THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am not surprised that the Government has not condemned the burning and trampling of the Jamaican flag in the commercial by Germany-based company Saturn.
The foreign affairs minister, in saying people had missed the point, showed that he, too, is missing the point. The minister is basking in the fact that, once again, Jamaica is on 'foreign TV', just as the Government did with the VW commercial.
What the minister doesn't get is that the flag was INTENTIONALLY set on fire and trampled. If it were a live TV show, I would understand, but this was no accident. It was a premeditated act, which, I am sure, took hours, days - maybe even weeks - of planning.
The fact that people came out showing 'support' for Jamaica in the end does not take away from the fact that it should not have happened in the first place.
I see this no differently from the VW commercial, which was an unfunny slight to Jamaican culture. The Super Bowl commercial was not simply about a white man speaking Jamaican, as letter writer Agostinho Pinnock implied on Monday, February 25, 2013.
More than anything else, the VW ad smacks of minstrelsy. The language of Jamaicans was being used by someone who isn't Jamaican, speaking to quite befuddled non-Jamaicans, for comedic purposes.
Minstrelsy, a form of entertainment used by white people to portray black people as dim-witted, lazy, buffoonish, and happy-go-lucky, is nothing to laugh about. The only thing missing here was the painted blackface.
And that is just one of several issues with the commercial by VW, which, coincidentally, is also a German company.
Through ignorance or mesmerised by another 'foreign' commercial exploiting Brand Jamaica, many people, including government officials are quite 'happy'. It seems any reference to Jamaica in the international media, which the Government does not have to pay for, is welcome. Now, they have got Jamaican-by-way-of-Minnesota Dave to come to Jamaica to do what only God knows.
I am awaiting the announcement that they have invited the Saturn guys to Jamaica to burn the flags we have here, too. Maybe this will see our hotels overflowing with foreign guests - just as the VW commercial brought extra cruise calls, flights and full hotel rooms!
No self-respecting country would embrace such desecration of a sacred national symbol.