A Sensitive Region

Bwoy, today I was attending a training course on some banking software. The trainer was going over the forms which are used for adding a customer to the system and he was pointing out that you could save information on the customer such as if the customer was from a region which was being monitored for money laundering by the authorities, or if he was from a “sensitive region”. A woman in the training course piped up, “Boy, the way things are here in Cayman at the moment, it should be earmarked a “sensitive region itself!”, and trust me, she is right!

The white ex-pats have been raising quite a stink over this rollover policy as many of them feel it is unfair (and certain aspects of it DO seem to be unfair!). Some Caymanians have been responding in a similarly disgruntled way that the rollover is a must and that the ex-pats are selfish and bad mind, yaddah, yaddah. Yet other Caymanians have been getting in on the act, but on the ex-pats side! They feel that Cayman needs these ex-pats and that the whole country will sink without them!

Notice, I have said the “white ex-pats.”. For the most part, the Jamaican ex-pats have been “holding their corner.”. After all, the vast majority of them are in precarious positions, and they seem to be afraid to open their mouths and say anything for fear the Caymanians scrape them up and send them back home immediately! I think the Philipinos have been pursuing the same strategy as the Jamaicans, after all, when you hand in lion mouth, you haffi tek time draw it out in case you wake him up, nuh true? 😀

But the comments of Mr. David Ritch recently seem to have sort of inflamed the Jamaicans and they have been getting a bit upset. They too have joined in the “war of words” which has been threatening to consume the Cayman Islands. I noticed that the Jamaican Consulate has demanded an apology, and that Ritch has sort of issued one. Still the hubbub continues on the streets. Yes indeed, the Cayman Islands have become a sensitive region indeed!

Here is what I have to say on the whole issue. Cayman belongs to Caymanians! They are beginning to feel uncomfortable with the fact that many ex-pats, both black and white, are in a position to claim status and later citizenship here. I am not blaming them for feeling this way! In this regard, they are just like many humans the world over, i.e. the United States, trying to keep the number of immigrants to reasonable numbers, Canada, Spain which has been experiencing a tide of humanity coming from Africa, and if we look back over time, it is clear that many, many countries have undergone similar issues with similar feelings being raised to the fore.

I myself can remember feeling similar feeling as recently as three or so years ago when a bunch of Hatians were fleeing the strife in their country and they washed up on the shores of Jamaica. The Jamaican Gov’t. housed, clothed and fed the Hatians, and then they gave them phones to call home to say they were alright. It looks like the Haitians told their families of Jamaica’s beauty and of the warm welcome they had received, because many more Haitian boats put to sea and came to Jamaica, and the Gov’t. was trying to help them all.

I remember feeling at the time that the Haitians should be repatriated ASAP, because I felt that more and more of them would keep coming and eventually they would be swamping the country, nyamming out MY tax dollars!

If I can feel this way after just a couple of hundred Haitians had landed, I can well understand how the Caymanians are feeling, therefore I quite understand when they take steps to look out for Caymanians here in Cayman.

At the same time, there is a right way to go about it and a wrong way. If Mr. Ritch DID talk about Jamaicans turning Cayman into a welfare statement, his comments are unfounded! I did find the overall tone in some of the articles, editorials and letters being written daily to be displeasing too. Reading them, you would think that the Jamaicans who were here had forced their way into Cayman, that they are making a bloody nuisance of themselves and that they have been resisting all efforts to have them removed!

People, by and large, the Jamaicans who are in the Cayman Islands came over on an offer of work! They were invited to come, they didn’t sneak over in boats or trick Immigration into letting them in. While here, they have done a lot of good work too! To now be talking of them as if they were some sort of undesirable scum on the radios and in the letters to the newspapers, well, lets just say that those people who have been speaking like this paint Caymanians in a poor light indeed, IMHO. Some of them could really use a swift kick to “a sensitive region!” 😀

Anyway, sometimes you just have to laugh off all the problems of the world around you, nuh true? Thats why I am leaving you with this little morsel…

A husband and wife are sitting quietly in bed reading when the Wife looks over at him and asks the question….

WIFE: “What would you do if I died? Would you get married again?”

HUSBAND: “Definitely not!”

WIFE: “Why not? Don’t you like being married?”

HUSBAND: “Of course I do.”

WIFE: “Then why wouldn’t you remarry?”

HUSBAND: “Okay, okay, I’d get married again.”

>WIFE: “You would?” (with a hurt look)

HUSBAND: (makes audible groan)

WIFE: “Would you live in our house?”

HUSBAND: “Sure, it’s a great house.”

WIFE: “Would you sleep with her in our bed?”

HUSBAND: “Where else would we sleep?”

WIFE: “Would you let her drive my car?”

HUSBAND: “Probably, it is almost new.”

WIFE: “Would you replace my pictures with hers?”

HUSBAND: “That would seem like the proper thing to do.”

WIFE: “Would you give her! my jewellery?”

HUSBAND: “No, I’m sure she’d want her own.”

WIFE: “Would she use my golf clubs?”

HUSBAND: “No, she’s left-handed.”

