The NYPD Misbehaved at The West Indian Day Parade; So Did We. But Was Our Behavior Worth Their Horrific FB Rants?
I’m a proud West Indian. But if I were a member of the New York Police Department, just like many of the officers cited in the now controversial Facebook group, “No More West Indian Day Detail,” I wouldn’t want to work at the West Indian American Day Parade either.
For several years now, New York has been my home, but anyone who knows me has little, if any doubt about my loyalty to my West Indian heritage. I’m perennially waving the blue, yellow and black colours (with a “u”) of my beautiful homeland Barbados. And while I never let anyone forget it’s “Barbados uh come from,” I’m just as vocal in promoting the fact that I’m a bit of what we in the Caribbean call a “callaloo” – the offspring of a Vincentian mother and a Trinidadian father. With that and having lived on three islands in our region, I relish the title “Caribbean woman.”
Yes, I was bred and born in the Caribbean. It’s there I learned about and practiced using the Oxford comma. It’s there I climbed every imaginable tropical fruit tree from mango to coconut. There I had my first kiss and my first heartbreak. It’s in the Caribbean I ran through deep gullies, played cricket on country roads, football (soccer) on lofty green pastures, soaked for countless carefree hours in crystal clear sea waters and basked under golden sunlight on white sand beaches.
My favourite food to cook and eat is Caribbean cuisine. My favourite genres of music are Caribbean: reggae; soca; calypso. And equally musical are my favourite accents – Caribbean. Even my favourite type of man is Caribbean. Everything synonymous with the culture of that chain of islands to the south and west of the North Atlantic Ocean is deeply imbedded in me. I love the Caribbean: our lands, our traditions, our people.
With this type of unconditional love, one can understand that I would always be ready to defend my people no matter where I roam. It’s hard when living in New York, not to adapt to the way of life here, but I’ve tried as much as possible to keep a firm grasp on my Caribbean roots. One key aspect of that is the annual West Indian Carnival – a fixture on my calendar. Read more…