Caymankind: A second chance

| 22/05/2020 | 107 Comments

Expatgirl writes: As many of you can tell, I have never written a piece like this before and, as I am sure you could also tell, it was motivated by frustration and fear. And if I’m honest, also from the loneliness of being cooped up for nine weeks on my own and my main contact with the world being online with news articles and social media. When humans are afraid or feel threatened, we lash out. I’m not excusing it just explaining it. I am hoping for a second chance to try and more eloquently put across what I really feel.

When every press conference you watch and every news article you read has anti-expat comments on it, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Like all of us at the moment, I am fearful about my job, my future, my family who are far away, some of whom are seriously ill, and so feeling unwelcome just adds to the fear.

The government’s policy on making work permit holders pay for their isolation if they leave island and want to return, or have been stranded elsewhere and now want to return, was the last straw on the day of writing that initial piece. It remains my opinion that the only motivation for that policy is money and that it is discrimination for discrimination’s sake.

Of course everyone is worried about money right now and the government doesn’t have an endless supply of it, but there really is no other explanation because let’s be honest, no one is jetting off for a vacation right now and then expecting to come back and have free isolation (and if they were, then I agree that they should have to pay).

People who live here, who have or are making their lives here are generally grateful for the job they have as work permit holders, we recognise the great privilege we have of being here. The only reason any work permit holder would leave with the intention to return at this point is if their family is extremely sick or has died. 

I also know a friend who got stranded when the borders closed, was able to hole up somewhere and now wants to return to his wife (who has PR but he does not) and he will have to pay for his isolation despite being unable to work for the last few months and having to pay costs to survive in another country when the borders closed.

To punish these two groups of people monetarily, seemingly indefinitely, because they want to return to the life that they have built on the island seems, well, not Caymankind.

In any case, my previous piece was flawed (which was inevitable as it is a difficult topic to raise without talking in generalisations), as am I, and I hope I can be humble enough to learn from that. To those I offended, I apologise.

My intention was simply to bring awareness that this is sometimes how some expats end up feeling when confronted with anti-expat rhetoric in a multitude of ways. It was not meant to be anti-Caymanian. I do not want, need, or expect your gratitude in any way shape or form, it is I who am grateful for the opportunity my work here has afforded me and I have not forgotten that.

Two things that sum up what I was trying to express are as follows:

  • It is sometimes overwhelming emotionally and mentally wearing when it seems as though every problem in Cayman is attributed in some way to the actions or presence of expats. Online, on radio, in the press, by government action, and politicians’ or potential politicians’ rhetoric, particularly during election campaigns.
  • This seems to be happening even more so during the time of coronavirus, at a time where the community would be better served by being united.

That said, I don’t believe my previous piece did anything to unite people and so where I got it wrong, I am sorry and stand corrected. Words are weapons, which was the point I was trying to make. But I think on reflection that I chose my weapons poorly; I asked for kindness but did not do so kindly and I asked for compassion but did not do so compassionately.

A few shout outs:

To the person who tried to suggest that my feelings were based on my personal shortcomings in being unable to assimilate. Whilst it would be easy to take that as another attack — it’s your fault for not fitting in, you have no right to feel the way you do — that’s not how I am going to choose to see that and I hope I understood your positive intention.

I am sure there is more I could do to assimilate and welcome any suggestions that you have beyond what I have and already am doing. If you or anyone else would like to get together to talk, or do something local (but presumably socially distant), I would really like that.

To the person who told me to take less notice of things online because people are basically good — thanks, I think you’re right and I’m going to try and remedy that.

To the person who took their time and responded with both articulation and also with articles to further educate — thank you, I really appreciate that.

To those that responded by telling me to leave and they’ll buy me a plane ticket, aside from ironically proving the very point I was making, I’m sorry that you didn’t hear what I was really trying to say and I’m sorry that I didn’t express it in a way that you could hear it.

There are lots of other viewpoints I would like to address but none that would serve the purpose of this second piece, which is not to cause more argument.

So, in conclusion:

Caymanians are rightly tired of being vilified by the minority of expats who appear to cast them and their heritage and their worth aside with sweeping generalisations about who they are. I don’t blame you and I’m sorry that you are made to feel that way. It is not how I feel and I know many smart, kind, funny, wonderful Caymanians.

The system designed to protect you is flawed and that some are able to circumvent it is inexcusably unfair. I support your desire, and your absolute right, to want an environment where you can thrive.

From the other side, expats too are sometimes tired of being vilified by the minority of Caymanians who believe that expats are the source of all of their woes. We are not fans of the sweeping generalisations made about us either.

Many of us have worked long and hard to get educated, pay our student loans off, study for qualifications in our specific industry whilst working any job we could find, to try and thrive. Most of us came to your beautiful country to try and change our lives for the better or to experience something new. It was never intended to be at the expense of someone else.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers; the issues are complex and nuanced and the systems in place are not perfect, as in every country. Electing officials that are fair and just and holding them to account is one way to try and overcome this. Love is another. As it says in the Bible: L love thy neighbour.

What I wrote before was not said in a loving way, it was merely an expression of pain. And so for that and for the failings in my other piece, I apologise. Not all of you will forgive me and I understand that. For those that do, thank you.

If you’d like to genuinely connect, I’d love that. Please feel free to pass your details to CNS and I can respond in kind. Maybe we’ll both be pleasantly surprised to find two humans who just want the best for each other and for the beautiful country that we live in.


