Chinese Jamaican Weighs In On Viral Video In Which Pan-Africanist Claims China “Pretty Much Owns Jamaica”
Posted by 1 Million Africans: The Trilogy on Friday, June 30, 2017
In response to the video above:
I am Jamaican Born but I am also Chinese. Everyday I experience racism as a Chinese. I don’t treat my friends, schoolmates, teachers or people I know poorly. I went to Prep school, High school and University in Jamaica and people there don’t treat me poorly but I can tell you once I step out into the street it is a different story.
Yes, I agree with you that Chinese people can be horrible at times too, I don’t deny that, but we get treated poorly too, not by everyone but I can say by many.
As I said before I am Jamaican born, raised and schooled. I see the way people of both races treat each other and it is of major concern. Do you think people want to be angry and live in fear all the time? I don’t think so.
Do you think when we open our businesses in Jamaica we don’t want to keep it nice and open like other stores? Do people honestly think that wholesales have grills in their stores and operate the way they do just because the owners are racist or prefer to work they are in a jail cell?
Right now I may sound like I am all in the defence of the Chinese but that’s not entirely true. I already spoke to the Gleaner and Jamaica Observer about these issues. What I am trying to get people to understand is the perspective of the Chinese people. We do what we do because we fear for our lives. Security is such a big problem, both in the capital and in other places like Spanish town and St. Ann. As a result, we oftentimes don’t know who we can trust.
My mom tried it once. We had a restaurant, and she had a worker that had been with her in multiple business ventures – from the garment business to a Chinese restaurant. My mom is not a bad employer, she pays bonuses if you show up on time and do your job and on Saturdays she buys her workers food from outside as a treat, whether it’s patty or something else. My mom promoted that worker to basically a manager and gave her the keys because of a sense of trust. However, after two months, she realised that money started going missing and business profits began to fall. In the end, she discovered that at the end of every week she pocketed some of the money before giving the rest to my mom. So after that, who can we trust?
For other Chinese people, communication in the workplace is a major issue depending on the business. According to the video, the same people who don’t speak English employ their own because of communication issues and trust. If you go to a new place with no family, no friends, who can you trust with your business if not someone who you can communicate with?
Jamaican workers are still hired by Chinese businesses across the island but they are just not given jobs that give them any contact with the bulk of the money or actual managing of the business and that is not something that cannot be solved overnight.
Just like what I told the Newspapers/Media, the only way to resolve the issue is to find a way to slowly bring together the Chinese and Jamaican people to work together in harmony and foster a bond of trust. Jamaica’s motto is “Out of Many One People” and that reflects the diversity that makes up the population of Jamaica and as far I know the Chinese people aren’t leaving. I also don’t want too many Chinese to migrate to the island as it is bad for existing businesses because of too much competition.
In regards to the the idea of Jamaica being colonised by China. That is up to the leaders of Jamaica and the people of Jamaica to make a stand against or for that. Personally, I never agreed with Jamaica selling off all their assets. I don’t want the land of my birth and my friends to be sold off to another country regardless of who it is but as the guy in the video said, it’s corruption and poor mistakes made by incompetent leaders who have prioritised their own interests and unless the people of Jamaica stand up for the welfare of their own country to say NO to their own government making bad mistakes, nothing can be done to salvage the situation.
The video says that Chinese people come to Jamaica poor and leave as millionaires with multiple businesses. I don’t know about that but we do make money to buy a house and a car or two – at least for my family. We do not overspend, we save and we don’t spend lavishly every weekend to go to parties and have fun. Chinese people generally have their goals and plans set and they stick by them to ensure at the end of the day, they have money to retire. However that is not the case with all as there are those who blow 5 months worth of profits at the casino.
From personal observation in the Spanish town area, the female workers in the wholesales make minimum wage and every two weeks they spend their pay on hair and other cosmetic products or hand bangs or dresses for parties. I’m not going to tell them how to spend it but that’s what they blow their money on. As for the males, they have just enough for food and living costs. I’m saying all of that to say that the minimum wage in Jamaica is not enough for the average minimum wage worker to invest in their lives or a business of their own. The minimum wage is not set by us, the businesses aren’t cheating workers, it is what is determined by the government.
Some may say that workers deserve better. I agree, everyone deserve better but from a business point of view, we are abiding by government standards. Let me give you an example – the average salary for bank teller jobs at the entry level after 3-4 years of tertiary education in Jamaica is barely $100,000 per month. Is that fair? I don’t think so. Currently in Australia, I can make just as much in one week (38 hours of work) washing dishes or waiting tables before taxes if not more than a bank teller does, but the difference is I don’t need to go to University for 3 – 4 years.
Submitted By: Andy Au
(Video Snippet via The Breakfast Club)
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