The winds of change for the Black man are blowing in the air and you don’t have to listen carefully to hear. It’s been a long time coming, and you can feel the winds of change, blowing and growing from a wisp of fresh air, to a gentle breeze into a strong storm and  building up to a raging hurricane. It definitely is not the first and it might not be the last, but this is a chance to not relive the past.

Yes, it been much too long since Blacks have been trodding the wine press. It’s been too long Blacks been taken for granted and treated as mere “hewers of wood and drawers of water” and now put to the test.  Yes, change will be inevitable, but what type of change should we demand and pressure the oppressors to get? Modification of emblems or eradication of an unjust systems yet?


In the Jamaica Observer of June 25: an article titled, “GG rejects racist emblem: King’s House to seek revision of ‘offensive’ image showing white angel standing on black man’s neck”. According to the article, the Governor General (GG), Sir Patrick Allen, accepted as “offensive” a racist image on a British badge he is forced to wear on his breast on official duties.

Since Independence, Jamaican governors general have worn the breast star — one of Britain’s highest honours — with an image depicting a white angel standing on the neck of a chained black man, which has become a flashpoint in the Black Lives Matter protests against racism.

The GG, in an explanatory note, said the 19th century Star of the Order of St Michael and St George, two military saints, depicted St Michael, the Archangel (white/good), as being triumphant over Satan (black/bad). (The GG could have added that is what we are taught in school and at church. It is the system).

Paint st micheal emblem
Great idea of good over evil. Horrifying idea of White is good. Black is bad. Change the emblem or change the system?


The news release. continued, “However, in light of the heightened scrutiny of our iconography in Jamaica under-girded by our history, the Black Lives Matter movement in America, and related issues in the global sphere, it is evident that the image can be offensive”. As such, the GG would “request for a revision of the image to the Lord Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George”.

This revision might be considered a noble gesture by the GG. It is an appeasement. After all, he is adding to a growing list of people and organizations that is petitioning for the emblem to be changed. Some are calling for the removing of statues and changing of flags.

How do you feel? Is it enough? Too little too late? Will this change the lot and parcel of Blacks? Will the treatment of Blacks improve and they get equal rights and justice? Will the blood of the martyrs smile with us from the soil?

Think about it. Isn’t an emblem a reflection or embodiment of the system? The emblem is a symptom of the problem of racism while the mindset, laws and institutionalized  systems are the cause of racism.  All good doctors know that to get rid of a sickness, such as racism, one needs to treat the cause not the symptom.

Imagine a hotel offering nude beaches, gambling, drugs, and prostitution as its main service offering. On its logo, there are images of nudity, card packs, coke pipes and a “madam” with a whip”. These images reflect the hotels services and normal business operations. They have been operating like this for years but recently some decent “Christian” people saw the logo and cried out in opposition.

The hotel is facing a dilemma: change the logo or change the services or change both. Changing the logo is simple and less costly in terms of money, value and effect on current customers. It is mere artwork. Plus, a logo change would appease the few miserable “protesting” souls, while keeping the hotel’s focus and clientele. This is also a more feasible alternative since “behind close doors” some of the “protesters” do participate in nudity, gambling, and prostitution. Furthermore, most people don’t know, don’t care two hoots about what the hotel is doing. However, it would not be a genuine attempt to stop the ignoble services.  

The more noble action is for the company to change its operations (systems) and discontinue nudity, gambling and prostitution. This is the better option in terms of genuine commitment to changing the offensive behaviour and services. However this change would have far reaching consequences for the hotel and its stakeholders. Its core business would be gone. Its ardent and loyal customers would be disgruntled. Life as it knows it would never be the same. Uncertainty and even its very existence could be on the line.


As seen toppling statues and changing emblems will never change the dehumanization of Blacks. A simple apology for the over 400 years of English tyranny and colonialism and a change of emblems would be “smoothing feathers”. Unless all peoples are given equal rights and justice there will be throngs of unheard voices and a crowd and mob do not have a mind. They have a mood. Riots and rebellion will prevail.

As such, should we insist that the GG resigns? After all, he is the head of state and represents the Queen and her institutionalized system of degradation and enslavement of Blacks all over the world.

Should we insist that the government of Jamaica be dismantled and a national referendum held to determine a replacement for a truly independent Jamaican administration?

These are profound question that the weak of heart will find discomforting and even anarchically . Yet, a systematic institutionalized system cannot be changed by simply modifying an emblem. It requires action that will change the system from the core out. It’s a dilemma. Between the devil and the deep blue sea.


By the way, how many of us are brave or committed enough to ask that the laws of Jamaica be repealed so that they represent and reflect the wishes and conditions of most Jamaicans which is Black? How many of us would support the vocabulary of the English language be amended to remove or redefine words such as blacklist, black mail, black sheep etc?

How many of us would ask that the heartless mechanism of capitalism be replaced by a medium of exchange that shows brotherly love rather than “dollar for dollar and pound for pound”?

How many of us would support reparation payments for the 400 years of enslavement of blacks?

How many of us would boycott the products of cosmetic companies such as L’oreal, Johnson and Johnson and Unilever in Jamaica? Not only do these companies promote racism, they also benefit financially from the perpetuation of this crime. They use devious words such as “fair and lovely” and invariable all ideas of beauty are Caucasian based. The damage done to Blacks especially black women is irreparable. They teach us to hate ourselves.

Also, how many of us would sign a petition to outlaw Christianity and any religion that promotes inequality, a white God or any colour god? How many of us would support the burning of all religious artifacts and pictures that depict a white god or Jesus?


Uncle Toms, Oreo Cookies and roast breadfruits are sometimes more dangerous than the white man. Never forget that it was the blacks that killed Malcolm X.

Without being facetious, the prospects of most people wanting a change to the entire system would be like that of a snowball in Jamaica in any month. Sadly to say but most Blacks would find it appalling rather than appealing to topple the existing system that holds them in captivity and degradation. They would find a multitude of reasons why changing the entire system is not advisable.

Actually, you see, many black men/women are white hearted individuals. They process their children’s hair to socialize them to look “white” or even worse, bleach their skins too. They support the horrendous if not gory idea of their daughters’ ears being pierced to “beautify them”. They strive for vain and worldly progress determined and measured by white values. They discriminate against their own black skinned brothers and harbour thoughts such as “ black and ugly like”; nothing black no good, black like sin etc. They even buy their kids white dolls.

A friend of mine calls them Oreo cookies, roast breadfruit, zebras and uncle toms. He believes that Blacks wearing white people’s hair and paint and bleaching skins while protesting that black lives matter is a farce. Blacks striving to be rich by white and capitalist standards is hypocritical. Blacks talking about love and caring and every four or five years voting for a system that doesn’t give education free or provide basic needs for the Black population is patronizing. Blacks supporting a system where the economy prospers, and the Black population suffers is as mentally deranged as Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”. Blacks worshiping a white god is confusing. Indeed, worshiping any god with a colour is deceptive or deception. Sadly, many Blacks are a part of the problem.


The winds of change are blowing but we shouldn’t expect our ship to sail to its destination without some rowing and navigation.


So as the winds of change blow and the struggle against oppression continues let us remember that Apartheid did not come toppling down because of changes to an emblem. It was done after years of defiance, sacrifice and loss of lives that resulted in a change of government by ballot. As Peter Tosh said, “we have to fight, fight against apartheid”. Indeed, I am indebted to Peter Tosh for his contribution to the Black struggle and his song Apartheid could easily be one of the anthems for the current protest.