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Comments (107)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey, it’s Angela Ebanks here, I entered this comment on the FB thread but want to put it here so that she will see it. CNS: can you message her? ORIGINAL COMMENT: “Now that took guts, humility and no small amount of eating crow, as they say. I was one of the commenters on the public thread. When I first saw this article today, my first thought was an unkind “Ha, watch this now, she going try to unring that bell…” Kind of like in a courtroom, the prosecution blurts out a damning remark that the judge agrees to strike from the record, but the jury has already heard it, damage has already been done. And had you not sincerely (I think) sent out an invite to make a new friend, I might have said, “She wasn’t prepared for that backlash, I guess.” But as I read on, my intuition (which is usually pretty spot on) says that you were sincere, and I totally got your reasons. And every single one of us is not “Caymankind” or even KIND, all the time. Hey, straight up, there ARE locals who DO NOT LIKE YOU (expats) at all and never will. But most of us are not like that. I, too, have reacted badly to stress and pressure and confusion and sudden changes in plans, to fear, to insecurity, to a ton of other stuff. One day it’s all smiles and the next I am yelling at someone in traffic or worse…much worse. I admire what you’ve done with this article today, and I am sorry for the troubles in your life. My partner went away for a two week trip to her home in Canada and now I will probably not see her til the end of the year. That is nothing as compared to the troubles the foreigners are experiencing and I am the first to admit that and feel genuinely sorry for you guys. Over the years I have come to realize that it basically comes down to a pretty simple fact, in my estimation. Cayman NEEDS you guys to survive, we do, it’s a fact whether we want to admit it or not, I have to agree with you on that point. There are no small amounts of shoulders in this island carrying around chips the size of boulders because of that fact. It makes us a nation feel powerless and controlled and second-class and that pisses people off. BUT…here is where the resentment REALLY comes into play and then even becomes justified. I feel it, too! Many times, and I am not a hateful person! : When said ex-pats are condescending and disdainful of locals and our practices, traditions, speech, mannerisms…there are many things that I have personally heard said and personally witnessed in MANY expats general attitude and opinions of Cayman and her people. Funny, but even something as small as hearing them complain about not having all the comforts and conveniences of home, and a derisive attitude about that that shouts that because we are small and don’t have big box stores or malls or cash back on purchases or the same laws foreigners do, (or whatever is different than they are used to) that we are WRONG for that, or BACKWARDS or somehow lacking or “not good enough to suit,” and yeah, it will rile us up, not gonna lie, it does. This is our HOME. This is the way we do things, and a lot of it is backward now that I think of it, lol….but it’s that thing where it’s like “Ok, I can say that (as a local) but you can’t” (as a foreigner) that’s where the “OK SO GO HOME THEN!” attitude comes from, surely you can understand that. And Caymanians are, by nature, confrontational and easily offended. There’s that chip again. It has become a cycle of “locals have attitude because expats come to OUR HOME and make us feel like we are in the way, so we bite back….and the expats don’t like us or shy away from us because we bite back.” and then everybody is just all mad all the time. That’s the cycle. You wrote your article based on pain; we react the way we do based on pain, too. Pain turns to anger, just as yours did and just as ours does. We are not so different, you and me, after all, eh? If you read this and want to message me or add me as a friend, please do. I’ll check out your side then I’ll take you to check out mine. Hope you like turtle stew. :).”:

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    • Cayman Guy says:

      @Angela Ebanks – thanks for helping to set the record straight. You rock!

    • Anonymous says:

      @ Angela Ebanks – thank you, so well said. I would like to add that we should also remember and remind others (both ourselves and expats) that we’ve really come a long way – 50 years ago not every house had electricity or a phone and we had marl roads, water from wells/cisterns and skitters big enough to carry cows :). That’s a lot done in a very short time.

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    • ETH says:

      Angela, well written, much because it comes from the heart. The charm of the Cayman Islands was never, at least not to me, the big box stores or the malls, and all those things in the US, Canada, etc. It was the simplicity of life, the small-town feel, the relaxed, chill lifestyle. Unfortunately, some of those things are disappearing at a rapid rate in a rush to a less civil society. Ultimately what you correctly pointed out is that there are really, really great people on both sides, many decent ones, again on both sides, and some rotten ones to round things up. Unfortunately only thing one can do is ignore the rotten ones on both sides.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to share my opinions on the notion that some may suggest that there are no true Caymanians because we never had indigenous people and every settler originally came here from elsewhere. While the former may or may not be accurate and the latter is correct, that also applies to every country and continent on the planet – except the seat of civilization – Africa! So, as the late great Johnny Clegg (the White Zulu) and Juluka proudly extolled, we are ALL “Scatterlings of Africa”!

    I can trace my ancestry in Cayman on 3 direct limbs (Bodden, Conolly & McCoy) of my family tree (paternal and maternal) back to the early-mid 1700s. One of my paternal ancestors bore a child for a shipwrecked sailor of the Wreck of the Ten Sail (per Peggy Lekishar-Denton’s book on that event). On my maternal side my family is partially, what else, Bodden and everyone knows their history in Cayman. The 4th limb of my traceable family tree reveals the name O’Flannery which became corrupted in Cayman to Flashey and probably existed here almost as early. In the various branches there are traceable family connections to Watler and Merren and others. All those names are of English, Irish or Scottish origin. Of course there is the untraceable West African content.

    BTW, for the benefit of some who generalize Caymanians as being “inbred” (yes, I’ve heard it from xenophobic and superiority-complexed expats), I am most definitely not inbred, with such varied and deep-rooted ancestry! The same goes for 99.9% of Caymanians. To clarify, the “inbred” stigma arose from a single family in one particular area of Cayman where incest (based on warped religious beliefs) prevailed. It was NOT widespread!

    Yes, my ancestors originated from somewhere else but I would venture to propose that because of their roots here I can certainly claim to be Caymanian to the core! Note, before this offends anyone, this is not a statement of entitlement in any way, simply historical.
    So to you who may feel that there are no real Caymanians, I beg to differ. I for, one, can claim to be nothing else!

    BTW, from historical documents there seems to be evidence that “Ebanks” is distinctly a Caymanian name, not originally English. Perhaps a derivative of the names Banks or Eubanks, it seems that name resulted from how a local merchant “E. Banks” signed his name. Similarly, Bodden and Watler are allegedly Caymanian mis-spellings of the names Bawden and Walter. Thus these are all originally unique to Cayman!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    You rock expat girl. Don’t listen to the haters. The hate comes from within themselves. There is plenty of love around to make up for that.

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  4. John Bodden says:

    Expatgirl, your chosen nom de guerre encapsulates everything you said in your first viewpoint and, to a certain degree, this one also. As I alluded to previously, I have met many “expats” over the last 50+ years and have made many enduring friendships. Yet, from the first day until now I think of them first and foremost as Sydney, Chris, Tim, Rick, Jane etc. We played rugby, football, cricket, threw darts, sailed, drank beer and told each other lies late into the night. Some of them were/are rogues and vagabonds, though that didn’t necessarily exclude them from my circle of friendship, and a few of them were downright despicable. I also know some despicable people born into and raised by loving Caymanian families, so we can say with a great deal of confidence that circumstance of birth is not a major factor in determining character.

    Rather than immediately trying to categorize the people you meet as Caymanians or Expats, try judging them on the content of their character. In times of adversity we may not always see the finer qualities of people displayed in their fullest splendor, but oftentimes it reveals the character flaws that each of us carefully choose to conceal. Lord knows, like any man, I’m subject to my fair share of frailties and depravities, but I can only judge people on what I find them to be, so if our paths should cross at some future date, just use the name your parents gave you and ditch the Expatgirl moniker.

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  5. Anon says:

    Dear Expat Girl,

    1st off let me state that i am a born and raised Caymanian….and love no other country as i do mine…and would fight to the bitter end to defend my country…and would tell anyone in a flash..how awesome my country is…on the otherhand i too can see our short comings….and that is not to say that we do not get our share of asses arriving on our shores either…it always goes both ways…the good and the bad…darkness verses light…sweet and sour…good days and bad…ying and yang…life will always have its ups and downs..everyone has them and likewise.

    So moving on i want to express that reading this artical written by you …and not knowing who you are…just feeling your pain…i was left with tears in my eyes.

