suffering because of it.   But, it keeps those fat paychecks rolling in.

  20. Anonymous says:

    storm in a tea cup…. but just goes to show how backward ezzard is and how he should never be part of the gov of the cayman islands…..and why he just stick to the bar stool politics of the economic powerhouse known as northside…..

  21. Anonymous says:

    There are outrageous and inflammatory statements often made by Ezzard as he appreciates the attention they bring and for him more attention is what he wants.

    To listen to Ezzard in the LA when Ellio stated that he might have grown a brain was totally different when the shoe is on the other foot.

    Ezzard can make the rude outrageous and insulting comments and can easily explain them away but seems to be quite sensitive himself.

  22. whodatis says:

    Excellent article!

    However, I am not sure that all of the points raised are applicable in Ezzard’s particular case – well … they are and are not at the same time.

    In a nutshell – Ezzard’s slip of the tongue is nothing but the manifestation of Cayman’s attitude in regards to "race".

    To put it simply – we are TERRIFIED of "Blackness".

    Personally, I do not use or approve of the usage of the N word in any way shape or form, however, it is important to remember where we are and the pitiful state of self awareness and historical acceptance of ourselves as a people in this country.

    I guess it boils down to the ‘mens rea’ of Ezzard at the moment of utterance. The colloquial context in which he used the word included no racial qualities whatsoever – it is important to understand how very localized a usage it was!

    That being said, if we were to travel beyond the (ignorant?) boundaries of this country and consider the historical role and significance of this word – then yes – it is a completely inappropriate term.

    "Colorism" is rife throughout American, Caribbean, and even African culture – and it is only after one educates oneself to the true history of this world then such sentiments, utterances, and prejudicial thoughts will continue to thrive.

    Personally, I cannot condemn Ezzard’s use of the word – for to do so would open the floodgates of countless more condemnations in daily Caymanian life. Furthermore, considering the generation of which he is a part and more importantly the ones which directly impressed upon his earlier innocent and impressionable mind – it really is not such a shocking travesty.

    (Warning: I am about to go deep – the following is not intended for everyone.)

    Someone below suggested that everyone in this world should be better educated in regards to "racial" differences and characteristics and the reasons behind them – I could not agree more! (By the way it is all down to geographical and climatic variations why we have "Black", "Brown", "Yellow", and "White" people  – but that is far too complicated to thoroughly explore at this time … Hint: Vitamin D).

    Furthermore, the masses have been purposely mis / un – educated on such issues for to do so would result in the "history" of this world as we know it being turned upon its head.

    For example – The Olmecs 1200 – 400 BC (pre-European / Columbus people whose remains and artifacts have been discovered in Central and North America) have long been shown to have been "Black". Consider the ramifications if such facts were to be properly expressed to the masses! Blacks / Africans traveled to the Americas before the almighty Europeans / Whites!? The nerve! (By the way, Columbus never "discovered" America- actually, he was quite lost when he arrived in the Caribbean believing it to be Asia / India … hence the "West Indies" – amazing how the name has stuck isnt it? (The Native "American" people  were referred to as "Indians" for hundreds of years for goodness sake!)

    Another example is the discovery of the "Venus figurines". These were statue remains of the Upper Paleolithic period that were uncovered all over what is now considered "Europe" – from as far apart as Brassempouy, France to North-Eastern Siberia – were clearly of African ancestry. This little fact, even though forwarded by the actual hands-on and reporting archaeologist, was quickly pounced upon and "corrected" by the French governmental authorities as the implications were considered far too damning and controversial. (These implications are directly connected to the entire concept of race, ancestry and the origin of man. Kindly carry out your own research for a full understanding – and you may want to search beyond the "official" texts and papers on the subject for an actual and factual report.)

    Some of these were considered to be the oldest representations of the human face (between 25,000 to 40,000 years old). One in particular was so controversial that the "authorities" rejected the clear depiction of its dreadlocks / cane rows and credited it to "the earliest form of wigs or head-wear"!

    So you see – to properly educate the masses to the concept of "race" would mean challenging the long-standing sentiments in regards to history, pre-history, man’s origin, religion, racial / national / regional / continental hierarchy, righteousness etc. and sadly, mankind is simply not prepared to do this – too much at stake!

