The Brown/White Jamaican and the Right to take Offence

Under the Saltire Flag

  1. But some of my best friends are Brown

It is always hard for Caribbean people to talk about that most unspeakable topic: race. But then, perhaps it is hard to talk about it anywhere. We live, each one of us, in bodies that we cannot change, neither can we change the histories that those bodies inherit. Discussions on race can feel divisive and it can feel as if we are called into some silly kind of historical re-enactment. In Jamaica, therefore, whenever the discussions veer dangerously into that most unspeakable topic, and when the discomfort sets in which is usually very soon, you can count on someone to invoke the national motto. ‘Out of many, one people!’ We shout it as kind of censorship. We insist on it. ‘We are out of many, but we are one people!’


I have this friend – like me, he is relatively young and…

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