    I can just imagine how you are feeling in a strange country…no family…maybe loss of a job or at the least…shortened hours..less pay…mounting bills…but please know that we all are there as well…and we are in the same boat…and i think that is something we tend to forget when hard times come our way..our humanity flies out the door…in the face of challenge. We forget the human side of us..and forget that we all bleed when we get cut…and we all need a shoulder to cry on in times of need. So please do not give up hope…stay strong…you will get through this..and you will be so much stronger for it.

    I am saddened by the bashing coming from both sides of the coin…and i would not be honest if i said i have not fallen in the same rut a time or two…we have all done it at some point in all of our lives…but you have came back with this your 2nd post and expresssed yourself and also after the initial vent. .(which we all do ) you were honest to come back and state without the strong emotion (and more i am sure of…your usual sweet nature) and it has humbled us all reading it….and it reminded us…of ourselves because we have all done it as well – opened our mouth because we had to expell the pain inside, so cudos to you my love.

    Last but not least…i work in a very public office…as a manager and i would love to mention it…but that is all irrelivant..however i have found that post covid…it was all a race with each other and mind you, we have expat and local…equal amount….but we have grown so much more closer and have all found a common ground and it is wonderful to witness…and i hope the same will be for you and all in this country…for those who live here…be it expat or local….that we all come to a common ground …we are here togather in this same boat..and to overcome this it must be all hands on deck. So everyone vent now get out the anger and the pain. Then lets move on.

    May we all be blessed and become stronger and better connected as a result of this.

    And i will end by saying may GOD bless you all and bless this beautiful Cayman Islands.

    Please stay safe…and smile at all those you see…for we do not know…what each other are going through at this time…lets ALL continue to make this country the best place to be.

    Stay safe.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Dear Expatgirl,

    Once again I invite you to talk to people about Ms Olive Miller. You may not be fortunate enough to marry into a loving Caymanian family and leave a legacy of community service over 70+ years.

    You may also want to reach out to a man named Dave Martins, a great Caribbean troubadour from Guyana who made Cayman his home.

    You may wish to speak to Peter Milbourne or JC Calhoun or Henry and Marcia Muttoo.

    All people who have made Cayman their home and who just didn’t take but gave and gave and gave.

    That’s the secret. When you show people that you care (just like your Caymanian employee who you clearly have affection for), they embrace you even closer and the warmth, kindness, food, relationships and support that are exchanged in that process is what Caymankind is supposed to reflect.

    Each of those people I mentioned are examples of Caymankind- they are a part of us and no one can take that away.

    As Dave’s song says, “That’s Cayman”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm, 2:39, not sure I would agree with some of those names, especially being in the same paragraph as Miss Olive. The trouble with mentioning names, as always, is that you leave out so many worthies. Think, for example, of some of the really fine teachers who taught us all and are still here embedded in our society after many many years or medical people who cared for us.
      By the way, Dave Martins is back living in Guyana and has been for many years.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Coming from a Caymanian, I don’t understand how some of us are anti-expat when our great grandparents or great great grandparents moved here from somewhere else. CAYMAN DOES NOT HAVE A NATIVE PEOPLE. There were no arawaks or Caribs that lived here like in other Caribbean islands, so NO ONE is indigenous to these islands. Isaac Bodden who settled here in the 1700s came from the UK, so while you moan about brits coming here, remember the first family here were brits. And many ex-soldiers from Jamaica came and settled here as well, so we have lots of Jamaican blood mixed in with us so the anti-Jamaican sentiment also needs to stop. Ever wonder why most Caymanians are light skin? Because we’ve always been mixing between races and nationalities. In fact, Ebanks is literally an English last name and Bodden is a Scottish last name, you see?? No one is native. We only think we are because our families have been here for a few generations, but they were once 1st generation Caymanians themselves, so who are we to complain about newcomers when our ancestors were?

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    • A Paper Caymanian says:

      It’s a common misconception that because a geographical area didn’t have indigenous people, that it doesn’t make anyone who settled there “native”. To be clear, seeing that humans had their origins in East-Africa, the corollary of your logic would be that no other place on earth other than East-Africa could be considered to host natives, and we know that not to be the case.

      As different groups of people come to an area, they quickly have to contend with the challenges unique to the environment said area brings; over time, a common way-of life wherein similar viewpoints on life, and similar strategies for navigating the problems of life that are unique to that area emerge – in a word, culture. This is the usual organic growth of cultures around the world.

      The waves of immigrants here over the course of the past 500 years have all added to the culture which is unique to Cayman. So the Boddens, Watlers, Ebanks, Tatums, brought certain cultural aspects with them to Cayman (many of them by way of Jamaica). The African slaves brought certain aspects of their culture to Cayman. The Americans, the Hondurans, the Jamaicans, the Filipinos, etc. etc. have all brought certain aspects of their culture to Cayman. All groups have adapted and contributed aspects of their culture here to build a culture that is unique to Cayman.

      Problems arise when groups of people arrive to an area (in this case, Cayman) and:

      a) Refuse to add/contribute/adapt to said culture
      b) Refuse to learn about said local culture
      c) Refuse to associate with locals
      d) Look down on the locals or local culture
      e) Actively seek to disrupt/change said local culture without understanding it.
      f) Some combination of the above five points.

      Sadly this has been the case in Cayman for many years, and the feelings of contempt towards expatriates in general (not in every case) is really a reaction to those perceived points over the years – sort of like a pendulum that has been pulled back and when released, swings far in the other direction. To be fair this is not the case all the time as there are always going to be people on the fringe on both sides.

      The key to social harmony has always been a fairly straightforward process. Generally speaking, it is ALWAYS incumbent on the OUTSIDER to try to assimilate – by learning the local ways, associating freely with local people, trying to understand why locals are the way they are, etc. Typically, when those local people PERCEIVE that the outsider is making an effort to assimilate or to ‘fit-in’, it is THEN that they usually make an effort to accommodate or make room for those differences that don’t threaten their local way of life. Those differences that are accommodated for, then add to the local way of life causing the culture to grow. This is true whether you’re looking at a whole country’s culture, or the various subgroups and subcultures in any given society.

      To sum it all up – when in Rome…

      – a paper Caymanian

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      • Anonymous says:

        Could not agree more with you! WE are the world and the world’s people all originated in East Africa. So that means that the Brits are Brits, Irish are Irish, Scotts are Scotts and the Caymanians are Caymanians I appreciate Ex- Pats change of heart but I am still a Caymanian -girl with Scottish, Irish and African ancestors.

    • Anonymous says:

      The way so many Caymanians speak you would think they were a native people.

      Always amazed by this fact.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ‘Expat Girl’ I am a Caymanian who happen to live elsewhere. Luckily with my skin colour and my adopted accent, I am not a target of much discrimination like what I see happening with others all around me.

    I have integrated in to the community I live in and as much as I think that there is room for improvement, unless I am able to contribute to this improvement (regardless of what area of improvement is needed) I keep my mouth shut.

    I feel a sense of privilege to live where I am living. It was my choice to leave my home and live elsewhere. No one forced it upon me. This decision was mine and mine only.

