Thanks Roy for the Obituary

| 14/08/2010

I read in amazement a recent comment on CNS in response to this website’s story on Roy Bodden’s latest book. Someone purporting to be a white Caymanian was expressing disappointment with the author’s reference to white or near white Caymanians being more economically advantaged than darker skinned Caymanians.

To illustrate why they felt this was not the case; the poster, in typical Caymanian style, took the most simplistic route to achieving their conclusion. To ‘paraphrase their thoughts’, because the poster is Caymanian white and probably sees a ‘so many’ darker skinned Caymanians driving a better car or living in a bigger house than them, they somehow conclude that most dark skinned Caymanians are in a more economically advantageous position.

I am on the fence with this one, folks. On one hand, I am happy Roy is touching on the sensitive issues of race, which most Caymanians pretend doesn’t exist, like most other problems in Cayman. But on the other hand, I am left hopelessly amazed at the ignorance our people continue to display about the realities around them.

Everyone knows we always had and will always have poorer ‘Bukra’ (white) people. But Roy wasn’t talking about these people — an important point which the poster sadly overlooked. He is talking about how generational wealth, power and position have been transferred in this country and how it has shaped our political, economic and social landscape today. The book is far from perfect but there are many painful truths and a few Pandora’s boxes that have been opened which we would be remiss to slam shut because of our continued denial of these truths.

Roy has put in writing the facts that many only talk about privately — how we are in the mess we find ourselves today owing to the deliberate efforts of many of the historically white families of privilege to keep our people ignorant and subservient. And to think that many of them did this with a good ‘Christian’ smile smeared across their faces. Another common trick many of them used to distract and disarm us was by appearing to be ‘just regular common folks like everyone else’.

Many of our forefathers were hoodwinked and bamboozled out of land, fair wages, education and opportunities by these same people, resulting in profound impacts that affected generations. The stories should be told of how the late T.E. (Teacher) McField’s efforts to empower young coloured Caymanians were repeatedly choked. Stories of how exam results for darker skinned Caymanians disappeared. The story of how Steve McField was forced to change professions after having his dental technician’s qualifications rejected and the list goes on and on.

It is no secret that many of these white families taught their children to marry expats or only other Cayman whites. (Just see the reaction and rifts created anytime one of them caught a dose of jungle fever.) They would rarely extend real business opportunities, partnerships, investments etc to coloured Caymanians, but would tap dance like monkeys for any white ‘foreigner’ whom they felt would view them as equals because of their ‘light skin’. It was them who originated and mastered the artof ‘fronting’, but they got really upset when a few coloured Caymanians figured out how to play that game and beat some of them at it.

So then, what can Roy’s book teach us? Something we already knew, which is hitting us in the face more and more each day. That is, sadly, Caymanians aren’t going anywhere fast. Many of the oligarch families are in a slow decline, isolated by generations of insular thinking and facing extinction of their family names and blood lines. Now they have to face real competition from people with real money and brains who may or may not have Caymanian Status. Many of our oligarch clans are leaving their fortunes to lazier and less intelligent heirs who didn’t learn the ropes through sweat and toil, but were brought up spoiled and entitled. Watch as these family fortunes go “POOF!” in a few years.

It is a well known fact that Caymanians have never viewed themselves as one people or a single nation. So the people who work together, which is basically every other expat group that reaches these shores, will succeed, prosper and live the Cayman dream while Caymanians choose to exclude themselves from the party.

Meanwhile, the white Caymanians of privilege will continue sucking up in vain to the ‘real white man’ (who will never view them as equals) while too many dark skinned Caymanians are squabbling with one another for the scraps under the table.

A few enlightened Caymanians who are skillful and smart enough to realize that depending on their own will get them no where, will prosper and do well in the cultural mosaic that this society is becoming. The rest will be like frogs in a pot being slowly boiled to death.

Roy — although you might not have intended to do so, I must thank you for writing an excellent Obituary about us. After all, that’s a Caymanian politician’s most important job!

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  1. CIFH says:

    Thanks to all who have contributed to the dialogue.  I think an interactive discussion on race is indeed healthy and necessary.  Some want to believe (because of fear and ignorance) that my viewpoint was some sort of attempt to stir up dissent.  Actually its more of a wake up call to the reality that exists for a significant portion of our population.

    There are social re-adjustments that need to occur and fast.  If you look at the proportion of young dark Caymanian men who are increasingly drawn to the anti-social life and all its sundries…guns, drugs, violence, jail etc you must admit this isn’t coincidental.  In fact this culture is becoming the new normal for an entire generation of Caymanians.

    If any of you have had the pleasure of interacting with young people on the fringes of our society, ask about their backgrounds and you’ll find a few things in common like-  lack of proper education for more than one generation, involvement with the justice system for more than one generation, and poverty for more than one generation.

    Now this isn’t about blaming ‘the white man’.  But those of us who know Cayman’s history, know that these generational cycles were perpetuated by many things including exploitation by those who were in economic and social power and yes the vast majority of these people were ‘Caymanian white’. 

    Some of u chalk up this disparity and exploitation to greed only, but trust me when u hear many of these white Caymanians’ attitudes to them ‘monkeys’ and ‘boys and gyals’, you’ll see there is a little more venom in the sting and a deeply racial undertone.

    So when we see what obtains today in the lives of many dark Caymanians I will be first to admit that alot of it is caused by bad choices. 

    But again- let’s not be so quick to judge.  Especially those of us who have had good people in our lives setting good examples and not only having high expectations but laying a solid foundation for us.

    Because if you are surrounded by people- who believe these negative lifestyles are normal, people who themselves had dreams, education opportunities and businesses crushed, people who never got a blind eye turned by the law to their crimes/indiscretions, people who were made to feel inferior at all times, people who look like you and practice negative behaviors, or people who don’t look like you and constantly speak down to you/judge you…

    then you probably won’t get too many Baraks but alot of Tupacs- young angry, and self destructive (but talented) black men who are gone before their time.

