Observations of an Invisible Woman

Hey Mon!

Are you brown? Are you from the islands? Do you have an accent?

If so, most AmeriKlans think you’re Jamaican.

Since ignorance and misinformation is the foundation of AmeriKlan values, they tend to group all islanders with an accent into the ganja-smoking, Rastafarian, curry-eating Jamaican Creole. Since the Caribbean Islands make up countries from Puerto Rico to Grenada to Haiti to Nevis, and its inhabitants speak French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and broken Afrikaans, it’s absurd to think islanders speak, look and act like him:

In fact, according to my cousins and aunties, the Caribbean and Africa is looking more like this:

Ignorance is such a terrible disease. It actually hurts other countries and their culture and customs when they are lumped into one monolithic category. And the stereotype of the machete-carrying black man who chews raw sugar cane and has 15 jobs is quite tired. Remember this:


Of course it doesn’t help the stereotype that perhaps our most famous and influential leader was from Jamaica:

And our new track legend:

And one of the few island movies for families:

Why do you think this fallacy exists?

And moreover, do you think it fuels the petty animosity that islanders have against each other?

Single Post Navigation

13 thoughts on “Hey Mon!

  1. I don’t know about the little yellow girl being synonymous with a Yardie, but I do know that I’m always mistaken for a Yardman. I guess bone structure, locks and my dark skin mislead people to assume I’m from the Islands. Hey Dred, is my nick name it would seem and do you have any green? Is the question I here a lot. I’m saying this to say, we do have a pop culture view of whats a Islander is and looks like. That’s might be because a lot of homes have giant tvs and no computers.

  2. @ Jesus

    Yes I agree. Good reply. the media doesn’t help at all with this foolishness. I always get questioned if I’m Dominican, Haitian, Louisiana Creole and Ethiopian.

  3. mary burrell on said:

    I still want that Ting. Yum.

  4. Mickey on said:

    I was once asked in junior high school by a Black guy, “Where are you from originally?” Due to my ambiguous appearance, I get/have gotten the “What are you?” question, but this was the first time someone thought that I was from a different country. I told him that I was a Louisianian, born and bred, and when I asked him about his question, he said, “Well, I ask because you look like one of those Carribean girls.” I took it as a compliment, but the media does have a lot to do with peoples’ perception of Islanders.

  5. Kushite Prince on said:

    This is a good post. People love to stereotype people from the Islands. I went to school with a guy from Jamaica and kids used to ask him does he smoke ganja all the time.lol They also used to ask him if his father had 10 jobs or not. It’s really quite silly when you think about it.
    You’re also right about the changing face of Caribbean. There are much more asians there than I thought. My aunt went to Jamaica last summer and said it was strange hearing asians speak with that accent.lol

  6. Being a multi-generational black Canadian(one branch of my family was given land in 1819 as thanks for beating you Yanks in the War of 1812), I get asked what ‘island’ am I from. When I was a kid, it was which part of Africa. Now a days, I react differently, depending on who is asking. If a white person asks I interpret it as such; they ask to put you in your place as not belonging, a perpetual foreigner if you will. I have had years of hilarity flummoxing these clowns with all sorts of flippant replies. Replies such as; ‘I’m from Uranus’, I’m from My mother etc., etc.. When I was younger, and dumber(a young teenager) I initially gave these whites the benefit of the doubt thinking they were genuinely interested in my background. Needless to say, I was quickly disabused of that notion. When another black person asks me I think they are trying to find some sort of commonality via a shared cultural background at least for the most part. Otherwise I don’t give a shit. Now I think I’ll have some curried chicken for supper tonight washed down with some Ting(grapefruit)!

  7. mary burrell on said:

    Found a website, Ting.com, They will ship and deliver. YEAAAA!

  8. introvertedwanderer on said:

    As a Jamaican, the stereotypes really do annoy me. As someone born in Jamaica,and raised in the U.S, I don’t smoke weed (but as a child, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to see adults smoking weed, but that didn’t make me want to use it, though) I’m only a casual social drinker, I’m not dark skinned, more like a warm tan complexion, and I don’t wear dreads (I would like sister locks at some point though, lol). I think the thing that a lot of people don’t seem to grasp is that Jamaicans can be of different backgrounds, come from different walks of life, and not everyone from Jamaica is of Afro decent. There are people of Euro, Indian, Asian, etc, etc, backgrounds that are Jamaicans and whose families have been in Jamaica for a very long time, same as anywhere else that has a history of slavery, indentured servitude, and also immigration.

  9. @ Introverted:

    Thank you!

    Also another fact that many folks seem confused by is there are a LOT of Jews in JA.

  10. My husband is from Trinidad. A few weeks ago we were selling our goodies at a summer street festival and a white couple approached our booth, checking out some of our obviously Caribbean-inspired creations.

    They saw the TNT flags we sell and asked, “Where are y’all from?” When we told them Trini, they got excited. “We’re getting married in Jamaica next year; where should we go for fun?” When I told them I’ve not been to Jamaica, the dude said, “Well, aren’t all the islands so close?” Seriously.

    I live in Chicago. I don’t tell foreigners where the hot spots are in Kentucky just because it happens to border Illinois.

    Then at a different show, another clear couple and their towheaded 1-year-old walked by and noticed our goods. “We just got back from Jamaica!” They exclaimed. “What did you learn how to say, Junior?” they bent down to ask their toddler. “Say, ‘yeah mon!'”


  11. Pingback: Hey Mon! | Innerstanding Isness

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: