The hoopla with Buju Banton and the Trinidadian police is over but it seems like the animosity between Jamaicans and Trinidadians is still ongoing.
It has long been said that Trinidadians were jealous of Jamaicans and that was the reason for the animosity but with Buju Banton’s huge success in Trinidad this weekend, the reaction of many Jamaicans prove that the jealousy might be swinging both ways. Maybe it is not even jealousy but more of a competitive spirit where each nation is trying to outdo the other.
With Trinidadian Parks Department reporting that the number of people at the Buju Banton concert was over 35,000 and close to 40,000; Jamaicans are having a difficult time digesting the news. It seems like they just can’t come to terms that more Trinidadians turn out to support Buju than Jamaicans did. So instead of being happy for Buju Banton’s huge success, many Jamaicans are too busy feeling some type of way that Trinidad beat them in crowd size.
In fact, even the Jamaican Observer reported on the story as if they were trying to cast doubt on the numbers Trinidad’s Park Department is reporting. Below is what the Jamaican Observer reported:
Reports indicate the show was a success with thousands cramming the historic Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain’s largest open space, for the concert dubbed I Am Legend. Some reports suggested the audience could have been even larger than the more than 30,000 which crammed into the National Stadium in St Andrew for the artiste’s first concert on March 16.
Why would an official newspaper like the Jamaican Observer take the numbers that are being reported by an official government agency and add terms like “suggested” and “could have been” to it? The Park Department was not suggesting that there were over 35,000 people, they were reporting it. It is not a matter that Trinidad’s crowd could have been larger than Jamaica’s, it was. Jamaica’s National Stadium reported that there were over 30,000 people and Trinidad’s Park Department reported that they had over 35,000 people, that’s it, plain and simple. It should be looked at as over 65,000 Africans in two venues supporting a redeemed African brother.
It seems as if the Jamaican Observer did not want to upset their readers considering the fact that Jamaicans were already very upset about Trinidad’s police raiding Buju Banton’s room. However, a newspaper’s purpose is not to appease its readers, it is to inform the readers.
When 18 Karat Reggae reported the numbers and used the Parks Department statement word for word, many Jamaicans say the Parks Department was lying and some even blame the website for even reporting the numbers.
The truth is, arguing over crowd size is petty and Jamaicans need to stop it immediately. The important thing that should have been taken away from the number of people who came out to see Buju Banton is that, what the Trinidad police did over the weekend is not reflective of how the Trinidadian people feel about Buju Banton or the Jamaican people.
It is alright to be a little competitive with each other, in fact, competition is good. However, Trinidadians and Jamaicans should always remember that they are one people. If Peter Tosh was here, he would say: “If you come from Jamaica, you are an African. And if you come for Trinidad, you are an African.”
Also, if you are Black and feel animosity towards people in another predominantly Black county, you need to read this speech by Marcus Garvey immediately.