I know I speak for many in the Caymanian community when I say that we are deeply saddened and disappointed by the actions of the director of tourism.
She may be right in saying that ‘the Cayman Islands is a welcoming jurisdiction to all people,’ (Caymanian Compass, page 2, May 6, 2008) but this is not simply about people; it is about behaviour!
Far more representative of Caymanian values are the sentiments expressed by the American visitor, Raymond Sanders, who witnessed the incident and, ironically, in the same issue of the Compass congratulated ‘the people of the Cayman Islands for holding values that many…Americans have forgotten.’
The police officer was in the right to deal with the offensive and illegal behaviour the way he did; but, having now been second-guessed by the director of tourism, will he be inclined to carry out his duty in the future, should he be faced with similar public challenges of our values and laws?
If the Department of Tourism feels compelled to apologise to people who break the law and flout the values of our community, it needs to make it clear that it is speaking only for itself, and not for the country as a whole.
It is high time that we as a people take a stand and declare that we have values that are not spelled with dollar signs. There are things far more important than money, which we seem to have forgotten.
God help us to be people of integrity. If monetary gain is our principal ethic, just come out and say it; for our actions certainly point in that direction.
Yes, Mr. Chandler and everyone else are welcome to the Cayman Islands. But not all behaviour is welcome, for not all behaviour is appropriate, right, tasteful or socially beneficial. RCIP officers, keep up the good work!
M. Alson Ebanks