WIFE: — silence —

HUSBAND: “shit.” 😀

Now I don’t know about you, but I was ROTFL over this one, boy!

I am including a link to this site just because I found it a bit interesting… the site is called “Confessions of Filipino Serial Killer”, and here is one entry. Give it a read, nuh? After all, maybe we will be hearing about this guy on CNN in the near future, what do you think?

Anyway, its almost Friday! Thank God its (almost) Friday, eh? Wheee! 🙂

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5 Responses to “A Sensitive Region”

  1. That new-falutin CSME bizniz gives Haitians as much right to J’can borders as any J’can has, doesn’t it?! Promotes C’bean unity or some such ting.

  2. Not exactly, Melody. It allows professionals from any member state to work in any other member state, not just anybody. You have to apply for a special permit to do so though. Also, I am not sure you can just stay in the country you work in forever. We will learn all these things in the fullness of time, I suppose. Perhaps Michelle (Yamfoot) would be a good person to enlighten us on this, I believe she has researched it somewhat. I will ask her.

  3. Ah no so it go! Hatian refugees coming to Jamaica and consuming what few government resources there are is a real and problematic issue that any nation would/should try to avoid. But, that’s not the real issue in Cayman.

    Ex patriots in Cayman, Jamaican or otherwise, are not consuming limited government resources in the form of welfare. They are working legally under the established guest workers program, as are you MB. They provide a service and contribute to the local society and economy and due to their numbers, that contribution is most significant. But to truly understand the Cayman/Jamaican immigration issue, you must look at Cayman’s history.

    Cayman use to be a ward of Jamaica. As the dominant English colony, Jamaica was the focus and Jamaica then took care of little Cayman and its few fishermen and rope makers. Caymanians never cared all that much for their secondary status and Jamaica didn’t hesitate to laud its position over Cayman. This slighting built enmity amongst Caymanians towards Jamaicans from way back! Later, as Cayman started coming into its good fortune in the late 70’s and 80’s they saw a small influx of Jamaicans and an increasing use of Cayman as a stopping point for drug traders and other nefarious types. This lead to a Caymanian outlook that Jamaicans were undesirables and criminals, and indeed many of them were!

    Time went on and while the majority of the undesirables were pushed out and many Jamaicans established themselves as business owners with Cayman status, Caymanians started to realize that while they were still living in the poorer conditions of the 70’s and 80’s, these ex pats had put forth the effort and made a lot of money and were living very well indeed. This lead to jealousy that is surfacing today as an intensified dislike for Jamaicans in general. ‘They’re criminals!’ ‘Why do we let them in?’ You’ve heard it yourself, haven’t you MB?

    Fast forward to Ivan. Cayman has enjoyed massive economic growth, even if a lot of it is due to or owned by ex patriots. Grand Cayman is booming when Ivan comes and knocks it for six. Suddenly Cayman needs a lot of labor to continue its original expansion and to rebuild from the massive devastation that Ivan left behind. Where to get lots of cheap labor quick? Why, Jamaica of course! So in comes a flood of thousands of Jamaican laborers. This is also the time that rumors start getting out of control.

    With no power and water to most of the island, following Ivan, there are incidents of looting and such. True to Caymanian form these rumors are exaggerated and amplified until they take on a life of their own. Suddenly, the stories are about gangs of Jamaican “criminals and rapists” bearing machettes and “ravaging the streets of George Town”. It’s only natural that Caymanians have their stereotypical image of “dammed!” Jamaicans reinforced and the pot begins to boil harder than ever.

    So finally, we reach today. On one side we have the Jamaican business community, teefing Caymanian jobs and opportunity and money. On the other side we have Jamaican “old naiggah” filling up the place and ‘teefing everything that isn’t nailed down’. Together they will soon outnumber true Caymanians and many are rapidly approaching status, at which point, Cayman can’t get rid of them.

    Now I can’t offer a solution that both sides would find equitable but, contrary to the Caymanian attitude, it is clear to me that Caymanians want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the economic prosperity they presently enjoy that was brought about by the ingenuity and labor of Jamaicans without having to share it with those very Jamaicans. Most especially the “old naiggah dem!”

    Despite all the fighting in the newspapers and the arguments, the Cayman government has the upper hand and is well on its way to eliminating the ‘scourge’ that is Jamaicans from Cayman. But, they do not yet see the price that they WILL pay for this. They do not yet see the economic downfall that they will bring upon themselves. They cannot have a service economy without the people to perform the services!

  4. Gela Words Says:

    Just reading that article alone it would appear that the Roll Over policy was implemented primarily to address the ‘scourge’ of Jamaicans living there.

    In a way though, even though it was quite insensitive, I can almost understand where he’s coming from, especially when he makes the point that the majority of jamaicans who work in Cayman are not the educated type. These usually are not the type of foreign workers that any country wants populating the place and pressuring the infrastructure.

    Do you notice that even with the CSME, it’s geared towards university educated professionals?

    Cayman is such a small island, I guess it was inevitable that they’d implement something in place to stem the influx into their island. Can’t blame them really.

  5. I will leve the Cayman issue alone….cyaan bodda.

    The CSME is not quite as simple as it appears to be on paper…..

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