Two men, two identical posts in the same Facebook group, two extremely different responses.
A Maltese man and his half-Mexican, half-Maltese cousin decided to expose the intolerance of Maltese people to criticism by foreigners by posting identical posts in the popular RUBS group and comparing the responses.
The half-Mexican man told Lovin Malta that he posted ‘Malta, you are such a dump!’ in RUBS after growing sick at seeing so much garbage on the streets.
The response he received was predictable for anyone who has lived in Malta
“If anyone is to be called a dump, it’s you,” someone commented. “You have no right to call or name a whole nation this way, go somewhere else if you don’t like it!”
“What is of more concern to me is that one realises he/she is living in a dump, still lives in that dump and then complains and broadcasts about living in said dump,” someone else said. “Tickets to Spain don’t cost that much and in twice the time you took to write this post, you could have bought a one-way ticket. Viva Malta and the Maltese, you frustrated person!”
“If Malta is a dump for you, then get the hell out of here!” someone else chimed in.
Others attempted to take a swipe at his own country by referring to Donald Trump and the wall he plans to build between the USA and Mexico.
“Maybe it’s time that you grab your ugly ass and fuck off out of here and it is very rich coming from a filthy Mexican cabron,” one racist comment read.
After witnessing the torrent of abuse, the man and his Maltese cousin decided to conduct a social experiment to test what the reaction would be like if the criticism came from someone with a Maltese surname.
The reaction was eye-opening
Several people agreed with him, complaining about issues such as construction, dirt, dust and traffic, with one woman suggesting they should invite foreign journalists to drive through all Malta’s towns and villages and film what they see.
“Maybe then some drastic steps will be taken,” she said.
“Couldn’t agree with you more, and to think how proud we used to be of our beautiful island,” someone else said. “I feel embarrassed now.”
While the Maltese man did get some flak, this was more on the lines of accusing him of not pulling his weight.
The nastiest comment was probably the one that stated: “Look at yourself and ask if you’re doing something good for Malta. What does posting here in English give you besides a few likes? Do you want to appear sophisticated?”
Others pointed out the blatant difference between the reaction the two posts received.
“When a foreigner said these same words, everyone pounced on him and told him to go back to his country. Now that a Maltese person said it, everyone is agreeing with him,” someone said.
The Mexican man, who has been living in Malta for a while and has been visiting for 40 years, said he was fully expecting this result.
“I grew up very proud of my Maltese heritage,” he said. “I’ve experienced the influx of foreigners in recent years, which has made Malta a cosmopolitan nation. However, it’s very clear these people were blaming foreigners for the dump Malta has become.”
“The declining quality of life isn’t down to foreigners but down to issues like our lifestyle, planning, traffic and impunity. Some people just blame foreigners for problems that are caused by everyone living here.”