Peter’s Apartheid chronicled the ignoble regime that had our brothers in captive and degradation in South Africa. Peter Tosh was instrumental in pushing for the freedom of Blacks worldwide and it was regrettably that he died in 1987 before South Africa was set free in 1994. Although not around, Peter left us with profound words and his Equal Rights Album is memorable. “I don’t want no peace. I need equal rights and justice. Gve me my fair share of equal rights and justice”.

Okay. Okay. Bob Marley did contribute to the Black struggle too but he was not, debatable,  a firebrand as Peter Tosh. Interestingly,  I recalled Bob Marley erroneously, in his “Trench Town Rock” song , saying that “one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no PAIN”. Yet, I am sure you will feel some pain, oppressor or the downpressed, when you listen Bob Marley’s song, titled, Babylon System. Could be an anthem too for the Black Lives Matter movement. See lyrics below.


We refuse to be
What you wanted us to be
We are what we are
That’s the way it’s going to be, if you don’t know

Babylon system is the vampire, yea! (vampire)
Suckin’ the children day by day, yeah!
Me say de Babylon system is the vampire, falling empire,
Suckin’ the blood of the sufferers, yeah!

Building church and university, wooh, yeah!
Deceiving the people continually, yeah!
Me say them graduatin’ thieves and murderers
Look out now they suckin’ the blood of the sufferers (sufferers)
Yea! (sufferers)

Tell the children the truth
Tell the children the truth
Tell the children the truth right now!
Come on and tell the children the truth

‘Cause, ’cause we’ve been trodding on ya winepress much too long
Rebel, rebel!
And we’ve been takin’ for granted much too long
Rebel, rebel!

Got to rebel, y’all (rebel)
We’ve been trodding on the winepress much too long, yeah! (rebel)
Yeah! (rebel) Yeah! Yeah!

From the very day we left the shores (trodding on the winepress)
Of our Father’s land (rebel)
We’ve been trampled on (rebel)
Oh now! (takin’ for granted) Lord, Lord

Source: LyricFind



This video may get you teary eyed yet joyful and hopeful.  It was shot in South Africa and depicts how a set of buffaloes saved a young one from lions and crocodiles, despite the situation. It shows hope and what can happen if a set of preys or victims unite against their predators and victors.  If you noticed at times the herd is unsure or afraid of the vicious lions but as soon as ONE buffalo charged the rest followed.  Unity is strength and ONE can make a difference.While watching, be flippant, imagine the buffaloes are Blacks and the lions and crocodiles are Whites and Yellow respectively. 


BlackHistoryStudies on Twitter: "Until the philosophy which holds ...The solution to the problem of victimization and racism lies in the question “Who made me my brother’s keeper? Needless to say there are some White men who are more of a brother than Blacks are brothers to Blacks. Indeed, many times we are stabbed in the back by a man whose skin colour is black.

Summarily, as we strive for change, let us seek a change that uplifts all races, creed and nationality. A poem of mine from the 1983 “View” collection is fitting. 



MY BROTHER’S KEEPER – Clifton BUTTA Neil (1983)

We should all be our brother’s keeper

This would make life much easier;

With me looking out for you

And you looking out for me too.


Are you being your brother’s keeper?

If not so, what are you waiting for?

Do you realize you are the one

Who is putting the pressure on?


Be your brother’s keeper.

Help him to overcome.

If you are his keeper

His things are yours and yours his.



Of course, I couldn’t complete this blog without sharing my Poem “Pressure”. It’s a tribute to George Floyd and all those in the struggle of good over evil. Of course, the wind of change is not just for Blacks but for everyone who is downpressed and deprived of equal rights and justice. Let us keep the pressure on.



The Triangular Trade which consisted of 1) England financing the slave ships to 2) Africa where they collect slaves in exchange for trinkets and then transport them to the 3) West Indies and Americas as a forced/enslaved labour source for the plantation system in Jamaica which provided sugar, molasses and rum which was sent back to 1) England.  

The middle passage or route from Africa to the Caribbean was facilitated by the trade winds which blew the ships with slaves from North Africa all the way to the Caribbean and Americas. It is this same wind that carries storms and hurricanes to the Caribbean, and it is the same wind that gave us the dust storm, June 21 to 24.

The main time black is used positive is with accounts. When you make a profit, you are in the black. Make a loss you are in the red.



Child of a lesser God


Last week I had a very serious conversation with Myself and Me. It was quite revealing too. We realized it has been quite a while since all three of us spoke. As we sat and chatted the topic of  “Am I a child of a lesser god” came up.  You see, I use to wonder if god had something against Blacks or is on the other race’s side. It didn’t bother Me much but Myself was also worried at times and yet somehow, over all these years, we have never resolved the issue.

Even though I recalled the song from Sunday School,  “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and Yellow, Black and White, all are special in his sight. Jesus loves the children of the world”, I had to ask Me and Myself,  if Jesus was really coloured blind or supporting the status quo.   The reality is that I grew up in Jamaica, where more than 90% of the population were Blacks, of charred skin and high melanin yet their lot in life was appalling compared to the minority, Reds, Whites, Yellows and Mixed which were 1.3 percent East Indian, 0.2 percent white, 0.2 percent Chinese and 7.3 percent mixed ethnicity respectively.

Sadly, people like Me felt that it was the Blacks’ fault why they were living in squalor because they did not develop themselves. Me also pointed out that Blacks patronize non Black businesses and this further cause deterioration of Black communities and lives. At first glance, I could say that this is true as many Blacks were tending non Blacks’ gardens while their own gardens were all over grown in weeds.

Poster Black syl johnson
Wondering why my dream never came through, Please tell me what to do. Something is holding me back, Is it because I am Black.  CLICK to watch the 1960’s SYL JOHNSON “Is it because I am Black” Anthem

However, I could also note the foolishness of comparing the development of Blacks in the West with that of their non Blacks counterpart. No White, Red or Yellow skin person was subjected to slavery in Jamaica. They know nothing of being homeless, mass raped, robbed, kidnapped and killed in this little island of 144,000 square miles. Non blacks don’t spend their waking hours worrying about discrimination, prejudice, persecution, and victimization based on colour of skin. They actually spent their entire lives coming up with craft and laws to keep Blacks “in place”.

Indeed, Whites, Indians, and Chinese came to Jamaica as conquerors (invaders), apprenticeships and indentured servants with assets and most importantly being, Free. They didn’t start the race after the other runners were all gone. 

For support, Myself added the glaring fact that Blacks came to Jamaica with nothing, in shackles and chains and against their will. All they had was their souls and that too was soon taken away.  If they managed to start businesses their prices and offerings were not as cheap or competitive as the non Blacks who had a stronger product network and worth. Me, was not amused and sarcastically asked, “How did it happen that Blacks were slaves and now at the bottom of the echelon of the society”.


Racial exploitation requires “tricks in trade and mischievous in business”. You see, in order to build a family, village, or nation, our devious  forefathers used myths, legends, religion and craft as a cohesive measure. Adolph Hitler knew this well and between 1933 to 1945, he built Nazism on the premise of a god who is racist and not coloured blind. Hitler created a myth that God selected the Aryan race (a type of European white) to be master over all races and to rule the earth. He believed that people of my skin hue were mere ” hewers of wood and drawers of water”. Of course that was a terrifying thought among Blacks and other non whites. It was actually horrifying from a Jamaican perspective, bearing in mind Jamaica is “land of wood and water” and this was the 1930’s when Jamaicans were barely adjusting to being free from slavery. A time when Marcus Garvey was alive and  trying to teach Blacks that their ancestors were great and they can be great again.

