Editorâ€™s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.
To many of us, migration really isnâ€™t quite as appealing as some persons would have it seem. Apart from todayâ€™s declining prospects of economic benefits, disincentives to leave the Caribbean region for the more developed world are more than glaring.
Certainly, life as we know it- full of colour, rhythm and flavour- would lack its brilliant variety of fresh fruits, and the fresh air and fresh water that we so often take for granted. Many of us would long for the vibes of the steel pan, Soca and Reggae music that we love so much, as well as the daily breathtaking sunsets of soft pinks and lavender. The beauty of our exotic fuchsia bougainvillea sprays and hibiscus blossoms would perhaps become only a memoir. And there would be other more significant changes tooâ€¦
There arenâ€™t too many societies out there that are as receptive to cultural, racial and religious diversity as West Indians. Unlike many parts of the world where homogeny is the boring norm, our trademark is diversity- and personally Iâ€™m proud of it.
And for a people of African, European, East Indian, Lebanese, Kalinago and Chinese heritage, we really donâ€™t have any grounds to discriminate against any race, colour or creed.
At the end of the day, migration is an essential part of the cycle of life. Itâ€™s all over the Bible, and itâ€™s the reason why different human races have evolved all over the world. I really donâ€™t understand why so many people are so afraid of it. None of us had the power to choose where we wanted to be born!
For my part, I see the world as everybodyâ€™s own, and I think if more people were to think that way, there would be a lot less global conflict. Certainly, the Israelites and Palestinians would no longer have difficulties living next to each other- because the borders would no longer exist in their mind.
It really baffles me as to why- even in this age of globalization- highly educated Americans are actually calling Mexican migrants â€˜Illegal Aliensâ€™. 10 years ago, I could never have fathomed the existence of aliens on Earth! If Mexicans are transformed into Aliens just by migrating to the U.S.A., what does that make the rest of us?
I believe strongly in respecting all cultures, beliefs and backgrounds. As far as Iâ€™m concerned, anyone who isnâ€™t driven by violent, supremacist or Satanic beliefs is just another regular human being. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m very much against any pejorative statements against persons from different backgrounds.
If you feel you must use a derogatory statement to describe someone of a different race or culture, its better to keep it to yourself. If you donâ€™t you will be recycling the ugly and bitter trash that fueled the system of slavery (It wasnâ€™t just slave labour, as some would have us believe). Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m invariably very disturbed when I hear Dominicans declaring â€˜what a Haitian looks likeâ€™, or even boldly daring to say â€˜that Haitian not looking like a Haitianâ€™.
I think we should all know better in this the 21st century. What does a Haitian look like? What does an American look like? What does a Dominican look like?
If you can REALLY answer any of these questions Iâ€™m most eager to be enlightened.