Being Stuck in America
Today a friend of mine shared the following story about a conversation with a fellow Jamaican in Florida: She shared with a friend of hers that she was on the way back home for a short visit, and he pointedly asked her: "Yuh mad! Do you have any idea how many people were killed last month in Jamaica?"
She stammered out a weak reply; "No."
He told her "A hundred and something!" Like many Jamaicans abroad, she responded with shock and told him that "A lie yuh a tell!"
He called Jamaica on the spot, and spoke to someone who confirmed that we did indeed have over a hundred murders. I guess he proved his point. He was factually correct about the number of murders.
However, what is more interesting is that we have some 2 million tourists per year coming here.
In spite of Jamaicans like him.
In an earlier post, I shared the reaction that my wife received when she shared that she was moving back. The most negative reaction came from Jamaicans.
Many Jamaicans in the U.S. are angry that they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They love their country, and miss it terribly. They are angry that they cannot return (for many good reasons.) They are unwilling to assimilate into the mainstream U.S. (which for most means becoming African Americans.)
They are stuck.
They also lose sleep at night wondering what will happen when their children and grand-children lose their Jamaican-ness, and won't be able to tell a mango from a muss-muss. They send their hard-earned money back, hoping that it will make a difference, guilty that they left in the first place, and hurting for those who are living without back home.
Last night on the political debate between Audley Shaw and Omar Davis I heard a good idea for the first time -- an overseas Jamaican investment bond. Perhaps that might be a useful way to contribute?