Just Another Day In CARICOM: Jamaican Hotel Construction Workers Riot, Burn, Employee Shot By Police, Management Airlifted Out By Helicopter

Jamaican Culture Of Violence Makes For Volatile Workplaces

IF YOU NEED ANOTHER REMINDER that Bajan culture and societal norms are not Jamaican culture and societal norms, then Tuesday’s riot, arsons, shooting and management’s skin of the teeth escape by helicopter at the multi-billion dollar Fiesta Hotel project in Jamaica might make you appreciate Barbados and the Bajan people.

But for better or worse, in the world’s eyes, we’re all rapidly becoming the same big CARICOM brand and destination. Just one big Caribbean family. Too bad one of our family members is a bad seed.

Our Jamaican blogging friend at Chronicles From A Caribbean Cubicle blames it all on the Spanish hotel management. He says those Spaniards would have been OK in Barbados or Trinidad, but they just didn’t understand the volatile Jamaican workplace.

I guess not!

What A Schizophrenic Relationship We Have With Jamaica

On one level Barbados is trying to make CARICOM work economically, but we want nothing to do with the Jamaican culture of violence. As Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley said on Brass Tacks a few weeks ago, Jamaicans are “different”. (I’ll have to dig out exactly what Mama Mia said. It was the first time I’ve agreed with anything she said in the past year.)

Let me see here – I’m a rich international investment group looking to build a hotel in the Caribbean. Where should we build it… Barbados or Jamaica?

Chronicles From A Caribbean Cubicle tells it like it is, but I wonder if he knows how bad it looks to the outside world…

Riot On The Job

At the Spanish-owned Fiesta hotel construction site in Hanover yesterday, an employee was shot, the workers rioted and burned a building and several vehicles, and the management team had to be airlifted out by helicopter.

The reason?

The reports listed in the press gave conflicting causes: it was either workers arriving late and being locked out, or a lack of ID badges, depending on the newspaper one happened to read.

Needless to say, the company’s culture is probably in a mess and the managers are probably meeting somewhere right now trying to figure out what went wrong.

I imagine that the issues had been building for some time, and only came to a head yesterday morning, resulting in nothing short of a riot, and bloodshed.

Unfortunately, the outcome is not all that strange for our region — all it takes is a management team made up of foreigners that do not understand the environment in which they are operating.

Whereas in Barbados and Trinidad, the result might be a sudden loss of productivity, in Jamaica the result is often physical protest, to the surprise of managers who are not versed in Jamaican work culture, or ignorant of how volatile local workplaces can be…

… continue reading this article at Chronicles From A Caribbean Cubicle (link here)

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26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Culture & Race Issues, Offshore Investments

26 responses to “Just Another Day In CARICOM: Jamaican Hotel Construction Workers Riot, Burn, Employee Shot By Police, Management Airlifted Out By Helicopter

  1. reality check

    a lovely country ready to tolerate all differences in their society?

    2000 people congregating to lynch a group of people who dare not conform to their view of how life should be

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20070214T220000-0500_119155_OBS_COPS_SAVE_THREE_ALLEGED_HOMOSEXUALS_FROM_ANGRY_CROWD.asp

    sort of reminds you of the old lynching in the deep south or the specator hangings in London in the 18th century

    if Barbados sinks to the level of Jamaica God help us all!

    No hope for Jamaica

  2. paul sealy

    we soon there reality check..let Owen et al get 5 more years…you think we graduating thugs for nothing…they got a lotta work to do if BLP get their wish of 5 more,we might resemble Jamaica more sooner than you think…Owen lived and worked there you know..he knows the atmosphere and would like to share it with us….smh…bajans might be passive but remember..that is the older generation..this one ain’t playing..

  3. Jerome Hinds

    A sad refelection of the volatility of JA society.

    With start of CWC 2007 days away, we all all hope that such frenzied activity is kept away from Trelawny and Sabina.

  4. Anonymous

    I agree with Paul Sealy…that Bds. might be there,sooner than we think.
    There is a whole subsection of lower class Bajans
    who idolize the Jamaicy dub-chant rubbish music
    dance hall behaviour/minibus-culture/subculture.