    I have many friends and I work hard at the job I am doing and I feel good that others respect me for this and for the contribution I am making. When the day comes, if it does, that I have had enough or feel that I am not ‘in a good place anymore’ I will have to make the decision whether to move or continue to stay and as my grandmother use to say “leave it or lump it.”

    In conclusion, there is a big world out there if you have forgotten madam and I suppose there will be somewhere else that you might feel that you will be better off there than where you are at the moment. But, rest assured, there will at least 50 people who live elsewhere that will take your place in a heart beat. Mark my words madam!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      This post goes exactly against the message in expatgirls post. You might want to read it again. “Mark my words”!?! Come on!

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    • Anon says:

      2.27pm Your anonymous comment would carry a lot more weight if your country of abode was not also anonymous.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has and continues to reap huge rewards from its expat population. Have a look around the region and at countries that have been less welcoming than Cayman and see how they have fared (Bermuda and BVI chief among them).

    Immigration is one of the core reasons for the large surplus the government has enjoyed – again, take a look at the terrifying state of Bermuda’s public finances if you want to see what xenophobia and exceptionalism has wrought.

    However, it is inevitable that citizens will be afforded benefits that expats are not. That is not merely understandable but necessary. It endangers everyone in Cayman (expat and local alike) if the Island’s success leaves too many behind. It is also immoral.

    As such, asking expats returning to pay for their own quarantine costs is I think perfectly fair – the government could even have justifiably chosen to apply the same rule to those with PR.

    Expats should feel free to push back against bigotry and irrational hate in light of all the benefits they have brought to Cayman, but the flip side of that is that they should expect to need to continue to be a net positive – not a drain on the government’s finances that will now be sorely needed for the benefit of locals.

    An Expat.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We have both benefited…but the benefits must be more to Caymanians. You are a guest…and in truth…really replaceable.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Replaceable in what way? Every human s replaceable – Caymanians are each “replaceable” in some way or another. I am not sure what you’re trying to say.

        In the end, the top talent in the financial services is scarce and you need to draw from a global pool of billions, not solely a pool of 15,000 people…

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Bluntly, your struggles don’t confer you the right to bash a community that you yourself chose as your residence/home – and I say that as both an expat and a Caymanian. That’s why people pragmatically suggest that you change the scenery that you so disapprove of. It’s probably good advice rather than mean-spirited. There is universal acceptance that the scale of social integration here is fully-optional and user-discretionary (ie. on a case by case basis), but you do have to adapt to your chosen surroundings, warts and all, and weigh to yourself whether your deal is the best approximation of your vibe. Once you figure out what’s essential for your happiness, and chart your life around those things, it gets easier, whether that’s here or somewhere else. Sounds like you need to go sit under a tree and figure this stuff out, without ego.

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  11. Bertie : B says:

    Sooo Miss expat , lets do dinner . We can chat about ? hmmmm , oh i got it , China . Listen kid , think before pushing the send . I know i have done it myself more than once . Caymanians are very proud of there heritage , as surely you are of yours . Enjoy your time in paradise , you are very fortunate to be living amongst great people who would not do you any wrong as long as respect flows both ways . Experienced Cayman visitor .who cant wait to get back to be with his sister on island again .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly what heritage are you referring to?

      Wife beating?
      Homophobic rants?
      Racism?
      Slaving?
      Incest?

      All as Cayman as butchering turtles on the beach.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So I always hope this stuff is from a troll…but there are so many better than thou expats out there you never know…thanks Aldart for these entitled guests

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      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone keep calm and do not feed the troll.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’d sort of recommend you wait to push the send button yourself. China… Listen kid…. Cayman… Amongst great people? Help remind me…what great people are in Cayman? Heritage? Remind me of the great heritage? There are 20,000 Caymanians in the entire world. Jamaica has 3 million. Impact on the real world outside a tiny self important entitled 25 by 10 mile strip of rock? You’ve just proven the whole point. You show no respect for expatgirl, so why should she show you any? I realize you think you did as superior and great as you are to bring yourself down to such a low level to comment to an expat, but….let’s be honest… you didn’t and remind me again about the great people in Cayman….??? Such a small mind.

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      • Bertie : B says:

        Be more than happy to share my small mind with you 10:43 .There is also many books out there about Cayman history . I read them , maybe you should try . Roy Bodden has maybe three or four books available , he is just one person ,there are many others . BTW i invited expat girl for dinner ,Is she your lady ? Your comments are welcome , but try getting the facts Straight .

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      • Anonymous says:

        5:32 and 10:43 – You both are clearly so unhappy being in the Cayman Islands. Maybe the previously suggested change of scenery should be something you both consider. It is your insensitive and downright evil vitriol that is not needed in these islands. We are all blessed to live here and if you don’t have the wherewithal to be respectful then see yourself out.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Amen on the customs bit. You forgot about customs “imagining” a criminal shipping fee when the vendor not billed you for one.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Sorry but until our guests (and sadly our selfish and greedy government) recognize we should be entitled in our own country…their will never be peace.
    And yes I can tell you who you can hire or not and no you are not allowed to hire someone better to come here and work if a Caymanian is available and capable..no country allows that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Plenty of countries allow and indeed encourage highly skilled workers to emigrate even if the job could technically be filled with locals. Silicon Valley, the city of London, medical professions globally…

      If a Caymanian is substantively as skilled / qualified / experienced as a foreign candidate and wants the job, then absolutely, they should have priority. However, businesses should be able to hire candidates of superior qualifications even if a local person can do enough to cover the role.

      That’s how you build a world class financial center.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So the employment of the Caymanian people are subject to the global market….no Caymanian out of college needs to be employed and no Caymanian needs ever to be promoted considering the ever increasing experience of their expat supervisor. If you want to have an office…comply with the rules…if you want to hire your buddy from Canada/Uk…open an office there.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I am not sure you read what I wrote properly. Who on earth is talking about anyone’s “buddy”?

          What’s your suggestion? That a law firm not be allowed to hire a Cambridge graduate who came top of their class and who has 5 years of training at the world’s largest law firms in London and New York because there is a Caymanian with a law degree who wants the job (but has a worse CV)? What makes you think Caymanians can’t compete with foreigners and build equally impressive CVs?

          That’s the worst kind of short-termism…

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          • Anonymous says:

            Hire him in your UK office…you are talking about absolutely no security for Caymanians in their own country….tell what country does that?

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            • Anonymous says:

              No – that’s not what is being said at all.

              There is plenty of measures designed to promote Caymanians – scholarships, articled clerkships, summer schemes, the fact that Caymanians cost less by saving an employer work permit fees… etc. etc. Bright Caymanians with good CVs and a strong work ethic are incredibly well placed to do well in Accountancy, Law or Finance.

              You only have to stop to think briefly about why hiring for the role in a UK office is CONTRARY to the interests of Cayman. If the role is filled in the UK, the role no longer needs to be filled in Cayman – you don’t GAIN a job for a Caymanian by moving the position elsewhere. All you do is deprive the Islands and money and the government of revenue.

