Blinkered Political Allegiances Blinds To The Dangers Crime Poses.…

Yesterday I wrote about the fail­ure of the Jamaican Prime Minister mis­ter Andrew Holness on the issue of crime.
In the arti­cle, I went to great pains to out­line that (a) I sup­port­ed Holness’ can­di­da­cy and (b) gave the Prime Minister cred­it for his han­dling of the econ­o­my thus far.
I did not make men­tion of the Infrastructure devel­op­ments being car­ried out across the Island, as [some] of those projects were in the pipeline before he took office and speak­ing to those would mean I would have to spend valu­able time giv­ing cred­it to the pre­vi­ous admin­is­tra­tion on an issue I believe can­cels itself out polit­i­cal­ly.
I did not feel I was com­pelled to say I sup­port­ed Holness’ can­di­da­cy, but I felt that in the inter­est of fair­ness I had to give cred­it to the Prime Minister were and if cred­it was war­rant­ed.
I nev­er­the­less cred­it­ed the PM for the good that was obvi­ous from my van­tage point while speak­ing to the bad from the same perch.
Having done so, I hoped that the qual­i­ty of the dis­course on the impor­tant top­ic of the nations crime epi­dem­ic would have been ele­vat­ed over and above the tra­di­tion­al parochial (kas-kas).

I hoped that since we pride our­selves in our abil­i­ty to crit­i­cal-think, we would be able to begin a sub­stan­tive con­ver­sa­tion on this most press­ing issue with a view to at least rec­og­niz­ing that the path we are present­ly on will not solve the present dilem­ma.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that the balka­niza­tion of our pol­i­tics after 1962 to the present day has moved from imag­i­nary geo­graph­i­cal lines of demar­ca­tion to men­tal and psy­cho­log­i­cal lines.
The hard­en­ing of our polit­i­cal views has become a hin­drance to our growth and devel­op­ment. It has so infest­ed our psy­ches, that even though we are no longer mur­der­ing our broth­ers of anoth­er polit­i­cal per­sua­sion, we are unable to engage in sub­stan­tive rea­son­ing because of the con­fin­ing walls of polit­i­cal alle­giances.

When the response by Labourites to the crime epi­dem­ic is ‘crime did not begin three years ago( allud­ing to when Holness took office), you can no longer claim cred­i­bil­i­ty on the top­ic, as you have demon­strat­ed that you are unable to see through your polit­i­cal blink­ers.
That kind of think­ing allows for the next par­ty to make the same argu­ments when it becomes their turn to lead once again.
Putting this exis­ten­tial issue on the table does not mean solv­ing it today. Crime did not become an issue in Jamaica at the time Holness took office.
What the nation vot­ed for was a dif­fer­ent approach and that is not hap­pen­ing. So the bird-brained idea that point­ing out where we are going wrong is some­how polit­i­cal, expos­es the lev­el of indi­vid­ual igno­rance in that per­cep­tion, and the degree to which the cor­ro­sive influ­ence of pol­i­tics has cloud­ed our abil­i­ty to think.

Over the years I have pre­sent­ed a raft of pro­pos­als which are to be found on this very medi­um. The fact that Jamaican author­i­ties, of both polit­i­cal par­ties, have failed to adopt tried-and-proven meth­ods, opt­ing instead for crime-fight­ing tech­niques devel­oped by baby doc­tors and police haters is their own fault.
The fact that suc­ces­sive admin­is­tra­tions of both polit­i­cal par­ties lack the tes­tic­u­lar for­ti­tude to exact the pound of flesh nec­es­sary from crim­i­nals, there­by send­ing a clear and unequiv­o­cal mes­sage that their actions will not be tol­er­at­ed is not my fault.
The idea that a call to arms ends up becom­ing an inqui­si­tion into my per­son­al bona fides tells the damn­ing truths that maybe many of us are not as remote­ly smart as we would like to por­tray.
When we fail to see the killing of babies, and lit­tle girls as a bridge too far, we are by default giv­ing license to the killers to push the enve­lope even fur­ther.
When we quib­ble and squab­ble among our­selves about who start­ed what and who presided over what, we basi­cal­ly give crim­i­nals the room they need to con­tin­ue the may­hem they sow in our soci­eties.
My char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the Jamaican PM yes­ter­day has not changed today. Our coun­try needs lead­er­ship on crime. Leadership that mobi­lizes and gal­va­nizes the peo­ple into a com­mon cause. A cause which is greater than them­selves. A cause which edu­cates them on the way crime reduces their qual­i­ty of life until it even­tu­al­ly takes it away from them.
We need lead­er­ship which empow­ers its police to go get the crim­i­nals, while ensur­ing that those offi­cers who over­step their author­i­ty are held to the strictest stan­dards of account­abil­i­ty.
Then and only then will we begin to see a reduc­tion, not just in the sta­tis­ti­cal num­ber of vio­lent and oth­er crimes but in the brazen­ness and the pro­cliv­i­ty to com­mit those crimes.
It is dif­fi­cult to get Jamaicans to mobi­lize against a mon­ster so large and entrenched. Our coun­try is inher­ent­ly cor­rupt, most detrac­tors of tough anti-crime mea­sures are direct ben­e­fi­cia­ries of crim­i­nal con­duct.
It is to those same people/​voters that the two polit­i­cal par­ties pan­der. It is that which informs the deci­sions on this epi­dem­ic.
Harriet Tubman famous­ly said quote” I freed a thou­sand slaves, and I could have freed a thou­sand more, if only they knew they were slaves”.