    So racism does exist, here in Cayman, for multi generations and we are feeling the effects of it today and hell yes I am pissed.  But I am doing alot of positive things about it…including warning my people to wake up…like I did. 

    And no…it’s not the cause of all our problems but a major contributor to some!  So keep discussing….it’s healthy.

    CI Future Hope

  2. whodatis says:

    Out of curiosity – has ANYONE even bothered to watch the aforementioned presentation?

    If not – could you kindly let me know why?

    If yes, then please share your thoughts.

    By the way, if you have viewed it yet have chosen to remain 100% committed to your original perspective then I do believe that you have a bit of soul-searching and character exploration to look into.

    Play in the background as you’re making dinner, while your cleaning the house – it doesn’t matter. (Do it over the weekend folks. Shall we agree to meet again on Monday to discuss our thoughts on the matter as a group? Hopefully, yes.)

    Of course, if you choose not to based upon its "controversial" title and have been rendered to fearful to confront such issues – then so be it.

    In that case its ok, for it proves that you were never worth the time and effort in the first place. :

    Tim Wise on White Privilege:

    (For the brave only … )

    • Anonymous says:

      No Boss!

      Alot of people who like to talk about research, science and hard evidence when they want to prove their point, would rather remain in ignorance when they themselves are faced with research, science or other evidence that might disprove theirs. 

      That sums up alot of these posters on here.  It’s not about dialogue, education or edification but shouting down and verbally out-maneuvering their ‘opponents’.

      I watched it and I feel all the more enlightened for doing so.  And imagine we have jokers on here denying racism exists- because they got some where in life or because Barak is president or because they ‘don’t see colour’. 

      Maybe a blue pig did take a dump on your roof today 😮  oink oink. All these folks colour blind so they wouldn’t notice.

      • whodatis says:


        Hopefully more will join us.

        Take care. 

        (Tim Wise really drove the point home towards the end of the presentation – I sincerely believe this is a MUST WATCH for everyone regardless of "race", background or socioeconomic status.)

  3. Anonymous says:

     Wow all the white people came off the" wreck of the ten sails". How terribly sad. The public schools need some new teachers , if that is what they’re teaching now. This island was one of the islands where 50% was white european and 50% black african people . They were given land grants by the King of England 1732. They arrived in Jamaica from england where they bought their slaves from Africa in the Jamaican slave markets. They didn’t need to buy as many slaves as they did in Jamaica because they were given a small plots of  land 1000 acres. The census of 1802 shows 1000 whites and 1000 black slaves. After 1834 when the King of England gave all slaves their freedom, indians from India and Irish people were used as indentured  servants.                                                                                  In Jamaica the Indians and the Chinese  came after african slavery . They never kept the fact that their parents who were servants ever keep them down. In fact i don’t know of any pure Chinese or pure Indians in Jamaica or Cayman Islands doing work they don’t want to do. In fact most have some kind of business or profession.  I hope this will show what the real problem is,  attitude , proper language, reading and math. Sorry, but my grand uncles and aunts spoke better english and they only had 6 years of reading writing and arithmetic. Can you imagine that  the men of that time went  to New York and was hired to work mostly on board ships and tankers.                                                                                                                                 I would make a bet ,if every class getting ready to graduate from high school  was to take a test. If it  had to do with every day knowledge used to work in a bank or in tourism like exchange rates of the US dollars to CI dollars that the majority would fail. 

  4. whodatis says:

    "Islamaphobic" – Ok.

    "Anti-Semetic" – Ok.

    "Misogynistic" – Ok.

    "Chauvinistic" – Ok.

    "Racism" – (Gasp!)

    (What are we afraid of folks?)

    All of these terms are accepted realities within our society – however, according to many individuals on here, "Racism" is not.

    Whenever we arrive at this specific point of the discussion all of a sudden it turns into: "Oh, its just hatred … some people just dislike others … etc."

    I wonder what Anthony Walker would have to say about this? Of course we will never know because he is not here any more – an ice axe to the head tends to result in a sudden, brutal loss of life.

    Anyway – I have made my point, none of which have been successfully challenged – mostly its just an overabundance of comment-less "thumbs down" … as usual.

    *Oh, one final thing – just so no one gets the wrong idea…

    I am a Black man, born and raised in the Cayman Islands. You know – that country that was practically the best possible country to have grown up in over the last few decades? The one with one of the highest standards of living in the Western Hemisphere – yeah … that one.

    The very one that the VAST MAJORITY of the "non-Black" naysayers on this very thread are trying their dire hardest to never be forced to leave – imagine that?!

    My life was extremely comfortable, I wanted for nothing and was able to see the world before the age of majority.

    Don’t for one second believe that I suffer from an "inferiority complex" or that there is a "chip on my shoulder". For when I arrived in the UK for further studies it was like taking a step backwards in life (I immediately realized why hardly any Brits were in a hurry to leave my country.) – no offense, but real talk.

    This is simply my rather amusing perspective.

    Often there is the suggestion of anger or jealousy within the heart of a "Black" person whenever they express the sort of sentiments that I have within this thread. Don’t get it twisted folks.*

    • Anonymous says:

      Quite right, Whodatis. Not a sign of inferiority complex or chip on your shoulder thanks to your taking a step backwards in life when you went to the UK for – er – further studies. Why didn’t you step forward instead of backwards and go to UCCI?

      No offense but real talk. This is simply my rather amusing perspective.

      • whodatis says:

        I hear you – but tell me … why are YOU here?

        Is this a step backward or step forward for you?

        Just curious …

        • Anonymous says:

          Because, whodatis, I was born here. And proud of it but not to the point of constantly criticising others who were not so lucky as to be born here. I took steps forward by getting educated abroad at the tertiary level, enjoyed life in university there but was happy to return here where I am successful (not wealthy alas) in my job.

    • O'Really says:

      You really have no concept of scale, a criticism I have levied against you in the past. All the figures I use below can be picked up from various ESO reports for 2008, the latest year for which i could find details.