Hitlposter 1 commandmenter’s hatred and subjugation of non whites were not novel despite being “cruel”. For example, the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament), also taught a similar racist philosophy. The Bible purported that Abraham, because of his faith and monotheistic (one god) view, earned himself a special favour with God. As such, through his off springs, Isaac and Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel, the God of Abraham would make Abraham’s seeds masters of the earth. A super lineage. 

poster bible

Similar to Hitler, seemingly, the Old Testament preached ethnic cleansing,  genocide and xenophobia.

The need to destroy foreign nations and peoples was justified on the notion that these nations (Gentiles) were dogs depraved beyond redemption, (Psalms 106: 32 – 36; Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18:21-30; 20:2-5; etc.). According to the Old Testament, non Israelite in the land widely practiced child sacrifice, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, idolatry and other despicable behaviors worthy of death. Recall Sodom and Gomorrah.

This cleansing or killing of gentiles was recommended by God as noted by Isaiah 40: 17 – “All the Gentiles are as nothing before him, and they are counted to him as vanity and as less than nothing”. This destroying or reducing of a people’s psyche to nothing provides consensual exploitation and creation of ghettos. Hitler’s Nazism was built on similar concepts and this was how a race or peoples is degraded and made children of lesser gods worthy for subjugation.   


Hitler’s low status of non whites and the idea of whites being powerful and the masters of the earth struck the world with a fear that saw many countries “ganging” up (allies) against Hitler and eventually defeating him and Nazism in 1945. The sad part about this is that many Jamaicans fought and died in World War 11 to topple Nazism yet the ugly head of Nazism has been embedded in Jamaican society for more than 400 years before Nazism.  Racial enslavement, prejudice and discrimination. 

Since 1502, with the creation of the first Spanish Garrison (town) in Sevilla Nueva (St. Ann’s Bay), the whites (minority) had established an institution and culture of race superiority and enslavement of the non whites (majority) in Jamaica with the aid of a god. According to the Spaniards, the native Amerindians could not stand up to the level of “cruelty” required to run their plantation economy of cane and tobacco, and Blacks were touted as ideal replacements. Hence the pitiful lot of Blacks in Jamaica as slaves and children of lesser gods was begun and perpetuated.

poster marcus white manThis 400 years of slavery, created a breed of Jamaican Blacks who mimic their white slave owners’ and master’s behaviour and value scheme. These new Blacks did everything in their power to distance themselves from their black skin hue. In Jamaica, we have Blacks telling Blacks that they are “black and ugly”. Beauty is based on Caucasian looks and features. The women are ashamed of their own hair and spend millions of dollars and hours getting their kinky hair “unkinked”. They buy wigs made in the “image and likeness” of other peoples and nations and despite their black skin their minds are “whiter than the Queen of England’ who is the Head of State of Jamaica. On the matter of skin, the men and women cursed their creator and hated their parents blackness so much that they use chemicals on their skins to bleach their blackness to white. These pitiful white washed Black Jamaicans should be pitied instead of ridiculed as the system does teach : “If you are White it is all right; if you are Brown you can stick around but if you are Black you got to get back or get on the attack”. Undoubtedly, lighter skin colour enhanced status quo and economic mobility in Jamaica.

This blaring yet subtle form of racism is ingrained in the average Jamaican’s mind and the slavery mentality wreaked havoc with the dignity and royalty of being Black. The island is a land of few plantations, numerous church properties, countless hair parlours, pharmacies and bars  and many ghettos.  Of course many Black Jamaicans would let you know that they live in modern houses with amenities but this is another way of consoling themselves that they are more privileged ghetto folks. Interestingly,  a ghetto is a part of a city in which members of a minority group live due to oppression as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. In Jamaica, the oppressed group is the majority, Blacks, but the same concept of ghetto abounds.


Thanks to the works of Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887 – 1940) and the Rastafarian (1930 – 1990), the Jamaican Black psyche was positively influenced. These two institutions tried to build Black pride and develop respect and care among Blacks. Albeit, though by different avenues, both tried to get Blacks to appreciate their black skins not as shame but as royalty.


poster marcus if-black-people-were-aware-of-their-glorious-past-then-24119669
I want to teach the Black man to see beauty in his own skin and stop bleaching his skin and looking like what he is not. Liberate the mind and you liberate the body.  CLICK TO WATCH THE FULL SPEECH BY MARCUS GARVEY

Marcus tried a political and commercial solution by forming the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), African Communities League (ACL), the Black Starline and the People’s Political Party (PPP). He taught the importance of the mental and economical development of Blacks. Education was considered super important and Blacks were encouraged to  start their own businesses. His rallying call was “Be Black, Buy Black and think Black”. He envisioned repatriation, a back to Africa movement for Blacks home and abroad. Unfortunately, Africa was not ready for Western Blacks; white washed Black men felt his message was a bit too “black” and the USA and Europe were worried at his political ambitions.  In short he was rejected by African countries, betrayed by white washed Black men and imprisoned and deported by the USA.  For the records, he was not welcomed back to Jamaica by the establishment in 1927 after being deported from the USA. He died in England in June 1940.

However, Marcus Garvey’s work impacted several Jamaicans and some heeded his message warnings and prophecies. Indeed, according to Marcus Garvey, “In life I shall be the flame but in death I shall be a terror to the foes of African liberty”. He influenced many African nations, Black Power movements and most importantly the Rastafarian movement.

The Rastafarians further developed Marcus Garvey’s back to Africa movement and went a step further by deifying Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia, whose coronation in 1930 was believed to be prophesied by Marcus Garvey.  Unlike Marcus, the Rastafarians used a religious attempt to reject the racism of Jamaica. They not only taught Black pride but they also adopted African values, vegetarian life style and condemned Christianity as the religion of the Whites. 

poster peter tosh mama
Peter Tosh used reggae music to spread the new black pride that Rastafari afforded  Jamaicans. In this song “Mama Africa” you can feel the loss Peter is expressing as he wailed and bemoaned the ripping apart of Blacks from Africa. CLICK TO LISTEN ON YOUTUBE 

The Rastafarians agreed with Marcus that ” if Negroes are black and was made in the image of god, then somehow, god must be black”. As such, they decided to look at god from the spectacles of Africans. Ethiopia was emulated.

Reggae music became an effective medium to express the challenges of Blacks. Artistes such as Peter Tosh, created music that was revolutionary and commanding in nature. He liked to humourously point out the negative words in our vernacular associated with black: Black sheep, black list, black as sin and black heart, etc. Indeed, the main time black is positive is in accounts: to be in the black is to be making profits. In the red is a loss. 

As with Marcus, the Rastafarians declined due to the stifling nature of racism, but was still relevant in fostering black consciousness and pride among Blacks. With due respect, Marcus Garvey, Rastafarian and Reggae Music have influenced all races.


Does god have a gender, colour or race? CLICK HERE TO READ MY BLOG ON GOD’S GENDER . It is taken for granted that in the beginning god made man in his own image and likeness. This image and likeness could never be physical traits such as gender, race and colour since God is a spirit and is formless and colourless. Of course, not taken for granted, at times, is the fact that man in turn, made his own god (s) in his own image and likeness. Anthropomorphism was used to bring man’s created gods to life.  As a result, of course, the most powerful man would have the most powerful god and in his colour. Since, history  is not recorded from a victim’s point of view but from the victor’s or conqueror’s point of view, in Jamaica, god is a male, white, blue eyed and straight nosed, reflecting the god of the slave master. Most pictures of Jesus depicted a Caucasian.

