Someone made an interesting observation last night: they said that Jamaican criminals know they are ‘brand Jamaica’ too, so need to burnish their image. As we discussed that, I thought it made a lot of sense. I’ve written before about ‘brand Jamaica’ having positive and negative aspects (see Branded Jamaica), which I wrote about 18 months ago.

The basic point is that the image of ‘the bad man’ is a well-honed part of how people see Jamaica, and those who are in that sphere of crime do what they can to live up (or live down) to that image. It’s a bit bizarre, but it could go some way to explaining why some types of crime continue to flourish and other types of crimes (e.g. scamming) continue to flourish.

As I wander through the maze of testimony and exchanges that make up the West Kingston Enquiry, I have the feeling that what we hear or know about ‘dons’ fits this notion well. Look at the pose taken by ‘Rygin’ in the Harder They Come. IT reminds me of the way Bonnie and Clyde would pose jokingly as gangsters.

Living up to your image

Living up to your image

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