    It is HERE ALREADY, simply lying dormant, like Bad Seed, awaiting the correct social conditions to spring forth and bloom.
    A good correctional start would be to ban such appalling ‘music’ with its filthy lyrics,homophobic content and violent sentiment,
    but that could never happen!

  5. BK

    the Jamaican music and related culture activities is quickly taking over Barbados society. The popularity of the dub/rude boy culture is frightening.

    As someone said we are not far away.

  6. John

    I see the port is about to be shut down ……

  7. Duguid……Do some good
    ———————
    I have a question. Would de honorable member for Christ church west enquire of his colleague the honorable member for St. Michael north East and to so on our behalf,;

    That if as the member (St. Michael North West) stated “The phenomenon that has attacked Jamaica, in relation to the disrespect for institutions, can be a fate, which can befall us, if we do not start to ensure, in this country, that, if a person has done something wrong, even if there is a case, that they may be innocent, or that for mercy, they must face the law.”

    If this is a possibility and I would agree that it very much is, can’t this fate still befall us if members of the Jamaican society where this phenomenon is present are allowed into our space?

    If you agree, then can we implore you to tell us what your government is doing to combat these foreign and undesirable cultural behaviors from penetrating our own?

  8. Mia said she don’t want anything to do with the Jamaican culture?????? Did she really say this???? Can you prove this???? because if true this would contradict a large part of her past, and would to my mind raise questions about her honesty and integrity when match to her choice of dress and headware on the night of the Legends unveiling in St.George. I have video. 😀 so put up her exact words and i will match it with the pics. 😀

    *******************

    Hi Adrian

    I did record that Brass Tacks show. It will take me some time to find the exact passage but it is there. I saved it because I recognized at the time the impact of the Deputy PM slighting all Jamaicans.

    Maybe this weekend.

    Marcus

  9. This I am looking forward to!

  10. a total misunderstanding of the facts and what truly happenned

  11. Kirk
    March 1st, 2007 at 8:42 pm
    a total misunderstanding of the facts and what truly happenned
    ————————————————————–
    am Kirk you need to finish your contribution?

    Did you mean to say ” a total misunderstanding of the facts OF what truly happened”?

    or is it that we do not have the facts and therefore do not understand what transpired? Uh mean from your sentence i gathered that we are so far off the mark, that not only are we misunderstanding the facts, but that these misunderstood, facts don’t represent the truth of the incident in question. Wuh i got tuh say that these facts must be politicians. 😀 anyway finish yuh piece and set we straight. God knows we need putting in we place. 😀

  12. no it’s not a matter of putting anyone in their place or anything like that.

    Last time I tried to explain a situation I realised that many Bajans have there mind made up against Jamaica and Jamaicans. Is only the good lord can come down change there mind from thinking that “all” Jamaicans are an agressive, violent, confrontational and dangerous bunch.

    I now better understand the phobia that many other caribbean nationals suffer from anytime Jamaica is brought up so when negative news like this gets out it’s almost like a Jamaica bashing party…as you can see from some of the other comments on this topic.

  13. Kirk there is a saying that if it walks like duck and quacks like a duck it has to be a duck.

    There is good and bad in every social structure of the world let us get that straight. No one is saying ALL Jamaicans are criminals or violent. But you have to admit the truth when it looks you in the eye whether you want to or not.

    The mainstream Jamaican culture is a violent culture and one who embraces the use of marijuana as part of their religious belief. The present elected lady Prime Minister of Jamaica her name escapes me when elected herself admitted that crime was going to be her number one priority in trying to control. But having said this the crime statistics in Jamaica speak for itself. Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world, far less the Caribbean.

    But let us get beyond the CARICOM region and look at what they are doing to crime statistics in Toronto, Ontario. Most of or the greater percentage of our crime in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is perpetrated against mainly the black Jamaicans and others by Jamaican gangs. The other Ethnic cultures pale by comparison in committing the number of crimes when compared to Jamaicans, who have formed many well organized gangs that trrorize their neighborhoods. They are so intimidating that residents will not cooperate with the police in fear of reprisal and though police know they were witnesses to a particular killing, shooting etc these witnesses will not come forward.