Although, Marcus Garvey knew that the creator has no colour, he believed that Blacks (slaves) should have a black god who had their interest in mind since other races did same. Adopting the god of another race that was biased or prejudiced  to one’s race was an inferior complex worthy of subjugation according to Marcus.

The notion of individual gods for races is divisive and the brotherhood of man is the loser. Since equality is impossible, it would mean that one god would be greater than the others. Also, of course, common sense would indicate that “nothing that is created should be the creator” and there is only one creator. Many gods but one creator.

poster marcus leaderIndeed, man in his attempt to create his own god had ignored the Creator, the Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent one. Man in his attempt to control his environment has created religions, laws and customs to establish race, class and creed for ruling and enslavement purposes. Therefore, since gods are man’s creation, god is not the problem. There is no lesser or greater god. Man is the problem.



Indeed, the racism of the Old Testament, and its folly were made bare by Jesus Christ who eventually rejected many of the tenets of Judaism that he learnt as a child. Vengeance was replaced with forgiveness, hatred with love and bias with open arms. Simultaneously Jesus also realized that there were some non Jews who had better morals and virtues than were some Jews.

It actually, took a Canaanite woman (Gentile) to change Jesus from his racist Judaic ways to a more open embracing way. The Canaanite lady (a non Jew) wanted Jesus yo heal her very sick daughter and had cried to Christ for help. Christ, (being a true Jew) shew his racist views and told the lady that he came for the Jews (the chosen ones) and not for Gentiles (dogs).

Matthew 15: 21 – 28. And Jesus said, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” The Canaanite woman would have no such nonsense and correctly told Christ:  “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”  It was eureka moment for Christ and he immediately realized his error and decided to help the dog,  and said “Woman, great is your faith!”.

It seemed, this encounter between lion and dog changed history and fulfilled Christ’s purpose on Earth. It opened a door for Christ to extend his mercies beyond Israel. It made Christ realized that there were wicked Jews who do not do the will of the Lord, and there were non Jews who do the will of the Lord. Christ shared his new found revelations with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10: 29 -37. Jesus told a story of how a man (Jew) was robbed but two of his fellow Jews did nothing to help. How ever a non Jew (Samaritan) helped. Jesus then asked “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”  The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Everyone is his brother’s keeper.

As seen, even though the Old Testament touted racism, genocide and ethnic cleansing, Jesus Christ dismissed them as old wine  that can no longer provide pathways to righteousness or happiness. In Matthew 12 vs 50, Christ noted: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Indeed, John 10 vs 16 explained it further with Christ saying: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Seems there are good people in every race. 

As such, the idea of greater and lesser gods is really a figment of the imagination, albeit diabolic and divisive. It is merely man’s attempt to prove who has the better imaginary friend and provider at the expense of another man. There is only one Creator and one people. Gods are unnecessary.


For fun, let’s take a spin on the human race idea in the form of an Olympic race. Imagine, it is the day of the race and the world awaits the running of the biggest event on the International stage. One could sense the various tensions abounding. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat hovered in the air over the different races. Adrenaline and testosterone flowed as the competitors got ready for the great race, dubbed, the Human Race. At stake is the reputation and title of which race is superior and best skin of the world.

Three competitors representing the three major power houses of race distinctions: Caucasian (whites), Mongoloid (Chinese and Indians) and Negroid ( Blacks).

As the announcer introduced the runners  one could sense the electrifying vibration that unified the mass while surreptitiously enforcing the division of humans. First to be announced were the Caucasians. The Caucasian trotted unto the race track as favourite. His running gear was of high quality. Spikes and arm band were brand named items. As he took off his sweat shirt and pants, his biceps and triceps as well as legs and thighs bulged and shew the benefits of training and exercising with the best equipment and food.

Second to be introduced was the Mongoloid. The Mongoloid ran unto the track and did a double somersault to the amusement of the crowd. The crowd erupted as he did several push ups as part of his limbering routine. His gear reflected state of the art designs and style. His red and yellow track shoes were eye dazzling: made in China of course.

poster marcus confidenceAs they announced the Negro, it dawned on everyone that the Negro was not at the starting blocks. The Negro was still in the dressing room, unsure of what to do next. His sporting gear was his black skin, his arm band was the scars from his chains and bangles and his spikes were his hardened foot sole. His arms were strong, not from exercise but from hours of plantation work. As he approached the starting blocks, the crowd jeered at his nakedness and sad lot in life.

As he entered the field but before he could reach his blocks, he heard the starter’s gun went off. Imagine, the human race had begun without the black man being in his starting blocks. He looked to the heaven in disbelief but there was only blue sky. He looked at the starter, who smiled and said, “Hurry up, Run on, join the race”.  He looked at himself and smiled as he heard a small quiet inner voice saying, “Run not, do stay. They are going in the wrong direction, anyway”.


Despite the Old Testament and Hitler’s Nazism supporting the idea of a greater god and superiority of race and skin colour, common sense teaches that such notion is a result of greed, power grabs, narcissism and schizophrenic tendency. Naturally, man’s created god would take his own skin colour and all other colours would be deficient. Hence, the lot and position of Blacks in Jamaica is not a lesser or greater god situation, but just sheer racial skin colour hegemony started by Europeans and perpetuated by “white washed Black Jamaicans”.

poster marcus the-man-who-is-not-ablee-to-develop-and-use-25279867Indeed, god is a title and anything can be god., even your car. As Peter Tosh once said, god is dog spelt back way.  So what is important is the Creator of the heavens, earth and its fullness and that is not god. The Creator is an omnipresent, omnipotent and omnipresent thing that makes everything that became gods. .

Enslavement and poverty of one race, class or creed to the detriment of another is cruel and is backward thinking. Using god or skin to justify the subjugation of peoples is merely “tricks in trade and mischievous in business. Truth is, there are some evil people in every race,class or creed.  Truth is, instances can be found of Whites enslaving Whites and Blacks enslaving  Blacks.

Being subjected to prejudice, squalor and ghettos is not the works or neglect of an inferior god. It is not instances of god being asleep and not paying attention. Maybe, as a famous radio host once said, “God gave man intelligence and allowed man to run his own affairs. God in the mean time is busy dealing with the other planets in the universe”. 

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Our lot in life is a result of the lack of brotherly love, within races and among races. It is simply a reflection of the greed and power struggles of humans. It is a constant struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor with the roles changing.  Interestingly, as scripted, any attempt to control earth without respecting the order of the Creator and creation will result in the captivity of both the captives and the captors as well as the enslavement of both the one doing the enslaving and the one being enslaved. 



Being poor is not nice, is inhumane and it should be a crime, illegal and punishable at law. Yet, poverty is such a part of our society that we take it for a given. It is institutionalized and common place. Actually, being poor, for some, is so much a lot in life that many have resigned themselves to being poor. Adding to this resignation, is the fact that poverty can create a vicious cycle of persistent poverty. Indeed, poverty is so ingrained in the society that sociologists even have measurement for it. First class, second class and third class “poverty”.

Sadly, many people benefit from the existence of poverty as many great nations are built and structured with poverty as a main stay feature. Then again, some people are afraid that if the poor is no longer poor it might affect the current status quo. Others also find that when there are poor people around, they feel motivated because they can say they are better than “them”. Yes, for some the existence of the poor makes them feel adequate and fulfilled?  Some even believe that if there are no poor people the world would be in disarray?

