The much hyped debate between the twin Island Nation of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica continue to be a hot topic on social media. Jamaicans are alleging foul, they say they are being targeted and treated as criminals when they attempt to enter Trinidad and Tobago. Recently a group of Jamaican visitors were returned home by T&T Immigration officials. That incident sparked howls of condemnation from Jamaicans at home and abroad.
Calls range from a boycott of all goods from T&T to outright war. The problem for Jamaica is that this supposed harassment of Jamaicans is not confined to T&T , but is alleged to be happening to Jamaicans travelling to other Caribbean Islands. Those who follow the news may recall the Shanique Myrie case in Barbados. The allegations have been strong enough to prompt T&T’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to send a delegation, headed by her foreign minister Winston Dookeran, to hold diplomatic talks with his Jamaican counterpart A J Nicholson.
Dookeran then promised to allow for free travel into that country but his fellow parliamentarian and Trinidadian security minister, Gary Griffith, shot down his promise and vowed to keep out ‘undesirables’.Griffith said immigration matters fell under his ministry and only he could make such pronouncements. He said Trinidad was not shopping mall. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Broadcaster-Johnny-Daley-harrassed-by-T-T-Immigration-and-Customs-officers_15753932.
Clearly that statement did nothing to smooth ruffled feathers in Kingston, yet it underlined what is a much deeper issue than most Jamaicans will honestly admit to. Since the start of this year another Jamaican has complained of being harassed by Trinidadian immigration officials. Broadcaster and comedian Christopher ‘Johnny’ Daley claimed to have been mistreated by airport officials. Daley claim he and his wife were singled out for interrogation and treated as suspects the minute officials realized they were Jamaicans. Daley posted details of his alleged ordeal on his Face/Book page. In his post the Jamaican had this to say. “She seemed quite disappointed and annoyed that she found nothing alarming in our luggage and then she did the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever experienced. She asked if I was wearing two trousers (remember I live in the tropics ) to which my response was an obvious no. Without hesitation she instructed me to go to a room with the two thug-looking men (police).The Trinidad airport personnel seem to personally enjoy dragging us through the mud of their system. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Broadcaster-Johnny-Daley-harrassed-by-T-T-Immigration-and-Customs-officers_15753932
Whether everything this character Johnny Daley said he and his wife endured is true or not , we see that he has scant regard for law-enforcement. That is evident in his choice of words, it’s a Jamaican characteristic which is oftentimes exported to other shores to their utter detriment. Law enforcement does not take kindly to be disrespected. The Jamaican went at length detailing his version of what transpired. The Article was followed with a long list of knee-jerk responses calling again for a ban on Trinidadian products .
Every time there is a flare-up, we hear the same calls. Yet Jamaica’s markets are flooded with products from the twin Island Republic. If Jamaicans are so gung-ho about boycotting Trinidadian goods all they have to do is stop buying them. What’s left on shelves would rot and there would be no more containers being off-loaded from Trinidad.
So it seem these calls are nothing more than attempts to blow off steam, while they continue to consume products from T&T. What Jamaicans will not face up to is the depths to which we have sunk, or acknowledge it is their behavior which precipitates the kind of attitudes being directed against our people in general. I am not particularly careful about what anyone say about what I write about this issue. I am sure there will be many who have a host of negatives to say about me and of course Trinidad, other nations and anyone who do not get on the howling train.
In fact they will continue to ignore Jamaica’s contribution to this sense of being singled out for negative treatment. It is the same way they pretend that the murdering degenerate demons who each have multiple murders to their dubious credit, are somehow being set upon by the wicked police. Every low life who meets his maker was a choir-boy who was on his way to being a Doctor. Never mind that the streets knows him by an alias signifying his depraved indifference to human life.
At what time will Jamaicans stop blaming others for their own doings. At what stage will they recognize that people are turned off by the disrespectful, loud,crass,ignorant, arrogant behavior they display , even if they are guilty of the same vices? Trinidad and Tobago is rivaling Jamaica in homicides, whether we believe they are hypocrites, or that they pretend they are better than us is immaterial. They have a right to prevent who they don’t want in their country from entering. News to Jamaicans who have their panties in a bunch, “do not travel to Trinidad and Tobago”. Yes there are Caricom Regulations which dictates how Caricom members should be treated when they travel to member states. What Jamaicans are not recognizing is that each member state’s Constitution trumps Caricom treaties. The rhetoric of T&T’s National Security Minister Gary Griffith is a sharp reminder of that fact.
Jamaicans may continue to grandstand and pontificate, arrogantly bloviating about boycotts or we can start to change our attitudes. We can address our crime situation and the way we are seen responding to criminality. We can recognize that other countries value the rule of law, despite their crime stats. And most of all they support their law-enforcement officials. Most Jamaicans believe they are above laws. They go out of their way to be disrespectful to law enforcement officers at home. If they do not want to be searched and spoken to, stay home. Some deserve to be taken down a peg or two, if it takes other countries to do it then so be it.