    No problem can be solved until you admit there is a problem and believe me the Jamaican Nation has a big problem with crime, But what is really baffling to us in North America is this, why do Jamaicans stand out visibly and by statistics as being the predominant Carribean culture committing the most crime in the GTA. We are told that people want to come to other countries that offer them opportunities to change their ways and be part of the main stream and successful social structure but yet in the GTA Jamaican gangs go right back to drugs, gun crime etc.

  14. Here is another point that speaks volumes and I know people in the Caribbean watch CNN.

    In todays CNN report Canada has now been fingered by the Government of the US of A as being a major cause and contributor of Marijuana shipments to their Nation and guess who is responsible for Canada getting this reputation?

    We are getting more and more serious mariujana busts in Canada than ever seen before and in areas that you would least expect. Those being rural communities 100 or more miles outside of the GTA.

    But what is even more troublesome is that these grow ups are now spreading to urban areas where criminals rent houses and set up the grow up under lights and they are caught because our viglilant law enforcement with the help of our Hydro officials can pinpoint homes with excessive hydro use which in most cases signal grow ups. And who is behind it Jamaicans mainly.

    This is not to discredit the good Jamaicans many of whom are struggling under circunstances that even they feel embarassed about and know is effecing their “Yeoman” effort in trying to change the viloent and lawlesws image of Jamaica not only locally but Internationally. And let me say to any prove me a liar

    I refuse to support anything that is wrong whether it involves my beloved Barbados, or Jamaica, Canada the USA or tim buck two. And who do not like my approach and position can take whatever shots they like at me

    ***************

    Hello Dave

    Robert here,

    I know that the Jamaican community knows they have a violence problem. I am not sure about your claim that they are responsible for the majority of Canada’s marijuana trafficking to the USA. Please provide some backup for this statement!

    Thanks

    Robert

  15. Hi Robert thank you for asking and let me say up front I am not an expert other than to say I have a few connections in the constabulary of the major police forces in Ontario and I can only speak from what they tell me.

    Canada traditionally like the USA has always tended to be more a hard drug culture which has changed albeit slowly within the last decade or so especially among young people who are now using other drugs like over the counter medications and marijuana to get a high and in the case of sexual criminal acts using the date rape drug, which is also a big ticket item here.

    However, and as you know we in Canada have mistakenly as far as the majority of Canadians believe made marijuana legal as a treatment drug for pain and people suffering from serious and in most cases incurable diseases. Though this type of treatment is SUPPOSEDLY Goverment regulated it is being abused by addicts.

    In the USA the same legislation was proposed and accepted in the State of California but the Feds said they did not recognize the lrgislation reserved the rights to prosecute any State outting it into practise. Since I have been in Palm Springs, California effective January 4/07 the press specifically the Desert Sun has carried articles about the local authorities shutting down these so called legal marijuana medical centres because of illegal sales but I digress. I just want to give you a bit of background. You might be able to reserach this newsprint by bringing up their archives.

    The grow ups we are seeing in Ontario (specifically) related to Northern Ontario is being cultivated by non Jamaicans for Jamaicans I am advised because of obvious reasons. The locals know the northern terrain have contacts in those areas and agree to grow the weed. However, helicopter and infra red and other technology can spot these fields of Marijuana quite easily and the police raid them and destroy the plants. Regrettably in most cases the growers are never apprehended but when some are they usually are being used or connected to by the Jamaican front men/women.

    Because the police have caught on to the rural threat and are busting most of them but my no means all of them the front men themselves are now turning to more ingenious grow ups and using rental houses mainly but not always in Jamaican residential areas.

    Only a few years ago if you can believe this there was a grow up of a huge magnitude in Barrie, Ontario at the abandoned factory of beer company that had been going on for a hell of a long time with no one having a clue about it. It was right under the police noses.