So it begs questions: “Do we really want to see a change where poverty is discredited and everyone is living like “human beings?”


Ben Carson believed that Poverty is also a “state of mind”. 

Is poverty really a state of mind as suggested by Ben Carson, who believed that people with the wrong mind-set, will be poor. According to Ben, “you can give them everything in the world — they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.” He added that helping people may not better their lives.

Interestingly, Mr. Carson then credited his mother for helping him focus on his education and rise out of poverty.  “If everybody had a mother like mine, nobody would be in poverty,” This aspect of Mr. Carson’s speech has not been underscored. WITHOUT ASSISTANCE HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A BUM.

Then again, is it that the poor is a part of life and will always be with us as implied by Jesus Christ and as such it is fruitless to try and eradicate poverty? Matthew 26:11, The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have Me. We must however hastily add that Jesus did suggest a fix for poverty when he advised his disciples  to “Sell your possessions and give to the poor” (Luke 12:33).

Unlike Mr. Carson, many people such as Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro believed poverty was “created” and is real. Folks such as Marx and Lenin believed poverty is real and blamed Capitalism and market economies as the main contributor to poverty.


Everyone knows poverty. You are either in poverty or trying to keep out of poverty. However,  the United Nations definition: “Fundamentally, poverty is the inability of having choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation”.

Image result for castro quote on povertyThe causes of poverty have been cited to include the inability of poor households to invest in property and education; limited access to credit; production of more poverty via inherited poverty and discrimination.

War and violence due to politics, religion or commerce are also some of the primary causes of poverty. Unemployment also contributes. 

How could we leave out Colonialism and slavery. Emancipation in 1838 saw the Blacks having their feet unshackled but their minds fettered. After years of forced labour, Blacks were set free with only their brawn and brain as their sole worldly possessions. Contrast the lot of the Africans vs their brothers, Whites, Indians and Chinese who all came over as free men and are the owners of the main factors of production.


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Misanthropy is not a commonly used word but unfortunately its meaning is common among people, race,class and creed.  Having bad will towards fellow human beings is unmistakably and sadly prevalent in today’s society. Even the blind can see that with the level of knowledge, development and resource in the world there is no excuse for poverty. Yet poverty abound amidst much wealth.

Maybe the time has come for us to think about outlawing poverty. Poverty should become persona non grata. Government would put in the relevant structures, resources and policies to ensure that poverty is eradicated. Education and schools would be used to kill ignorance while tolerance, goodwill and understanding will be used to convert misanthropy into philanthropy.

Seriously, for just a moment, imagine if there was a law that made it illegal to be poor. Each person in poverty would be arrested along with the heads of government for the town or community in which the poor was found. In other words, if a person is found living in poverty, he or she would first be determined for fitness and if found fit then to the penitentiary at hard labour. The respective members of parliament or congress men would also be taken through the same process.  If the reason for the poverty is government oriented then the politician would be arrested.

Mark Zuckerberg
May 25, 2017. Mark Zuckerberg,  receives honorary degree from Harvard, his former university, 13 years after he famously dropped out to start Facebook. 

On a more palatable note, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is also concerned about curbing poverty but is calling for a universal basic income to boost personal potential and build economic growth. He is touting the idea of a universal basic income – where the government unconditionally pays all citizens a small amount of money to cover basic needs and to cushion them to try new things.”

Supporters of a universal basic income argue that people might decide to acquire more education or change their career, to make themselves more attractive to the labour market. Others might start a business. Finland and a few other countries are experimenting with the idea.

However, there is always the chance that it could be used as an excuse to work as little as possible and as such poverty should be outlawed.


One of the first implications of outlawing poverty is the need for a Paradigm shift in terms of our values and measurement of success. The usual “guns vs butter” economical decision will need revisiting and maybe empowerment could be the key motivator.

Full employment of human resources, and an educated and healthy nation supported by government could lead to the development of more innovation and technology. For example, Zuckerman admitted   “If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, I wouldn’t be standing here today” (as a billionaire and owner of Facebook).

Of course there are some scary and unsettling implications for the outlawing of poverty. Just the thought of eliminating poverty by outlawing it, is a careless reckless idea conjured only by people smoking Champagne and drinking Havana cigars. There are no guarantees that crime and violence, diseases, and inhumane living conditions would be drastically reduced if poverty is outlawed.

Furthermore, being rich is motivational and who doesn’t want to be rich? Think of the displacement it could cause a few rich folks. (According to the 80/20 rule, 80% of the wealth of the world is owned by 20% of the population.) Wouldn’t this border on communism and authoritarian rule. Many will point out that it will even create a military police state which will deprive citizens of basic human rights and democratic freedom. Cuba is seen as an example.

Advocates of capitalism will let you know,that any attempt to interfere with the market structure will result in inefficiencies and bureaucracy. Of course, Cuba’s trump card would include the inequalities, inefficiencies and human rights violations that are traits and characteristic of capitalism and imperialism.


Ben Carson feels that poverty can be a state of mind and this is true. There are instances where the individual level of intrinsic or extrinsic motivation can help determine a life of poverty or wealth. Some misled folks also believe that some races are by characteristic lazy and not enterprising. Fortunately, we need not pay attention to such poppycock as the evidence shows that there are bums in all races. What is real is that poverty is an institution created by man and anything that man created can be destroyed. So far Apartheid and Slavery have been toppled and any effort to discredit and remove poverty should be welcomed.

Of course, outlawing poverty may see changes in the existing status quo and might require a paradigm shift. There will definitely be winners and losers to an extent but the glory will go towards humanity. There are no guarantees that a poverty free world will eliminate crime, violence and injustice but just imagine. Indeed, we may just be changing the types of crimes and ills but why stick to the evil we know  when we can venture into a new and exciting world.  Just imagine such nonsense. Poverty is illegal.


Clifton Neil is a university lecturer in marketing and a lover of history and literature. Contact – Twitter. @cliftongneil




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For her Winter Solstice gift, December 22, 2016, Serena Williams,  the 22-time grand-slam winner announced on Reddit her intentions to wed Alexis Ohanian, the 33-year-old co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit, who is a White man.

Of course the internet began buzzing and tweeting with positive and negative sentiments. Some folks even argued whether Serena can continue representing real Black women while marrying a White man.  Serena qualified all responses by noting that “when she dates someone she never sees color as she dates who she has chemistry with”. She also noted that Alexis has treated her better than any Black man she had dated and we know Serena has dated a slew of Black men including rappers Drake and Common as well as former NFL linebacker Lamar Arrington and basketball star Amare Stoudemire. Who feels it knows it. Then again, who cares?

Without defending Serena’s interracial preference, we must be cognizant of the fact that more Black men marry White women than do Black women marry White men.  Truth to be told, there are great catches, oops, great prospects, in every race on earth. In Jamaica we say, ” every hoe has its stick a bush”, meaning that everything has its fit.

It does seem as if Love, beauty, care, protection and compassion are not skin or race restricted. Neither are bigotry, delinquency, ugliness and poor parent hood restricted to race, class or creed. Indeed, the only person incapable of love is either dead or severely mentally disturbed.


According to in 2014, 14% percent of Black men were married to non-Black women which is up from 11% in 2010. Only half (7%) of those non-Black women were White. Similarly, the Pew Research Center released a report finding that 25% of Black male newlyweds in 2013 married non-Black women compared to 12% of Black women who “married out”.  However Asian women and Native Americans still have higher rates of interracial marriage. Black women were the least likely to marry non-Black men at only 6% in 2014, and only 4/% were married to White men.