    Anyway – what is my point?

    My point is that there is so much utter crap, lies and misrepresentation that float around in our "educated" heads as historical facts and reality – only to serve the purpose of preserving the status quo of the day that personally – that "N" word means absolutely nothing.

    It is a word that vainly attempts to anchor down the supposed hierarchy of the "races".

    It is a word that suggests that the history of "Blacks" or Africans began when that first Vatican blessed ship, complete with hundreds of naked, starved, squirming, half-dead, chained, whipped and maimed "Niggers" in its cargo holds anchored off the shore of the Americas.

    It is a word which without its existence, the very concept of the widely accepted depiction of Jesus Christ would not likely exist.

    It is a word that suggests that the mesmerizing mysteries and structures of Ancient Egypt were not created by those who actually did.

    It is a word that for some odd reason some non-"Black" individuals feel should cause great offense and  hurt by their mere utterance.

    It is a word that forwards sentiments contrary to the scientific truths of mitochondrial DNA – ("Eve").

    It is a word that draws conclusions on the progress, status, abilities and achievements of a particular group of people in the western world whilst ignoring the brutal and unfortunate history of said group.

    It is a word that often replaces the term "people of the lower-socioeconomic level of any country" – I can show you millions of white "N******" all over Europe … at those very levels.

    It is a word that suggests two "Black" and "White" individuals are unable to bring forth a beautiful, joyous and healthy baby.

    It is a word that has rolled offthe tongues (and even more times entered the minds) of many a man as I walk hand in hand down the street with my beloved woman of another "race".

    Most of all – it is a word that belongs dead smack in the middle of a fickle, mis-educated and fearful mindset – the very type thatI despise.

    • Wake me when it's over says:

      Very interesting whodatis.  I took about out of the library at one time.  It was called Caribbean.  By James Michener.  Fiction of a kind, it also described in detail the history of the Caribbean region.  Beginning with the Caribes and Arawak, it also described the slave ships, plantations, and plundering of gold and silver from South America and Mexico.  And of course colonialism in all it’s glory. Many of the present nations in the Caribbean were traded like baseball cards between the French, Spanish, Dutch, and the English. The most heart warming chapters describe the slave revolts. And the most disgusting the brutal repression, lynchings, and dis-memberment.  You’re right we do have a sanitized history. Much of it has to do with the way the state and Church has depicted it’s "Christianisation" of people in this region and elsewhere. The violence and disease this brought is not mentioned. Anywhere. As if it was just an unfortunate side effect.  When in reality it was genocide.  If people want to defend the usage of certain words in defense of their "culture" it’s ok.  But they should really look a little deeper into where these words came from.  And what they meant in the past to dignified people.  If they want to use the same words used by plantation owners to describe ancestors who died at their hands…..

      • whodatis says:

        @ Wake me

        I could not agree more with your comments.

        Cayman really has to get a grip of its true history.

        Like I always say – "Jesus and The Queen does not a culture make!"

        Our young people look in the mirror and see something not very conducive with the official sentiment in the country and this tends to result in a wide variety of mindsets – far too many to list.

        However, the rebellious forms that lead our young men in particular to extreme forms of "Rastafarianism" and or "thug life" (ghettoized African American) are the most dangerous ones – sadly, I believe that we are today witnessing the manifestation of this country’s failure to embrace itself.

        Our young people are lost!

        And they dont want to hear about "Jesus on the cross" or the "Houses of Parliament" – as far as they are concerned that attitude has been long-standing within their people and they see not the personal benefits thereof.

        One last point …

        I think it is a crying shame that the very first time that I EVER experienced or witnessed a TRUE and HONEST (local) presentation of MY history was at the age of 15 and it took the courage of a FOREIGN TEACHER to do so.

        A "Mrs. King" from Barbados if memory serves me correctly. How I appreciate that woman’s teachings today words cannot express. Even though I was previously learning and understanding elements of Caribbean history by movies, books, music (Bob Marley and other reggae) – one was always made to feel naughty, bad, militant, self-loathing, disrespectful, ungrateful, "un-Christian" along with a host of other sentiments whilst doing so.

