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Commentaries: popular scientific essays from the Dutch Caribbean.


Volume 1, Issue 1

To comment is to be in common. When a public sphere is created where the writings of scholars, activists, writers, public intellectuals, students and the general population/others, occupy the same space and is given the same importance, then, and only then, does a developmental university fulfill its role of contributing to the radical democratic project in the Caribbean, better known as the politics of decoloniality. Commentaries seeks to do so with popular scientific writings from authors primarily hailing from the Caribbean.

Dr. Francio Guadeloupe

Volume 1, Issue 2


Teresa E. Leslie

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A word from the editor

Aims & Scope

Editorial Board


In November 2015, a conference on internalized racial oppression was held on the Dutch Caribbean Island of Sint Eustatius. The aim of the conference was to begin a dialogue on how race manifests itself within a Dutch Caribbean context. In the traditional sense, race can be defined as a group of people identified as distinct from other groups because of supposed physical or genetic traits shared by the group. Currently, most biologists and anthropologists do not recognize race as a biologically valid classification, in part because there is more genetic variation within groups than between them. However, race does not end at a simple biological/genetic classification. A by-product of this system of classification also includes the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. From its creation, "race" was a system of classification linked specifically to peoples in the colonial situation. It included an ideology of inequality devised to rationalize European attitudes and treatment of the conquered and enslaved peoples (American Anthropological Association, 1998).(...)

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Popular Posts

Nigger Are You Crazy / Neger ben je gek

Lysanne Charles – Arrindell, MSc.

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(...) The Dutch Caribbean and by proxy Caribbean Dutch people have always been positioned as dependent on the Netherlands; an approach that brings with it ideas of helplessness, subordination, subservience, etc; this, while it was, definitely, not always so. A quick glance at the history of the Dutch Caribbean highlights periods in which the governing of the Dutch Caribbean islands was insular and indeed, the people were heavily self-reliant. Two periods in particular, highlighted by Saban historian and politician Will Johnson, were at the early stages of Dutch settlement and during the Second World War, when the islands were largely cut off from the Netherlands. (...)

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Historical Salt Factory by Sharelly Emanuelson

Frantz Fanon, Internalized Oppression and the Decolonization of Education

Lianne Mulder, MPhil student at the University of the West Indies, Barbados

Read the full Essay Nigger Are You Crazy

(...) The spread and subsequent rooting of Eurocentric ideologies was vital to the processes of colonization. In order to conquer vast numbers of peoples and territories, the European aggressors tried their best to make the conquered believe in their supposed ‘racial’ inferiority, so that oppression would be internalized and self-perpetuating. This process started several centuries ago and unfortunately it still has not ended. (...)


Dr. Francio Guadeloupe

Erwin Wolthuis

(...) Taking Callaloo soup as a guiding metaphor, we intimate new ways of undoing the racial, gendered, and class based practices of self and other oppressions on the bi-national island of Sint Maarten & Saint Martin. We understand these practices of undoing and the highlighting thereof as synonymous with engaging in a scholarship hospitable to the unfolding differentiations between and within self and other; to the compositeness, the implicate order, to Life from whence this emerges. Our self-reflective and self-reflexive exercises in this paper are fed by our experiences of doing fieldwork among students attending a secondary school and coupling these to the insights of the poet-philosopher Eduoard Glissant and physicist-philosopher David Bohm. (...)

Read the full Essay Internalized Oppression and the Decolonization of Education

Language as a Weapon of Mind Destruction

Dr. Rhoda Arrindell

(...) Furthermore, there are those who try to impose their own descriptions of the St. Martiners, while many St. Martiners continue to reject these descriptions. Labels such as “Delightfully Dutch,” “Fantastically French” and more recently, “Dutch Caribbean” or “St. Maarten-St. Martin” have been designed to sell the St. Martin people and their culture as a palatable commodity particularly to European and North American tourists. Then there are those, especially in the print media, who perpetuate a Fanonian type of schizophrenia by referring to our islands as “Caribbean Netherlands” or to the people as having a “kingdom identity.” Etc. In fact, one newspaper will go as far as to “correct” your spelling of St. Martin in your submissions, even as they surround your text withuse quotation marks to indicate they are quoting you verbatim. Then there are those who, unilaterally, change the names of institutions like the University of St. Martin (...)


Legal obligations to eliminate racial discrimination through education

Lisenne Delgado

(...) Important to highlight is that the Committee has explicitly acknowledged that individuals can experience discrimination on the ground of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, combined with other grounds, such as differences in income, gender, age and religion. The Committee speaks of double and multiple discrimination, and of intersectionality. (...)

Read the full Essay Legal obligations to eliminate racial discrimination through education
Read the full Essay Language as a Weapon of Mind Destruction
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