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IND | Nov 29, 2021

‘Tokenism on full display?’: Twitter users in disbelief as Rhoda Crawford, in India, leads J’can delegation in cringey Bob Marley rendition

/ Our Today

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(Photo: Twitter @RhodaMCrawford)

Central Manchester Member of Parliament (MP) Rhoda Crawford continues to face heavy backlash from Jamaican Twitter users for a video showing her and three other nationals representing the island performing for officials in India’s capital New Dehli on Sunday (November 28). 

Crawford, head of the four-member delegation, which also included Opposition Senator Gabriela Morris, posted the video in which she basked in the recognition of Jamaican culture in India. 

“Jamaica’s brand is so powerful. Today at lunch in India with India’s State Minister of External Affairs and Culture, organizers and other government officials; the Jamaican delegation was called upon to sing a Bob Marley song. Thankfully we can sing,” she tweeted.

Marley’s critically acclaimed hit One Love was the song selected.

Watch the video below:

(Video: Twitter @RhodaMCrawford)

Triggered by the video, the collectively distressed Jamaican Twitterati questioned why the Crawford-led delegation opted to sing at all. 

Some users, not offended by the gesture, argued that it was normal for a country to display its own culture through performance for guests. 

What many Jamaicans were wondering, however, was why the host country asked the representing delegation to do this, which Crawford had corroborated.

The timeline, struck by a widespread case of second-hand embarrassment, called on the MP to delete the video and spare them any further discomfort on the international stage.

Among the arguments put forward, many accused the Jamaican delegation for giving ‘house slave vibes’—likening the performance to Samuel L Jackson’s character in Django Unchained.

“This is so hard to look at lmao. I had to watch it slight. It’s giving pappyshow and show them your little dance,” commented @jonellesamai.

More reactions:

Another woman, @SlimCindy said: “very cringe, I’m embarrassed. honestly ive seen things like these b4 and the masterminds only do this when they do not value the person/persons. should’ve declined.” 

The island is among 75 countries participating in the inaugural Gen-Next Democracy Programme, which sees India hosting young leaders under the age of 35.

The initiative, offering a first-hand experience of Indian culture, also falls in the 75th year of India’s Independence celebrations as the country seeks to strengthen its relations with democratic states across the world.

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