        Being present in her classroom and hearing her teach and describe the harsh realities of my ancestors made me feel for the first time ever that is was "ok" to learn of and explore that very crucial part of my legacy.

        By the way she was actually under departmental / governmental threat for her actions and on many occasions the head of department would pop his head in to see what was happening and there was always a tense stare-down at the time.

        It was not until years after that I fully appreciated what was taking place at those moments …

        • Anonymous says:

          "Rastafarianism"? Please research the language.

          However, the rebellious forms that lead our young men in particular to extreme forms of "Rastafarianism"…. Please explain?

        • Ex Pat says:

          Excuse me sir or madam

          But what ‘extreme forms of Rastafarianism’ are you referring to?  Are you aware that this is a christian-based lifestyle and true Rastafarians are very peaceful, non-violent and community-biased people?

          Only I am getting the distinct impression you may be confusing ‘dreads’ (men who wear dreadlocks but are not Rasta) with Rastafarians and in doing so, you are doing true Rastafarianism a huge injustice by wrongly stereotyping them just as so many in the world do today.

          Please research and understand Rasta a little more before condemning the wrong people.

          Thank you

          • Anonymous says:

            Very true.

            "Rastafarianism"? Please research the language.

            • Anonymous says:

              I think you better double-check… it is a word and is being used in the correct context here.  Just because its a word you are not accustomed to, don’t mean it don’t exist, seen?

              • Anonymous says:

                Maybe not ‘accustomed’ to it and here’s why:

                Rastafari say that they reject "-isms". They see a wide range of "-isms and schisms" in modern society, for example communism and capitalism, and want no part in them. They especially reject the word "Rastafarianism", because they see themselves as "having transcended -isms and schisms." This has created conflict between some Rastas and some members of the academic community studying Rastafari, who insist on calling this faith "Rastafarianism" in spite of the disapproval this generates within the Rastafari movement. Nevertheless, the practice continues among scholars, though there are also instances of the study of Rastafari using its own terms.

                 

                • To Whodatis and Anonymous 10.08 above. says:

                  Thank you, sincerely, for that – and your well-balanced approach.  It only makes sense now I come to think about it.  While it might be a dictionary definition I should have realised the isms and skisms thing without needing explanation if I had only taken the time to think about it. 

                  I am the ex pat who originally challenged the poster Whodatis’ statement: "extreme forms of "Rastafarianism"".  He has so graciously expanded his comment and gained my understanding, for which I also thank him.  And Whodatis, you are correct I am female but you were incorrect in assuming that I would not accept I am "mistaken" in my  interpretation and expression of chosen faith…".  I am happy to accept when I am wrong and gladly learn something new.  I really hope I don’t come across as a ‘know-all’ because that was not my intention.   I agree I was a lil insensitive and hasty that day.  I jumped on that particular statement and took it the wrong way.  My apologies for that.  Only I have always had a fascination and taken time to research and try to understand world cultures and lifestyles over the years.  It seemed to me (but I guess that’s perhaps because I have a European perspective), that the majority of rasta I came across were typically christian, and saw Haile Selassie as the black reincarnation of Christ; or Ethiopian Orthodox,  which I once read was a pre-colonial religion.  Then, admittedly there were those who denied God and the whole concept of Christianity, but it seemed to me at the time, they were in the minority… again perhaps I suggest because of my European perspective at the time (pretty much every rasta I met or knew was 12 Tribes, not Nyabinghi or Bobo Shanti) , or perhaps I did not get a full understanding of biblical links and took a simplistic view.

                  I offer my genuine respect for your responses and apologize as with hindsight, I can see I was oversensitive at the time, but I wanted clarification of that point as I had never met a Rasta yet that (other than smoking) didn’t live an entirely peaceful, healthy, religious and law-abiding lifestyle.  They have my utmost respect, and I just don’t like negative stereotyping at all!  Conversely I have come across many who call themselves Rasta but do not live the lifestyle… the type Whodatis speaks of.  In Europe at least, a distinction is drawn by real Rasta who say those youths are not Rasta, they Dreads because all they have is the hairstyle and not the lifestyle… ah well, back to the drawing board for me then!

