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Sunday, January 12, 2020

...something ordinary yet extraordinary as hell for the white elite of the Caribbean...

By Christian Campbell:

It must have been fifteen years ago that Ian Strachan invited me to speak at a Majority Rule event at the former College of The Bahamas with the recently honoured ex-minister of the colonial UBP regime.

I was fresh from Oxford, recovering, working as a journalist and editor in the meanwhile. Ex-Minister was revealing in this public conversation. He said that he had no white friends because, in his words, all the set he knew were boring and only spoke of money, no thought.

Then, he did something ordinary yet extraordinary as hell for the white elite of the Caribbean (or anywhere for that matter)— he said that as a child he once asked, *Why Grammy so dark?* And they explained why.

Of course, to my eyes, perhaps to Blind Blake’s eyes too, it was obvious. I told him he looks like Michael Manley. Without missing a beat, he said, “First cousin!” We laughed.

To be sure, this late-life phase of pseudo-atonement posed no great risk to him— he had long since made his money by any means necessary; he had long since damaged and denied education for black people that couldn’t pass, meaning for everyone. But it remains intriguing.

What, we must ask, is more fragile, more suspect, more slippery than whiteness in the Caribbean (or anywhere for that matter)? The tarbrush levitates overhead, Avenging Angel. We, Manley Cousin and I, laughed the strange laugh of the Plantation, knowing. How maimed and monstered are we by the eugenics of the Ship.

¿Y tu abuela, dónde está?