Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Bolt saga reveals self-hate

Published:Tuesday | August 30, 2016 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have to say that I truly believe that this entire saga regarding Usain Bolt has shown up not only the ignorance and hypocrisy of some of us black people, but it also shows the self-hate that so many of us are filled with.

as a child, I was taught that your skin colour, your race, and where you are from do not define you as an individual. What does define you are your character and integrity. Without both, you could be as pretty as a rose - you are nothing.

Bolt has made Jamaica and Jamaicans proud, but sadly, many of us do not value that kind of pride. It is simply easier to tear people down either based on how they look or where they are from.

To see Jamaicans drag Bolt through the mud by saying that he could not have a beautiful brown-skin woman by his side if he were not famous or rich, because he is neither cute nor handsome enough, or not from the upper crust of the Jamaican society, speaks to the fact that many of us are still enslaved mentally.

If such remarks were made by a white person, many would be outraged and crying racism. However, it is quite fine for us to cut each other down based on physical appearances. We talk about how society is biased in favour of persons with lighter skin tones when, in fact, we do nothing to elevate or uplift each other.

What is even worse is that many of the comments speak volumes about how we view women. Based on what I have seen, it would seem that all women are gold-diggers who do not know the real worth of a man.

So, the feeling is that a 'little country boy' from deep rural Jamaica will not be able to have a beautiful woman by his side because he is not good enough, unless he reaches a point in life where he either has money or becomes famous. How sad is that kind of perception?

It speaks to the lack of respect and love we have for each other as a people, and to the fact that in as much as slavery had been abolished, many of us are still enslaved mentally.

Quite honestly, when people like Donald Trump and others speak in a disparaging manner about black people, we have no right to be upset because if, as a people, we have no love or respect for each other, why should anyone else?

We are indeed a minority, because by our very own words and actions, we have yet to figure out who we are as a people or where we are even going. In 2016, with all the smartphones and other tools with which knowledge can be gained, we have yet to figure out where we are from and where we are going. This is sad.

Thank God for the few of us who are able to think outside of the box of ignorance.

Michelle Bradshaw

phillipsmichelle57@yahoo.com