The issue of Coke’s extradition, guilty plea, and future sentencing has cleared away the brush of corruption, revealing the barren underbrush of a post colonial archaic corrupt system, that is no different than the corrupt criminal , blood thirsty warlords who carve out large parts of sub-saharan Africa as their own.
As America has removed them in Liberia, Mogadishu and other places in Africa, so too has Coke, Blake , Coke Senior before him, have been removed, by America,a place some Jamaicans love to hate.
It is reasonable to conclude that many Jamaicans do not share the ideals many of us share. Most of us want a stable country where opportunities abound , a place which enables us to live in peace , be all we can be, one that provides a future for our children, one that is better than the one we have. It became clear to me that a large percentage of our people, even some who reside abroad, are opposed to those simple foundational principles.
They are more drawn to dishonest underhanded corrupt hustling , one that is steeped in stress of looking over one’s shoulder for the law and those with whom they compete in their criminal endeavors.
Garrisons associated with, nurtured and funded by both political parties, have long been zones of political exclusion for people of both political parties. This also extends to law enforcement who are hampered by political handcuffs. These zones of exclusion have been encouraged by a cheer-leading media, criminal rights groups , the church, and from all areas of Jamaican life.
I am unaware of any other country in the civilized world where politicians dare tell police they cannot enforce the law as Edward Seaga believed , Seaga once asked what was Adams doing in Tivoli Gardens. Suggesting that Tivoli Gardens was his private domain and it was up to him to determine who enter and exited. That kind of bare-faced unabashed cheekiness has dominated Jamaica’s political landscape since independence.
My position when I served in the JCF was always, “who the hell do these rif raf think they are’? I must say no one ever told me what I could and could not do , I used the letter of the law.
The two most fearsome Garrisons in Jamaica have been the PNP’s Arnett Gardens, literally built and maintained by Anthony Spaulding, and Tivoli gardens maintained by Edward Seaga, former long reigning member of parliament for west Kingston, and Prime Minister.
For decades those in the media have given a free pass to criminals living and operating from garrisons, I am unsure what the motives are on this, but they have never missed an opportunity to thrust a microphone into the face of paid mourners so that they may lie about witnessing extra-judicial killings by police. They do so despite knowing that the stories the fraudulent mourners tell are largely downright lies.
This phenomenon has not escaped criminals who actually saw a public relations coup to be had in continuing this parade of lies and mourning.
Even when vicious murders are killed or apprehended they come out in droves demanding they be set free. Murderers like Zekes are brought out to the Central Police Station by the inept Police, with a view to having him speak to supporters. Imagine a common criminal elevated to the status of peace maker extolling his subjects to go home, telling them he was fine. Criminals elevated to the status of rock stars, increasing their influence when police have to lean on them to calm unrest.
We have seen it happen in the case of many other common thugs, exerting their influence over the Jamaica state at the expense of the rule of law. None of these modern-day three finger Jacks despite their influence, have had the pull, support, or evoked the fear that Christopher Coke evoked . Conversely none have seen the genuine outpouring of raw emotions and love that have been expressed for this now confessed gun-runner and drug dealer. There are those who argue that Coke is guilty of much more than the crimes he confessed to, but can only be held accountable by America for trans-Atlantic crimes, in the absence of political and law enforcement will to hold him accountable in Jamaica.
As I have said in previous blogs, Coke and those who preceded him are also victims of a system that has allowed them to develop, for the benefit of a chosen few in the political arena.
For as much as some may see Dudus as someone who has achieved tremendous wealth and power , the truth is, he is also a victim of Jamaica’s corrupt system , his present place of abode speaks to that victimhood. The self-examination of which I speak ,cannot be confined to the traditional whipping boys, politicians and police.It must be comprehensive to include those in talk radio, and other areas of the media, those in the church, private sector, the legal fraternity, and most certainly, those in the fight to secure critical human rights. I have very little respect for those who purport to represent the dispossessed and disadvantaged.
I am revolted at the thought of referring to them as human rights advocates; my view is they are criminal rights supporters. My disgust and utter revulsion for them is centered around the simple fact that they are incapable of understanding that the best way to ensure that citizens rights are respected is that those very citizens obey the laws of the land.
There is no conflict in the acceptance of the adherence to the rule of law, and the safeguards that must be adhered to as they relate to respect for citizens rights.