      Number of work permits in issue/govt. contracts: 26517

      Number of work permits issued to UK citizens: 2013

      Percentage of permits held by UK citizens: 7.6%

      Population of Cayman Islands 2008: 57009 

      % of total population with UK origins, including status holders, based on WP %, is 7.6% of 57009 ie 4327. Let’s round it up to 5000 Brits on work permits and holding status in 2008. Can’t prove this but doesn’t seem unreasonable.

      Population of the UK in 2008, 61m.

      Percentage of UK population residing in the CI: 5000/61m, a percentage so small my computer won’t even present the number in a way I can repeat here, so I’ll call it x. You can do the math yourself.

      Caymanian population ( including status holders ) in 2008: 31858

      x percentage applied to Caymanian population: 2.6

      If there are more than 2.6 Caymanians living in the UK in 2008, I could argue that the UK is more attractive to Caymanians proportionately than Cayman is for Brits. Want to bet that in 2008 there were less than 3 Caymanians in the UK?

      I find this a rather amusing perspective.

      As I have suggested to you before, try keeping some sense of scale when you make your subjective assessments of stepping backwards or forwards.



  5. Proud Kmanian says:

    2 points to make:


    (1) Having come from another Caribbean island many, many years ago, and have many fellow ‘other islands" friends to list among my many Caymanian friends and family.. we will from time to time get together and sometimes we chat about this wonderful island we now call home. We do all concur though that the typical routine is now playing out.. first always to come is the political parties, then the years of rivalry between them, but always soon to follow is the proverbial "race" card, and the "white man out to keep us down" … eventually as seen in all the islands, that same "white man" leaves with all his wealth, international connections, and business associates, and the locals triumph… ahh but this is when it really get interesting: when the $$ leaves, and the expertise finds a new home abroad (they always do) the locals then turn on each other.. before long the economy begins to slip.. confidence wanes… eventually the debt mounts and same local gov’t reaches out to .. yes, the "white man", aka: IMF, World Bank.. and they de-value the dollar… hard times come in wave.. crime escalates… poverty reigns.. and the new food chain looks very much like it did before the whole mess started.. except of course, the color of the man at the top is now, not as white as before …. greed & self servitude know no colors. (if you don’t believe me, start with Trinidad and work your way up the islands.. the signs are in neon)

    (2) You know the one thing you never hear "white people" taking about? "Black people" (to keep the colors in context) …. No kidding … its true… White people just kinda go about there day; you know, raising kids, working,socializing, enjoying friends and family of whatever color ….. I’ve come to realize that they are the least prejudiced or concerned about what black people are doing. Not that they don’t care, but more importantly, they have more important things to concern themselves with.

    A friend of mine once told me "To be white and in the Caribbean means that you are the minority, and are treated a such".

    With that said, I concur with much of what the writers above are saying… but as many a nation has found out, and history has taught us, the real problem is not color.. its greed ! Just look around and count the many that each of you know, irregardless of color, that it has destroyed over the years.

    Keep the faith Cayman .. maybe, just maybe these islands will continue to the harmonious paradise its been for the thousands that have had the pleasure of calling it home.


    • Bill says:

      I agree.  I lived in Cayman for a while and as a white (beige, as Herman would say) person I was I suppose a minoriity, and an expat to boot (2 strikes?). 

      I never concerned myself with the pigments of the people I socialized or associated with, and I was quite surprised at the degree of concern that a few people of colour had with theirs (but only a very few).  I kept my gut reaction to myself ("That’s irrelevant – who cares what shade you are?") on the basis that I don’t have a personal history of being of colour and therefore ought not to purport to judge their perspectives.  I never really understood it though, however I do get it that my American friends would have had a different experience with it, since that country even still has real race issues that fortunately don’t seem to spill too far outside ot their borders.  With due respect to the Americans, I was happy to see that I didn’t have to concern myself in Cayman with race when having a beer with someone who sported different pigmentation than me (because who really cares about that?  Really!!!)

      If Cayman decides that it’s time to start acting like the Americans and having a "white" culture and a "black" culture, I expect that you will end up just as divided as some of the American regions. 

      Cayman’s beauty lies in the hearts of its people: warm, accepting, decent and respectful people.  Outsiders receiving that will generally give it back in return.  The same is true if walls are put up: "Sorry, you are not the correct shade for me so we can’t go have a beer" will get the reply "OK, sorry to hear that – I’ll go away and have my beer with someone else then", and the walls will firm up. 

      I fully agree that it’s not race that causes problems.  It’s people, corruption and greed.  Look at anyone who is screwing up Cayman presently and ask yourself if it is because of the shade of their skin.  Certainly not – it’s because they are corrupt, or greedy, or both, and that comes in all shades.

      I have high hopes though that this will not grow into an issue in Cayman, based on my experience that shade is something that 99% of people in Cayman really just don’t care about. 

      I hope that those trying to make it an issue will just stop.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    So let me try to understand. One one hand there are many wealthy and privileged "white" Caymanians. But these "white Caymanians see so many darker skinned Caymanians driving a better car or living in a bigger house than them, they somehow conclude that most dark skinned Caymanians are in a more economically advantageous position." So what’s the problem? It seems to me, and it is eveident in economic statistics, that Caymanians do very well. Isn’t that a good thing? Must we complain about even this? Must we repeatedly blame others for our perceived shortcomings? What a bunch of whiners (spoilt people) we have become. 

    Although I like the fact that Roy is educated (and continues to educated himself – which is true education) I am all to aware that he will pull the race card. I wonder if his mentor was Michael Manley? He has certainly had no qualms using skin color on his campaign tour "Look at me, look at you, does he (an opposition member) look like us." I was ashamed to be hearing this. I thought we were better than that. I also have to wonder what happens when you put someone with Roy’s disposition in charge of a school. Is that healthy?

  7. Herman says:

    Damn it, stop calling me white.  I’m not.  I’m beige, except sometimes when I’m red or pink (the sun is strong in the Cayman Islands).  You could even call me cream-coloured if you need to, but I sure ain’t white.  Paper is white and I never met anyone who looked like that.

