Hate how we talk about colorism as the less violent cousin to racism. Especially in Jamaica.

Colorism does not just order the politics of desirability. It affects everything including who lives and who dies.

And, in Jamaica, where even small gradations away from blackness
matter, this is what determines the structure of colorism which undergirds our class system. To speak about class in Jamaica is to speak about color which is to say one’s proximity to blackness. So neither is classism a less violent cousin of racism, it is homegrown from the
order of the plantation which still maintains blackness in its space of abjection. That is to say that classed violence in Jamaica will always be antiblack. The Tivoli Gardens Incursion, for example, or the normalized brutality against poor folks.
In her latest book, “Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation,” anthropologist Deborah Thomas notes: “People often doubt whether systemic racism is a factor when the person enacting violence against a black body is also black. What Shawn’s narrative should allow us to..”
“...understand is that “race” is not something certain bodies posses but a historical and structural process of value differentiation, even within majority-black countries with representative political leadership. We should not imagine that this phenomenon is limited to Jamaica.”
“Raciality is not merely produced through the visual apprehension or familiar differences but is built interactively, intersubjectively, and dynamically in relation to other humans, landscapes, also objects. This is what imbues it with affect, and it is what generates the..”
“performative moments of racial violence. I am belaboring these points here, dwelling in them a little longer than might seem necessary, in order to drive home the argument that the garrison is a racially saturated space of relationality among a range of differently situated...”
“...actors, including the security forces, even in their absence.”

And that’s period, ok.

In other words, race isn’t just about appearance, it’s also about one’s relationship to power as is structured by the plantation. One’s relationship to power is what determines one’s
relationship to blackness. Blackness not as a bodily identity that is easily marked but as a space of powerlessness. So to think class in Jamaica is to think about how this is shaped by color and color itself is not self-evident but based on how one is read and the values that
one espouses. Kei Miller explored this in a series of three essays where he writes, partly, about how some people get marked as lighter skinned depending on how they speak, their circles, etc and all of these performances mark one's relationship to power and, hence, to blackness.
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