If you are from the Caribbean then I am sure you have heard some elder or close friend say to you “Ignore Them”. But after being a Caribbean Blogger/Vlogger for almost a decade, I have realized, “ignoring them” is the problem.
Ignore Them……The Caribbean Solution For Everything!
I remember when I was very young, early teens, and the song by Buju Banton came out called “Browning”. Up until that point growing up in Toronto, I mean, I knew I was black, but this song changed so many things for me. Primarily because it now differentiated the type of black I was. The funny thing is, this song by Buju Banton is actually a double entendre. A “browning” is the nick name given to the black people who are of lighter complexion. And because of the mess that slavery left behind, in the Caribbean (and other parts of the world), light skin is in. The lighter you were, the better looking you were and more appealing you were. But what many people failed to realize is a “browning” is actually a type of gun also. So when Buju Banton said “Mi love mi car, mi love mi bike, mi love mi money and ting, but most of all mi love mi browning”… well you can pretty much sum it up. He was playing on words. But many missed that.
Now this blog post is not about Buju Banton, or the song browning, but this song cause me to become highly insecure from a very early age because I was not a browning and I was basically tormented by the black people around me who were lighter skinned. I came home and spoke to my mom and dad about it, how the kids were making fun of me because I was dark skin. My mom and dad both said “Ignore Them”. Ignore them is what I ended up doing. Though for years people always made fun of my complexion. I did what my parents told me. I ignored them.
What If We Didn’t Ignore Them?
But imagine we didn’t “Ignore Them”? The people who spew a bunch of crap because they just don’t know any better. Yeah, them. Imagine instead of ignoring them, I went back to school and actually educated them on the fact there is no real difference between a person who is light skin or dark skin? Do you think we would be at the stage we are in life where people are openly bragging about bleaching their skin so they could become lighter than their current complexion? Do you think we would have so much ignorant people running around with a pale grey complexion thinking it is going to make their life much better than the life they had when their skin was actually leveraging the melanin they were born with?
The problem with the way most people in the Caribbean choose to handle the “ignorant” is to ignore those who do not know any better instead of attempting to educate them. And like all walks of life, an ignorant person who procreates with another ignorant person will probably bring forth ignorant offspring. And most times it is not just 1 offspring. It’s a few. So now that 1 person who doesn’t know any better is passing on their views, beliefs, ideologies to their offspring and they multiply. They are multiplying exponentially. Imagine we stopped them in their tracks before they reproduced and passed on their ignorance? Were do you think we would be if we had?
Can We Fix It?
When you see crime on the rise, morality at an all time low, integrity non-existent, we have to look at ourselves. Those of us who know better especially. Why? Because what did we do to educate someone who we deemed as just being stupid or not knowing any better? We ignored them, instead of enlighten them. It takes a village to raise a child remember? And in the Caribbean years ago this is how most people were raised. Not now.
If a child is being molested, we ignore it. Someone says they were raped, we ignore it. The police manhandle and mistreat a person, well once it isn’t us we ignore it. Until it becomes us. And there is no one to help because they are doing the same thing you were doing when it was not at your door step. And then we reach a breaking point because our loved one was violated and justice will never happen because justice never happens. It wasn’t an issue when the problem was down the street though.
There is not a day that goes by, when I read the news coming out of the Caribbean that someone isn’t killed, kidnapped, raped, just recently a child’s throat was slit during a house raid. And the only thing I can ask myself is…. what if we didn’t just “ignore them”……..