White Privilege In The Caribbean

A collection of thoughts about white West Indians...In honor of our alleged liberation from Britain's imperial rule.These may appear random and out of context, partly because I don't really believe that everything has to have a coherent flow for the individual points to make sense and also because these are merely excerpts from a longer conversation I had with a black WI woman this morning. Trust that they're all interconnected and perhaps allow yourself to tease out even more connections that I was unable to see...Whiteness is a funny thing in the Caribbean. Some pretend that it's nonexistent, but really it is invisible, similar to whiteness in the United States but not quite the same. While our lives are different from those of Black Americans, we suffer oppression along the same lines. Here are a few examples of how whiteness "functions" in the Caribbean:

  • Pretending that racism doesn't exist amongst white locals is completely fallacious considering many of them go to Canada to find a white spouse as directed by whatever patriarch/matriarch exists at the time and the only reason they even leave their palatial garrisons to travel to foreign countries is for the purpose of marrying someone white. They would never ~dare~ marry a local BW/BM. Of course if you look you can find exceptions. Every one knows that the true #slavemoney families won't allow their children to "mix" with black locals.


  • On other islands (namely, Montserrat in this case), when white locals try to build gated communities to segregate themselves from the black population, the people actually protest and threaten to ensure that this post-modern acts of racism don't exist. In Saint Lucia? It seems we do the opposite. As each year passes, a new fancy villa is erected and real estate is sold off to the highest bidder regardless of whether or not they're local. Funny how easily we let foreigners buy up all we have while the people on our island have nothing and the middle class will barely be able to afford land in the next 10-20 years... We live in a culture that gets drunk on screaming "Nothing can be done!" but on other islands it turns out they can figure out how to organize and shout people down...


  • Why are white West Indians always complaining about how they aren't accepted [by Black West Indians] abroad? But in their own countries, they won't hang around people they deem too nèg. Hm. It's like going abroad traumatizes them because for once, they aren't special and white people are a dime a dozen. Now it's time for them to claw at their island culture in hope of some of the special treatment they're afforded at home. When black West Indians refuse to give it to them, they whip out the sob story.


  • People act like there's no white privilege in the Caribbean... But there is... There are places white young women go on this island that I would *never* go but nothing happens to 'em. The same areas where black women would be harassed, threatened and followed are completely safe for women of a certain hue. Because when people know who your white father is, it offers a certain degree of protection. There's still protection in your slave master's last name. Is that not white privilege -- total safety where black people face danger?