Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jamaica Chinese Invasion? Well it will not be an Invasion if we both Benefit!


This is not our first Chinese invasion, on July 30 1854, the first large group of 267 Chinese immigrants came from Hong Kong, later that year 205 Chinese workers demanded to leave Panama fearing yellow fever, arrived in Jamaica on November 1 and 18, one of the ships was called the Vampire. A decade later in the 1860s another set of Chinese arrived from Trinidad and British Guiana and two decades later, in the 1880s, another group of 680 immigrants arrived, this time directly from China. Most were not welcomed at first with open arms by the newly emancipated slaves who saw them as competition. Over the many decades since then we have seen several mini-invasion and several cases of Chinese leaving Jamaica in mass for greener pastures in The United States and Canada, some claiming discrimination by local Jamaicans and others using Jamaica as a stepping stone to get to more fertile grounds overseas.


The Chinese are not known for their assimilation into local society and for that matter neither were the Indians after their initial invasion, between 1845 to 1921, over 36,000 East Indians, mainly of the Hindu faith, arrived in Jamaica. It took many decades for these early migrants and the local population to create a formula for coexistence where we now joke that person-A might be Chinese, and person-B might be an Indian and person-C white and person-E Black but come Sunday evening everybody eats rice and peas, which is the National Sunday dinner for Jamaicans similar to the Sunday Roast for the British. This was used as proof that the concept of “Out-Of-Many ...One People” was real, implemented and part of the fabric of the Jamaican society.

Of course some differences and conflicts remained but nothing too serious that we could not work them out as one people. It was not uncommon and in fact normal to attend school and sit in class rooms with people from different racial backgrounds, all learning about Jamaican History, playing together in school yard and hanging out at each others home, this was normal for me growing up in Jamaica. I am not saying we are perfect because it was also not uncommon to meet parents and grandparents of kids you were good friends with, who still had a negative reaction towards assimilation and the one-Jamaica concept. Many did not want their kids to associate too much with black Jamaicans but most quickly realized that their kids had different ideas based on how they now see themselves because they saw themselves as Jamaicans, part and parcel of our imperfect Jamaican Society.


In the late 80’s and 90’s we had another mini-Indian invasion, some of which occupied the jewelry stores and gift shops in tourist country and these new arrivals resisted integration for them and their offspring’s. At one point they petitioned the Government because they wanted permission to create an Indian only school, claiming that their children were losing their Indian culture. To which the majority of Jamaicans responded that if they wanted to maintain their culture then they should go back to where they come from, because we refused to have a fragmented society based on state mandated isolation of the people within small pockets of racial ignorance. There were also reports that the Indian business owners would prefer to import East Indians workers to work in their places of business instead of employing black Jamaicans and a few incidences of Indian children committing suicide because their parents tried to force them into arranged marriages and a way of life that was foreign to them.


I am totally against schools based on race or schools based on religion to the point where all others are excluded from attending. I have been to many religious based schools but most were in name only, they really did not care if you practiced that religion or not. My Primary School was Roman Catholic but most of the kids were not Catholics or religious and you were not forced to take part in religious ceremonies… I have been to Baptist High school but most of us were not even religious and the school was not selecting people based on their religion or race but passing grades. So I will resist with all my might any group calling for schools based on race or religion.


Totalitarian Iron Curtain Isolationist Countries
There is something about an entire country spending decades in isolation, not allowing its citizens to leave that country or allow people from other countries to enter, they creep me out. It gets even worst when they spend decades educating their population to think that their race and/or nationality was superior in every way to any other race or nationality and that other races are inferior to them. The former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe quickly comes to mind, these people do not play well with others and most are totally ignorant of other races and cultures and do not have any problems expressing their disgusting ignorant racist xenophobic views. When I was younger I thought the USSR was cool, until they started migrating from their nest of ignorance, coming into contact with people who have spent hundreds of years trying work out their differences and coexist. The worst thing you can have is a bunch of low class people thinking they are superior and it is OK for them to let the world know and act on it.


I watched a documentary not too long ago about Eastern Europeans migrating to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, I watched as several Eastern Europeans ask the question, why are there so many black people in the UK and why are they allowed to live anyway and anywhere they like, walking about like they own the place. They were visibly disgusted at the sight of other races and many were not afraid to express how they feel on camera. So when it comes to people from Totalitarian Iron Curtain Isolationist Countries, I thread carefully and take them one person at a time because decades of ignorance cannot be undone in such a short space of time. In the early 90’s I had experienced interactions with Russians and Eastern Europeans and that interaction was not pretty.


