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Old 02-02-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Maybe it's because the populations of Caribbean islands are, in fact, nearly all non-white. Have you considered that explanation? In Jamaica, for example, the population is only 3% white, and in Trinidad it is less than 1% white. Why are you surprised that people think of those countries as being predominantly black?

As a matter of fact, whites make up a larger percentage of the population in Ghana and Tanzania, than in Trinidad.
Well prior to Independence there were more Whites living in Trinidad. Most of them fled due to the violence there that rose up on that island. However there are an long established middle eastern community there too esp from Syria and Lebanon and they would be classified as white in the US census. There are also an Chinese community yet Trinidad is unique for that region as at least half of the people have heritage from the Indian subcontinent. Just as people out there think its so weird whites can be from the Carribbean, they would think the same for someone of East Indian heritage.

 
Old 02-02-2012, 06:15 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by other99 View Post
Well prior to Independence there were more Whites living in Trinidad. Most of them fled due to the violence there that rose up on that island. However there are an long established middle eastern community there too esp from Syria and Lebanon and they would be classified as white in the US census. There are also an Chinese community yet Trinidad is unique for that region as at least half of the people have heritage from the Indian subcontinent. Just as people out there think its so weird whites can be from the Carribbean, they would think the same for someone of East Indian heritage.
Yeah Indians form an important part of Caribbean culture and society. A lot of food in the Caribbean is heavily influenced by India. It's probably not inaccurate to call 'multicultural' in the sense their are multiple cultures there, and Jamaican culture itself is a fusion of cultures (not just Afro and European, but as I said Indian, Chinese and even Native enough though no more natives live there), but as a percentage Jamaican is ethnically far more homogeneous than the United States.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 06:17 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio84 View Post
When you think about it, there is a double standard with the so called 'obvious classifications.'

I've met plenty of people that are bothered when someone mentions that the US is a white country, simply because most of the people are white. They, the ones that are bothered by this, want the US to be known as a multicultural and multiracial country, despite the obvious.

The same could be said of many people from Caribbean countries. They want their island societies to be perceived exactly what they are -multiracial societies- rather than simply black.

But somehow, its acceptable to see the US as multiracial but peoples motives for wanting the Caribbean to be known as multiracial are psycho-analyzed in search of something else.

This is important for American countries, since most countries on this side of the Atlantic are composed of immigrants and their descendants (whether mixed or full blooded) and almost all American countries were started by whites, when you think about it. Norway was 'started' by Norwegians, who have always been white and I guess the same could be said of Nigeria, although there they have always been black. Not so in many places in the Americas, particularly in the Caribbean. And that makes a big difference.

Why does it makes a big difference?

I once read of an African American that visited South Africa. This was quite some time ago. He went to a school to teach the students about the USA, and he was greeted by many students asking him to stop pretending to be an American since everyone knows Americans are white. Where's the real American they asked him. Imagine how he must have felt, an American having his identity questioned simply due to the color of his skin.

Its the same situation that is being expressed in this thread. People want to be seen for what they are and only through education of reality can ignorance be combated.
This happens to people who go back to their country of origin, or even the general region. I got tired of trying to convince people in Asia that yes, I was really from Australia (a few didn't believe me. why would I be lying? I suppose they were blind to my accent? Since almost everyone I met who didn't have the racial blinders on could tell within words that I had an Aussie accent) and thus Australian. I don't blame them, they have a specific idea of Australians, and I suppose many do not realise how multicultural it is compared to most Asian nations which are more ethnically homogeneous.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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My wife is from Barbados and tells me of the whites who live there, and they're pretty much accepted from what I can tell (the Caribbean does not have the same racial tensions as the US, despite shared history of slavery & indentured servitude). Also have a white brethren from Jamaica, from the St. Elizabeth parish which I understand had a community of German immigrants. I can't help thinking the pure white people whose heritage goes back to the 19th century on the island, don't have some form of interbreeding going on at this point...
Nice to finally see some non-PR Caribbean threads on this forum, BTW
 
Old 02-03-2012, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
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She's so cute!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YW3T...eature=related

I think people outside the Caribbean have a perception that the entire population must be black, maybe this has something to do with pop culture stereotypes of the Caribbean. Plenty of east Indians, Whites, Arabs and east Asians in the Caribbean and even more who are of mixed ancestry.

Last edited by sulkiercupid; 02-03-2012 at 04:58 AM..
 