    And I have to say that from how I see it, brown people are not black – they are really brown, ranging from tan to a deep chocolate.  Sure, there are a few people who actually are black, but most "black" people are actually brown. 

    And brown is a very fine colour.  I’ve been around the planet for a while and there are a lot of jackasses on this old earth, and I have to say that in my experience most of them are beige.  Not all, ’cause there are bad ones in every group, but from what I’ve seen the most evil SOBs are usually beige. 

    Not that colour makes you good or evil – that’s a choice we all get to make.  Seems a lot of beige folks make the wrong choice though.

    God bless every one. 

    • Anonymous says:

      White Caymanian? Is there such a person – that is from the real cayman gene pool? It would be fun if Roy or someone of equal ability could define how you get to be either black or white in cayman.  I no in some places you are black on your birth certificate if you can trace even one black in your grandparents background.  Using that criteria is there any of the indigenious folk there that can qualify as white.  Keep digging you will find an africian descendant not too far from your parents.  Funny tho in America how Obama is "Black" when his mother is white – why no go back to the good old slave categorization, mandigo, mullatto etc. 

      • Chuck Darwin says:

        On this line of thinking, which I agree with, we are all "black", in that each and every one of us can trace our ancestors to Africa:

        "The dominant view among scientists concerning the origin of anatomically modern humans is the "Out of Africa" or recent African origin hypothesis, which argues that Homo sapiens arose in Africa and migrated out of the continent around 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, replacing populations of Homo erectus in Asia and Homo neanderthalensis in Europe. Scientists supporting the alternative multiregional hypothesis argue that Homo sapiens evolved as geographically separate but interbreeding populations stemming from a worldwide migration of Homo erectus out of Africa nearly 2.5 million years ago." [Wikipedia, of course]
        Taking this further I am thus a very pale shade of black (being as pale as a glass of milk) but I am most certainly descended from African ancestors, as are each and every one else on this earth calling themselves members of the Homo genus ("homo" being the Latin word for human, not meaning the other kind).
        I don’t feel the need for a special name.  I am just human.
      • Ali Louya says:

        "from the real cayman gene pool?"  – Does one need a microscope to view it?

  8. whodatis says:

    Re: "Pigmento-centric" tripe! …

    For some odd reason your post reminds me of the recent scandal surrounding Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Maybe it was your starting point of "We now have a Black President therefore all racism and prejudice is a thing of the past."


    (To quickly address that point though – it was mainly young and first-time voters that brought him into power. Do you understand what that means? This shows that the hearts and minds of those in actual power – business owners, veteran politicians, community organisers, CEO’s, media heads, heads of governments etc. – have NOT as a collective gone through much of a change in this regard.)

    Are you suggesting that today ANY Black man so long as he "works hard enough and showcases great manners and such" has an EQUAL CHANCE to become the Prime Minister of the UK – or Chancellor of Germany?

    Really? Have you been paying attention to the ongoing political developments throughout the UK and EU as of late? The Far Right is back with a BANG in case you missed it.

    Have you seen the makeup of the Houses of Parliament recently? Can you honestly picture a non-white version of Boris Johnson being elected Mayor of London – well, maybe in London .. but then again, as an old seasoned judge once told me in his chambers; "Be sure to travel beyond the borders of London, as that is not the ‘true’ England." (With time I understood the good and bad realities of that statement.)

    Sure, individuals such as David Lammy may be well on his way onward and upward within the British establishment, but while I respect and admire him for his personal academic achievements, I pity him and cannot help but to cringe when I witness the way in which he is ping-ponged around on the public political / media stage.

    However, this is something that ONLY an individual from his side of the fence can identify and pinpoint – I guarantee you that most readers will at this point be very confused by my words. (You see, many parts of this western world still demand for the tap-dancing, happy, safe negro when it comes to the public stage (Ainsley Harriott, Lenny Henry, Colin Jackson anyone?) – some of us would rather eat our own eyeballs.

    There is more to "race" than skin color – there is a culture present as well. Sadly, some parts of this world have no interest in the culture whatsoever but may allow the skin color – but only on their sub-conscious and at times, overt, terms. For some individuals, myself included, such a set of circumstances is simply not good enough.

    I would never dream of forcing another to adapt their culture / sense of self / self-respect for my personal appeasement – and I expect no less in return … otherwise – what is the point?!

    (Obama is a great example of a respectable individual in this regard. Make no mistake about it – this fact is a major factor in his appeal to non-whites – had he been Richard Steele (Mr. Tap Dancer Extraordinaire), for example – it would be a much different story.)

    Btw, this is a major factor in the gross misrepresentation of particularly Black men within the UK. Black youths know and understand that there is a predetermined template of the ‘passable’ Black male in British society and for the most part, the majority of them have no desire whatsoever to fit that mold. Who can blame them – or anyone put in that position for that matter?

    You see, what most "White" people fail to understand is that the prominent Blacks in predominately White western nations are EXTREMELY and ACUTELY aware of their situation and surroundings. A White man in an equal position can simply wake up in the morning, brush his teeth, brush his hair and go about his day – within his perspective, he is but another individual going about his routine.

    Contrast this mindset with that of President Obama. Many Whites fail to appreciate exactly how on-point he has been constantly forced to be throughout his professional and political career. Simply because being Black is almost ALWAYS an issue.

    Please don’t misunderstand my words here – this is NOT a complaint! On the contrary it is an admiration – at the same time it is quite a phenomenon. In effect the outsider within the group knows the group better than they know themselves!

    Due to the racial realities of this world, individuals such as Obama are naturally tuned into the sharpest tool in the shed. That position was never intended for an individual like himself to occupy it, therefore he now has a FAR superior understanding, scope and grasp of the situation when compared to George Bush, for example. (Question: Does America honestly believe that he achieved that feat by way of mere circumstance? No – he played that game like no one before him has ever played it. Some may be disappointed to hear this but Obama being President was not by way of a natural and unadulterated blowing of the wind.)

    Of course this world is changing and the younger generation of western Whites is far less racist than their parents and grandparents, however, the same old status quo is alive and kicking throughout the actual ‘meat and potatoes’ quarters of western society. It will be a while yet before your optimistic outlook comes to fruition I am afraid.

