CLASSISM – RACISM: Just recently, I heard the age-old, asinine boast that ‘Jamaica is a ‘Classist’ as opposed to a ‘Racist’ society; and this is often mouthed as if this is something laudable, worthy of an award, or even being exported. It is said often enough for it to be a bother, and even a cause for concern.
In purely dictionary terms, ‘Classism’ does not exist, and is confused with class-consciousness, which has to do with being actively aware of one’s common status with others, in a particular economic or social level of society.
Racism, on the other hand, is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and, that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. From this definition, springs some of the most inhumane and barbaric actions known to mankind, often meted out to other people who are powerless and defenseless.
Still, despite their definitions and the obvious harmful characteristics of racism, ‘Classism’ is not far behind; and I would venture to propose that ‘Classism’ is the ugly child of racism; made up to look beautiful and schooled in deception to hide her flaws. Notwithstanding the ruse, she is wicked and harmful with the capacity to do much damage. Jamaica is a classic example of this, because all the bragging stems from naivete, ignorance, and the unique, cursed ability of too many Jamaicans to see things unrealistically and not in the clear light of reality.
Jamaicans, particularly “Black Jamaicans,” suffer exclusion from many opportunities that a country ought to afford its citizens. As a result, there is extensive poverty within this group, accompanied by high crime rate, and frustration. Giving rise to incivility and internecine warfare. So many of the Island’s Black citizens live in conditions not fit for animals, and as a result, they resort to behaving like the worse of these animals. This systematically maligned group of people are at the forefront of the crime wave sweeping the country, and one need not ask why. The system is so twisted that even as they are the main perpetrators of much of the misdeeds of high and low order, the ‘upper class’ are the beneficiaries of the nefarious acts.
‘Classism’ is the root-cause for the prevailing socio-economic imbalance which favours the white and brown class Jamaicans, for whom the governments mostly work and expend their best efforts. ‘Classism’ ensures that this set, and those endeavouring to be like them – get better education, and have greater opportunities available to them. They live in better neighbourhoods, where they are far more safe and better protected, by even the Black police they scorn, and who in turn, spurn the calls and pleas of their brothers and sisters of a ‘lower class,’ living under ever-lessening circumstances. ‘Classism’ is the status symbol of scoundrels pretending to be lords and ladies, but not even the finest Parisienne perfumes and cologne can mask the malodorous of immorality.
One noble politician and erstwhile Prime Minister tried to remedy the situation, and he was vilified, with his name dragged through the mud to this day for it. He sacrificed himself and career to make changes that would have benefited all. However, many did not see or want to see the rise of the Black, suffering class, that would inevitably lead to progress and prosperity for most, if not all. His efforts would have been more conducive to a more secure and friendly country, redounding to the benefit of even those clinging to the filthy child of racism called ‘Classism’ if he had only gotten the support of the nation.
No country can rise above the majority of its citizens. What obtains in Jamaica is a recipe for disaster, and its tremors are already being felt, and the preliminary destruction, evident.
There is not much hope, because the Agents to make the peaceful changes are content to sell out their relations for a life of luxury, that they and many confuse with class. None is willing to sacrifice self for brotherhood and for humanity, and demonstrate the true and noblest trait of class, which is decency; and a noble character means little of nothing to the majority of them.
Dare to contest me, but before you do, I point out the results of their actions and inactions that have taken us to a dark place from which we are now crying out for refuge.
Until next time, keeps doing what is noble and just. Go ahead and have a discussion right here.
I am Warren Johnson
Editor at Large, Mckoy’s News: the views expressed on this post are that of the writer and not that of Mckoy’s News.