Diversity’s Oppressions – And A Reminder That CARICOM Is All About Diversity


Thomas Sowell On “United In Our Diversity” And Other Lies


That word has become a sacred mantra, endlessly repeated for years on end, without a speck of evidence being asked for or given to verify the wonderful benefits it is assumed to produce.

Thomas Sowell (photo above) in The Wall Street Journal article Diversity’s Oppressions

I am fearful about the cultural impacts of CARICOM. Everyone talks about the economic differences in the CARICOM communities, but in this rush to unite the entire Caribbean, we forget that there are important cultural and social differences between the participants.

CARICOM supporters talk of “uniting in our diversity” and other wonderful-sounding catchy slogans, but the reality of free movement between CARICOM countries is a dilution of individual cultures. There are those who argue that the differences in Caribbean cultures are minor – to which I point out that the phrase “Culture Of Violence” hardly applies to Barbados or Dominica, but cannot be so easily dismissed when saying the word “Jamaica”.

The writers on this blog have often stated in one way or another – that we should be Bajan before anything else. No matter colour of the skin or religion or income, we should be strongly identifying with our island, our flag, our social culture and our fellow citizens.

Identity is a choice. If we choose to primarily identify as “black” or “white” instead of Bajan, we risk fragmenting our society. If we choose to primarily identify as “citizens of CARICOM”, it is done at the expense of our Bajan culture and society.

And… I prefer the society that we have forged to that of Jamaica.

post by Marcus

More thoughts on diversity’s oppressions and dangers by Thomas Sowell at The Wall Street Journal (link here) and Shay at Booker Rising (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History

7 responses to “Diversity’s Oppressions – And A Reminder That CARICOM Is All About Diversity

  1. Yo!

    Best way to clamp down on the culture of violence that is presently invading Barbados
    is to entirely ban the importation, sale and lending of any and all Jamaica dub,chant,dancehall with its decidedly anti-social “lyrics”.

    This is not music: this is brainwashing posing as music,
    and as brainwashing it is working very very well, I think you’ll agree.

    This “music” is the reason we have a minibus counter-culture where all sorts of awful things are perpetrated within the confines of the Zero Responsibility vehicles we see on our roads.

    We are in big trouble.

  2. Ronin of the Void

    you should know that such a ban would only drive the music underground and a black market would spring up overnight. The same fellas that selling all the herb, crack and guns, will provide the tunes, because the music is, after all, the advertising medium for their merchandise. A ban would also further marginalise the youth and most likely backfire. I think the best we can do is have much stricter enforcement of the laws governing PSVs. Also, as a matter of priority, increase policemen’s salaries by double.

  3. Yo!

    We can’t afford to paint the white lines in de road
    and you want to double police salaraies?
    Where all dis money coming from?
    Raised VAT to 20% ?
    Barbados is broke.
    We live from loan to loan to loan,
    like a businessman eternally on Overdraft
    (just the way the Banks like you to be!)

  4. Observer

    I have read much of the comments on your forum and i think that it serves a useful purpose in terms providing persons with a means of expressing their views etc. In relation to this issue about the music and its impact on our culture, I would wish to say that barbados like any other liberal society will continue to face the dilemma about preserving culture but at the same time recognising that the very self expression which we pride ourselves on is not always positive self-expression. Equally, we cannot escape the fact that culture is not some static thing that remains the same no matter what. It changes all the time, since it is influenced not just by persons who come here and become part of our society but by those of who leave and become part of other societies. All of the values and practices which we learn and adopt collectively form part of our cchanging culture. If you ask an 18 year old and a 65 year old what our culture is chanes are their responses will be different, because they have a different perception of what Barbadian culture is and neither’s view is necessarily right or wrong. What is needed therefore is more dialogue – not emotive dialogue – but dialogue aimed at defining who we are and seeking to build on that. Please bear in mind that in all types of music there is a positive and a negative. It really is a question of who hears it and how they are affected by it – and that is determined by our environmental and social circumstances

  5. Jupiter

    Reading about the coup in Fiji has brought my mind back to the question of diversity and CSME.

    The current army coup leader has overthrown the democratically elected gov’t because they were about to pass legislation to pardon the former coup members andN.B. ENSURE THAT VALUABLE COASTAL LAND STAY IN THE HANDS OF INDIGENOUS FIJIANS.
    Apparently this general is supportive of the indians who came as sugar workers but stayed on went into business and were marginalising indigenous fijians while also engaging in clannish behaviour.

    Sounds familiar people?Haven’t we been warned before that this large influx of indian guyanese who have been behaving in a similar manner in Guyana,will in a few years time,if not sent back (ie the illegal ones who are here by the thousands),be creating a fiji – type situation here in B’dos.

    Owen arthur may be dead and gone but our children and their children will be the ones facing this crisis,which could have been dealt with all like now.

    David Thompson listen up yuh hear?I hope you don’t get weak knee when you are given the opportunity to right wrongs.

  6. Euthydemos in Athens, GA

    Sowell’s comments with regard to “diversity” fairly reek of incoherence. It is a plain attempt to cast the blame for this atrocity (the Iraq excursion) on distractionary straw-men like “diversity” or “nation-building.” These are the favorite whipping boys of those on the right, who in an increasing fit of desperation, are reaching ever more wildly for anyone, or anything to pin the blame on.

    Diversity as he points out “has become a sacred mantra” of those on the left. The “speck of evidence” he omits to regard however, is clearly globalization, the world-wide integration of markets, economies and by extension, cultures that has lead to a surge in world-wide growth and prosperity over the last 15 years. This is clearly something the Wall Street Journal editorial pages have championed for quite some time. Surely, Sowell has heard of it?

    Despite the resistance and backlast of an increasingly militant and disenfranchised Islamic terrorist faction, globalization has been a success in reducing poverty world-wide. Globalization would be impossible without diversity, or more stated accurately, a respect for diversity. Sowell fails to note that diversity, as a state of affairs, clearly exists. There is diversity in the world, already and it is not going away. To castigate diversity, as Sowell does, and simultaneously pretend ignorance that what you are really castigating is not so much the nature of reality itself, but rather the only effective remediation of that reality, in the form of a growing respect for and mutual toleration of already-existing diversity. This is clearly disingenious.

    “To verify the wonderful benefits it is assumed to produce” one need look no further than the growth in GWP, and the reduction of the number of those living on less that USD$1 per day. There is clearly still a very long way to go, the collapse of the Doha round is just one example of the hurdles yet to be crossed, but to affix the blame for the fiasco in Iraq on the notions of diversity and nation-building can only be a pathetic attempt to draw attention away from the abysmal performance of every single “policy-maker” of the Bush administration. There is one word to describe the entire charade (accurately), that word is — incompetence, a word the Wall Street Journal and Thomas Sowell know all too well.

  7. Euthydemos in Athens, GA

    By Stephen S. Roach | New York

    On one level, there seems to be no stopping the powerful forces of globalization. Not only has the world just completed four years of the strongest global growth since the early 1970s, but in 2006, cross-border trade as a share of world GDP pierced the 30% threshold for the first time ever — almost three times the portion prevailing during the last global boom over 30 years ago. What a great testament to the stunning successes of globalization!