I have to say that I am quite disgusted with the way Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and others are acting and how Jumaane Williams is playing the fence for what seems like a ploy to just gain votes from the Haitian community so that he could be re-elected. He should show integrity and assist in re-educating the masses. I am Jamaican, Cuban and Taíno Indian. I love my culture and my people. I am West Indian, I love all of our people. Due to colonial conditioning we all have divided ourselves instead of uniting. Jumaane would know this if he truly fully embraced his West Indian culture instead of trying to be a voice for votes.
Yes, there needs to be a more defined unity between all of us. And yes, a single designation of one island and not a designation of all islands can cause further divide, being that there are people from Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Cuba, Haiti, St. Lucia and many other islands that live in our community. I have born and raised in Brooklyn. I have mainly lived in District 45 which is Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Flatlands. There is a huge Haitian Community up and down Nostrand Ave but there other individual island cultures that are predominantly in the same strip but different parts and there are parts where there is a good mix. I commend Shelly Worrell for her push for the designation of “Little Caribbean.” If Bichotte, Jumaane and others had even bothered to attend like Eric Adams, Brian Cunningham and myself did, then they would see the community’s support. We are facing the Trump regime’s attacks on our communities, De’Blasio’s profit driven housing plans to drive out our communities, the complacency of many of the current city council members and a rise in homelessness and displacement in our District due to inaction by the Incumbent and him not being aggressive enough when it comes to actual solutions to help provide affordable low income housing, which may be due to him receiving donations from various developers and lobbyists and of course police violence against our people. But it seems like the people are being strategically distracted by selfish agendas. I do not agree with Bichotte’s rant of trying to condemn the designation of “Little Caribbean.” I have stood with the entire West Indian Community for years and division and distractions are not what we need.
Instead of seeing who can make the most noise or use colonial tactic of division that the Spaniard and European invaders have used for centuries to cause further tension or to re-open old wounds, actual civilized talks should have happened. If there becomes a designation for just a “Little Haiti” then there would be an outcry for other areas to be designated for other cultures as well. We are not divided by water, we are divided by political borders purposely placed to prevent true unity and liberation of all of our people, just to receive targeted votes. If Bichotte, Jumaane and others really knew the community, they would know that even during my time as a student at Midwood High School, there was an unofficial designation of “Little Haiti” from Nostrand and Tilden to Nostrand and Newkirk by those if us that are actually present everyday in our community. The unified designation by the name of “Little Caribbean” which includes Haiti and every West Indian Island, will enrich our communities and empower us. “Little Caribbean” is the sword we need to fight back against gentrification and to acknowledge our worth as a people. I have studied the ways of the Black Wall Streets that we used to have years ago, where the dollar of the Black communities rotated over seventy five times before it left the community, where now it only rotates once and it is gone. We had our own banks, homes, stores, true community policing and so forth. I truly believe that we can get back to that. We can actually have true communities and not just neighborhoods. We can live liberated everyday and not in fear of displacement or corrupt greedy landlords and developers. I do not think that Ernest Skinner needs to apologize, so Jumaane Williams just needs to plainly shut up and stop playing devil’s advocate. Because if he was actually doing his job, our communities would have been enriched and the divide would not be fed by these little childish squabbles. When Ernest Skinner asked, “When did Haiti stop being part of the Caribbean?” and stated “This is the same insularity which sunk the fledgling Caribbean Federation,” it was genuine. Haiti has always been and will always be part of the Caribbean. The divisive rhetoric is those who have not re-education themselves from the colonial mindsets needs to stop. They need to stop being agents of agenda of white supremacy, which has caused the divide between our people and our cultures even in this current day. So let’s stop with the colonial mindsets and move forward as a united people.
I say we continue to move forward with the designation of “Little Caribbean.” We need to help expand the designation of “Little Caribbean” onto Nostrand Avenue, so that way, all of us, Jamaicans, Grenadians, Haitians, Trinidadians, St. Lucian’s, Cubans, Basians, Dominicans and every other culture in the Caribbean can be a united people once more!
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