    What the law has done to try and deter this threat is that these rental houses when caught are considered so degraded because of the pollutant effects, mold etc that they are condemmned so the owner takes a dreadful financial hit because the house needs mega bucks spent on it before it passes inspection. The point of this exercise is that renters will be more careful and selective as to who they rent to.

    What also is happening in Ontario and I dare say other Provinces to a lesser a extent is this, Marijuana is being promoted as a benign substance no more dangerous than booze and there are many who are fighting for its legalization in Canada.

    Before the influx of Jamaicans marijuana was not a high priority item in the drug trade and cocaine, meth and other such drugs were the drugs of choice. With medical and school education much of the hard drug usage is declining among our youth and users are looking at alternative highs promising no long term and permanent effects;

    To ask me to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that many or most of the Jamaican populace in Ontario is mainly responsible for the increase in marijuana I must honestly say I cannot do that. I can only say that the people who are dealing with this problem tell me that it is a Jamaican made in Canada industry in which they have utilized all kinds of people to do their dirty work much like we see with drug mules.

    But Robert it stands to ask if Marijuana is the principle drug of the Jamaican Rasta culture which is now being embraced by many Canadians and only in the past decade or so since we opened our borders to Jamaicans and according to the USA in tonights CNN report who are blaming Canada as one of the main sources of peddling it to the USA I suggest there is a real smoking gun.

    Let me put it another way sir, Barbados is saying that their island is a major trans-shipment area for Marijuana and Cocaine. Well we know that St Vincent is growing marijuana legally and we know Colombia is a big coke and other drug destination so it is not rocket science to draw reasonable conclusions where these drugs are coming from and who are responsible. Is it?

    This is like many of the debates we see on BFP where opinions are based on fact where possible but many conclusions are not necessarily factual but peoples opinions based on reasonable grounds and logic.

    *************************

    Hello Dave

    Thank you for your views, but you have not provided any backup at all for your statements of fact…

    1/ “Most of or the greater percentage of our crime in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is perpetrated against mainly the black Jamaicans and others by Jamaican gangs.”

    2/ And who is behind it (grow ops) Jamaicans mainly.”

    You should either provide web based references for these statements of fact or withdraw or modify them.

    Dave, you tend to make grand statements based only upon a conjecture, and it takes away from the parts of your writing that are worthwhile. Please think about this in the future.

    Robert

  16. Elliot Ness

    Yes Robert,

    Verbal flatulance from Alamby as usual.

    He sounds so important! Toodles!

    Now, whre is my spliff and my Red Stripe?

    uuuuuummmmmn

  17. AntiguaBlack

    Every country struggles with social ills in one form or another, so we can all take turns pointing and scoffing. If the bajan underclass explodes, it will have very little to do with “Jamaican culture”, but everything to do with illegitimacy, neglect, and the hoards of big-up white, black, and brown, men who are on safari in the ghetto every night, twice on the weekends…

  18. Good morning Robert,

    Your and the other comments have been noted about my remarks and I accept them in the spirit they were intended. But let me ask you this with respect.

    When using this blog I have never seen it said for a condition to participate that anyone needed to support what they said with website postings. I think that many of the stories printed and points made are made on opinion, personal and otherwise and what is supported sometimes in the press and other postings.

    After reading some of the many opinions expressed about myriad subjects and in most cases the opinions could not be substantiated I find it unusual that I am being asked to support mine as if I were in a law court.

    Your blog has accomodated others who expressed some very negative opinions about Guaynese and Vincentian immigrants to Barbados and no one was asked to support their opinion that I saw as you are asking me to do.

    ****************

    Comment by George

    Hi Dave

    Let’s stick with the subject at hand which is your two statements.

    Do you withdraw them?

  19. Hi George I am sticking to the point and no I am not withdrawing my comments because anyone who knows the situation in the GTA and read the Toronro Press and police reports know that what I am saying is as valid as anyone else expressing an opinion on your blog.

    As I have said before I read all kinds of opinions by people using your blog that are nothing short of innuendo, gossip and badmouthing people. Why are they not being asked as I am to support their rhetoric with web site postings etc. Why have I been singled out? Could this be another attempted set up?