2014 Marriage Chart


It does seem as if most successful Black men are being stereo typed as prone to marrying White women based on the conspicuous behaviour of plenty rap stars, athletes and musicians choosing to date or marry interracially when they achieve fame. Fact is that the same is not true for the bulk of successful Black men. By analyzing census data, Toldson and Marks found that 83 percent of married black men who earned at least $100,000 annually got hitched to Black women. The same is the case for educated Black men of all incomes. Eighty-five percent of Black male college graduates married Black women. Generally, 88 percent of married Black men (no matter their income or educational background) have Black wives.

On a sexual note,, a study from Rutgers University in New Rochelle, NJ, has concluded that approximately 87 percent of American White women have had or fantasize about having sexual relations with African American males.  Interestingly enough, the same study says only 13% of white women said they would would marry and raise a family with a Black man.


Why are more people having favourable attitudes towards interracial marriage even if they would not do it  themselves? The major contributing factors would include legality, morality  and shift in attitude due to  change in values and the millennial kids now maturing.


The simply reason why more Blacks date and marry Whites is because it is now legal. Indeed, we are indebted to Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who were thrown in jail in Virginia for violating the state’s rules against multicultural marriages fifty years ago. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled miscegenation laws—or laws preventing people of different races and ethnicities from getting married—unconstitutional. (By the way Loving is their real Please read this better than Mills & Boon real life love story at

Now, Decades later, naturally, interracial marriage is now the highest it has ever been in the United States, up 14 percent compared with what it was in 1967 when the courts ruled in favor of Richard and Mildred Loving.


Genesis 2 vs 24 suggests a “man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” but  (Deuteronomy 7:3–4did not encourage the inter marriage of the Israelite with other peoples.  However, the reason for this command was not due to skin color but rather religious. It seemed God felt that people of other races were worshippers of false gods and the Israelite would be led astray from God if they intermarried with idol worshippers. Self preservation?

More intense, Hitler and his followers will let you know that race should not mixed as some races are inferior and will water down the real “master” race. (The verdict is still out. Science has not shown racial supremacy and The Old Testament writers can’t be subpoenaed).

Attitude change to Black-White Marriage

Americans’ attitudes about interracial marriage have changed dramatically over the past 55 years, moving from the point in the late 1950s when disapproval was well over 90%, to the point today when approval is approaching 90%.

Approval of black-white marriage is higher among younger Americans especially the millennial kids (18 – 34), and lowest among those 65 and older.  Yes, the millennial generation has grown up and now they are parents. Their attitudes, behaviors and perceptions are different from that of their conservative elderly parents and fore parents. Colour and race taboo have been significantly downplayed by them and even replace d by diversity, liberalism and alternative lifestyles.

However, Census data indicated that black-white marriages in reality remain fairly rare — although they have increased from 167,000 in 1980 to 558,000 in 2010, they still represented less than 1% of all married couples.


Ebony plays with Ivory.

Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney seem to believe that it takes ebony and ivory to make music on a piano. Well, music played on a piano uses two colour keys: black and white. The white keys are more than the black keys yet music require both colours. Although a poor analogy, it is possible for some people to make music and possible find love doing inter racial.


Fortunately or unfortunately, even the blind can see that since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 in the Caribbean and the Pilgrims on the Mayflower  in 1620 in the USA, Whites are “superior” to Blacks in status quo and power. The church, the school and the civic organizations all reinforced this false notion in an attempt to prolong the evils of slavery. In primary school we were subtly taught ” “If you are white, it is all right and if you are brown you may stick around but if you are black you better get to the back”. Peter Tosh defiantly added  “or get on the attack”.

Needless to say, apart from melanin and its accompanying nuances, Whites are the same as Blacks. They all have two eyes, ears, hands and feet. They both go to the bathroom, have sex, get kids, and are treated unfairly by narcissistic and chauvinistic males and females. Beauty abounds in all races and for proof, the World Beauty Pageant winners have not been restricted to Black and White women.


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Folks usually joke that the USA is such a land of opportunity that it can afford even a poor Black boy to grow up to be a rich White woman. Rudely, Micheal Jackson was used as the ideal example of this. However, many Black women in the USA and the Caribbean have also fallen victims to this “plastic” version of success and beauty. Indeed, Black women are spending millions of dollars each year to look WHITE and “enhance their beauty”. Many have processed their hair to get it straight as if they are ashamed of their so called kinky hair. Some have gone further by bleaching their skins to look white as well.

Understandably, we can be sympathetic with these black brothers and sisters who strive to be “white” and denied their charcoal skin. After all, as mentioned, for centuries Blacks have suffered the indignity of physical rape, robbing, kidnapping and killing mainly by the hands of Europeans under Slavery. They have been stripped not only of their garbs but also of their soul and mind and identity. Despite Emancipation in 1838 in the Caribbean and 1864 in the USA, the black psyche has been warped so badly that many Blacks have found it easier to look and behave like their former white slave owners than to struggle to be free mentally. There is little comfort in reminding them that the ancient Greeks also had slaves who were not Negroes but white men who had been taken captive in war.

A friend of mine sarcastically call these type of Blacks, “Oreo cookies” or “roasted breadfruit”: Dark skin on the outside but white beneath. His claim is that if a Black brother wants a Black sister, he has little choice as the sisters look like White women. He jokingly asked, “What does it benefit the black brother to choose a “black” white woman over a white woman. Is it better to have a real woman who is white than a confused woman who is black?” Quite a dilemma.

However, thanks to Marcus Garvey (1887 – 1940), his rally call for Black consciousness has not fallen on deaf ears and there are a few brothers and sisters have developed a sense of black pride that is creating a glimmer of hope.

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An excerpt from Albert Einstein’s Essay on Racial Bias supports Marcus Garvey’s cry for Blacks to “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery as none but ourselves can free our minds” in his 1946 essay on racial bias against the Blacks in USA.

“A large part of our attitude toward things is conditioned by opinions and emotions which we unconsciously absorb as children from our environment. In other words, it is tradition — besides inherited aptitudes and qualities — which makes us what we are. We but rarely reflect how relatively small as compared with the powerful influence of tradition is the influence of our conscious thought upon our conduct and convictions.
“It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better. We must try to recognize what in our accepted tradition is damaging to our fate and dignity — and shape our lives accordingly.
“I believe that whoever tries to think things through honestly will soon recognize how unworthy and even fatal is the traditional bias against Negroes.
“What, however, can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by word and deed, and must watch lest his children become influenced by this racial bias”.


I am still not sure if inter racial marriage is cool especially for the children of the union who find themselves mid stream, neither black nor white.  Yet, today’s society is wreaking such havoc on the institution of marriage that if a man or woman chooses to marry he or she should be commended because the current level of liberalism, alternative lifestyles and patterns of broken marriages can easily deter people from marrying.

The choice of to whom to marry should be each person’s prerogative since value and love lie in the eyes of the beholder. At the end of the day what is important is the extent to which the brotherhood of man can be pursued and attained. Of course, malicious self interest is misguided and Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, begged us to ditch racism, class, and bigotry and get hitched with understanding, tolerance and  goodwill, In short, philanthropy vs misanthropy. Bob Marley put Selassie’s words of wisdom to music and came up with the thought provoking reggae hit, “War”. Then again, who cares.

