Tue | Jan 16, 2018

Letter of the Day: Don’t blame Trinidad, blame ourselves!

Published:Friday | April 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The ongoing debate of the reported harassment and denial of entry to some Jamaicans seeking to enter Trinidad and Tobago is one that calls for serious introspection on the part of us as Jamaicans.

The actions by the immigration officials in Trinidad are indicative of how the majority of us, Jamaicans, are perceived across the region and other parts of the world.

Separate and apart from iconic figures such as Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey, Usain Bolt and Merlene Ottey, just to name a few, Jamaica has, for the better part of the last 50 years, developed the unenviable reputation as one of 'most wickedest' places in the Western Hemisphere.

Jamaica, as a stable democracy, has in the last 10 years had the highest homicide rate in all CARICOM.

The perception that most people have of Jamaica and Jamaicans is that of a lawless, trigger-happy, drug-smuggling, homophobic and murderous society. This sort of behaviour is evident wherever Jamaicans go across the world.

The lack of respect for law and order is even more evident in the way we treat with each other here at home. The glorifying of certain heinous behaviour within our culture is far too pervasive. This is the case even among parliamentarians.

Since independence we have, as a natio, lost the respect and privileges once affords us as a nation.

Whereas Jamaica, being a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, had non-visa access into most countries within the Commonwealth, we no longer enjoy these privileges. In fact, so badly have we lost our way that even a small island state like the Cayman Islands has put in place visa requirements for Jamaicans.

I am firmly of the belief that soon and very soon, Trinidad and Tobago will do very much like Jamaica did in the referendum on the West Indies Federation and opt out of this failed so-called union known as CARICOM, thereby putting an end to this ridiculous ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice, which most Jamaicans believe is an open invitation to Barbados and Trinidad, and so they can buy an airline ticket pack dem bag and 'carry come'.