By CALIBE THOMPSON
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Caribbean people as a block aren’t liberal by nature. In fact, many of us are more conservative and holy than the most bible-hugging and pro-life among the Republicans. You’ll note that many Cuban Caribbeans are drafted into the Republican party when they arrive in the US. For them, there are other partyline issues of importance, but it’s also an issue of race. Although there are a number of black Cubans in the world, the more high profile Republican Cubans are pretty close to white.
The majority of English and French speaking Caribbean countries have more prominent African populations. We’re black with broad noses and kinky hair, just like the descendants of Africans in America. This also means that we are predominantly Christian in a patriarchal culture with low tolerance for abortion, homosexuality, adultery by women, or in many instances the validity of other religions. Sound like anyone we know?
No, we aren’t primarily Democratic because we align with liberal values of freedom of choice and equality for all persuasions. Many of us are democratic because we’re black, and the Republican Party has, over the years, shown a willingness to accept overt intolerance of people who look like us under the cloak of “religious freedom.” The confederates, the nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan have all felt comfortable under their wings. And now in a re-brand for the ages comes the ultra- right, a new generation of racist jackholes whose former promoter-in-chief is now the GOP presidential candidate’s campaign director. The new party leader himself is a man whose entire political platform is based on deporting folks who don’t look like him or speak his language, and attempting to delegitimize the first US president that shares our African heritage.
As long as those are our options, I think I can speak for most of us black Caribbeans when I say that for now, although no party is perfect, the Democratic ticket can continue to count on our vote.
We’re up against too much anti-immigrant, racist crap in daily life to accept it in the White House too.
Calibe Thompson is a video media producer, speaker and author. Learn more about her services at www.islandsyndicate.com and watch her on ‘Island Origins’ Mon at 10:00PM and Tues, Thurs and Sat at 9:00PM on South Florida’s BECON-TV (Ch 63 / Comcast 19).