Just a thought triggered by Steve

Apparently Jamaicans don’t think much of African Americans – so it is said.

So, err, here – or there – in the UK there is rather a lot of thought about the Jamaican and other Afro Caribbean breakdown of the family and all that.

And these are the people who look down upon the African Americans? Jeebus, how screwed up does that make them?

31 thoughts on “Just a thought triggered by Steve”

  1. I remember early in the seventies (definitely pre-1976) an Estate Agent in Upton Park, London had an advert for a local property for sale “to a Jamaican family only”. This was before Robert Relf, but didn’t get the same media attention. I can’t think why.

  2. I think it comes down, in large part, to a first generation vs Xth generation immigrant thing. “Jamaican” in a US context usually means “someone who was born in Jamaica”, not Diane Abbott.

    First generations are usually self selected for get-up-and-go, the coloured chappies aboard the Windrush were presumably eager to work hard and get paid. Anybody immigrating from the Caribbean to the UK or US now is similarly likely to be more of a self starter and optimistic about the future.

    Reversion to the mean and generations of the welfare state lead to the unhappy situation discussed (albeit completely dishonestly) since St George ascended into heaven in his golden Cadillac.

    There’s also complicated intra-racial political and cultural things going on, black people are no more monolithic than white oppressors or Orientals are. The black experience in the US might be particularly unusual because African Americans, i.e. the descendants of West African slaves trafficked in the 1800’s, are severed from their own ancestral cultures and have invented a generic pastiche of ludicrous Hotep urban legends, conspiracy theories, and racial braggadocio in an attempt to compensate.

    It’s why Obama (a biracial son of a Kenyan Big Man, raised by bankers in Hawaii) and Kamala (a biracial daughter of a Jamaican Stanford professor, raised to prominence by blowjobs) have to adopt a very performative and incredibly fake “black” persona to be acceptable to African American voters.

  3. One of my closest friends is from a Jamaican family. He tells me that there is massive social discrimination within the culture of Jamaica whereby lighter coloured people are considered higher class than darker coloured ones. While visiting his parents back in Jamaica he was trying to make contact with as many relatives as possible(his father was from a family of 10 I think) and soon discovered that certain parts of the family didn’t want anything to do with other parts, and it was purely down to skin colour. The darker parts of the family were considered by the lighter coloured parts as low class, no good, and generally to be avoided.

  4. The Americans, generally, have no history by the standard of Europeans. For them, the 1800s is pre-historic, or nearly so, and even the whites have been severed from their cultural roots as effectively as the blacks. Americans also have short memories, forgetting that when the Irish turned up en masse*, they were regarded as a bloody nuisance by all and sundry, but now just about everyone boasts of their Irish ancestry.

    *Leaving behind their womenfolk, the elderly and the infirm, none of whom had much idea of growing anything other than potatoes in a largely agricultural community, and thus engendering a myth that the English somehow were to blame for the potato famine!

  5. Dennis, Who Probably Just Offended Someone, Somewhere

    One of my closest friends is from a Jamaican family. He tells me that there is massive social discrimination within the culture of Jamaica whereby lighter coloured people are considered higher class than darker coloured ones.

    We septics have the same thing. Google the term “high yellow”.

    Apparently Jamaicans don’t think much of African Americans – so it is said.

    African immigrants don’t think much of African-Americans. If you can gain the trust of a recent arrival from Somalia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, etc., they will be happy to tell you African Americans are dishonest, lazy, and immoral. More than once I’ve had to warn an (African immigrant) client to keep his opinions of African Americans to himself… Or at least in his native tongue within his native community.

  6. “lighter coloured people are considered higher class than darker coloured ones”: and so it once was in the US as anyone familiar with the history of jazz will know. Or, come to that, the history of the postal workers’ union.

    And, whisper who dare, maybe it’s still true today, though rarely admitted to.

    As for these blessed isles, not too long ago a dark-skinned professional footballer said that he couldn’t bear “lighties”.

  7. even the whites have been severed from their cultural roots as effectively as the blacks

    I don’t think that’s really true tho. Certainly, white American ethnic culture has been bastardised and homogenised by generations of intermarriage, internal migration, mass media, etc. but your average Polish, Irish, German, whatever descended Yank still has more of a sense of historical and cultural continuity than De’Shawn does.

    Might be a cockeyed and half-remembered thing, but that doesn’t matter. It’s how people perceive themselves that matters.

    More importantly, they have (had) the United States of America to be proud of. 1776, the Moon landings, D-Day, and all that jazz. Black Americans have never really had that, they’ve always been painfully aware of their inferior position in the American project (and can you blame them?). Why do you suppose it became fashionable for the blacks to give their children made-up pseudo-African names such as La’Queefsha? They don’t identity with “white” culture and want nothing to do with it.

    forgetting that when the Irish turned up en masse*, they were regarded as a bloody nuisance by all and sundry

    And of course they were.

