Caribbean And The City – What’s in a name…?

| May 16, 2011

Staff writer - Maria Costa

They say love is blind, but is it…erm…stupid?

When I found out my Mr.Caribbean was tempted to deal drugs, I immediately climbed on to my high horse. My voice prepared to shrill and my finger was ready to point.

What was his immediate argument for this criminal and morally depraved desire?

”’People don’t want to give black men jobs”

My immediate reaction was to scoff but I decided to do a little research instead…

Yes, we know that hard times are upon us but why is it that whilst 20%* of unemployed people are white, the figure is more than double for black people in at 48%* ?

The government is adamant that racism is not the reason for unemployment and instead, “socio-economic status and poverty affect people’s chances in life regardless of race or ethnic background.”

Dear Mr.Governer,

You do know that black men were once forced to impregnate women and disallowed to become active fathers? This left households poorer than most and children misbehaved at school as a result. I assume you’ve read the books.

Did you know that in schools, black children are more likely to be excluded and marginalised?

Are you aware that as recently as 5 months ago, a study was conducted by the department for work and pensions?

It sent out almost identical job applications to a wide range of companies. Some had names suggesting the applicant was from an ethnic minority, rather than white British.

Those applicants who were perceived to be white received a positive response after nine applications.Yet ethnic minority candidates had to send 16 applications before receiving a positive response.

Two thirds of unemployed Black Caribbeans want to find a job, but struggle to even get shortlisted.

And how does a young, black male who feels ostracised envisage drug dealing? As a job which always has openings, is never racist and provides a lucrative wage.

Of course, this vista is not only corrupt to others but self destructive and is sadly, symptomatic of the way these young men have been made to feel.

I wonder what you would do if your family were sleeping five to a bed? Or if your fridge was as empty as your stomach? Enough said.

However, what can we actually do as individuals?
Allow us to encourage our teachers to undertake equal opportunity courses, to be educated on certain backgrounds of children, to disallow the poorly behaved children to all be placed in the same ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ classroom.

Furthermore, where is the monitoring of our employers? If a person has a ‘black name’, his efforts dissipate in to the depressing air that surrounds him.

"Wesley Snipes portrays a drug dealer"

Let our young, black men know that their options can be vast and varied; A life spent drug dealing, looking over one’s shoulder and ruining lives is the overt antidote to freedom and counteracts any progress made thus far.

I may be able to convince one Mr. Caribbean, but what about all the others…?

Our black people cannot do as Olaudah Equiano once did and buy his own freedom, for they are already free…aren’t they?

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Category: Caribbean and the City, Sunshine Corner

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