    Robert asked me a valid question and I answered him in all honesty and fairness and based on information that I have and from numerous articles that appeared and continue to appear almost daily in the Toronto Press.

    What I have said was also publicly said by a BLACK Councillor in the GTA who said blacks are killing blacks. A prominent Toronto Star reporter Roy James (A former Jamaican resident) immediately called him a “Racist”.

    I have seen black mothers on TV weeping over the loss of a child and begging the Government of Ontario to do something about the black on black violence. And claiming that we are too soft with dispensing justice and I agree with her.

    Only a year or so ago an innocent young woman by the name of Creaver I believe it was when Christmas shopping on Yonge Street a bunch of these thugs had a gang war and she was killed by a stray bullet. Check that FACT out too. That should be somewhere on the web.

    But George why would I need to lie or worry about it none of it is impacting me or other people and cultures. The sadness and the tragedy of what I am talking about is being directed against blacks by blacks and that is a fact.

    Why you and Robert have taken such a sudden dislike to constructive dialogue leaves me surprised. And here is another thing George seeing as how the Free Press boasts that they are looking for truth and above board and FAIR commentary from their clients.

    Adrian Loveridge used the BFP to condemn the Australians for issuing a travel warning to their Citizens planning to visit Barbados. And went after them again to point out that before warning their Citizens about crime in Barbados they should take care of their own crime and lack of security at hotels because a member of the Physio group in the English cricket team was mugged or robbed at knifepoint on their hotel premises. As true as all of that is and Adrian has every Democratic right to say it, look at the hypocrisy that goes along with it that no one called Loveridge on.Because it served an Agenda that suited the BFP. But you and SOME readers want to cruicify me!

    When Loveridge enjoyed the right that he claims he no longer has to author a column in the local press of Barbados not only did he often lament about the state of crime against Visitors in Barbados that was ruining Tourism, but let me refresh your memory George of an incident that really got Adrian going and as it should have.

    Do you remember his article that he wrote about a guest at his hotel following the 9/11 attack and who was from New York trying to get a little R&R and while resting and sunning at Adrians pool she was robbed by an intruder who trespassed and grabbed her purse. That is all on the PUBLIC RECORD and the visitor pursued the robber on foot. Adrian was livid as he should be and expounded about how these incidents were ruining tourism. Yet he goes after the Australian Government for warning their residents.

    No George I am afraid that my flatulence will have to stay as I reported, because I find it no more unsubtantiated than most other commentators opinions.

    My question to you is as valid as yours to me. Why are you not asking the Commentators on your blog to show web sites that support their position that Guanyese, Vincentians are taking jobs away from Barbadians and are criminals and that Rich Foreigners buying land in Bim is destroying the island. Why allow that sort of rhetoric which I am not disputing but call me to prove what I say. You know what I really think is the case here you are trying to set me up because I have been a pain to you! The only one person at the BFP I have respect for is Cliverton. He does not strike me as a vindictive person as some others seem to be. When he calls you or speaks their is good reason and he uses logic and fairness.

  20. George and while we are on the subject tell me this.

    All comments submitted show on your web site that you are monitoring them before printing. Is that not correct? And you too have gone on the public record to say this is the policy of the BFP.

    Why then if any of my or anyone elses submissions do not meet your crteria for print would you print them?

    *******************

    Response by George

    Dave, we are moderating your comments because you have crossed some lines in the past. You are not banned – just moderated 100% of the time. That’s the way it is.

