20 October 2006

Debating Race As If It Mattered

An online forum, ostensibly devoted to the topic of US racialism, found several of its pages being turned over to a lively, and sometimes instructive, series of exchanges on the "true" identity of Belize's Garifuna, that is, whether or not they are "actually" African more than Carib. Genetics then acquires a prominent place, thereby reducing culture to a matter of biology. What is lost as a result is any real discussion of how much of the Caribbean region's Amerindian culture has been carried forward by the Garifuna. As far as I see, how the Garifuna supposedly "look" is neither interesting nor relevant, nor a settled issue for that matter. If you are curious, have a look at:


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