I no longer will allow my blood pressure to rise when issues like these are raised. Discrimination based on colour, ethnicity, religion and country of origin is now common place in the world of profiling. Jamaica also needs to practice some of the same when allowing ‘foreigners’ into our Island. We must not allow our ‘frighten friday’ attitude for all people non Jamaicans to cause us to let down our guard. If it is not narcotics, guns, it is scamming that is at a level where we now seek the USA to render punishments our ‘toothless’ law is unable to do on the Roc.
We can sell Brand Jamaica as it is all that we have. At the same time we cannot ignore that our Brand is tarnished as a result of our fraudulent crimes that span far and wide. There was a time when our very own Jamaicans would label Africans as ‘ginals’ and ‘con artists’. After constantly being reminded that Africa is a Continent, they would ‘wheel an come again’, declaring the Nigerians were the wickedest when it came to ‘conning’. Were we not ignorant then? Were we not profiling all Africans? Well here how it is set up now. ‘Wi deh pon di same level as di very same people dem wi did a profile’. How do we rectify this dilemma? Until we broadcast globally that we will not tolerate any acts that would seek to destabilize our Country. Until we broadcast how swiftly we bring to justice those hell bent on destabilizing this Country, ‘wi nuh ave nuh chise but to tek wey foreign entity a dish out pon wi’.
The USA has programmes aired on their network highlighting all the different types of ‘white collar’ crimes, and their quest to bring justice. The programme is called ‘Greed’. Why can’t we on the Roc, introduce a similar programme and sell it abroad? In fact their programmes on solving hardcore crimes on ‘Forensic Files’ is worth duplicating. Cold cases are dealt with as the ultimate intent is to bring to justice those who are either born evil, or who have become evil. We certainly copy other programmes from the USA and have introduced on our networks. What happen, is this is way too ‘simple stupid’ for our intellectuals and the powers that be?
Finally let us broadcast Politicians and leaders who do not prescribe to, our support those acts which quite frankly do not build up our people in the name of ‘Art’. We must sacrifice if it means the stabilization of a Country and its people. Know the psychology of our people who are remnants of Slavery.
Don’t call if you are from Jamaica – Stigmatised and shunned – Scammers causing Americans to distrust calls with 876 area code
The impact of the scammers label hit home painfully last week when The Sunday Gleaner attempted to contact Kent Coarsey, president and executive director of the Children’s Alliance of Hawaii, in that American state.
“Do not call back this phone,” was how Coarsey greeted the caller before terminating the call.
Five further attempts to reach Coarsey resulted in the phone either going unanswered or the line being open and the call terminated without a word being said.
On the sixth attempt, the line was left open just enough for our reporter to explain in detail the reason for the call.
But Coarsey was still very sceptical as he declared that he “would not be sending any money to Jamaica”.
Only after a request that he should conduct an Internet search on The Gleaner and the reporter did Coarsey engage in a conversation, although it was obvious that he maintained his guard.
It was not until the interview was well under way that Coarsey relaxed and apologised profusely for his initial reaction.
“I feel very bad. I think I hung up on you five or six times. I will tell you why I was so apprehensive to talk to you,” said Coarsey.
According to Coarsey, he and others in his organisation, which is mandated to provide care and support for sexually abused children, have received five to 10 emails daily from persons claiming to be Jamaicans or Nigerians, seeking to fleece money from them.
He said this forced the organisation to invest in a spam filter, blocking some emails.
Coarsey said in the emails persons would make claims, such as that they are related to some billionaire who died and they needed him to make contact and provide financial information so that billions of dollars could be released into his account.
“For the first time in months I got another of those emails today, and then your call, so I thought they were connected,” Coarsey explained.
“This email said nothing about Jamaica, nothing about you at all, but it’s rare to come through our spam filter.
“It’s not like a fear but I am very wary to talk to somebody (from Jamaica) at great length about anything, as there is a whole world … of scammers.”
Coarsey’s apprehension is multiplied across the United States, following media reports that Jamaican scammers target nearly 300,000 mostly elderly Americans annually.
US media reports estimate that persons duped by scammers send some US$300 million to the island annually.
This has prompted the US Embassy in Kingston to post an advisory on its website warning Americans about Jamaican lotto scammers and other schemes, including online dating services, inheritance notices, work permits/job offers, bank overpayments, non-existent BTA airline boarding fees, and even the appearance that they are helping a friend in trouble.
But despite this, Coarsey is not opposed to the idea of one day visiting Jamaica, as he had met two Jamaicans in the army who he said were very nice to him.
“It wouldn’t stop me from travelling to Jamaica but it has made me very wary of taking someone’s call from Jamaica,” said Coarsey.
“Two images of Jamaica that I have is one, it is a tourist destination for Americans, and also poverty. So I am challenged when I travel to places like Mexico, where there is poverty just cross the street from this beautiful hotel that I’m in … that kind of stuff bothers me.”