  21. Maat

    What we set ourselves up for with this prejudice against Jamaican people is to accept prejudice even against ourselves. When we feel that the white man or the wealthy is unfairing us because of our colour or lack of social standing, that is our reward (for want of a better word). The murder rate in Jamaica is undeniably high and some say that is a result of the musical/drug/rasta subculture. Other Caribbean nations have a terribly high AIDS rate, what does this say about the culture of these countries?. Is rum, duppie and wuk up any better or worse? The young and the innocent are dying, this is the underlying fact. It doesn’t really matter if it is due to drugs, sexual promiscuity or alcohol related accidents and diseases. The youth recognise that the mature people are confused. They legalise alcohol and tobacco which are scientifically proven to impact negatively on peoples health yet want to jail users of another narcotic. The society proclaims the need to have strong social and moral commitments, based around the family, communities and the protection of youth, yet we are told to accept homosexuality and tolerate preferences. Canada and America are failed societies that have not improved the health or social cohesion of the majority of their people after 300 years of development. How long has the Caribbean being led by their own people. We are yet young as a region of independent states, led by politicians who are not trained to be social visionaries. In many ways we are like South Africa in this regard facing similar challenges, coming out of similar oppression with the potential to succeed.

    ************************

    Hello Maat

    Cliverton talking:

    I understand what you are saying, but we must always be careful to avoid confusing race with culture as you are doing a bit now. The Jamaican murder and violence rate is not “undeniably high”, it is ten times worse than Barbados and a symptom of some deep cultural malady. Even the author of the blog article about the hotel violence says that their culture is violent even in the workplace.

    The reasons for all this might be of interest in an academic setting – going back in history to see how one country (Barbados) developed a peaceful culture where another (Jamaica) developed into the violent cultural cocktail it is today – but the people who build hotels and take package vacations don’t care about the “whys”. They only know that their chances of being murdered or robbed on vacation are ten times greater in Jamaica than elsewhere – except for the security guys with guns guarding them on the beach.

    Jamaica tourism knows this and therefore markets much of their tourism product under the name “Negril” – like it is some separate country. They know that the word “Jamaica” is a tough sell and for good reason. It is a joke in the travel industry that every year thousands of ignorant tourists step off airplanes for their vacation having no idea that they are in “Jamaica” !

    Given all the above, if I have choice of having a Bajan or a Jamaican for a neighbour, I’ll take a Bajan, thank you!

    That’s not racial prejudice, merely a realistic recognition that one culture is ten times more violent than another and that members of a culture are more likely to share the traits and values of the land of their birth.

  22. GM

    We must stop being copycats; the 1996 anti terrorism bill have an immigration rider and was made retroactive to deport criminals who came from a certain island but since that would be discrimination it had to include everyone.

    Tony Blair recently offered to build and fund a prison on a certain island and send their nationals back to serve out the time. Thugs of certain Caribbean countries have been coming to North America with forged documents and engaging in criminal behavior which gets them deported then the local politicians claim that they were trained in North America.

    These dumb donkey government officials don’t realize that the US and Canadian government have the real information, there are many known Caribbean criminals walking the streets of New York and Toronto. The dope smoking idiots are destroying the cultures of the various islands.

  23. I have read the additional comments on this subject all of which have added useful opinions and I dare say facts worthy of serious consideration.

    However, I find that including loss of life because of AIDS, alcohol, etc being grouped into the same category as pre meditated gun play, lawlessness, drug abuse etc and involving mainly a specific culture is stretching it. Plus all of these other examples (AIDS etc) effect and involve ALL cultures, Nationalities and ethnic groups it is not isloated or is mainly involving one culture as is the subject under discussion.

    As we know thousands are losing their lives every year to bad lifestyle, diet and lack of exercise that leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. Surely this type of thing cannot be compared in the same class has drug and gang violence causing death and involving mainly one culture as in THIS CASE UNDER DISCUSSION!.

    I think the point I am trying to make is, as far as Canada and specifically the GTA is concerned, we are seeing more and more GANG crime/deaths involving drugs and a specific culture being responsible for it, than we have ever seen before. Last year because of this 2006 was referred to as the “year of the gun”. I have lived in Ontario and traveled throughout Canada for the past 50 years and never have I seen this type of crime until the past decade or two. Before that you got crime sure you did but it was varied in nature, small in numbers and involved people from all walks of life. Even a Premier of a Province served time in jail for murdering his wife and has since recently been released.

    But here is an important issue worth considering and that is we have in the GTA a multicultural social mosaic of peoples second to none in the world, yet with most of our crime one culture specifically stands out as being responsible for it.