Old 02-03-2012, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
She's so cute!

a chinese woman with a jamaican accent - YouTube

I think people outside the Caribbean have a perception that the entire population must be black, maybe this has something to do with pop culture stereotypes of the Caribbean. Plenty of east Indians, Whites, Arabs and east Asians in the Caribbean and even more who are of mixed ancestry.


Or you're taking an EXTREMELY small percentage of the population and acting like it is 50% of the population.

Who cares if theres .02% Chinese who talk like that... ? Does it really make us ignorant to think of it as black majority? Absolutely not.
 
Old 02-03-2012, 06:57 AM
 
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well here is another clip of some Chinese Jamacians

Chinese-Descent Jamaicans chinaBforeverB - YouTube

Here is another clip of Chinese, White and Indian Jamacians

'I AM A JAMAICAN!!' - YouTube

Jamacians come in all colours and its not really an complete homogeneous society. Its similar to many other islands in the Caribbean. But of course an majority of people are black yet people of different races exist on these islands of course.
 
Old 02-03-2012, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Or you're taking an EXTREMELY small percentage of the population and acting like it is 50% of the population.

Who cares if theres .02% Chinese who talk like that... ? Does it really make us ignorant to think of it as black majority? Absolutely not.
Its actually 1.2% Chinese and you'll find that 24% of Jamaicans have at least partial non-African ancestry. I never suggested (or meant to suggest) that Blacks weren't a majority, just agreeing with the OP that people seem oddly surprised that there is a sizeable non-African community.

University of the West Indies

In any case I was talking about the Caribbean generally and not just Jamaican or Chinese people. You'll find that Trinidad and Tobago actually has a plurality of people with East Indian descent.

Last edited by sulkiercupid; 02-03-2012 at 07:42 AM..
 
Old 02-03-2012, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio84 View Post
I once read of an African American that visited South Africa. This was quite some time ago. He went to a school to teach the students about the USA, and he was greeted by many students asking him to stop pretending to be an American since everyone knows Americans are white. Where's the real American they asked him. Imagine how he must have felt, an American having his identity questioned simply due to the color of his skin.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
This happens to people who go back to their country of origin, or even the general region.
I had always though it would be the other way around.

I'm thinking of something like, Americans who take a sudden interest in their genealogy, to go to countries where they had ancestry from and go "find their roots" or whatever and realize the locals just see them as another American tourist. (ie. Someone who is third generation Irish American going to some town in Ireland, thinking he'll be among "one of his own kin" and the locals there seeing nothing in it.)

It seems also odd that Africans would think of African-Americans are more African than American. From what I've heard, many Africans see African-Americans as more American. Black Americans have been in the US longer on average than White Americans and have also lost much more of their ties to Africa than the they do to Europe; African Americans are also rooted in much of American culture and have influenced much of its development.

The situation in South Africa might be different than the Carribean and explain some of the attitude. Since South Africa and the US have both a history of segregation with race/blood playing a role in the ideology and laws, South African blacks might see the US blacks as more like themselves, as fellow "people of colour" than the whites of each others' countries. On the other hand, Carribean blacks, whites, Indians, Chinese etc. can focus on culture without the historical baggage of ideas of blood getting in the way.
 
Old 02-03-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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This is a sidenote of sorts.

I think in the Caribbean the culture is comprised of all the people who live there blended together into one main culture. As a result you will find everyone being culturally quite similar despite race. This produces some interesting results as some aspects of each group's ancestors is lost while some are contributed towards the overall mainstream Caribbean cultures. Chinese Trinidadians for example cannot use chopsticks, non Chinese Jamaicans can cook Chinese food quite well, non Indian Trinidadians can easily tell the difference between a Hindu or Muslim last name, Carnival which stems from European and West African influences is popular with most Caribbean people.

Unlike the US where ,for example, a white person can have a "cultural experience" by going over to let's say a Chinese friend's house ("What am I eating? Taro?? How do you spell that? Is it like a potato? ") the differences are much less strongly defined in the Caribbean. I'm not sure why. I think maybe the small size of the islands forced people to interact more closely and thus form a blended composite culture.

A really good example of all I said above is with the taro. It is extremely common and is cooked in the home by all Caribbean people. It was introduced to the region by Chinese immigrants (brought to replace African slave labour) in the early 1800s and was called by the ruling French at the time "de la Chine" (meaning from China). The name has since been corrupted over the years to dasheen but its popularity remains strong. And nobody thinks of it as Chinese food anymore (or probably even knows its origin), just Caribbean.
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