                   

                  • whodatis says:

                    Hi there,

                    I am just now seeing your comment.

                    Not really sure how to respond but I sincerely appreciate your comment and feedback.

                    I too have learned a lot from your post.

                    Another reason why I love this medium called "the internet" – it provided such a wonderful platform upon which so many cultures and perspectives can be exchanged.

                    Stay up!

                    whodatis

              • Anonymous says:

                Perhaps a double-check of attitude would be appropriate.  Try to be civil and courteous. The writer used the word ‘please’.  Try not to be condescending in assuming that the writer is not as intellectual as you assume you are.  After all, you do not know who you are writing to, there are writers that post on CNS that live outside your area.

                 

                • Anonymous says:

                  Not being the writer I didn’t see anything discourteous, or at least not more so than the condescending "please research the language".   

          • Mono Non Theist says:

            "The Rastafari movement is a monotheistic, Abrahamic, new religious movement that arose in a Christian culture in Jamaica in the 1930s.[1][2] Its adherents, who worship Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, former Emperor of Ethiopia (1930–1936 and 1941–1974), as the Second Advent, are known as Rastafarians, or Rastas.  …  The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use of cannabis."

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafari_movement

            The Lord is my Shepard, and his name is Haile Salassie I of Ethiopia

            I am a Christian, I mean a Haileian, or a Salassian, and of course we’re non-violent – you would be too if you smoked my shxt.  Like wow…

             

            • Ex Pat says:

              I apologise if wrong, its always good to learn.  But I thought Selassie was the 225th descendant of Biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Shebawas, and was considered a living God incarnate, called Jah, the black Messiah seen in some way a reincarnation of Jesus.  Most Rasta I know read the King James V bible… what do you read?

        • whodatis says:

          To address the concerns below and or above …

          The quotation marks are there for a reason, furthermore the key phrase here is "extreme forms of…".

          The important thing to understand here, I guess, is that I am not actually addressing Rasta itself but the individuals who have lost themselves in their attempts of achieving the way of life – whether they went about it in the wrong way or not is irrelevant.

          There can exist extremity, misinterpretation, fanaticism, or misunderstanding within any of the available "movements", ideologies or faiths in life. (For example, in my opinion we have a Christian extremist within the upper echelons of our government – but I doubt any of us could convince her that he or she is "mistaken" in their interpretation and expression of chosen faith.)

          What I was referring to was the common case of the young Caymanian man who along his unfulfilled journey of self discovery he allegedly embraces Rasta but interprets the ideology as one that supports as examples; racism (black vs. white), self pity, or veiled complacency in one’s state of affairs. (This is a common mindset of many of our local "Rasta converts" – I know because many are former friends and associates of mine.) Granted, this all came about due to a lack of proper guidance on the issue – however, it still speaks to the fact that we as a country has utterly failed to embrace our heritage and ancestry and this is but one way in which our youths suffer as a result.

          Let us not pretend as if we do not understand where I am coming from here – I am describing the young Caymanian man that wholeheartedly believes that he has converted to Rasta but some way along the way he has gotten things twisted and is now wandering through life via a hazy reality. We see them everyday.

          Now before you get your panties in a bunch and scream out "They are not true Rasta!" – I am completely aware of this fact. However, that does not negate the fact that they took the first step down that road by embracing what they thought was a better way of life and sadly are now bitter, resentful and non-productive members of society.

          No one appreciates the tenets of Rasta more than I – however, with any righteous endeavor or ideology there runs a risk of individuals going astray.

          Rasta is an amazing ideology – one from which Cayman could have greatly benefited. Imagine the coupling of its teachings with our political and economic advantages over the past 40 years – we could have been a country like none other on earth.

          (Having just re-read my post I must admit that I am rather disappointed in myself. I have just danced a ridiculous dance due to the over-sensitivity of certain individuals who if had taken the time would have understood exactly where I was going in my earlier post. Furthermore, to reduce said post to a single apparently ambiguous phrase is quite disheartening to say the least. Anyway, I will play ball today and submit the posting. I guess my dislike of being misunderstood has trumped my other conflicting emotions on this occasion.)