Clifton Neil is a university lecturer in marketing and a lover of history and literature. Contact – Twitter. @cliftongneil



I was so relieved when Hurricane Matthew went west and avoided Jamaica on Monday October 3, 2016. It spared us the grief, loss of life and damages that a hurricane can do. However, I was saddened when I saw what Hurricane Matthew did to Haiti, our neighbor. So imagine my chagrin when I noticed many Jamaicans being annoyed that they had spent thousands of dollars preparing for a hurricane that didn’t come. The Haitians, I am sure, would have been more thankful and appreciative than us if the hurricane had slipped them by.

Adding injury to insult, these same ungrateful Jamaicans and misguided folks also blamed Haiti’s calamity and poverty on dubious things such as voodoo practices. Yet, the truth is that although Jamaica was the star in the crown of England during the heyday of sugar and slavery in the Caribbean, according to Adam Smith in 1776, Saint Domingue (Haiti) was “the most important of the sugar colonies of the West Indies.” Beating out even its neighbour, Santo Domingo.

It does beg the question though: what went wrong? Why is Haiti so impoverished, disease ridden, and suffering so much? It seems that even God and man is against them. Nature in the form of earthquakes, floods and wind and man as Nations have plundered, rape, robbed, killed and kidnapped them repeatedly. This may justify ignorant onlookers ludicrously believing that Haiti’s poverty and lack of development are because god is against Haiti.

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HISPANIOLA: One island 2 countries. Haiti, formerly St. Domingue and Dominican Republic formerly Santo Domingo.

The fact is that Haiti is suffering because its people are Black and it became a nation of free blacks and coloured people in 1804 at a time when blacks in the west were seen as slaves or “people of a lesser god”.  Using bullets instead of ballots, it defeated France’s army and this embarrassment to the white psyche of Napoleon Bonaparte and France in 1803, is not easily forgiven, and could not go unpunished, not by god but by man. Yes, their calamity is for being free blacks.


Before the Europeans came to the Americas, the Caribbean were striving economies with great peoples such as the Incas, Mayas, Aztecs, Arawaks and Tainos. December 1492, Christopher Columbus sponsored by Spain landed on an island which he called La Isla Española, or the “The Spanish Island,” . The name was eventually Anglicized to Hispaniola. The original Taino inhabitants called  the island Quisqueya (or Kiskeya), which means “mother of the earth”.  It was also called “Ayti,” (Haiti) meaning “mountainous land.”

The Spaniards mistreated the indigenous  Taino population, pillaging their villages, seizing their women and committing acts of violence. By 1514, the killing and maiming of the Taino were so widespread that a priest Bartolome de las Casas, who was sympathetic  and  shocked by the treatment of “this most lovable and tractable people,” unwittingly suggested  that Africans were better made for enslavement. Here began the enslavement of Africans in the west.

Spain halfheartedly continued its rule of the Island but France and Britain also had expansionist ideas and in the early 1600s, the first French settlers began to occupy western Hispaniola as the Spaniards stuck to the eastern part. The three nations battled each other for control of Hispaniola.


September 1697, with the Treaty of Ryswick, Spain recognized France’s presence on Hispaniola and ceded the western third of the island. The French called their new territory Saint Domingue and the Spanish called theirs Santo Domingo. In essence, the island of Hispaniola now became two countries on one island.Saint-Domingue, known as the “Pearl of the Antilles,” became France’s most lucrative colony, holding world production records for sugar and coffee by the end of the 18th century. Santo Domingo, on the other hand was neglected by the Spaniards.

Large-scale and labor-intensive sugar production necessitated large labor force, and the colonists begin importing more slaves from Africa into St. Domingue. According to a study by the American Library of Congress, by the end of the 18th century, there were about 40,000 white landowners, 25,000 black or interracial freedmen and 60,000 slaves in the Spanish colony (Santo Domingo) compared with approximately 30,000 whites, 27,000 freedmen, and at least 500,000 black slaves in its French counterpart (St. Domingue).

This outnumbering of Blacks to whites by more than 10 – 1 had a profound effect on the colony of St.  Domingue. The Free blacks and many mullattoes acquired plantations, and according to an 18th century French Communiqué:

“These men are beginning to fill the colony and it is of the greatest perversion to see them, their numbers continually increasing amongst the whites, with fortunes often greater than those of the whites . . . Their strict frugality prompting them to place their profits in the bank every year, they accumulate huge capital sums and become arrogant because they are rich, and their arrogance increases in proportion to their wealth. In many districts the best land is owned by the half-castes. . . These coloreds imitate the style of the whites and try to wipe out all memory of their original state”
— Colonial administrators writing to the Ministry of the Marine


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The 1791 Haitian Revolution secured Black independence and freedom in the former French colony and sounded the death knell for the European slave trade, in 1838.

Despite and maybe because of the increase in the wealth and importance of Free Blacks and Mullattoes, the French settlers  mistreated the Blacks and in 1757 François Makandal, a maroon leader, conspired to poison all the whites, including other slaves who couldn’t be trusted, in a plot intended to spread to “all corners of the colony.” This revolt though suppressed, officially started the Haitian Revolution. Indeed, “Maroons who were fugitive slaves were crucial to the fight for Haiti’s independence.

The French administrators responded by fighting fire with fire and in May 1771, Louis XV, the monarch of France, set new restrictions which elaborated on the Code Noir of 1685 and mulattoes found that they were stripped of many of their freedoms and privileges in the colony.

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During this period, Dutty Boukman (Boukman Dutty) who was an African man, enslaved in Haiti, was one of the most visible early leaders of the  Haitian Revolution. It is believed Dutty Boukman was a self-educated slave born on the island of Jamaica. He was later sold by his British master to a French plantation owner after he attempted to teach other Jamaican slaves to read.  His large size, warrior-like appearance, and fearsome temper made him an effective leader and helped spark the Haitian Revolution.

According to some contemporary accounts, on or about 14 August 1791 Boukman presided over a ceremony at the Bois Caiman in the role of houngan (priest) and Cecile Fatiman (priestess) prophesied of an upcoming resistance movement and revolt that would free the slaves of St. Domingue. Boukman was killed by the French in November 1791, just a few months after the beginning of the revolt and his head publicly displayed in an attempt to dispel the aura of invincibility that Boukman had cultivated.

Toussaint L’ouverture.

General Toussaint Louverture, the Blackman that embarrassed Napoleon

If one of the most dangerous things in the world is an educated man, imagine an educated Free Black man. In 1791, such a Free Black man by the name of Toussaint L’ouverture, inspired by events of the American Revolution of 1776 came to power.The American Declaration stated “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

While Toussaint was fighting for Independence in St. Domingue, the French Revolution (1789 until 1799) began and far-reaching social and political upheaval took place in France. The Revolution overthrew the French monarchy, established a republic and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon that rapidly brought many of its principles to Western Europe and beyond. You can imagine the inspiration these developments were giving to Toussaint and the Blacks: ” Liberty, equality and fraternity”

Although L’Ouverture and his successor, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, succeeded in re-establishing order and renewing the economy of Saint Domingue, which had been badly devastated, the new leader in France, Napoleon Bonaparte, could not accept having France’s richest colony governed by a Black man. Succumbing to the complaints of former colonists who had lost their plantations in the colony, a large expedition was mounted to conquer the Blacks and re-establish slavery. Led by Napoleon’s brother-in-law, General Leclerc, the expedition turned into a disaster and napoleon suffered his Caribbean Waterloo.

