THE EDITOR, Sir:
"The obvious problem with that lingering 'Out of Many, One People' photograph is that it's skewed against blackness. If you were to stage a photograph today that accurately represents the distribution of the races in Jamaica, you would have to have at least 100 children in the sample. That's the only way you could get a whole Chinese, Indian and white child in the frame. You would end up with 90 black children, seven mixed-race, one Chinese, one Indian and one white. Quite a different picture!" (Prof Carolyn Cooper, September 23, 2012, Sunday Gleaner)
For her argument to be more convincing that Jamaica has a 90 per cent black population and a seven per cent mixed race, Professor Cooper should first give a clear definition of who are classified as 'blacks' and who are mixed.
It is a historical fact that from the days of plantation slavery, there was intermixing between Africans and Europeans. This intermixing of the races continued after the abolition of slavery until today, with the later addition of the Indians, Chinese and those from the Middle East like the Lebanese and Syrians. This gives credence to our motto, 'Out of Many, One People'.
Many classified as 'blacks' based on external features and placed into the 90 per cent majority can easily trace their mixed lineages, and in terms of genealogy are no less Caucasian, Indian or Chinese.
'Out of Many, One People' is our reality, and for this reason it is, often, inaccurate and quite misleading when we begin to ascribe percentages of racial belonging in the Jamaican population.
DAIVE R. FACEY