    When making a statement like that I and I am sure most others are not implying racist intent but speaking the truth as the facts themselves support. To suggest all Jamaicans, Barbadians, Trinidadians etc are thugs would be ignorant as most are decent law abiding people just wanting to live the dream in peace like everybody else.

    Look at what the Barbados Police just said on the public record. They said they were becoming very concerned because most or a major portion of the crime in Barbados was being committed by “non Nationals”. That is not racist!

    I have always taken the position that to solve any problem you first have to admit you have a problem, indentify the cause of the problem and then go about finding a solution if one is possible.

    I try to be fair and realistic in what I say but for some reason my comments always bring the wrath of God from some and for many misguided reasons down around my head.

  24. I have noticed the additional comments on this subject all of which give very interesting perspectives, albeit some that are not relevant to the issue under discussion. If permitted I would like to add a few other comments. And hopefully put it in a way that I do not become the target of ridicule from some frequenting the BLOGHOOD!

    First and foremost. HIV, Alcohol, obscene music etc all of which contribute to death and crime can hardly be compared to the issue being debated in this instance. These things are choices and afflictions of a wide section of todays social culture and what I and I think others are trying to show is that the troublesome and violent Jamaican behaviour is a cultural thing and being practised to extremes when compared to other cultures.

    To make my point even more clear the world is losing thousands of lives yearly because of bad lifestyle choices in diet, lack of exercise etc that leads to diabetes, heart and stroke disease, cancer etc. But this is a situation that is impacting all cultures.

    When I brought up the situation in the GTA relating to Jamaican gangs it was based on the reality of a situation involving mainly one culture. We have had so many deaths by guns this year involving drugs, gang violence fighting for turf rights etc that it is truly scary stuff and at the end of 2006, so many had died it was called the year of the gun. That is a fact!

    Now this is also a very relevant point and an important one. The GTA boasts one of the most multicultural Social make ups that is second to none in the world yet our violence is being mainly caused by a predominant and specfic culture and that is a fact not fiction.

    I hardly hear about a Bajan, St. Lucian, Vincentian, Trinidadian and other West Indian cultures being involved in the type of crime that is permeating our Province but mainly in the GTA when it comes to gang and drug crime. It is always mainly the one culture. I am not suggesting others are not practising drug activities but they seem to be able to do their job without violence. Nor am I saying that our Jamaican or any other culture are all criminals or bad people. That would be ignorant and crazy talk but even GTA Jamaicans are crying out about what is going on. And are blaming the Government for not taking stronger measures to stop it!

    And what makes the situation even worse is the fact that these gangs have no fear to rumble in broad daylight in downtown Toronto. Not long ago people were running for their lives in the Eaton Centre of all places. The young innocent girl Creaver who was in the wrong place at the wrong time when shot last Christmas eve I think, when in downtown Toronto and on a busy main street Yonge lost her life when thugs of the culture we speak decided to have a Wyatt Earp shootout.

    I have lived in Canada for 50 and we have always had crime but very little until up to 20 years ago and it involved a cross section of society. Even a Premier of a Province who murdered his wife and was only recently released. But today that has all changed and almost on a daily basis there are murders involving mainly black people of a specific culture shooting their brothers and sisters. It truly is a sad state of affairs. And let me add this other comment!

    Because of the reaction I got from a few about my remarks on this blog most other cultures in the GTA who are not being impacted by this violence stay clear of saying anything in fear of being branded racists and take the position let them kill each other. Now isn’t that a sad commentary and with that attitude I do not expect our problem to be solved anytime soon!

    And here is another point and you can get this information from your respective Governments. The same culture we talk about is also mainly the ones coming to Canada on the farm work program that get into trouble with the law!

    I have always taken the position that you first have to admit that you have a problem, then try and find the cause for the problem following which you can then look for solutiions to the problem.

    Let me ask this question, is the Barbados police racists when recently announcing that they are getting more concerned about the increase in crime involving non Nationals? Certainly not! Racism today is being exploited for all of the wrong reasons and it is causing more harm than good.