          • whodatis says:

            "…but I doubt any of us could convince HER that he or she is "mistaken" in their interpretation and expression of chosen faith…"

            LOL!!

            Whoopsy daisy!

            :o)

            Cha – I goin’ my bed … unna nah ga driwe me crazy dis night!

            Lata!

    • Anonymous says:

      I lost you somewhere in that history lesson and history is my favorite subject.

      I would like to add, I don’t see anyone getting upset about white people being called pork skin. 

      • Anonymous says:

        …and I would like to add, I don’t see anyone getting upset about there being a TV channel called BET (Black Entertainment Television).    What would happen if there was a channel called WET ??

    • Anonymous says:

      To whodatis, while it is widely known how history has been distorted by Eurocentrics it is often the case that Afrocentrics also distort history in order to challenge the Eurocentrics (two wrongs don’t make a right). 

      It has been genetically proven that  humans evolved in Africa and spread from there however, contrary to what you claim, it is not proven that the Olmecs or any Native American cultures were the result of Africans sailing directly to the Americas and settling there. Claiming that stone heads with wide noses or thick lips entails that the Olmecs were African is a specious argument.  Africans are not the only people with those features, it is common adaptation to tropical climates. Afrocentrics also conveniently leave out the fact that Olmec masks and other artwork have clearly Native American features. Furthermore it is racist for either the Eurocentrics or Afrocentrics to believe that Native Americans were not able to create sculptures, buildings, and civilisations on their own without outside influence.

      I’m not saying there isn’t a possibility, but the evidence suggests otherwise. As I pointed out above both Eurocentrics and Afrocentrics are biased and have their agendas and are guilty of distorting the evidence to fit their arguments which leads to many falsities from both sides. The rest of us are caught in between and are subject to misinformation but we should not just pick what to believe because it makes us feel better.

      • whodatis says:

        Re: Olmecs

        Sorry, but this sounds like the run of the mill "official" rebuttal on the issue.

        I am completely aware of the points you have raise and you can trust that they have been taken into consideration in my summation.

        I suggest you look into the works of Dr. Ivan van Sertima. He included factors beyond the scope of "facial features" – factors that were so blatantly obvious yet intentionally ignored by the widely accepted and "respected" scholars on the topic.

        Regardless, there are many more instances of other people traveling to the "West" long before the Europeans – even the Asians / Chinese. (By the way – didnt the Europeans have a map to help them along their way? Who drafted this map? The Bogey Man?)

        Anyway – we are now running the risk of a never ending tit-for-tat debate which I have not the time or patience to endure at this time.

        Furthermore, the facts surrounding the Venus figurines are far more compelling and interesting as they clearly demonstrate the vain attempts of "scholars", governments, and institutions to corrupt something as precious and crucial as pre-history. Honestly – how pathetic is that?

        I have long come to an understanding that when dealing with issues such as these  – "evidence" is often marred by the handiwork or insecure men.

        By the way – my concerns extend way beyond Eurocentrism or Afrocentricism  – I simply want to know the story of man.

  23. Cayman Son says:

       Yes let’s all worry about words and let bullets fly…

  24. Anonymous9 says:

    Ezzard Miller contends that the N word has a different meaning here in Cayman… But that is just his way to excuse his use of it, which then negates his apology entirely.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      This "N word" crap is just that crap. Here in Cayman we have used the slang word "nigga" very loosely and without intended insult to anyone for most of our lives, hence Ezzard Miller’s and other Caymanians openness and lack of hesitation in saying the word!! When we say, "Hey nigga! How you doin?" it is usually with a sense of affection or if we say, "Dont let me carry on like a nigga now!" or "Don’t bring out the nigga in me!". it is said in jest and will usually be followed by laughter. We are well aware of who we are, people of wonderful mixed races and we are proud of our backgrounds. Most of us embrace it all, and yes, that means our black blood of which we are proud! So please stop making a mountain out of a mole hill through imported interpretations of what "nigga" means. This is not a country where racial prejudice rules and black people are despised. Most of us are "people of color" as they say in North America, so just rest it folks! Get to know more about us and our culture rather than judging us wrongly.

      • Shamrock says:

        "This is not a country where racial prejudice rules and black people are despised."    Surely you jest!!!