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Napoleon Bonaparte met his first “waterloo” at St. Domingue when he encountered Toussaint in 1802.

The newly independent United States under President Thomas Jefferson reassured the French (new independent state) that he opposed independence in Saint-Domingue and pledged to support Napoleon’s agenda. France still lost the war and in April 1803, The Louisiana Purchase Treaty is signed and Napoleon ceded its North American territory to the United States and withdrew from the western hemisphere.

Toussaint Louverture successfully defeated the French but was tricked and deported to France where he died in jail in 1802. As he was being transferred to France, he famously warned his captors that the rebels would not repeat his mistake:  In overthrowing me you have cut down in Saint Domingue only the trunk of the tree of liberty; it will spring up again from the roots, for they are numerous and they are deep.


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The evolution of Haiti’s flag since independence in 1804. Dessalines had ripped out the white from the French flag.  Seems the white colour got back in, subtly.

Indeed, on January 1, 1804, Dessalines proclaimed Haiti’s independence, signaling the formation of the world’s first black republic and becoming the first independent nation in the Caribbean, and the second democracy in the western hemisphere. Dessalines created the new republic’s flag by simply ripping out the white fabric from the French tricolor of red, white and blue, with the remaining red and blue representing the unity of blacks and mulattoes

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French Flag

against the whites.

He published a Declaration of Independence, signed by himself and Henry Christophe, and the colony “Saint-Domingue” is abolished forever. The original Taino name of Hayti “land of mountains,” is officially restored.

The independent Republic of Haiti that eventually emerged in 1804 was never an equal among the fraternity or brotherhood of Western nations. French troops remained in the eastern part of Hispaniola (Santo Domingo) and France actively lobbied England, Spain and the United States to isolate and ostracized the fledgling nation politically and economically. France emphasized that Haiti was a threat to the countries’ plantation system and slaveholders. The global community shunned Haiti, and boycotted its merchants which is a major contributing factor to Haiti’s later impoverishment.

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Great heroes of Haiti whose efforts taught us that real freedom can only exist when both the captors and the captives are free

To make a bad matter worse, France, the spurned former colonial ruler, fumed at its losses and in 1825, crippled by an international embargo with a French flotilla of war ships threatening invasion, Haiti was compelled to pay a king’s ransom or “independence debt” of 150 million gold francs — estimated to be ten times the country’s annual revenues. Haiti, in effect, was forced to pay reparations for its freedom and to compensate French settlers and slaveowners for their lost plantation lands and slaves. Although the indemnity was later reduced to 90m gold coins, the debt crippled the Caribbean nation, which did not finish paying it off to French and American banks until 1947.  It further set the stage for many decades of Haitian economic misery and underdevelopment and becoming one of the poorest nations in the Western hemisphere

“We Haitians know that a big reason why we are suffering today is because we were forced to pay France for our freedom. If we were not punished for our independence long ago, we would have had a better time,” water seller Jean-Marc Bouchet said on a dusty, unpaved street in Port-au-Prince. (

Whilst this is true, the revolutionary wars also contributed to the country’s demise as it had destroyed nearly all of  Haiti’s colonial infrastructure and production capabilities. Noticeably too, the big estates were divided among the population and soon, almost every Haitian owned some land but hardly anyone could live from it since the allotments were too small and the new owners struggled to agree on a shared management of the land.

The problem was compounded by Haiti’s ethnically diverse population. “The slaves came from over a hundred different ethnic groups and originally had nothing to do with each other”.

The 20th century ushered in an era of American occupation from 1915 to 1934 and totalitarian regimes under the Duvaliers from 1957 to 1987. After decades of political suppression, Haiti had new democratic elections and in 1991 President Jean-Bertrand Aristide took office and was ousted just months later, reinstated and ousted again. In 2003, Haiti became the world’s first former colony to demand reparations (in the form of debt restitution) from a former colonial power. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government conservatively calculated the value of the restitution due at some $21.7 billion. Although in 2001, the French parliament had unanimously approved a law recognizing the slave trade as a crime against humanity, France responded to Haiti’s petition with fury. It angrily rejected the lawsuit and joined with Washington in brazenly fomenting a coup d’état against Aristide, who was ousted on Feb. 29, 2004.


In 1795, in the Treaty of Basilea, Spain had ceded the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo to France and as such both Western and Eastern Hispaniola were under French Rule. After its losses to Haiti (Saint Domingue) in 1804, the French in 1809 returned it to Royal Spanish rule. The Spaniards not only tried to re-establish slavery in Santo Domingo, but many of them also mounted raiding expeditions into Haiti to capture Blacks and enslave them as well. In 1822, fearful the French would mount another expedition from Spanish Santo Domingo to re-establish slavery, as they had threatened to do; Haiti’s President Jean-Pierre Boyer sent an army that invaded and took over Santo Domingo; abolished slavery and incorporated it into the Republic of Haiti.

For the next 22 years the whole island of Hispaniola was unified under Haitian control. Due to their loss of political and economic control, the former Spanish ruling class deeply resented the occupation by these former slaves. Dominicans call the period “The Haitian Occupation”,

Religious and cultural life also suffered under the Haitian occupation. The Haitians, associated the Roman Catholic Church with the French colonists who had so cruelly exploited and abused them before independence, confiscated all church property in the east, deported all foreign clergy, and severed the ties of the remaining clergy to the Vatican. For Dominicans, who were much more strongly Roman Catholic, such actions seemed insulting.

As a result, during the late 1830s, an underground resistance group, La Trinitaria, was organized under the leadership of Juan Pablo Duarte in Santo Domingo. After multiple attacks on the Haitian army, and because of internal discord among the Haitians, the Haitians eventually retreated. On February 27, 1844, the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola was officially declared independent and the name República Dominicana (Dominican Republic) was adopted.

Strife between (as well as within) Haiti and Santo Domingo was constant. While both countries struggled with democracy, economically they began to diverge and the two countries’ fortunes got reversed. Haiti which was once the Pearl of the Antilles was boycotted, burdened by heavy reparation payments and becoming impoverished while the  lighter-skinned Dominicans started to look down on the darker-skinned Haitians  as Dominica’s economy prosper as the world embraced them.

Haiti’s challenges and grief despite Acts of God (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes) and Acts of Man (deforestation and cholera), stem not from voodoo but from the fact that they are Africans who “rudely” changed their lots in life and dare to be free in 1803. So as we criticize Haiti, let’s remember that, fortunately or unfortunately, when Haiti got its independence in 1803, and took a road to being hungry yet free, we in Jamaica were slaves, well fed but chained and was a colony.

A POEM FOR HAITI – Clifton “NOTCLIF” Neil (Written on Oct. 16, 2016 @ Tuff Gong, Jamaica while waiting  for my daughter rehearsing for a concert)

NOTCLIF hanging out at Tuff Gong Studios, Jamaica, Oct 16, 2016

As you all belittle the impoverished island Haiti

Be sure to know you making their burden much more weighty.

Remember that there were times when they were free

And we were slaves, well fed but living in a colony.

As you all undermine the first free black nation in the west

Be sure to know they deserve to be put among the best,

Remember that nations and nature have treated them merciless

And as their cries pierce your hearts, don’t be void of tenderness.

As you all doomed Haiti  and claimed they are living in sin

Be sure to know their only wrong was having too many blacks within.

Remember if their people were brown or white, many would join in

But being all Black is their curse and also their blessing.


NOTCLIF is an avid reader of Caribbean History and a Marketing Lecturer at a university. Contact: Website