THE EDITOR, Sir:
The VW commercial, which left every innocent soul in Jamaica palpably giddy, is nothing more than exploitation of the island's bastardised vernacular, so as to arrest viewers' attention solely for the motive of profit.
Profit is good; don't get me wrong, except that it should not come at the mockery of Africans. For they, too, well know more than any other ethnic group the pain of victimisation for profit, which backers of this ad never thought about easing but rather continue mercilessly in the same vein.
The effort led by VW, superficially, may easily be viewed as entertaining or having a positive impact on the country, as it tends to
This is the subtle, yet powerful stereotypical message about Jamaicans that the commercial is casting, overwhelmingly, in the minds of people who will come in contact with it.
And just to be sure, all over the world, a great number of people knew the Jamaican tongue even before this ad had emerged, but the difference is that the ad stands to have further reach globally and has the potential to assume an imprimatur power of negatively pigeon-holing all Jamaicans as caricatures.
I can now imagine how most professional Jamaicans beyond the shores of the island are catching hell with ridicules and taunts directed underhandedly at them on the job by associates and co-workers - all because of the ad's overriding stereotype.
And for those who will make light of this assessment, the last time I checked, diction, enunciation and pronunciation were tools still being used by the all-powerful to marginalise people who are without means and seeking upward mobility.
Now enters the prime minister and the tourism minister, who should defend the image of Jamaica. Instead, both ministers are in the dark about the loaded message in the ad. They seem elated about it, thus confirming the negative stereotype which it is projecting - that we are indeed an unsophisticated people.
It seems that we are vociferous and rambunctious with one another in demanding respect, but at the drop of a hat, we are willing to exchange that same respect for foreigners' insults. Ignorance is truly blissful.