        For you to make a statement like that shows your utter and complete ignorance and denial of your beloved Cayman. I am a black Caymanian, who comes from a lineage of black Caymanians who have all endured racism in Cayman, from the blacks not being able to go to the same dances as their white counterparts, to having swept away their footprints in a white person’s sand yard. All these prejudical and racist actions, my dear, were committed, not by racist expatriates (not to say some of them aren’t guilty of the same), but by their very own fellow Caymanians. In fairness, a history of the segregation of whites and blacks and the resulting racial issues are not unique to Cayman, but at least other countries "acknowledge" these aspects of their histories. But, unfortunately, we have never.

        Comments like the one you made above are symbolic of the issues we as a country face today because we are in complete denial of so many of our shortcomings, and try to sweep everything under the rug. Things have improved, sure, but for you to say that racism does not exist is tantamount to saying that I, my ancestors, and our experiences did not exist.

        So take your own advice and get a history lesson on your people and your culture.

        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps your generation taught us too well that skin colour doesn’t matter…I’m 27 (brown complexion) and can’t ever remember a time that I witnessed racism amongst Caymanians. Nationalism and even xenophobic behaviour, but never racism…I think you have no idea about how my generation, the generation below me, and perhaps the generation above me doesn’t give a hoot what colour your skin is.

          Those who I know use the term, use it in the ways described by the poster you responded to. I myself don’t use the term, but neither do I flinch and take umbrage when I hear it used in the way the majority of Caymanians intend.

          • Shamrock says:

            LOL! There are sooo many references to racism among Caymanians that still persists today. But the reason they are not recognised is because they have never been called out as such, the prime example being the way the N-word is loosely thrown around by both black and white Caymanians. Research the genesis of this word and you will better understand why it should not be used in jest.Just as other racially charged words like, spic and coolie, etc should not be used as terms of endearment especially by those outside the race.

            But I understand it might be uncomfortable for you to acknowledge this fact. BTW, I am a dark-skinned 30-year-old Caymanian so I know about this generation and the next too.

             

            Blessings

  25. tired says:

     

    If there is no such thing as race as scientist have stipulated for years how can there be racism. Perhaps there needs to be wide scale public education as to why race does not exist. That is, explain to everyone that race was invalid concept  because  there are no discrete boundaries and some people have dark skin and straight hair and some people have very fair skin and kinky hair same for noses, lips and eyes. We were able to do away with eugenics so that most people have never heard of the term can we not send race and racism the same route? Just wondering?
     
    Regarding the word nigger I am personally torn! Bad habit and all that! But again I think science could clear up much of this by finding the lazy and stupid genes as I am certain they are found in equal proportion amongst all ethnicities!

  26. noname says:

    I trust that Mr. Miller’s comments on air with respect to the use of derogatory terminology on more than one occasion will be investigated and appropriate action be taken by the ICTA against both Mr. Miller and Hurley’s Entertainment.

    • Anonymous says:

      AND, I trust that you will learn something about Caymanian culture and get to know who Caymanians are before you start determining what amounts to "the use of derogatory terminology" and making calls for "appropriate action".  If you had taken the time to get to know us you would have learned that the term "nigga" here in Cayman should not be confused with the meaning placed on similar words in other countries. I object to people like you coming here and stirring up unnecessary strife because of your lack of understanding of our culture. If we had to take "appropriate action" against every foreigner who has come here and insulted us by passing derogatory remarks about us "stupid natives" and our country there might not be any here today to cause such misunderstanding. So stop judging us by what you are used to.

      • noname says:

        To assume is to make…..,well, you know the rest.

        My friends are "my niggers", I know how to "nigger-rig" many things using "duck-tape" and I often suffer from the affliction that is "niggeritis" after a big lunch.

        I was also raised properly and know when it is and when it isn’t appropriate to use such terminology (although many would argue that it is never acceptable). I wouldn’t dare use it in company I don’t know well and I sure as hell wouldn’t use it on a live radio broadcast. Stop making excuses for ignorant behaviour. Your "I can do nothing wrong" attitude epitomises everything that is wrong with Caymanian society today.

        The ICTA needs to act and act firmly. There is no excuse for ignorance.