    In any event, I urge you to view the material outlined and web linked in my post below – quite fascinating stuff.

    Re: "(Tip: If a young B. Hussein Obama dwelled on the horrific saga of Afro-American history as an excuse for underachievement and had he basked in pigmentation-motivated self pity, he might be dealing crack in some inner-city slum right now rather than being a force in shaping the history of the world.)"

    Something about this last statement of yours simply does not sit well with me. For I have seen tons of British White crack dealers, witnessed criminally minded German White youths wasting their lives, driven past the gangs of White Glasgow gangs that have managed to secure the title of "The Knife Stabbing Capital of Europe", researched statistics of currently overfilled British prisons of which the makeup is predominately White Brits, uncovered data that show Britain to have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in Europe … etc. What pray tell are the circumstances behind these realities?

    Furthermore, this last statement was in some way directed toward Mr. Roy Bodden, Dr. McField and in fact some of the posters on here … umm – I seriously doubt that any of these individuals are in any way remotely involved in the dealing of crack cocaine or any other self-destructive or anti-social activity.

    (Let us never forget to keep things in perspective and secure in place our filters to everyday rhetoric and misrepresentations.)

    You strike me to be the type of individual that draws a line throughout the legacy of your alleged ancestry and opposes the notion of self awareness outside of the typical, western Euro-centric category all the while drawing upon the most negative potential pitfalls of doing so to make your point.

    Lastly, such an exercise is not to "bask in pigmentation-motivated self pity" as you so eloquently worded it – but it is the act of exploring historical context – context that has been denied to the majority of Caymanians. Basically, in my opinion, you appear to regard the legacy of western Black and Brown folks with much disdain, negativity and shame – individuals like myself, and I assume Roy and Frank as well, do so with great pride and celebration.

    To each his own however.

    • Anonymous says:

      "The Far Right is back with a BANG (sic) in case you missed it". Really? I don’t know about the rest of Europe but in the last UK general election, neither the far right BNP or any other "loony right" candidate won any of the more than 600 seats – a fact that was commented on favourably by the acting leader of the defeated Labour Party, Harriott Harman, in the House of Commons when the new centre/left government first took office. Plenty of "loony left" candidates won as usual but no one seems to be as obsessed with them as with the right wingers.

    • Anonymous says:

      To each his own, but as for me, I still consider  it to be pigmento-centric tripe.

      Firstly: I did not mean to imply that because "We now have a Black President therefore all racism and prejudice is a thing of the past."

      Here is the truth: Using your skin colour as an excuse for underachievement is now a pretty damn lame excuse. Let me make itclear for you: If a non-white with a non-Christian heritage, with a mid-eastern sounding name,  from a broken home, can get elected U.S. President and become the most powerful human in the universe, skin colour is not a reason for one’s inability to achieve success in life! It is an excuse for one’s shortcomings and nothing more.

      Gee! Your  imagination is wayyy to active in the negative realm. Kinda out in space I’d say. Which is why, no doubt, that you have been seduced into such a negative perspective on racial issues.

      For example: Your overly active imagination made this inference, actually an accusation: "Furthermore, this last statement was in some way directed toward Mr. Roy Bodden, Dr. McField and in fact some of the posters on here … umm – I seriously doubt that any of these individuals are in any way remotely involved in the dealing of crack cocaine or any other self-destructive or anti-social activity." 

      Did you actually bother to read the whole statement? No one with the least whit of real intelligence or social perspective would equate "inner-city slum" with Cayman. If I wanted to indict them their warped social perspective on racial issues is bad enough. An accusation of drug use might tend to justify their ramblings. I wish I could blame their viewpoint on lack of sobriety.

      I have been an avid student of history for many years. While your "act of exploring historical context – context that has been denied to the majority of Caymanians" is admirable, the one fundamental thing that any serious student of history knows is that what we read of history is hardly ever entirely objective. Historical accounts are usually "revisionist" and are biased to whatever bent that suits the perspective of the writer and the intended (book-buying) audience. (Which partly explains Dr. Roys perspective: he was aiming at people like you being a fan and he was correct.) So, tell me this: Whose book do we use to get the history in proper perspective?

      Another figment of your quite creative but misguided imagination is that I harbour any shame for my heritage or the legacy of similarly pigmented people: I do not disdain "the legacy of black and brown folks" as you accuse; I am non-white myself. I have no shame about my pigmentation or ethnic heritage. Nor do I care to concern myself now about past injustices done to me or my ancestors.  What’s done is done. "Get over it" is my mantra.

      While I may be dismayed by what I read, I care not to mourn over history; and while I may be delighted or amused by someone’s stories,  I care not to "celebrate" events found in historical accounts.  I have much more important things on which to spend my time and my mental, like living in the here and now, loving and caring for my loved ones and friends, and making a living.

      You offer that Roy and Frank "regard the legacy of western Black and Brown folks…with great pride and celebration". I have read a lot of their thoughts and I see some celebration, but I also perceive a very clear and pervasive undertone of anger and bitterness regarding racial issues. I consider that to be "anti-social activity". But then who the hell cares? I have bigger fish to fry than lamenting about the colour of my skin, who gave me that colour and how they (or I) suffered for that pigmentation. I have no open festering racial wounds in my pigmented skin to lick.

      You imply that I oppose the notion of self awareness "outside of the typical, western Euro-centric category". Let me make myself very clear here: I think that self-awareness centered on anything other than "self" is misguided. My self-awareness is decidedly not pigmento-centric! I am on no quest in life to "find myself" I am right here and always have been. I know who I am, know who I have been and I have a somewhat clear path envisioned for my future. Which is why I also do not buy into the delusion of organised religion telling me who I am. The Klu Klux Klan in their heyday could scarcely be more repressive than the Cayman Ministers Association and their minions. Same hearts, just no funny white sheets and lynching is illegal here. But I digress.

