(CMR) Cayman has begun galvanizing their views on the issue of racism both in America and the Cayman Islands. This comes on the heel of countries like Australia, Canada and the Europen Union sharing that they are “horrified” at the actions of the American president and police in light of the recent race riots and protests.
Many countries around the world have taken a stance against the position in the United States and have condemned the use of military force against peaceful protesters by President Donald Trump. Trump stated earlier in the week that he would use the deployment of an 1807 law that allows a president to deploy the US military to suppress civil disorder.
Ironically Trump would be using a law fought segregation to quash the protestors. The Insurrection Act was was most notably used in the 1950s to enforce desegregation. And later, in the 1960s, to address riots in Detroit.
He faced extreme criticism after using the national guard to disperse a peaceful crowd of protesters with tear gas, projectiles, and mounted officers so that he could walk to St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo opportunity. These guard troops and their law enforcement colleagues weren’t quelling a riot or preventing a violent assault; instead, they were ordered to clear Lafayette Square.
The Washington Post shared:
“They were ordered to clear Lafayette Square so Trump could pose for a photo op in front of historic St. John’s Church. They did so with little restraint, and on Attorney General William P. Barr’s orders, using tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets to clear a path for the president and his Bible.”
Even Chinese media has condemned the hypocrisy of the US highlighting Beijing's alleged attempts to curtail freedoms in Hong Kong and then doing essentially the same thing with their protestors. New Zealand Priminister Jacinda Ardern says she was “horrified by what we've seen”.
Australian Prime Minister Marise Payne is reviewing the country's travel advisories for Washington and Chicago after one of their citizens was attacked by US police.
The Australian cameraman was injured after he was punched and struck in the chest with a police shield. One publication shared:
“But the sight of officers repeatedly striking a foreign news crew has left many international observers with the sense that this is new, unwelcome territory for the land of the free.”
Ragıp Soylu, a correspondent with the Middle East Eye news outlet, tweeted wryly,
“Congrats, America! You have joined the Middle East nations where you can no longer peacefully protest outside the presidential palaces.”
Cayman has finally joined in the discussion with many taking to social media to discuss their concerns. Here at Cayman Marl Road, we have dedicated an entire week's worth of shows to understand the dynamics of racism in American and by extension here in the Cayman Islands.
We have had persons join us from Los Angelas, New York, and Minneapolis – the location of where George Floyd lost his life over a week ago at the hands of the police department there.
Others have shared their personal experiences of being of mixed raced and still being subjected to the racist comments and treatment as children or even adults. Traditionally many have argued that Cayman does not have racism but by many accounts, that's a facade to cover-up our history and legacy of slavery.
The latest collective message has been a video compilation standing up against racism made by Caymanians from all walks of life:
We invite you to continue to join the conversation the remainder of this week from 7:15 am – 9:15 am daily and Thursday evening at 7:00 pm.
If you've missed any shows already on the topic feel free to visit our Facebook video archives: