As people from different nations in the Caribbean I am certain that we were all beaming with pride at the performance of Caribbean athletes at the XXX Olympiad in London.
These athletes excelled in so many different categories, and in areas that Caribbean athletes have never won medals in. Keshorn Walcott, a 19-year-old Trinidadian, won gold after his herculean throw of the javelin on Saturday; Kirani James of Grenada ran the race of his life in the 400 metres and copped gold, and who could forget the history made by Usain “Lightning” Bolt as he dashed to the finish line in both the 100- and 200-metre sprints, making him the first man to repeat wins in both categories?
We were all jumping and screaming at our televisions and each other as history was made and we all saw it fit to identify with each other as people of the Caribbean. We did not see each other as large or small islanders, but as a people united, which has been the aim of the Caricom Single Market and Economy. Regardless of our accent or nation of birth, for once we all had the same desire and purpose – to see those who represented the region succeed.
Yet, this feeling only lasts so long and most of us will revert to our old ways of stereotyping each other based on our accents, dress and nationality. Many of us will say degrading things about each other and the countries people hail from.
The spirit of unity that swept over every one of us will cease to exist because as human beings we only want to be a part of good and great things and we tend to turn our backs on each other when things begin to go south. This attitude does not exemplify a love for country or region and this is something that we need to address.
We should not wait until we are represented on the world stage, in front of billions of people to put on the face of Caribbean unity. This type of attitude should be lived every day by each of us but some of us prefer to be regionalists by day and nationalists by night.