Diversity is the great asset of the West Indies
Stabroek News
October 22, 2001

Dear Editor,

Why do we Caribbean peoples insist on one mythical identity for our individual political states and for our sub-region as a whole? We are in actual fact an incredibly successful 'salad bowl' representing the ethnicity of the Earth. In a salad bowl each component can be clearly identified no matter how much it is tossed.

Personally, I loathe the term 'melting pot', for a melting pot's contents become obliterated and we would lose our various God created identities.

There is no such thing as a Guyanese, Trinidadian, Barbadian, Jamaican or 'West Indian' race or tribe; the "one nation" slogan is good if you are referring to our political unity as proud citizens of our nation state - or united supporters of our great West Indies cricket team....but "one people" is neither accurate nor sustainable at the country level.

Cast your glance around the world and take note of how many ethnic groups that had been historically denied the inherrent right to be different and equal - have violently cast off the assimilationalist yoke and asserted their ethnic identities in just the last decade. We all have a right to be proud of our cultures and ethnicities - whether it be Amerindian, African, European, Arabic or Indian. We also have an obligation to live in harmony with each other and work side by side to make our respective nation states even better places to live than they are already - but this will never be achieved if we keep trying to suffocate the emergence of ethnic pride; diversity is an asset ...not a threat - unless your small-minded policies are viewed as being a provocation to a targetted ethnic group.

Communism is dead, say your requiem if you must; but the reality of the third millennium is racial, tribal, ethnic and religious diversity, class distinctions and intellectual disparity from human to human.

Diversity is the beauty, strength and great asset of the West Indies.

Yours faithfully,

Damon Gerard Corrie

Hereditary Paramount Chief of the Eagle Clan Arawaks