Leading up to it’s forced separation from Great Britain and a brief period up to the early 1970’s Jamaica experienced it’s greatest period of peace and prosperity. Sure there were problems with racial and class inequality, poverty, and the raft of problems which plague most countries . As a matter of fact those problems still persist, no not just in Jamaica but in America, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany , Japan, and most of the developed societies across the Globe, so Jamaica has no monopoly on social or societal ills.
To some degree those problems are transcendent in all societies and may have to be addressed by every generation into perpetuity.
What the Island did not have was rampant and wholesale murder of Jamaicans by Jamaicans. Jamaica has always been a society as long as I remember, wary of authority. A country with a supposed free spirit and a more than ordinary disregard for established laws and norms.
Flouting laws is not frowned on in Jamaica it is a practice which brings endearment and fame.
The Island’s people have always had a deep affection for figures who defy authority , infamous figures like Three-finger-Jack, Rigen, Natty Morgan, Coppa, Sandokan, Duddus, Zeeks, Dog-Paw, and the long litany of other immoral murdering scump-bags which have formed part of the Island’s pop culture.
There is a sick perverted desire to align with, or live vicariously through the most despicable of these life forms even when their ultimate objectives are antithetical to the good of the country, which is always.
What passes for Media on the Island gleefully engages in the glorification and promotion of those who do the most harm to the Island’s culture and well-being.
Much of what passes for music these days is nothing more than murder lyrics laced with praise and adoration for depraved murderers.
The media actively cheer-leads the clown procession as the Island slides deeper and deeper into rot , much like the fictional Hans Christian Andersen’s pied Piper led the children away never to be seen again.
It is in that environment that the reported 1000 to over 1600 homicides occur each year while pompous Jamaicans nuance and come up with laughable metrics to demonstrate to the world that the Island is not a dangerous place to live.
People who are dismayed are characterized as “having a shaky grasp” of the Island’s crime situation. Others obstinately and unintelligently talk about crime being in America as well, as if crime in America makes crime in Jamaica defensible.
These self appointed elitists have ran out of rationale in the defense of crime, one person remarked on social media that crime is quote ‘out of control” yet in the next line he proceeded to tell me that crime is only centered in small pockets of the Island.
That insanely silly and inane statement defines the mindset which has been Jamaican’s all along. Crime is only a Kingston thing, then it was Spanish Town thing, Then it was Montego Bay , Then it’s May Pen, …….
They make these absurd and ridiculous statements while holed up in homes which look more like prisons than places where people actually live. I can’t tell you how many homes I have been in over the years where the owners have grill fortifications separating room from room.
“Yea mon Jamaica nice no raas”.
Oh while we are on that note, I have heard many Jamaicans complain that when they return home they are treated like foreigners . I have also seen a certain degree of that creeping into the verbal discourse as well .
There is a misguided notion that one has to live on the Island to be a patriot.
I guess that teaching is the latest bit of gobbledygook to come out of the University Of the West Indies.
Where is Wilmott Mutty Perkins when he is needed?
Where on planet Earth is geography the defining characteristic in Patriotism? What an absurd concept? Who died and made these nit-wits God?
I recall when my granddad would invite people who had nothing to eat to come to our lands, they would leave with their donkey laden with breadfruits , avocado pears, Jack-fruits, oranges and other goodies . Those produce would end up in the Linstead market where they were sold . My grandfather did not care about the protestations from friends who told him to sell the produce to the people because they were selling it and making money. My grand-dad did not care, he believed people should not go hungry.
My grandfather’s mentality was that which characterized our small towns and villages once upon a time. Our small Country was a Conservative Christian Nation which believed that it took a village to raise a child. That is the way I was raised, having to be respectful to everyone , because everyone had the right to discipline the children , including Mister Wilson’s wiry little grand-son.
Don’t recite to me statistics about killings in American cities or school shootings as if they justify the insane shedding of blood in Jamaica.
The United States is approximately 3,794,101 sq mi. This is equivalent to 9,826,675 km2. The population at present is around 308 million people.
Jamaica is approximately 4,411 square miles with a population of 2.7 million people.
When we consider crime comparison and seek to conflate the two countries and their crime situations we must first understand the geography , then we must consider the efficiency of law-enforcement response when they are needed.
The state of California alone , one of the largest states and one with higher crime statistics as of 2008 had 509 law enforcement agencies employing 79,431 sworn police officers, about 217 for each 100,000 residents.
I had one really smart person tell me this morning that crime in Clarendon for example is confined to the areas around May Pen. He went on to tell me that “if yu jus passin thru di man dem nah gu jus shoot yu su”. Oh thank Jesus I am eternally grateful for that.
Any way I reminded him that over twenty five years ago I was actively engaged in being airlifted to places in Clarendon like Hayes, Savannah , Kraal, Lionel Town and environs to put down upsurges in crime. He responded that those areas are around May Pen. You really cannot make these things up.
My response to him was that I understood his point, as long as you burrow yourself in a hole away from civilization you are okay to a certain degree….
I write frequently about the affinity of Jamaicans to explain crime away or to make statements which could easily be construed as supportive of crime. The fact is that not always are they supportive of crime but they believe no one should criticize anything Jamaican .
That includes crime.
They steadfastly and unwittingly hold to the silly notion that criticizing Jamaica’s crime situation is criticizing Island Jamaica or brand Jamaica. There is no brand Jamaica if these crime numbers are not addressed as a matter of priority.
The parish of Clarendon Jamaica’s third largest parish is a mere 1,196 square km, not square miles mind you….
In real terms a healthy man can stand at one corner and piss over the entire parish[sic] ….There are no safe havens in an Island that infinitesimal much less a parish for that matter.
If no one was going to “kill yu su” why on earth are literally all the house grilled like prisons?
Why are tourists being largely confined to all inclusive destinations, literally cutting out average Jamaicans from the benefits of the tourists visiting our Island?
Lets dispense with the bloviating bull-s**t and face the stark reality that the Island has a serious and burgeoning crime problem.
Denying it only helps those engaged in or benefiting from crime, people are not fools. Putting beautiful wall-paper over a termite infested woodwork is not going to fix the termite infestation. Soon the whole damn structure will be coming down .
The only persons fooled by this consistent deniability and faux pro-Jamaican aggrandizement are those so engaged .
Suggesting that it’s okay to live in such a small space with the attendant homicide numbers is insanely juvenile. Seeking to conflate those crime stats with crime stats from any American state is just highlights the lack of knowledge of the vastness of the American space and the effectiveness of her law enforcement responses.