Tuesday 17 September, 2019

A view from the outside: Setting the record straight

With Karyl Walker

Because there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.  ― Niccolò Machiavelli

After reading the social media comments on my last column, 'Living In America Ain’t Easy', I was taken aback by some of them.

Normally I browse through the comments and laugh at some of the trite ones and move right along. Opinions are like anuses, everyone's got one.

However I must set the record straight after a social media user, who posted under a female name, twice branded me a liar. To that I take exception.

It would not be prudent to call out that individual by the moniker they used but, after reading this, I am sure they will know themselves.

About a month ago while in Jamaica to conduct personal business, the apartment complex where I was resting my head happened to be a site where thieves were plaguing. I became a victim of their nefarious acts. The vagabond/vagabonds entered my apartment through an open window while I slept and stole my laptop computer, cellular phone, blue tooth headphone, my ATM card, a discount card from Burlington where I was previously employed and a few items of clothing.

It seems the robbers had used sleeping powder as I slept through the entire incident and, when I did open my eyes, my throat and nose burnt harshly. When I realized what had taken place, my first trip was to the Grants Pen Police Station where I lodged a report.

I wrote about the incident, all the time professing my love for the country of my birth and stating that, as the headline read, I will not give up on Jamaica.

Apparently, the social media troll did not read to comprehend and may have been asking themselves, if I write a column entitled A View From The Outside, then how could I be possibly stating that I was robbed while in an apartment in Jamaica?

But the answer is simple.

Jamaica is the land of my birth. I checked minutes before I started penning this column and for sure I was still an adult. An adult who is free to travel back and forth between the United States and Jamaica whenever time allows.

Unfortunately it seems that the person who chose to go out on a limb and attempt to sully my reputation never took the time to read this section of the article they tried to use to prove my mendacity.

“I wanted to leave this place and get back home to the relative safety of my kingdom in West Palm Beach, Florida. Jamaica had once again failed me. I was about to, as the old folks say, throw stone behind me.”

Those two sentences should have been enough to explain, to anyone who wanted to read and comprehend, that I was only in Jamaica temporarily.

When I attended the Wolmer’s Preparatory School, perhaps before that troll was born, I was taught about comprehension. It was about reading text, dissecting it and explaining what you had derived in your own words. I wonder if that troll was taught comprehension.

However, I am grateful that my column is being read and I am always appreciative of constructive criticism. It makes me a better person when I am told matter-of-factly where I went wrong and how I can improve myself as a human being.

I love the people who are brutally honest with me, even if the truth hurts.

So, let me set the record straight. I reside in South Florida but I am a born Jamaican, a son of the soil and I will return to my country every chance I get.

Feel free to criticize me but please get your facts straight before hurling wild, unfounded accusations.

Jamaica, I love you dearly.

That is my view from the outside.

Karyl Walker is a multi-award-winning journalist who has worked for Loop Jamaica, the Jamaica Observer, the RJR Communications Group and Nationwide Radio among other media entities. He now resides in South Florida.

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