The Dirt Poor Drug Dealers of Jamaica
One Man’s Uninformed Perception
I stumbled upon an article this morning that #1 – I can’t believe would get published when it’s so obviously a very sheltered opinion, and #2 – pissed me off because the website doesn’t even allow comments on it. So yes, I’ll direct you right to the article on Road Junkie Travel. It’s called The Tourist Divide in Jamaica. Let me express both sides of my opinion on the guy’s write up.
What screamed to me the most in that article is his opinion that Jamaicans on the whole are dirt poor, taxi driving drug dealers. If I were a Jamaican university graduate with a career I’d be livid!
While the dude who wrote it is trying to sound like a cutting edge journalist covering what he thinks is the forlorned wasteland that is Jamaica, he actually comes across to me exactly like the people he’s writing about – the doorknobs who never leave a resort and then think they discovered the “real Jamaica”. I also find it hysterical how he can simultaneously vilify the locals AND glorify the unique culture – all in one sentence LOL! Is it not the locals who TEACH us their unique and awesome culture?
To be fair, I will say I did pick out his positive points; the grand landscapes and lush beaches. And he does mirror my sentiments when he says that people behind resort walls will never experience the lovelier things about Jamaica. But I struggled to find anything positive in his write up because the few nice things he says are clouded over with a dreary feeling of negativity. UGH. The following is the only paragraph I can agree with:
“This current industry only benefits a minority; the resorts, which are primarily owned by foreign businesses; and the government, who aren’t interested in helping the country’s poor. And why should they? As long as the tourists remain safe behind the walls and the dirt and reality of the island remains hidden, the money will continue to arrive.”
But even after reading that, has the guy never been to any other tourist destination? They all do the same thing! But as long as there are resorts and as long as there are tourists who patronize resorts this is how vacations will remain! And this is precisely why I will never change my angle of writing about everything OUTSIDE the resorts. See, this guy got it all wrong when he decided to focus on the uninformed negative points of tourism when he could have done the exact opposite and promoted the part he’s trying to promote. This was a lame and futile effort at saying, “Get outside the resorts and enjoy the real Jamaica!”
Anyway, this is how I spent my Sunday morning and as usual, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about it. For him to say, “Locals and travelers don’t mix” – maybe he needs to read a little Jamaica My Way because my blog wouldn’t even exist if the locals and travelers didn’t mix.
What do you think? Am I overreacting?