The Chinese Invasion 2000
Ever since the Chinese joined the World Trade Organization they have been on a one track mission of world economic domination. The Great Dragon of the East is out to be all it can be, gobbling up everything in its path, spreading its influence and money, buying up the worlds resources, well on their way to becoming the world’s number one Economic Power. This I do not have a problem with, since most of the world’s Economic Powers behave basically the same exact way, however the difference between a Country like China, the United States and the United Kingdom is the mindset of the Chinese people as they spread around the globe. I have been in many discussions with people from other Caribbean islands and one thing is common… The behavior of the new Chinese arrivals is totally unacceptable, most are harsh, without manners, no tact or diplomacy, racist and do not play well with others. On top of all that they export more of their people than most of the other world’s Economic Powers who would normally just fill upper management positions. The Chinese however export people from every level, Chinese companies in distant foreign countries are filled with Chinese people working at every level, from the ground up and this is certainly not acceptable. Coupled with the fact that when their period of indentured/contract is over a lot do not return to China but open businesses and live in the country, again this I do not have a problem with but if you are going to live in a country then you must learn to live with the native people of that and assimilate into their society. No one is saying that they should stop being Chinese, discard their culture and become Jamaicans, far from it, that is not what I want but they must understand the fact that they are Chinese living in Jamaica and accept all that comes with that reality, they must respect Jamaicans and the Jamaican culture. How can you live in a country and hate the colour of the people who live there and their culture, it makes no damn sense to me and thinking you can hide your hate behind the language barrier is a massive mistake because if we think you are saying some shit …. It done!!!


Fact: The Chinese are not coming to Jamaica to take our Jobs because Jamaica have no jobs to take!  Jamaica’s unemployment rate is 14.9% as per STATIN and 37.7% for youth unemployment. So clearly we have no jobs for anyone to take. It is more accurate to say that the Chinese will use their own money and invest/inject capital in Jamaica thus creating jobs. As such, the price they must pay for using our resources to create wealth is to share that wealth by paying for access to our resources and the ways to do this is by paying taxes and employing Jamaicans.

The Incident
My sisters and cousin were out shopping in one of those new Chinese stores when they came across two Chinese women who manage or own the store talking to the black Jamaican stocking the shelves like he was her there dog. In-between barking orders in pigeon English they communicated with each other in Chinese with smirks, snickers and condescending mannerism. Then they turn around and barked some more dog like orders at the poor boy who was clearly embarrassed and wish he could crawl into a hole… all this while my sister and cousin was in the checkout line observing the situation. My cousin who could not take it anymore, walked up to the Chinese women, looked her dead in the eye and dared her to bark another command to the man (“if yu bad… talk to him again in that manner, say one more word!!”). By this time the entire store of Jamaicans had a look on their faces that said they were ready to burn this fracking store to the ground and the Chinese women along with it…. The barking immediately stopped but by this time my sister and cousin staged a walkout by declaring that this was not the only store and they would rather spend their money with people who provide a friendly service and show some respect, so they pushed the trolleys filled with goods to one side and started to exit the store and much to their surprise so did almost everyone else leaving behind some choice words for the Chinese women.

Over the past couple months I have noticed more and more anti-Chinese rhetoric among the Jamaican people because of the potential Chinese investments, which seems to be taking place mainly on Chinese terms, for example they want Goat Island even though it is an environmentally protected area. The idea that China is buying up Jamaica by offering the Political class gift is also spreading real or imaginary and I have heard some disgusting things being said about the Chinese using Goat Island as an excuse. We have had several run in’s with the Chinese working on various projects, accusation that Chinese are being imported to do the jobs that Jamaicans are supposed to do or that they do not know how to relate to Jamaicans. We have seen conflicts between Chinese workers and Jamaicans during the building of Greenfield Stadium in Trelawney and similar conflicts during the construction of Palisadoes Road.

The hard work of Nation Building and dedication that descendants of early Chinese migrants to Jamaica had put into this society, is being undone by members of the new Chinese migrants and I call upon the population of Jamaican Chinese (Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica) to help us bridge this gap, no one else can do it but you, you are upstanding, respected members of this Jamaican Society that you helped to build, so you must be the go between and help these people assimilate into Jamaican society or else “Jah Know seh”.. This will not end pretty.


Jamaican Chinese community part 3

Chinese Invasion of Trinidad

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this article although you have a much more forgiving stance than I could fathom.

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  2. I do not advocate mistreatment by Chinese, Black, White, Indian or anyone else. In the case of Jamaica, Chinese mistreating anyone is bad and Blacks killing Blacks, Indians, Chinese and everyone else is bad; none of that is acceptable. I do hope more Chinese will come to Jamaica and in droves like what happened to Singapore 50 years ago; look at what has become of that country! The Chinese, unquestionably bring business skills which Jamaican can and should learn and they generate wealth for Jamaica.

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