THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am certain that no matter who, in November, is chosen as the next Miss Universe, Kerrie Baylis will nonetheless make all of us proud.
By 'all of us', I mean to say all Jamaicans, without regard to colour, complexion, or race. Miss Baylis is not only absolutely stunningly attractive, but she is also a law graduate and investment banker, so I expect she will make the judges easily choose her as the next Miss Universe, or they will have a difficult job not choosing her.
Nevertheless, it's quite unfortunate that in this day and age, we still have people who would prefer to ignore all else and look only at Ms Baylis' colour, and even go as far as to say, "She doesn't look Jamaican." What say they about the Hollywood director Stephen Hopkins? Does he not look Jamaican enough?
I am Jamaica-born, mother, father and grandparents, too. Yet, often when I'm abroad, with the exception of highly educated people, I am told I don't look Jamaican. But while I can excuse someone in the States for saying I don't look Jamaican, I can't do the same for Jamaicans who make such ignorant statements.
It appears many Jamaicans have forgotten that for at least the last 600 years, Jamaica has been an island of immigrants. A great majority of people unwillingly came through force; others who came because of necessity; and, most recent, people who are attracted to the island because of the prospects of economic opportunities.
Our PM Simpson Miller bravely addressed the issue of race just last week because of a great deal of backlash against Chinese investors, although they are the only ones currently willing to invest over US? billion into some serious development.
What many of our people do not realise, and must urgently, is that Jamaica will continue to become more diverse as the world's peoples congregate closer to each other. The world is already cognisant that not all Jamaicans have dreadlocks.
Let's just drop all stereotypes of a Jamaican, and keep racism out of everything.