    But Britain was definitely culpable for the potato famine, it happened under British rule. Inconceivable that we’d allow millions of people to face easily preventable starvation today, but the Irish were the blacks of the British Empire. So were the Highlanders, the Welsh, the Papists, the Nonconformists, and the peasant/working classes in general.

    So when you think about it, we’re all Black.

  8. Dennis, Your Guide To The USA

    So when you think about it, we’re all Black.

    Cultural and racial appropriation!!!

    Burn the witch!!!

  9. I’m always amused by Americans claiming to be one sixteenth Irish. And the other fifteen sixteenths would be what, now?

    Apparently his serene senescence the leader of the free world thinks he’s Irish. Just an excuse to bash the English, of course. Everyone hates us, even our own bloody colonies.

    Seen on the interwebs “Why do the British speak American and not some European language?”

  10. Dennis, MP for Dunny-on-the-Wold

    “lighter coloured people are considered higher class than darker coloured ones”: and so it once was in the US as anyone familiar with the history of jazz will know. Or, come to that, the history of the postal workers’ union.

    Actually, go back and listen to blues music through the 1940s. Plenty of references to “high yellow”. Can’t remember who sang it, but there was even a blues song with the lyrics “Don’t want no high yellow. Give me a brown skinned woman”.

  11. Having just looked up the Yellow Rose of TX you referred to – that reference to preferring brown to high yellow is in the Wiki entry…..

  12. As if there is anything new about this? All sorts of people whom outsiders would consider very similar disparage each other. Mexicans will knock Guatemalans. Chileans knock Argentines. I’ve heard Peruvians say that Bolivians are nothing like them. Canadians consider themselves superior to Americans even though migration from north to south is greater than the other way. I’ve heard German speaking Swiss describe Germans as crude. I think even New Zealanders consider Australians to be a bit sketchy. I suspect the Jamaican blacks in the UK probably look down on Jamaican blacks in the US and vice versa, and let’s not let them get started on Trinidadians. A friend who is a fire captain told me that when setting up firefighter camps during forest fires when using tribal members they organize them to keep different Indian tribes separate so as to minimize conflict. You could probably say that the more someone from another group resembles you the less you might like them.

  13. @ Steve
    Learn some history.
    1. During the “potato famine!” Ireland was exporting wheat to England
    2. Peel sacrificed his career as Prime Minister to repeal the Corn Laws to alleviate the impact on the Irish of the potato blight as well as supplying emergency aid in money and food supplies to Ireland [the Repeal of the Corn Laws led to imports of thousands of tons of grain pa from Canada and the USA relieving hunger but also impoverishing the country gentry who supported his party by reducing the price of corn and consequently rental income from farmland] The famine continued for a further three years after Peel repealed the Corn Laws whereas Peel only remained in office for a couple of months and never regained it.
    So – in reality as distinct from myth – the Irish, not the English, were primarily responsible for the impact of the potato blight.

  14. The potato blight came from the USA so it was all Donald Trump’s fault.

    “First generations are usually self selected for get-up-and-go”: this is a cliche that Americans are fond of but I doubt they’ve much evidence. Their first generation of English settlers was packed with indentured labourers.

    The first generation of settlers from other European countries in the future USA were often simply religious extremists pissed off at not being allowed to bully their countrymen.

    “it happened under British rule”: depends what you mean by British rule. Ireland was part of the UK at the time with the penal laws long behind it. Would you say that when Wellington was PM that England was under Irish rule?

  15. @John77
    Steve makes the mistake of looking at “government” from today’s perspective when governments have the power to lock the country down during minor flu outbreaks. In the early C19th, government had actually very little power within it’s own country. It had more power outside it, thanks to the Navy. The Corn Laws were the result of it being hostage to the landowning interests. It couldn’t aid the Irish during the Great Famine because it didn’t control the food supply to do so. And didn’t have the funds to buy the corn off of the landowners who did. Sources of government revenue came from things like property & land taxes, customs duties & charters & licenses. An income tax was introduced during the Napoleonic Wars but was under 1% on annual incomes over £60 & was so unpopular it was abandoned when peace came.
    Government function (as opposed to its legislative activities) was defence of the realm & foreign relations & in extremis the keeping of order & enforcing of law within the realm if the judiciary proved insufficient. Broadly speaking, the people of the country got on with their lives almost untroubled by government interference. For good or bad.

  16. Regardless of the facts, the potato famine is now being sold as English genocide of the Irish. It’s a useful little myth to peddle and peddle it they are.

