Neighborhood Cliche are you affected?

I was reading an article earlier from the Gothamist and I have to first say kudos to “Ben Yakas” for inspiring me to write this post.   He made mention of how stereotypes are triggered based on where you reside, isn’t that sad?  It is not only in the Caribbean particularly Jamaica,  who suffer these excruciating pain of  the whole “yuh a country and yuh a townie” mentality.

It is embedded in the fabrics of all cultures.  For instance if you live Upper East Side Manhattan then you have rats laying beside you in the bed like humans because it is a rat infested neighborhood, while on the Lower East Side you are either very rich or street side poor acting rich.  If you are from New Jersey or Queens you probably stink and if you’re from Brooklyn or Bronx you are hood or ratchet beyond recognition.  When since did the smell  of a city or town becomes the description of those who lives there?

So now back to the Jamaican aspect of things.  Why if you are from Riverton, Tivoli, Cockburn Pen or even Denham Town you are not considered upper? you are often times not considered even qualified to work in New Kingston or any elite organization or company for that matter; even if you graduated with Honors from the University of the West Indies (UWI). “Dem fraid yuh gwine mash up business and infect dem brown skin, long hair, hazel eyes, pretty face clean skin pickney” from Cherry Gardens, Halifax, Norbrook and Jacks Hill.  You are seen as an enabler war, you are dramatic, aggressive, don’t know good things because you’re from the dump up, fire burning,  garbage collecting, gang banging and non progressive side of things.

Added to that you migrate from country to town for want of a better life. Only to be afraid to disclose you are from the country because all on a sudden you are in the wild like a wilder beast.  You are then deemed naïve, stupid, buttu, duppy bat,  so you are still barely accepted because you are not exposed enough. You are laughed at because you might have never seen a Bid-day toilet all your life! and even if you have mercy to figure out its operation it is uncomfortable for you because you are either used to the outhouse, one drop with the cockroach or the flush that you are so fascinated by.   You then keep flushing until you’ve exhausted all the tank water and the owner comes home complaining because the nanny/housekeeper/helper (the many country names you are associated with) “dun the watta or run up the watta commission bill.”

These stereotypes are dangerous and should end we all are one!  Country people are some of the most brilliant, disciplined, mannerable and modest people they are not subjected to only to household work.  In fact they make disciplined corporate workers and managers, great home makers and hospitality and cleanliness rank first on their list.  Townies are some of the most entrepreneurial go getting and dedicated people – they might be proud but will find balance when they are given a reality check once they get out of line.  they make genuine friends. “Clean skin pickney from uptown” can learn a lot of street smarts, conservative and humbleness from the ones who are not from uptown.

Jobs should be given to who are qualified and able not to who can tip the manager to get in or for who is prettier (butter heads are derived from beauties without brains “nothing but a head”). Don’t cry then when your businesses tanks for lack of doing things morally and ethically. Rats come from old infested buildings; people from the Upper East side have no control over ancient construction foundation. The richest in Lower East Side worked hard for what they want or never had to because of old money they inherited. The poor ones acting rich are just living the dream and believing that acting the part may one day land them the role.

Wet lands, swamp areas and industrial wastes from certain factories and chemical plants have a huge smelling effect unfortunately certain neighborhoods experience it more than some. It is far from the truth that people in the Queens and New Jersey area stinks.  Bronx and Brooklyn folks are just passionate and excited about what life throws at them, so their reactions may come off overwhelming. Their slangs might not make everyone on the classy side of life see any good in them. We are all like crayons and have to figure out a way to live in the same box.  Stereotype should end! share your stories of your stereotypical experience by commenting below.

I was looking for a perfect scenario to relate this piece that I wrote and this describes it perfectly :


By: Shana McCormack

I am from the Bronx but I am not the Bronx still the Bronx is in me
The Botanical Gardens, The Bronx Zoo speaks to my inner peace and gives tranquility
The streets of South Bronx hears the scream from the tongues of my Timberland  boots and Jordan’s
Yes the Bronx that I am a part of is the south, so I have a heart of pure steel.
Steadfast in my dress – sneakers on one foot strutting on the other in my heels.
I am from the Bronx but I am not the Bronx still the Bronx is in me
Riding the trains of life with no pepper spray nor knife
Looking though the corners of my eyes in disparity
Disparity is like clarity in the south of the Bronx where many minorities reside.
Where the shopping strip  is a sidewalk strip search.                                                        Police Officers who humiliate the residents that abide.

I am from the Bronx but I am not the Bronx yet the Bronx is in me
From Wakefield, to White Plains hearing private hookers complaints
No business in this busy-ness, only neighbors complaints about restlessness
They look as though they’re not proud to be another in this town
Where train lines truckle like the sound of a shoe buckle and bums pivot then fall down.

I am from the Bronx but who says the Bronx is not for any and every one
Isn’t Brooklyn and Queens New York the city of dreams we’re like them with successful human beings.
So give credit to the Bronx even if you’re not from the Bronx because the boogie down inspires
Still apart of the concrete Jungle which toughens and humbles like a Race Horse at the City of Empire.
I am from the Bronx but I am not the Bronx  because the Bronx is still making me who I should be
But you may be surprised when my creation is done because I will be the Bronx and maintain this Legacy.

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