              Again, this is not theoretical – there are countries where to be a lawyer there you need to be a citizen – Bahamas for example. If you want to replicate that result here, you should think again.

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          • Anonymous says:

            So according to your really self serving logic if a Caymanian was 2nd at Cambridge in their class and there was one position at a Cayman law firm…the firm could give it to 1st in the class? Dude go home!

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            • Anonymous says:

              The point is a simple one – Caymanian industries that compete globally for business need to be able to compete globally for talent.

              I’m not sure what you’re proposing is the correct approach here. Either you think experience and skill level are relevant considerations in hiring decisions or you don’t.

              If you do, then we’re talking about a matter of degree (of course someone who is 2nd in their year at Cambridge may well be a BETTER candidate than someone who was 1st).

              If you don’t then you are effectively in favour of prohibiting every law firm in Cayman from hiring a foreigner so long as even a single Caymanian law graduate is looking for a role.

              That is an insane and incredibly damaging approach to take and Cayman as a whole will suffer in the long run. Businesses HAVE to be able to take into account innate ability and expertise when hiring.

              The correct approach is to continue to push for firms to offer scholarships, training, and encouragement to those that want to work in the industry.

              Shutting out foreign expertise is a backwards and short term sugar high that will backfire.

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              • Anonymous says:

                History is full of such self serving economic or social justifications for the abuse of citizens of foreign countries. Our people must benefit and excelled to leaders of financial service industries….but that was when regulations were enforced promoting their education, employment and advancement…yes entitlement in their own country. Now the companies back then were competing globally but managed to comply and flourish….I can only assume the reason you can’t comply is lack of management ability.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Thank you for addressing none of my points.

                  Also no sure what it means to “excel” someone.

                  By the way – they’re are plenty of Caymanians holding senior positions in the financial services sector.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    You feel Caymanians should only get a job in Cayman that they are capable of doing if there is no one in the ENTIRE world that wants the position and has even one more year experience or was slightly higher at Cambridge. No country would allow that if they could as Cayman can, easily see if there is a need on case by case basis.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Not as many as should due to the abuse, by people like you, of the process designed to give them an advantage in their own country. You’re attitude is a virus created by the Alden and the current government.

            • Anon says:

              6.41pm What I can say is that Maples and Calder founded in 1968 by two top graduates from Oxford and Cambridge have always gone out of their way to hire Caymanians and to contribute substantially to local charitable entities.

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              • Anonymous says:

                How much of that was because of the laws requiring them to? Were they the ones that used to give scholarships for NON law pursuits?

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                • Anon says:

                  11.03am Explain which laws you are referring to, sounds like you did not qualify for any scholarship. Yes, I’m sure they have given assistance for non legal qualifications, but what’s your point. I’m sure you have no idea of how much they have contributed to the Pines, the Hospice and many other charities.
                  I suggest you call their HR Manager and discover just how many Caymanians occupy senior positions within this prestigious firm. Then you can swallow your sour grapes.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Immigration laws requiring the employment and as you well know the assistance for non-legal was so they wouldn’t have to hire you as a lawyer once you graduated. You’re just being evasive and silly now. So my deluded little friend continue to tell yourself your special and cayman should be happy to have you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well it’s founders….now Caymanians…who established the laws that made a first class financial centre….yes it’s been maintained and kept-up but opportunists.
        But regardless we are still small enough that we can still ensure the optimum employment and advancement opportunities for our people…until we get a self interested government like this and resulting opportunists like you. We would be better off without either…let me offer to buy your ticket home you pos.

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        • Anonymous says:

          What makes you think I am not at home already? I am sorry you’re as angry as you are – but trust me, it’s not my fault your life is the way it is.

          And you’re incredibly badly informed if you think that the only thing that sets Cayman apart is its laws. For the most part, all our competitor jurisdictions have similar laws and can copy our system with the flick of a pen.

          If you don’t think professional standards and attracting global talent to work in the industry here is a large part of why Cayman is beating our BVI, Bermuda, Anguilla and the like, you genuinely don’t know what you’re talking about.

          But if you don’t like the truth or the fact, attack the messenger!

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          • Anonymous says:

            Well your self serving and self important bs makes me think you’re not home….or maybe you’re one of the truly non-belongers that got status or PR under Aldart or status giveaway….now “22/05/2020 at 10:10 am” that’s the paper we want.appreciates and embraces…nice.
            Anyway you sound really easy replaceable so why don’t you punish us and go from whence you came…we’ll strive to survive.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Thanks for confirming my point: that you have nothing of substance to say or any real knowledge on the point – just anger. Presumably because you want to point the finger elsewhere for your own failings?

              Good luck my friend. I hope you find a little peace at some point.

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              • Anonymous says:

                Aww are you realizing you’re not special like mommy used to say? You are undeniably very replaceable and not the type we need.

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                • Anonymous says:

                  Yes! Vent that anger… get it all out. I’m sure the louder you shout the sooner your luck will turn – it’s everyone else’s fault your life sucks – nothing to do with you.

                  I’m sure your compatriots all think you a wonderful example of the beauty of Cayman. Congratulations.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Ah, there’s the true agenda.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with what you said to a point. So, in exchange for conducting business here, and all the financial benefits that it brings you, what are you in turn doing to really better the lot of the local people who would like to compete in this world-class financial center?

        If you can’t or won’t answer that question, you’re part of the problem.

        – a paper Caymanian

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    • Anonymous says:

      See any expat that thumbs down this doesn’t understand they are a guest with fewer privileges than the citizens. They are the problem!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Expatgirl – I applaud you for writing this follow-up. It is thoughtful and all too rare these days for someone to reflect on feedback and alter, or at least clarify their position.

    I applaud you and agree with your viewpoint. As a permanent resident, over the years I have developed a greater understanding and respect for the views and concerns of long-time Caymanians and also understand what it’s like to come here with good intentions to make a better life for myself. I have also seen some examples of bad behaviour by both expats seeking to exploit the “system” and of Caymanians exploiting workers and indeed their own fellow Caymanians by circumventing the law. So although I think many issues declared by many to be common problems are often overblown, sometimes where there is smoke, there is, in fact, fire.

    That said, the vast majority of people have good intentions, are friendly, kind and welcoming. Most expats who come here are respectful of their hosts. Of course there are some arrogant people who come here without regard for the concerns of locals, and equally there are some Caymanians who are xenophobic, ignorant and entitled. No logical arguments will change their minds, just as nothing will turn those expats into considerate people. Some people are just jerks.

