Racism is alive and well in JamaicaTuesday, September 14, 2021
Having seen the commentary published on Sunday, September 12, 2021 in the Jamaica Observer headlined 'Law needed to punish acts of racism in Jamaica' by Tes-Maria Leon, I felt pushed to add my voice to the call.
I recently spent a weekend at Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, St James, where my companion and I were treated like royalty.
It was clear that our dark-skinned, patois-speaking presence and our attire were of no consequence to the staff at this wonderful resort. In fact, they went overboard to treat us well.
I have had similar experiences at Sandals Ocho Rios, Couples Negril, Rio Reggae, and Jewels Dunns River among other Sandals properties in recent years. At all these properties we were never treated as second class and, in some cases, we believed the hotel staff went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed our stay.
These 'staycations' were fun and the treatment we received was First World in quality as we basked in the awesome ambiance at some of Jamaica's finest resorts.
But last Friday we went to a food establishment on Constant Spring Road and sat for 30 minutes without a server coming over to greet us. I told my partner that the place was very busy as I tried to excuse the disrespectful treatment we were being subjected to.
She, however, pointed to several groups of light-skinned people who had come in after us and were being served in a fraction of the time that we had been waiting.
It became obvious to us after 45 minutes of no service that we had been profiled as not being worthy of proper service.
At that point we left and travelled to the nearby Uncorked Too where we were greeted by a server in less than five minutes, and accorded the treatment that we believed we deserved and were willing to pay for.
The manner in which we were so crassly ignored at that eatery is a demonstration that racism, or classism, or whatever term you may choose to describe it, is alive and well in Jamaica and we need laws to protect black Jamaicans, like myself, and particularly those who work for these racist employers who abuse them and call them monkeys.
Well said, Tes-Maria, and I hope others will begin to speak out about the blatant racism which we see too often in Jamaica, land we love.
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