      Why do you refuse to release that worn teddy bear of yours, the one that says that "the same old status quo is alive and kicking throughout the actual ‘meat and potatoes’ quarters of western society"? That invalid reasoning may be of some comfort to a person who feels as if their ethnic heritage and/or skin colour has "kept them down". However, if anything was proven by Obama’s election and the increasing number of very successful non-white individuals here, in the US and the UK and elsewhere, it is that "the same old status quo" is not fashionable. Of course they are more vocal and dangerous now that they have their backs to the wall, but their increased fervour is nothing more than death throes which can tend to be violent sometimes.

      Have you spent any serious time in the American South? If so you would never have made that groundless statement and you would ditch that frayed teddy bear for a newer reality. Believe me, any racial injustice or prejudice one may suffer in the Caymans  is a lovely cakewalk compared to what went on in the American South. Being non-white there some years ago was an absolute trip! Now not so much so.

      Things are changing. If you really consider the situation here – not in the USA or UK  but here in these islands – you will see that my "optimistic outlook" is already "coming to fruition".

      You yourself admit that things are changing but but you are so attached to your teddy bear that your are unable to grasp the implications and live in this reality.

      Where do you get the idea "That position (the Presidency)  was never intended for an individual like himself (Obama) to occupy it"?  In my opinion, the post begs for the most qualified and honest person and Obama proved himself to be that person.

      You state that "many parts of this western world still demand for the tap-dancing, happy, safe negro when it comes to the public stage (Ainsley Harriott, Lenny Henry, Colin Jackson anyone?)"  Have you ever been to a Chris Rock concert? He is wildly popular and does concerts all over the globe to sell-out crowds. (He is started as a dishwasher and became one of the most successful comedians of any race.)

      While we are on about Chris Rock and on a pragmatic note, I will commence to close with this excerpt of a CNN interview with Mr. Rock:

      ""CNN: At one point in your act, you said, “Racism will never die. It will only multiply.” Why do you believe that?
      Rock: Well, it’s never going to die. Maybe it won’t multiply. Is racism going to end? No. It’s not even race. People are always going to, you know, find something wrong with people who are not the exact same as them. That’s just what it is. Black, white, short, tall, religions, whatever. People are bad, man.""

      I think Chris Rock has a vastly superior grasp of the essence of the issue or race than do Dr. McField or Mr. Roy. As long as we continue to point to others and cast aspersions, racism will fester. But be aware of this: sometimes it takes two to tango. And, like my daddy always said (in a more explicit way) "The more you stir up the mess the more it stinks my son!"

      I tink you an’ Roy an’ Frank bees stirrin’ it up.

      I return to my original premise: The mess this country finds itself in is not the result of skin-pigmentation. It is the result of stupidity.

      Or maybe it’s like Chris Rock said: "People are bad, man".

  9. Anonymous says:

    "Pigmento-centric" tripe! Oh please, get off this foolish and divisive soapbox already,  Roy and C.I.F.H.!

    "I cain’t get no where ’cause the colour of my skin" was once the mantra of a great number of non-white Americans – until a non-white person by the very non-Anglo and most unlikely name of Barack  Hussein Obama became the American President. Not just a successful man, not just another powerful man, but he became the most powerful human being in the universe!

    Think of it! Now the result of a shifting paradigm has been forged. No longer can we who are of ethnic minority bloodlines cry the worn-out tune of "I been kept down by the bad ol’ white man" and be taken seriously. If you think that way you will fail! And most deservedly so. Sure, as a young non-Caucasian I sometimes felt the sting of prejudice, however my parents taught me the innate equality off all humans and they inculcated me with a very healthy dose of self worth and a good work ethic. Through good parenting and tireless encouragement they urged me to be all that I can be. The result: I kept out of trouble, made good grades,and made the most of educational and business opportunities.

    In my work and business life I worked hard and treated my employers, colleagues, subordinates and clientele with respect. I overlooked the incidents of prejudice I was subject to, considered the silly source and got over it. I would rate my life as successful from both a personal and financial standpoint.

    I have had numerous non-white friends and acquaintances in life and almost to a man (or woman) the ones who got smart, kept out of trouble, got a decent education, worked hard and capitalised on the opportunities life gave them became successful people. For the most part, they had parents (or a parent) who taught them the same values my parents taught me.  A prime lesson we all learned from our parents was that the shade of your skin will only detract from your life if you allow it to be an issue.  I refused to allow it to be an issue! I have tried to pass this on to my children.

    Sure, I have heard the type of "stories" referred to by Dr. McField. In the American South I witnessed first-hand the separate restrooms, the queue lines, water fountains and dressing rooms designated for "colored" people. But that was then, I am now!

    My future is rooted in the here and now, not the past. Dwelling in the woes of the past will not one whit enable us to forge a brighter future. Learning from and overcoming the mistakes of the past will, provided we can refrain from allowing the misdeeds of the past cloud our thinking.

    I take issue with Dr. McField about using past racial injustices as an excuse for the poor choices we Caymanian make now. I take issue with Roy Bodden about the way he markets this African "diaspora" thing he is so passionate about.  I realise that I must have African forebears, and I am relatively certain I have slaves in my ancestry, too. I could not care less. While their plight may have been unfortunate, no one has chained me in the dank hold of a slaving ship. Those who would try to bind me with the shackles of prejudice find that I possess a very good pair of bolt-cutters. 

    While I do have respect for and an appreciation of my ethnic heritage, my self-worth and my self-image do not come from my nationality or my ethnic heritage or some jingoistic concept of "Mother Country": my inner pride comes from knowing who I am as person, in the here and now.

    I do not, and have never had a need to, "suck up to" anyone to be a success. I am respected and can command respect because I first learned how to respect others and project the attitude I expect in return.

    Regarding "the sensitive issues of race": I do not "pretend (it) doesn’t exist", I just refuse to make it an issue.