    Most people I have met here in my nearly 15 years here have been good people at heart. Every country has the same issues of expats vs. locals to some degree. Try to remember that that the vast majority of people are actually like you and don’t let the negative people get you down!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    I have lived and worked in 5 different countries and this is not just a problem here. Every country you go to you will get this.
    I am from the UK and you here British people moaning about the Eastern Europeans stealing jobs that they would never want to do in the first place. Same in the USA with the Mexican population.
    Here in Cayman the Jamaicans complain about the Hondurans, the Hondurans complain about the Filipino’s and so it goes on ! Everyone putting the other down to feel better about themselves.
    Hopefully this pandemic can teach us that we are all just trying to live our best lives however and wherever we can and that nobody is above anyone else.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Every country has rules and regulations designed to provide a certain amount of employment security to their citizens…our government and Alden specifically has supported the circumvention of those laws and regulations. So there is some resentment but for the most part it is that fault of Alden…not the expat.

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      • Anonymous says:

        LOL, it’s been around long before Alden. Your agenda is very clear, you should try to hide it a bit better. LMAO

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        • Anonymous says:

          So did any other leader say “duhh…I like to issue management permits as it creates administrative jobs….duhh”

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s gross that you actually had to come back and explain yourself. I totally understood everything you meant in your first piece.
    To have to apologize for the way people ‘take’ your words.. You can take things in anger or in understanding. Caymanian will never understand that.
    If the shoe fits, wear it. Either that or grow from it.

    Signed
    A Caymanian

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Expatgirl – good for you to post this second expression of your feelings; it came across better and made me feel empathy for you – unlike your first post. Also “big” of you to apologize. I’m born and bred Caymanian who referenced my schooling and experiences in the UK in the 1970s in my response to your initial post, if you read it. I tried to frame my response in a civil manner without any insults – hope I succeeded.

    Anyway, having said all that and despite my understanding of your situation, I must disagree with at least one point you present and share my own opinion and experiences.

    WP holders having to pay for their own isolation upon their return – I believe we agree that the isolation of ALL persons returning to the island is prudent and enhances our collective safety, therefore the act is a non-issue. Perhaps the returning WP holder themselves should not have to pay but in that case, it should be taken from the “repatriation fees kitty” or, as a last resort, fall on the employer. It cannot fall on Government (public purse) as an expenditure which perhaps some might expect (not clear if that is your expectation). I have no way of knowing where you’re from but I doubt that the Government of your home country would undertake such a cost if the same situation existed there. Surely not the USA! It would have to be a very, very liberal and wealthy country.

    However, as to your opinion that the only motivation is money, while I don’t agree in this case, I can relate to that sentiment in general. I’ve constantly encountered Government practices of imposing “fees” for various “things” (not services) and held the opinion that it’s a ruse to collect money (in some cases I would venture “illegally” if one had the resources to put up a challenge). And I can assure you those cases impact us locals the same, or perhaps more, than expats.

    Take for example the repatriation fee associated with work permit applications. Over the years, I have had to pay this fee a few times for domestic helpers. When helper #1 reached rollover I asked Immigration to refund that fee so I could apply it to the application for replacement helper #2. I was told it could not be refunded, so I asked for them to take that fee and pay the airline ticket to Jamaica for helper #1. I was told that if they use it, then she could not return to Cayman! So I lost that fee and had to pay a separate repatriation fee for helper #2. When helper #1 was ready to return to my employment a year later, I had to pay again for her and, of course, did not get back the fee for helper #2 for the previously stated reason. Since that experience, I’m sure experienced by many employers, Immigration now informs applicant that the fee is “non-refundable”. In that case, it shouldn’t exist as a separate “repatriation fee” but should simply be incorporated into the WP costs. It can’t be used unless the subject can’t return and the applicant can’t get it refunded, so in my opinion the Government is simply stealing that money!

    Another situation is Customs imposing 1% insurance on every imported item, after the importer has already paid inclusive insurance fees to the shipping company/broker, and AFTER the item has safely arrived on-island. This is robbery; Customs has no business in the insurance business!!

    These are just two of many public service practices which exist and impact us locals – and most residents in general. So I’m sorry for my lengthy expounding but I used those examples to indicate to you that what could be termed “discriminatory” practices often bite us all.

    For you, I wish that you get though this lock-down with your entire health intact. Thereafter, I hope that you’re able to involve yourself with things and people Caymanian and, subject to the unknown path that life has in store, who knows you may become one of those “former expats” who made this little island and its people your forever home. Take care.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Ok, maybe we can all agree on two things: The first is that some expats, probably even a minority, have, to put it nicely, feelings of superiority that makes them dismissive of Caymanians. The second is that some Caymanians, probably even a minority, have, again to put it nicely, feelings of entitlement that make them resentful of expats.
    If we can just agree that there is less than productive behavior in some people on both sides, and use that as our starting point, can we then discuss something more productive like: What can we all do to change this so that we can all work and live together for the betterment of the Cayman Islands and ourselves? I for one thing Cayman’s diversity is a strength, not a weakness, and should be celebrated, not condemned.
    OK, I’ll start. Years ago, Mario Ebanks in his role with the human resources society, suggested cultural sensitivity orientation should be a standard practice for the onboarding of all new immigrants in the workplace. What to people thing about that idea? Did any businesses employ the practice? Did it help?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians should be entitled in their country….every country in the world strives to provide some entitlement and security to the citizens over expatriates or guests. I think Aldart’s government has taken that away from Caymanians by allowing flagrant abuses of the rules and regulations for the sake of work permit fees and perhaps a specific benefactor. This has caused some resentment but this is mostly the fault of government.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think it’s as much about cultural sensitivity as it is about locals feeling frustrated that they can’t get ahead but yet seeing people who are not from here seemingly getting further ahead than they do – It’s going to cause some level of resentment. And when you look at the ratio of expats to locals here (almost 1:1) there’s bound to be a great amount of resentment. This isn’t unique to Cayman – this happens all over the world – that’s just human nature. What we are reaping now are the results of decisions made by Caymanians (both in power and regular citizens) 20 and 30+ years ago. What compounds the problem are expats who arrive here, and seek to disrupt our way of life, look down their noses at us, pretend to be a big fish in this small pond (when they were really small fish in the bigger ponds from which they came), and who feel that they know what’s best for the island without raising a finger to help better the community.

      Diversity is only a strength when those different groups of people are coming together as one. Before they can come together as one, however, the root problems that are causing the divide have to be addressed in an open, honest and fair way first. Otherwise, as with any multicultural society, it will tear itself apart.

