Racism in the Caribbean: Practice and Resistance
Meridional. Revista Chilena de Estudios Latinoamericanoscalls for contributions to its issue “Racism in the Caribbean: Practice and Resistance”, for their 10th volume (April2018).
The studies and analyses of the topic of racism in the Caribbean give us an account of the levels, peculiarities and complexities of this phenomenon. Modern history in the region finds itself traversed by the migration and the coexistence – voluntary or forced – of peoples of diverse origins. These are human groups that were inserted in colonial societies already governed by the notion of race, understood as a category that has historically been used to differentiate, classify and hierarchize subjects. In the Caribbean, racist practices are not limited to a white – black, master – slave opposition, but assume particular characteristics in each context and moment, being present among and between the Chinese and Afro-descendants (Cuba), Afro-Caribbean and the descendants of immigrants from India (Trinidad, Surinam), Dominicans and Haitians, Bahamians and Haitians (all Afro-descendants), people of mixed race and Raizals (Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, San Andrés), indigenous people and blacks (Central America and the South American Caribbean coast) just to mention some.
The foundational and intrinsic diversity of the Caribbean has been understood by many of the inhabitants and thinkers of the region from an assumed racial democracy or a“melting pot”point of view, where racist practices and ideologies are not recognized. This denial presents a difficulty in tackling racism, which is often attributed to societies such as the United States or Europe, but not to their own, which on the contrary, is considered free of this form of discrimination. Nonetheless, daily experiences,
discourse, public policies, the educational system, cultural manifestations, family life, the media, among others, exert multiple forms – open or surreptitious – of inequality and segregation.