Human rights advocates have their wires crossed, they are brain-dead into believing that obeying Jamaican laws are optional, their actions suggest those who choose to break our laws should have a right to do so.
Some have even collected false data to include the names of police officers and supplied those data to the Inter America Commission on human rights. A commission based in Washington DC, a place where the rule of law is king, and incontrovertible.
The mindset in Jamaica has got to change if the country is to move forward. There is a general notion that the rule of law is an after thought, too many of our people are willing to cut criminals slack, give them a bly, the benefit of the doubt.
The breaking of laws is seen as no big deal, with most generally siding and giving aid and comfort to the transgressors.
Dr Fredrick Hickling renowned Psychiatrist at the University of the West Indies has suggested that a large swath of the population is traumatized and subsequently mentally ill. Whether we are traumatized and in need of Psychiatric help is the prerogative of the Dr, Hicklings of this world , what is certain is that our little country must take stock of the direction the rest of the world is going and get in line.
Getting in line must also mean demanding that political representatives have character, and do what they are elected to do. The people must demand constitutional reform, and a charter of rights that caters to their well-being. As evidenced by this Christopher Coke debacle there are gaping holes in the credibility of players from the Prime Minister down to the guy who drove the garbage trucks transporting the guns from place to place.
Coke and what he represents did not happen overnight, it took decades of corruption and political manipulation to get there .In fact , though Coke and others had their base in Tivoli Gardens the epic center of JLP politics , his influence reached far and wide to include other countries where members of his criminal empire operated.
He operated under the noses of Jamaican authorities who were terrified to touch him. Government contracts were reportedly awarded to him and his presidential click by the PNP government even though he was a political adversary.
The impotent police force for its part chose to be like a mongrel dog, with a lot of barking at poor defenseless youths that have no influence, rounding and locking them up as if that was a solution to the crime problem. While Coke and other untouchables operated with impunity.
Rank and file police officers unafraid were more than willing to smash Coke and his cronies, as well as some that are operating to this day. However when Renetto Adams and members of the now defunct crime management unit entered Tivoli Gardens and took action after being greeted with heavy and sustained gunfire, they somehow ended up being the ones castigated by the media, criminal rights, the church, and those in the political elite. Of course that gave fuel to the fire of pervasive criminal support in the country.
Only in Jamaica could law enforcement officers in the execution of their duties get castigated for going after terrorists. This is the norm and the mindset of the black social-climbing , never-see-come-see bijous’ mostly educated at the University of the West Indies, once a hotbed of liberal Marxist ideology.
Most who walked those corridors are soldiers looking for a war, they wear a chip on their shoulder, “look at me I have an education’, they never write their names without adding their accomplishments BSC, LLB etc, seeking to impress, as if someone cares.
Those are the anti establishment anything goes leaders in the Judiciary, legal fraternity, and media to name of few areas.They believe they are immune from the tentacles of crime living in their gated communities, and doing the rounds on the cocktail circuit. They come out to give their opinions when they think it helps their security, by speaking about police abuses, they are modern-day Pharisees.
Crime metastasize in an environment of acquiescence and fear. Stop the little offences and they will not graduate into large crimes. Whether you agree with the criminalization of ganja is immaterial. Allow one guy to sell weed on the corner, and soon it’s two guys before you know it everyone is selling weed on the corner, then comes the conflict over turf, then comes more dangerous and addictive drugs. Soon the corner is a place where addicts hang out, shots bark, homes and cars burglarized, ordinary people unable to walk in peace and kids are recruited into being runners, muscle, and dealers.
This escalation comes about when we fail to stop the first guy because it was only weed. There are those who inject themselves into the debate purporting to understand the ghetto and the people who live there, they argue that guys who hang out on corners are not involved in criminal activity, and are merely what they call (corner crews). This has got to be the most laughable attempt at rationalization. What the hell is a crew, are they carpenters, stone masons, or builders of sorts, define crew so we can better understand what these guys do.
Group of people working together; a gang: a crew of stage hands. b. A group of people gathered together temporarily; a crowd.(free online dictionary)
Keeping the same mindset that got us into this mess is not an option if we want to have a better 50 years after our so-called independence. I have no faith however that we will make better decisions going forward, all one have to do is to have a conversation with a neighbor, hear his view and one realizes instantly that there is not much hope going forward.
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