      – a paper Caymanian

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      • Anonymous says:

        Some comments: First, the ratio you cited isn’t accurate in the eyes of some because on the “locals” side, as you call it, it includes status Caymanians. If by local, you mean Caymanians that were born here, then the ratio is at best 2:1, with Caymanians being the minority. But then you have to look at the Caymanians who were born here to expat parents. Are they truly Caymanian in the eyes of all? What about Caymanians who were born to couples where only one is a born Caymanian? And then what about those who were born elsewhere to Caymanian diaspora, who have come here as adults. There are more of them than you might think, and while they may or may not be considered Caymanian by all, they have brought a different culture back with them. When you add it all up, if you’re going to define “locals” as only those generational Caymanians born in Cayman to two generational Caymanian parents, then the ratio is probably greater to 3:1, with Caymanians in the minority.
        With the influx of foreigners has come a quality of life that is the highest in the Caribbean. The days of smoke pots, cook rums and no air conditioning are long gone. Older folks might nostalgically wish for the old days, but the younger generation doesn’t want any part of that life. Nor can you dictate that generational Caymanians need to marry generational Caymanians; people are going to love and procreate with the partners of their choice.
        But none of this is productive at this point. If you’re suggesting the only way forward is for expats to fall in line, then as any marriage counselor will tell you, that’s not going to work. It takes effort on both sides.
        As for your assertion that any multicultural society will tear itself apart if the root problems aren’t resolved, the interesting thing about that is that up until Donald Trump, it could be argued that the United States was the shining example of a multicultural society success story. Sure, there were underlying issues and resentments, and it’s true the each wave of immigrants – whether they were African-American, Chinese, Italian, Irish, Indian, Cuban or Vietnamese – had to endure the hardships of prejudice, in the end, the U.S. model worked pretty well because the leadership dwelled on what they all had in common – an ideal – and not what made them different.
        The point I’m making here is that a country’s ability to accept immigration as a economic growth model (as has been the case in the Cayman Islands) comes from its leadership. Because the core of the current government rode a wave of anti-expat rhetoric (which it might not have started, but certainly exacerbated) into power back in 2005, it has never had the courage to promote unity. If our leaders were to do so, much of this vitriol would retreat enough to allow for more productive solution to the authentic inequalities that exist in our society.
        There was a good reason Cayman’s government of the 1990s decided to change the name of the “Caymanian Protection Board” to the “Immigration Board” – the former not only made hapless victims of Caymanians, but predators of those from whom they needed protection. That kind of thinking can’t work with the type of society we now have. We can’t turn back the clock; the ratio of generational Caymanians to new Caymanians and residents is only going to get larger on the side of those who aren’t generational.
        Most of us want the same thing: to able to be fairly treated and rewarded for our efforts and to be able to enjoy our lives in this beautiful country. We’d better figure out how we can all get along because Cayman’s success depends on all of us.

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        • Anonymous says:

          A red herring…yawn…

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        • Anonymous says:

          Another red herring…however I’ll bite. The United States is not a multicultural society, it’s a pluralistic one. Big difference between the two.

          ‘E Pluribus Unum’ – From many one.
          That’s what’s stamped on the American currency. It means that it acknowledges that it is a pluralistic society. Not so much a melting pot but a stew. A society in which minority groups maintain their independent cultural traditions and where no one minority imposes its views on the other.
          Pluralism is NOT multiculturalism
          The key difference between pluralism and multiculturalism is this:
          Pluralism is based on exceptional values as determined by the host society
          Multiculturalism is based on lowest common denominator values

          There are many things wrong with the concept of multiculturalism. The first of which are its attempts at replacing it with what makes American society great – pluralism. Multiculturalism believes that all cultures are equal but that’s not true.
          Here’s a good example.
          The bushman of Australia could, as individuals, be trained to fly the space shuttle. But that doesn’t make their culture equal to ours because they can’t build a space shuttle. You can give every individual equal opportunity and treat everyone equally – but that doesn’t make cultures equal.
          Equality is a fine ideal. But like all other ideas, it can be pursued to absurdity. The same with multiculturalism.
          Many people think multiculturalism just means showing respect and tolerance to other cultures and faiths. If that were so, it should be unarguable. We should all support respect and tolerance. But that’s not what multiculturalism is at all. It holds that all minority values must have equal status to those of the majority. Any attempt to uphold majority values over minorities is a form of prejudice. That turns minorities into a cultural battering ram to destroy the very idea of being a majority culture at all.
          The end result of multiculturalism is the Balkanization of a society. Pluralism, on the other hand, does not. Pluralism is based on a value system that we all hold in common. Multiculturalism is based on the lowest common denominator of values in a society.

          – a paper Caymanian.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    A much better piece than the first I feel. I am Caymanian and I really don’t like when people are so anti-Caymanian. At the same time I hate when Caymanians are so small minded and anti-expat. As you say it is a minority on both sides and people will be people and will always find something to complain about or a way to blame their problems on other people.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, as the saying goes ‘A drunk man speaks no lies” could apply to you leaving out the drunkenness or not I need to add here.

    First impressions are lasting. I am much afraid you have only made your rebuttal because of the lack of support you received.

    I am also certain that if you have not assimilated yourself by now, I doubt you may never do so.

    Yes, we are all human but from my experiences people have short memories. I hope for your sake when Cayman gets back to its former self (it will take time but it will happen), you will make better of the privilege you have been granted to live, work and own a business here.

    Taking onboard the concept of assimilation wholeheartedly might do you some good in the future ‘Expat girl.’

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the thing Expatgirl. The part of your previous piece where you mentioned “no expat is coming here and wanting to exclude or hold back Caymanians” was the part that incensed me. Thank you for now writing this piece and for your apologies. We know that not all expats are evil, just as not all Caymanians are bigoted. I think one thing that can bridge that divide between locals and expats is for more expatriates to at least acknowledge the injustices that have gone on for so long against Caymanians.

    There are a lot of things in our community that we can and should improve as a people, one of which is really reducing the numbers of work-permit holders here. I’m not bashing expats when I say that, but how can it be sustainable for any country when roughly half of the population is made up of work-permit holders when there are locals who need work? Cayman has roughly 65-67,000 people (30,000+ of whom are work permit holders).

    To your point about the $2,000 dollars government wants expats to pay for their own quarantining, I have two replies –

    1. No government should ever have to fork over money to take care of the needs of people who are not their citizens. In the case of the whole Covid quarantine, I can understand government lending a helping hand to those that were stranded here, but lets assume that at least 1/12 of the 30,000+ work permit holders need to be isolated on return for two weeks – that’s 2,500 people times CI$2,000 – what it will cost the hotels to house them. That’s a total of CI$5,000,000. If it’s up to a ⅓ of 30,000 people (which would be 10,000 people) that figure jumps to CI$20,000,000. The government is not being greedy in telling WPH to pay, they’re being fiscally responsible.

    2. I also believe part of the reason why they’re saying to pay that amount is because government is trying to reset the clock for many Caymanians. Most WPH will not be able and/or willing to pay that amount of money, so it may very well fall to the business owners to pay that. Depending on the sizes of their businesses and how many WPH they have, there may be a stronger incentive now for local businesses to hire locally or go under. I think one unintended side effect of that will be, the large firms who can afford it will pay, whereas the small businesses will not be able to – the higher paying jobs will continue to be inaccessible for many Caymanians due to the old-boys club, leaving open mainly entry-level, low-skilled openings for Caymanians. But it’s a well-needed start.

    You are frustrated, as are we, about the situation. I don’t pretend to know what all the answers are, but I maintain that we need to reduce WPH numbers for a fairer more just Caymanian society.

