Commentary

Torn Between Two Nations – We’ll cheer for the US unless…

US and Jamaica Torn Between 2 nation
Written by Calibe Thompson

America is a nation of immigrants, many of whom did not come here legally. Someone probably needs to share that with the rabid anti-immigrant Republican base. I’m pretty sure no European asked permission of the original inhabitants when they arrived 524 years ago, so in fact even they were unwelcome intruders. Some of us are trying to move beyond the ‘us versus them’ narrative, while others continue to fight like they have exclusive rights to this captured land.

Wherever you’re originally from though, around this time of year we all come together in a worldwide cumbaya moment. A peaceful respite where nations from around the world enter a knock-down, drag out, battle to the death over whose country is better than whose. If you are a recent immigrant, the Olympic season creates a difficult conundrum. Which country do you root for?

If you’re from a country with a small or non dominating team you probably can’t relate so we’ll leave you out of this discussion (she said with a sly, patronizing smile). For those of us from countries like Jamaica, it’s a serious problem. In most competitions, we’ll cheer for the US unless there’s another Caribbean or maybe an African country in contention. But, come on now! When you’ve got Jamaicans and Americans in a sprint, how can you possibly expect us to choose red, white and blue over black, green and gold? It ain’t gonna happen.

You can imagine my personal bitterness when an American news outlet reporting on the women’s 100 meter headlined an article something to the effect of “American Wins Silver, Dethrones Jamaican”. It seemed to show a lack of respect for my home country, because the American Bowe and the injured Jamaican two time former gold medalist Fraser-Pryce we’re in fact beaten by another Jamaican – Elaine Thompson, who had the fastest time in an Olympics finals .

Tori Bowie certainly deserves to be honored and revered, as does every athlete who even makes it to the Olympic games. But to the media who seek to diminish Jamaica’s achievements to make America seem more dominant than they are in this space, sorry friends. Jamaica is still number one!

Edited to correct Ms. Bowie’s name and amended reference to finals record.

About the author

Calibe Thompson

Jamaican born TV host, producer and director Calibe Thompson is Head Dread at Blondie Ras Productions, creators of “Taste the Islands”, “The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly”, “Miami Fitness TV” and other terrestrial and web based series broadcast regionally throughout the Caribbean, US and Canada. She is also an opinion columnist for the South Florida Times, voiceover professional and on-camera personality. Thompson’s mission is to continue to showcase the best of Caribbean culture to the wider world.