  25. Don

    Yes Jamaicans are “different”. I am a Jamaican and I believe that. For better and for worse.

    Sometimes that difference leads to big negatives such as high rates of violent crimes and social dislocation. No Jamaican in their right mind is proud of that.

    Those of our Caribbean cousins who choose to define Jamaica and Jamaicans by our undeniable negatives have every right to do so. They are happy to take us down a peg or two with unrelenting (and unbalanced) criticism and disdain. This is especially so when they are able to pontificate through the anonymity and safety of a computer. It makes them feel better about themselves.

    There is much to criticize about Jamaica and its people- we have to fix that. To that extent this criticism is helpful even if one-sided.

    What the critics never mention is the absolute genius of Jamaica and Jamaicans. The genius that makes Jamaica a celebrity nation known and held in awe throughout the world.

    Walk through any supermarket in the USA and you will find an array of products branded Jamaica this or Jamaica that – most having very little to do with Jamaica but the brand is too powerful to ignore commercially.
    Global brands like Puma and Adidas use Jamaican themes to create huge global marketing programs- why? The Jamaica brand is too attractive to ignore.

    The celebrity status that makes the brand “Jamaica” sought after by corporations and individuals alike because it is synonymous with excitement, soaring spirit, confidence, extreme talent and achievement.

    There is a reason that Jamaica is a household word in virtually every country on earth – we are extreme achievers individually.
    From Marcus Garvey, arguably the most important and powerful black man of the 20th century and the father of the African liberation movement – through Bob Marley, the most powerful artiste of the 20th century (whose image is probably the most recognizable of any person globally) to our current world beaters in track, boxing, music etc – Jamaica is a phenomenon – a global cultural heavyweight.

    Jamaica and Jamaicans have had and continue to have a cultural impact on the world which is mind boggling considering our small size. The fact that we don’t keep quiet about it does not endear us to our Caribbean cousins. But why should we?

    The vast majority of Jamaicans unfortunately do not pay much attention to the rest of the Caribbean except around Test cricket time – ie once every year or two. We are mostly oblivious to and unconcerned about the withering criticisms from our cousins because we by and large do not see them as our natural competition – we focus on the “big” countries – the USA, UK, Canada etc and try to beat them up.
    Incidentally the US is preparing for its annual beating by our athletes at their largest annual track meet, the Penn Relays in just a few days time.

    So our Caribbean cousins, continue to exercise your right to criticise Jamaica even if it is unleavened by balance. On behalf of the majority of Jamaicans who don’t take much notice of you, continue to keep us grounded in reality lest we get too “bigheaded”.

  26. Jamaican

    Don, thank you very much.

    Well I can see we have some very seemingly intelligent people here. They have a way with the English language and it looks very nice and well-written, but really doesn’t cut it. Plenty are educated fools, I must say.

    Yes, Jamaica has problems. Yes, Jamaicans are different. Yes, Jamaicans overall may be everything you say we are, but at the end of the day JAMAICANS STAND OUT. We are emulated by people from all over this world. Why?

    Call our music whatever you want, but many of you will still be dancing to it. Say what you want about our culture, people from all over still want to be like us. Look at the influence our “dirty music” and “dirty lifestyle” have in North America, Japan, all over the Caribbean, all over the World. People admire us. People want to be like us. People like some of you hate us. But you just can’t stop us. Am I sounding too arrogant? That’s ok. It makes me feel a whole lot better after all the negative unconstructive criticism I’ve just had to read through.

    “If Barbados sinks to the level of Jamaica God help us all.” Why are you people worried that Barbados might just end up like Jamaica? Because we are leaders and you all know it. We set the trends for you all to follow. But if you all are going to follow, don’t make the same mistakes we do.

    Plenty people wish they were Jamaicans. You can call me silly, call me stupid, call me ignorant, call me whatever. What difference does it make? The truth is, all you can do after reading this comment is to submit a comment in response to mine, or go ahead and beat up yourself over it as if that is going to change anything.

    I am not proud of our crime and violence but I am proud to be a JAMAICAN.