    Everyone is looking to better their lives in some way. If that means coming to the Cayman Islands and working for a better life, then so be it. We’ve had thousands of expats come here over the years who fell in love with the country, and integrated into society – many of whom have even married a Caymanian, had Caymanian children, and have spent 50-60+ years bettering the community like the late Ms. Olive (may she rest in peace). We don’t have a problem with those people. The problem we have are with those expats who come here to disrupt our way of life, look down their noses at us, pretend to be a big fish in this small pond (when they were really small fish in the bigger ponds they came from), and who feel that they know what’s best for the island without raising a finger to help better the community (or who volunteer in charities across the island, only to stop doing so once they’ve accumulated enough points to apply for PR).

    We both have much to learn from each other, but there is a process for successful integration to occur. It is ALWAYS incumbent on the outsider to first make the effort to assimilate, THEN the locals to accommodate for those differences that are not incompatible with the local way of life. Only then can we grow as a community to greater strengths together.

    – a paper Caymanian

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    • Anonymous says:

      Would like this a million times if I could!

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    • Anonymous says:

      You know what, no expat is coming here and wanting to exclude or hold back Caymanians. Kisses’n’ hugs.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your logic is flawed. Most of the work permit holders have not left. They are still here. I would argue that many more of them will want to leave. If they opened the airport tomorrow just for residents to come and go, you’d probably have 20x the number of unemployed people leaving than you would have stranded work permit holders returning. Which would probably be a net economic benefit for the government.

      As a second point, I don’t think it was reasonable to strand someone who is a resident here and prevent them from coming back here. There are people in the SEZ who have 5 year work permits and own a home here. Some work permit holders have more of a connection to this country than some PR holders who have managed to obtain PR without owning their own homes (but that’s another story). This is clearly a different situation from a transient construction worker here on a six month TWP.

      In any case I think we are past the point where it is necessary to police these people. If they can demonstrate that they can isolate themselves in their home and are willing to sign a declaration to that effect, they should be able to self-quarantine. Yes, there will be some people who ignore that and actually go out, but given that we are required to social-distance, masks are required in public, gatherings are banned etc, then there is no reason why we have to lock people up.

      While we were hoping we could effectively eliminate the virus on a local basis the mandatory quarantine made sense. Once we start seeing the number of positives in the wild based on the increased testing throughput, it will become quickly apparent that the virus is here to stay and the goal is simply to suppress it to an acceptable level. The need for the government jail is over.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Right…and because of those “some people who ignore that and actually go out”, the risk of contagion is too great to leave it up to the discretion of people. This is one time where I think the government got it right and you’ve got it wrong.

        Whether it’s 1 person who pays or the whole 30,000+ who pay, no government on any part of the globe, should have to pay for the citizens of other countries. When those WPHs become citizens here, that’s different. By the way, it is also my belief that even locals who return should be quarantined mandatorily at the government’s expense – sort of like how you’re responsible for the damages caused by your own children and not that of which was caused by the children of others.

        Please don’t mischaracterize what I was saying.

        – a paper Caymanian

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    • Anonymous says:

      Assimilation is probably the wrong word for success here, and from my experience, certainly optional in both directions. Nobody in the free world should have to think they must adopt someone else’s viewpoints, beliefs, and moral code to exist and thrive anywhere. BUT everyone that does choose to live here must adapt and accept their chosen reality and be happy about their choice. That part’s not optional and beyond a cultural critique. The unsolicited customer satisfaction survey is boring and inappropriate.

      ~ Seasoned 25yr %#&@ing Driftwood

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    • Martha says:

      Finally, a voice of reason. Thank you! 👍

    • Anonymous says:

      “No government should ever have to fork over money to take care of the needs of people who are not their citizens.”
      Great. We have a true Trumpian Republican telling Cayman about what’s right for the country. Let’s just say I disagree strongly. If you’re going to legally invite and allow a people to join your society so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of their inclusion (whether they be economic or social) then EVERY government should offer support in times of crisis. The US invites more than a million migrant farm workers to the country every year. If a hurricane were to hit one of the communities where they live and destroy their homes and food supply, what would you have the American government do? Leave them to die?
      I agree that if expats want to leave the island and come back during this pandemic, they should pay for their quarantine stay. But why shouldn’t the Caymanians who can afford that do the same? Do you really think the taxpayers of this country should pay to have the Caymanian partner of an accounting firm or law firm stay in quarantine because they want to get of the island for a vacation? By the same thinking, what about a long-time resident, maybe even a PR holder, who is a good contributor to the society, but has lost his/her job and needs to go away for medical treatment, before coming back? Should the government turn a blind eye in that case?

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      • Anonymous says:

        You clearly didn’t read the author’s comment properly.

      • A Paper Caymanian says:

        The government has offered many forms of support to those WPH stranded here who are not able to work. Just like if you were a guest in my house, and I told you you couldn’t leave my house because of some emergency, the responsibility falls onto me to provide for your needs – I’m not saying otherwise. But as a guest in my house, what I provide for you will not be the same as what I provide for my spouse or my children – their needs will take priority over yours, especially when the depths of my pockets will be a concern. The same principle applies here. Citizenship is a contract amongst a country, its government and it’s people with rights and responsibilities on all sides. WPH are not subject to the responsibilities of Caymanian citizenship and are thus not ENTITLED to any help by the government. I do not know anything about PR holders, so I cannot comment – I was speaking strictly of WPH and of government being fiscally responsible with the public purse. As for “long-time residents”, they too can go the same path I did to become citizens and be adopted into the Cayman Family.

        – a paper Caymanian

    • Mic drop. says:

      @22/05/2020 10:10 am Please collect your Comment of the Year Award. 👏🏽

  22. Anonymous says:

    Much better approach. Hope things go better for you.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    To be able to acknowledge when you are wrong or hurtful is something rare these days. I thank you for writing this second piece, and also hope for a unified country. I am not Caymanian, nor do I like the title of ex-pat. I am human, from our beautiful planet. My home is Cayman, my life is here. I urge all humans to stand United, our beautiful island is a paradise that should be loved and cared for, we should love and care for one another. I too feel hurt from comments I see, not only from our island but from around our planet. As one, we could achieve so much more. Stay strong Cayman, together we gots this.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    My experience so far on the planet as one of the so called native people has made me conscious of the historical behaviour of people who have stolen the wealth of the native peoples of the world, consolidated it and passed it down as generational wealth to their children. There is no place on the planet where you can escape the murderous facts.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:46 What are you on about? There were not “native” people here before Cayman was colonized in the 18/19th century. There weren’t people here when Columbus first visited either. The Taino Indians inhabited many Caribbean islands but there is no evidence they were present here in Cayman. The conditions weren’t favorable enough for them to settle. No one was murdered for Cayman to be colonized. So your point is groundless in this situation. Maybe read up on our history before screaming foul play.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Well said. I think you have balanced things nicely from your first piece. Certainly this topic is a difficult subject to discuss on a small island.

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