    Sure racial prejudice still exists. But it can be overcome, or just plowed over if you have the will to overcome. We now have a choice: we can be fools and blame the "mess we are in" on the past and cry "Woe is me" for being non-white (or whatever). Or, we can – from right now onward – decide to make the wisest choices possible, accept no excuses, give no quarter (nor votes) to poor leaders and pull our selves out of the mire. Sad thing is that regardless of skin colour we Caymanians do not seem to be making those wise choices yet and things seem to be getting worse in this country.

    So. C.I. Future Hope: Who do we blame now? Hint: C.I.F.H and all unna like him: Look in the mirror!

    (Tip: If a young B. Hussein Obama dwelled on the horrific saga of Afro-American history as an excuse for underachievement and had he basked in pigmentation-motivated self pity, he might be dealing crack in some inner-city slum right now rather than being a force in shaping the history of the world.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh wow! Two thumbs way up Anon 16:25 but let us just sit back and wait for the angry posts about the nasty colonial Brits and the infamy they heaped on the Chagos Islanders and watch the dead, dull, "poor me I’m a downtrodden Caymanian" thumbs down being registered. After all, you criticised "Professor" Roy Bodden’s perspective.

      • Pit Bull says:

        The Chagos Islands obsessives have been thankfully silent recently.  There was a spell that a Caymanian could not get a parking ticket from a foreign police officer without someone dredging up the Chagos Islands. 

        • O'Really says:

          I think the Chagos Islands have been declared a marine protected area, so dredging is not permitted!! 

  10. Anonymous says:

    There was and is a reason why affirmative action is necessary. The playing field has NEVER been even for black and white people. Come on … let’s not pretend here.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are absolutely correct. Must be a lot of white right wingers on here for so many thumbs down.  

    • A grey dude says:

      Here’s that defeatist "I can’t do it because of my shade of grey" belief rearing its ugly, ugly head again. 

      Just look around at the ethnic diversity of the leaders of business, politics, and the world around you, and then hang your head in shame for not working as hard as them to make it to the top, and stop blaming your situation on your shade of grey. 

      It was your choices, and is your future choices, that put you where you are and will take you where you are going to go.  Saying you can’t make it because of your shade of grey is frankly insulting to everyone who did make it without reference to their shade of grey.  It’s just an excuse for failure that is a convenient crutch to lean on instead of working as hard as the leaders who proved you wrong. 

      Social inequality definitely required a remedy in the past, but the doors to opportunity aren’t marked by shades of grey today and haven’t been for a very long time.  Make your own choices and then go live with them, and keep your defeatist rhetoric to yourself.

  11. Anon says:

    People, let us open our eyes to who and what has POWER!

    Who and What is the TRUE ENEMY of the WORLD and LIVING THINGS???

    Our real enemy is NOT white supremacy over black people; or, vice versa.

    Our real enemy is NOT a systemic style of government

    Our real enemy is NOT the FCO or British Parliament

    Our real enemy is NOT the poor or the rich

    Our real enemy is NOT a church or organization

    Our real enemy is NOT some country or race of people



    There is a saying – "Power corrupts and corrupts absolutely."  Money and what comes with it, the false sense that having this or that determines who you are in life, will end up not only destroying its worshipers, but the rest of the planet!

    And let us keep our eyes on certain powerful elites and corporations, because they have a "love for having," and they are the puppet masters, pulling the strings of the world leaders, church heads, certain journalists, and powerful politicians.

    Right now, they pretty much have most if not all the economic control over the governments of the world. If you control the economy, you control the politics and the law-makers… SIMPLE AS THAT! 

    See this link with the renown author John Perkins!

     It’s an eye opener seeing we are but an important financial center under the UK’s system of government, and I recommend you read his book, "Confessions of an Economic Hitman." In that book you will read how political leaders have put "profit over people" time and time again.


  12. whodatis says:

    Very interesting viewpoint and subsequent postings.

    However, prepare yourselves for the tireless accusations of you all being "under-achievers", "paranoid" and of "having chips on your shoulders".

    Perhaps we ought to direct the naysayers to the works of a particular Mr. Time Wise – many of his offerings can be readily found on Youtube if anyone is interested … and if you are reading this thread then I guarantee you that you are indeed interested – whether or not you realize.

    Tim Wise on White Privilege:

    (However I must say that although millions of "White" people have begun to come to an understanding of the issue after witnessing his stellar breakdowns of the subject matter, it is hardly a sign of "progress" in this regard. Millions of "Black" and "Brown" folks have been saying these things for decades but apparently the words of a single "White" man holds more validity in the eyes of "White" folk.)

    Apparently individuals such as myself are not adequately intelligent or qualified to express our historical and ongoing perspective in this western world.

    In any event – shall we examine the origins of the term "White"?

    Europeans only began to refer to themselves as a unified group or "White" when the minute elite amongst them began to get a bit nervous by what was transpiring around them. (Prior to this they spent every waking hour plotting and executing the latest plan to eradicate each other – nothing new there however.) You see there was a point in history where society was clearly divided by the haves and have nots. Owners and laborers. Rich and poor.

    Interestingly, the laborers on the other side of this dividing line far outnumbered the owners. But here comes the CLINCHER … !!

    The laborers were both "BLACKS" and "WHITES"!

    And together they began to come together and realize that they were both being taken advantage of by the wealthy, tiny elite. Collaborative uprisings and rebellions were beginning to become very commonplace therefore the elites had to come to a quick solution.

    They were faced with 2 choices.

    1. Kill all of the laborers and end up having to do the work themselves – (Ha! As if!) Or …

    2. Employ the good old "divide and conquer" tactic.

    As we can see they opted for #2.

    They convinced the plentiful "White / European"laborers, with whom they felt absolutely no genuine affiliation or compassion, that they were all in the same club – the "White" club. Those "Africans / Blacks" were below the new "us" and needed to be kept in line and oppressed. The "White" laborers, who existed on the very same socio-economic level as the "Blacks" for decades bought into the crap being sold and hence we have the "racial politics" of today.

    It is to the point where the minute elite (3%) still holds the majority (85%) of the western wealth yet the most uneducated, broke, down on his luck, ignorant "redneck" sitting in his rusting trailer home somewhere in America finds much solace in the psychological pillow of "Well, at least I ain’t Black!"

