Philosophy of the Brew

Good day folks, It's around 2:08pm and I've just surfaced. Went liming with my friends Jalee and Lacy last night. Let me tell you, I will never ever drink beer again [especially since Dr. D reminded me that it adds to the gut, damages the "beach appearance", and does all manner of other things again--I think I'll just stick to hard liquor from now on]. Anyhow, I realize now that beer loosens my already loose tongue and I become a modern-day Socrates after about 3 glasses of the swill!

So, it was me and two girls sitting down and talking philosophy (note: only Lacy and I were drinking since Jalee is on medication). We talked about everything from culture, ethnicity, to the fact that in Jamaica where homosexuality is only considered to be one level below oral sex.

Now, one of the more interesting discussions that we had was about the whole idea of racism...I mean, it completely pisses me off to think that the whole racial conflict is spurred by the fact that there is about a 2% difference across the human genome that makes us Black, White, Chinese, or Indian--2% people killing each other for only 2% what the hell?? So, we came to the conclusion that the only way to avoid racism is to effectively "breed" it out--or as one of my friends from Africa says: "My chosen calling in life is to make babies with as many nationalities as possible so I can do my part in eradicating the lines of racism". Hmmm...very interesting philosophy, nuh true?

Well, I'm thinking that even though Jamaica is such a culturally diverse land, we still have our own "racial" problems--but I think it has more to do with the shade of one's skin in our case. Growing up, I always used to remember my grandmother telling me that I should never marry a woman that was "too black" because my kids would come out ugly. And you know what, as a little boy I used to buy into that argument and always aspire towards the lighter skin women [Dr. D & Mad Bull nuh bodaa start up di Russian argument again ;)]. However, I think that changed when I met Stephanie--my word, she was the most beautiful girl that I could have ever imagined. Her dark skin was almost like silk to the touch and I tell you she had those big beautiful brown eyes and lips to die for! Well, that in effect ended my fascination with the "browning" and a more general shift toward being an "equal opportunity lover".

Now, my ethnicity is a combination of Indian, Chinese, Black and White and though I am not exactly light-skinned, I tend to be more along the "caramel" lines as most people at home would describe it. Now, looking back at the scenario described above, would I be considered a racist? or even worse, would my grandmother be considered a racist herself? [ironically my grandmother was very dark-skinned]. I mean, is it really possible to discriminate against people who share the same ethnicity as you, but to varying degrees? In fact, if we consider the argument that people originated from Africa and change in skin color was just simply a matter of adaptation to climates then racism itself would be just dumb, since we all have some trace of the mother race in us.

The thing that confuses me even more is that nowadays we as Jamaicans still equate success with skin color. For instance, my aunt who is the managing director of several of Kingstons larger pharmacies, seems to get into weird conflicts with people because of her dark skin tone [coupled with the fact that she is a successful business woman]. I mean imagine a scene where an irate customer curses out one of her staff members and she goes out to find out what the problem is, only to be met by this angry woman demanding to speak to the manager. When my aunt tells her that she is the manager, the woman is shocked for a moment and then demands to speak to HER manager! It just don't make any sense...

At any rate, I finish wid my philosophy lecture today and I can only say that I hope that several generations from now we will successfully eliminate the racial barrier by breeding a culturally diverse set of people--sadly, I fear that it is in the nature of humans to hate and to fear and even if we do eliminate racial and social boundaries, we will still find some reason to discriminate that is even more trivial than this stupid 2%.