  17. We’ve got a (very nice, dad’s an engineer, mum looks after the kids) Ugandan* family next door. Chatting to mum over the garden fence, she told me that she’s from the southern (‘lowland’) end of the country, while her hubby is of a different tribe from the north (‘highlands’) – “that’s why his skin is so much darker”. I can’t say I’d noticed – they both look ‘as the ace of spades’ to me – but it clearly matters to her.

    * apparently there’s a reasonable community of African Ugandans (as opposed to the Ugandan Asians) in the UK. Who knew?

  18. TD : “You could probably say that the more someone from another group resembles you the less you might like them.”

    You can abolish/eradicate the tribe, but you can never take the tribe out of the people. The most long-standing record in recorded history is the Jews… But you really only need to look around to see it happen all over the place.

    As for “the closer they are”… There’s nothing as nasty in the no-holds-barred department as a family feud…

  19. I had quite a lot of contact with London’s black communities. And there are a lot of different ones. The granularity; Jamaicans from the countryside don’t like Kingstoners coz they’re all gangsters. Yard boys don’t like Jamaicans from the boonies because they’re primitive. No one in the Caribbean likes Jamaicans because they’re all crooks & savages. Africans regard blacks from the Caribbean as being all Jamaicans. Each particular African nationality dislikes any other African nationality. Comment from Sierra Leone lad when a rather foxy black girl walking the street was pointed out to him. “Nigerian mon. Dirty people!” And then you have in-country frictions. West African dislike East Africans. All of them are scared shitless by Somalis. Even the Yardies. None of them like Pakis.
    And they talk about London’s vibrant BAME* culture….

    *Is that still what they’re calling it? Or am I now on a Woke shitlist? I haven’t been keeping up.

  20. The French hate the Germans,
    The Germans hate the Poles;
    Italians hate Yugoslavs,
    South Africans hate the Dutch,
    And I don’t like anybody very much!

    Kingston Trio 1959

  21. I think BAME has fallen out of fashion part you because they can’t explain all the disparity between B and the rest of AME in education and other areas…..like B is underrepresented in STEM but BAME makes up at least half of STEM students so it undercuts the narrative on systematic institutional racism

  22. Longrider – Regardless of the facts, the potato famine is now being sold as English genocide of the Irish. It’s a useful little myth to peddle and peddle it they are.

    Yarp, pathetic grievance mongering by people who’ve never gone hungry a day in their lives.

    BiS, John, dearieme – I’m a simple man and my take is a simple one: don’t let your subjects starve to death. Seems like the Christian thing to do.

    Dennis – it’s ok, I IDENTIFY as black

  23. Why do you suppose it became fashionable for the blacks to give their children made-up pseudo-African names such as La’Queefsha? They don’t identity with “white” culture and want nothing to do with it.

    …apart from the housing, EBT, welfare checks, Obamy phone, etc.

    Then again, I’m white, so clearly just a racist.

  24. “don’t let your subjects starve to death.” How could it have been avoided? People starved in Belgium and Prussia, much easier country in which to get food to the tattie farmers. Starvation in the Highlands was less than in Ireland because the Highlanders were much more accessible for supply by sea, and because – for the same reason – it was easy for them to migrate to the Lowlands to work in factories. (And to emigrate to the USA and Australia.)

  25. ‘Is that still what they’re calling it? Or am I now on a Woke shitlist? I haven’t been keeping up.’

    Yeah BiS. I’m usually four or five or a dozen or so behind myself.

  26. Re Irish Tattie Famine.
    Exactly the same potato disease affected everywhere potatoes were grown, England Scotland Norway, Denmark, Germany Poland France etc etc.
    It was still affecting crops in Newfoundland in the 1870’s FGS.
    Many of these areas were also part of the British empire.
    It is due to the attitudes of the Irish themselved and their homegrown landowning classes that the blight was allowed to cause starvation i Ireland but with the same technology didn’t cause it anywhere else.
    Those landowning classes are still there.

  27. “forgetting that when the Irish turned up en masse, they were regarded as a bloody nuisance by all and sundry”

    One of my Irish friends recalled rather ruefully how grateful he was when the Windrush generation arrived – that he was no longer consigned to the bottom rung of the ladder.

  28. @ bis
    Peel managed to get Parliament to repeal the Corn Laws in 1846, albeit the tariffs were phased out over three years rather than abolished at a stroke, and the Irish Famine lasted from 1845 until 1849.
    But even before that the Temporary Relief Commission was set up in 1845 to provide relief and distribute food.
    The UK government could and did buy some food to distribute to the poor. But Ireland was far more dependent upon potatoes than Scotland or Belgium so there just wasn’t enough spare food to buy to distribute; repealing the Corn Laws permitted the import of shiploads of grain from Canada and the USA so was more effective that trying to buy up non-existent supplies of home-grown food.

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