    The dynamics of this absurd and twisted unreality is never-ending and touches upon every single facet of western society.

    We live in a crazy world – but most of us take comfort in the madness … what is one to do?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Buried among the anger and cynicism of CI Future Hope’s commentary are some very pointed and worthwhile observations but the "slash and burn, no prisoners taken alive" style rather obscures the real value of what he or she might have had to say.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Although the bottom line is that Caymanian politiricks is headed in the very same direction as many of her fallen Caribbean neighbors. Greed , cronism and personal power. It could very well be an obituary should the strangle hold that, one man one district, has on Cayman politics is not broken. 

  14. Mix says:


    Thank God, I don’t know about your experience, but I saw little of it here. Being a born Caymanian, my father is white Caymanian and my beautiful mother is black Caymanian. I am colored blind as well as district blind too. I was privelege to raise up with them in a diverse George Town community where I learn to accept and love people just the way they are. 


    Nevertheless, I have to say, we must not forget our Heritage and our Past!

    That ALL Caymanians are from British descent is false!  If your skin is colored, I guarantee that 9 out of 10 times, your decent came from Africa through Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands as SLAVE!  Your forefathers were one time victims of the British slave enterprise. Gradually over time you were brainwashed in schools, singing "God Save the Queen" not knowing your roots. If it was not for Jamaican revivalist in that country, we still would not have known our roots.

    It always amazes me when I hear colored’ Caymanian politicians say that our Mother country is Great Britain. Politically… that is correct. But they are silent about history. They quote the socall "white man’s" Bible passages as if Africa had no wisdom to offer the world. I hear this from McKeeva himself, singing "oh how I love Jesus" and all talk about our roots coming from the UK.





    It is interesting that in our High Schools before the 1960’s, we had predominantly white British teachers in the schools at that time. And I have heard it pass down, how many of those teachers did not educate the children or that generation at the time well because of them being natives. The way to keep a nation back… was to infiltrate their educational system and keep them from learning. Don’t know if this was true. It is hearsay passed on by older Caymanian folk.

    But I am glad for this commentary. It is a subject that needs to be address. Right now, I can say there is a lot of favoritism in the work force. A light colored person appear to have more brains than a darker colored person. That is a known fact and the reason why you have so many of them laid off from their jobs. Racism comes in all disguises. Just the other day a Caymanian told me how he was replaced by foreignors at his job. Practically 90% of the business has foreignors, and the Caymanians were the first ones to go in this Economic downturn.


    A brown skin Caymanian – and I know I will get thumbs down

    SO WHAT! :o)



    • Anonymous says:

      Frantz Fanon, you are not.

    • West Staines Massive says:

      We all wish you had stayed in school and paid a little more attention learning how to write and spell properly.

      Ironically, your rant actually proves the point of the article – that black Caymanians were cheated out of a proper education and lag far behind in world knowledge or even any knowledge of the small space you occupy here in Cayman.

      "Most whites can here on the wreck of the ten sails"?  Really?


      I’m sure this article was not meant to offer race as an excuse for why black Caymanians cannot get ahead. With diligence and hard work and effort, countless scholarships and free education, black Caymanians do not need to make color an obstacle to success in any field.



      • anonymous says:

        West Staines Massive

        If you’re going to reprimand someone for not spelling correctly, you MUST FIRST BE THE PARTAKER.

        most whites can here on the wreck of the ten sales……

        ‘CAME HERE"

        Pot cursing kettle!

        Its not a spelling problem its a time problem.

        People are at work and are sneking these comments out on email.

        If their bosses knew they’d get fired!

        they have no time to do spelling checks!

        Just like some authors do not properly do spelling checks, they want to be the first to publish!…….its an old profession who’s going to compete with writing l,000 thesis at a time?>


    • Q says:

      Roots are overrated.

    • Q says:

      FYI – Africa is a continent, not a country.


      Otherwise not a "too shabby" post!

    • Q says:

      On another note, Caymanians are probably replaced by foreigners, because the foreigners have the skill necessary to do the job which the Caymanian may not. Nothing racists about that. All economics.h+kX

    • Anonymous says:

      The issue of race is always of interest to me. I’m a white skinned, English girl, here on a work permit. My skin is white on a pale day until I go in the sun and it turns olive.

      But my father is a "coloured" South African, a descendent of slavery. He has afro hair, dark skin (and a passing resemblance to Barack Obama). He and my grandmother managed to escape South Africa for the UK just before Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. My dad had to sit at the back of the bus with all the other poor, black kids and when he first arrived in England, he was bullied for being the only "black" in school. Yet he became the first man of colour to work for a major UK Bank even though he had to go to speech therapy lessons because his customers didn’t want to hear an African accent on a "coloured" man.

      Likewise, my mother is Anglo-Indian. She arrived in England on a permanent basis at the age of 16 after growing up in Borneo. She is also dark skinned. Both my parents worked their whole lives to get where they are now, to give myself and my siblings a wonderful upbringing. They never played the "race" card and never believed they were disadvantaged because of their skin colour. They just got on with it and wouldn’t let anything stand in their way. Skin colour was never made an issue in our house which is probably why I find it so baffling that people continue to make such a big deal about it.

      And yet here I am, a white woman with curly hair and skin that turns brown in the sun, no doubt a result of the mixture of many wonderful different heritages running through my bloodline – African, Indian, Portugese, Malay, English. My parents have given me everything I need to get on in life. The belief that I can do anything I set my mind to, and the knowledge that skin colour doesn’t matter a jot. It is such an insignificant part of who we are. 

      It just goes to show that judgement based on skin colour is useless and dangerously stupid, as is playing the race card as an excuse for not succeeding. People will look at me and immediately think "privileged English girl" – well yes, I had a good upbringing that my "minority" parents worked hard for, and yes, I have an English accent. But if you dig just below the surface you’ll find that judgement can’t stick. I’m a white English girl born of a black African man and an Indian woman. Who knew!?

      You’re only at a disadvantage if you let yourself remain there.