By David Comissiong —
The peculiar race-based history of the Western Hemisphere has bequeathed to all the people and nations of our region of the “Caribbean and the Americas” the central mission of eradicating the scourge of anti-Black racism and developing societies in which the inherent dignity and worth of the black person is upheld and respected.
The people of the Caribbean region recognize therefore that the struggle against anti-Black racism in our Hemisphere is an inter-related one, and that we in the Caribbean are as invested in the USA, Brazilian, Colombian or Canadian components of that struggle, as these nations are invested in our Caribbean component of the struggle.
Thus, whenever we witness or become aware of even isolated or random acts of anti-Black racism anywhere in our Hemisphere, we cringe and recoil in anguish, for we know that failure to uphold the dignity and worth of the black person in any one nation imperils the entire hemispheric mission.
And much more so is the case when what we witness are not mere random incidents, but acts that are suggestive of the continued existence of systemic, institutionalized anti-Black racism.
It is against this background therefore that we Caribbean people wish to express the deep sense of revulsion that we felt when we witnessed the televised images of the callous, heartless and totally unjustified killing of the African-American George Floyd by a white police officer in the city of Minneapolis in the USA.
We suspect and fear that Mr Floyd’s tragic death– one of a sequence of similar killings of unarmed black persons by white Police officers– is evidence of the continued existence of systemic anti-Black racism.
We would therefore wish to urge the Government and people of the USA — our sister nation of the Americas region — to redouble their efforts to confront and overcome this social evil.
I know that I speak for all right thinking Caribbean people when I say that we extend our profound sympathy to the distraught immediate family of Mr Floyd, and also to his extended African-American family who have been deeply hurt.
We would also wish to assure the Government and people of the USA that there are many organizations within our Caribbean region — a region that has confronted the scourge of anti-Black racism with some degree of success — that would readily share the insights that they have gained from our own struggle and that would be very willing to assist the US authorities in any way that they could.
Citizen of the Caribbean