Are we ignoring or just plain missing a critical yet important fact in the crime culture in our country?
Are we missing the fact that there has been a paradigm shift in the character of the Nation over the last three decades?
On launching the most recent state of emergency in Montego Bay Prime Minister Andrew Holness asserted that 99% of the Jamaican people are good, honest and decent people and that the nation should work to rid the country of the [1% ]of the population which is engaged in criminal conduct.(something to that effect)
Sounds like a reasonable statement from a leader who wants to inspire cooperation and show confidence in his country, but is it true?
Over the last three decades, the policing of Jamaican communities have been defined by the extent to which the community is
tied up under the control of a political underboss or Don (according to local parlance).
These underbosses see to discipline, [jungle justice, usually death for the simplest transgression] within the communities. [“garrisons”]. Handouts, patronage work and other goodies and most importantly, the delivery of votes come election time to the member of Parliament.
In this arrangement the member of parliament delegates the day to day running of the constituency to the [Don]. He does what he sees fit, usually, that means the operation of a major criminal empire. For his /her part the member of Parliament gets the votes he/she needs come election time for running defense against the Police for the community [“Don“].
This arrangement has been a working template for decades but one which saw some minor changes in the way some of the moving parts operates.
The power of politicians has waned in the garrison communities as calls for greater accountability in Government spending amplified. The awarding of Governments contracts taking center stage in that regard. (see the contractor general act)
As the amounts of money politicians have to spend becomes less and how those monies are spent are more scrutinized the control members of parliaments have on their constituencies have waned dramatically.
As their control waned, the [“Don”] became even more influential. To fill in the gap created by fewer slush dollars coming from the political bosses the Dons expanded their own illicit businesses, becoming more powerful and feared in the process.
Extortion. lotto-scamming. murder for hire. drug dealing. prostitution. human-trafficking. weapons trade and a whole slew of other crimes, local and transnational, became far more lucrative to the [Dons] further eroding the importance of the politicians.
As a result, the well documented political killings which came to critical mass during the 1980’s general election became a thing of the past.
No longer were the communities so heavily dependent on their party’s control of Jamaica House for their survival.
Despite their newfound financial independence, the Dons still needed the politicians. They were still needed to run defense against the Police.
The movie “Shottas” depicted the aforementioned renaissance as the [Don Wayne] showed why he did not need the politician [missa Anderson].
In the final cut, [missa Anderson] was summarily exterminated by Wayne and his cohorts after he no longer served their interest.
The wealth and influence of the Ghetto underbosses became a tremendous lure to the youths. The Don has access to money, guns, they take what they want at the point of a gun. They have access to the women and girls they want, and they are revered.
The power the dons accumulate is enviable and worthy of emulation.
Why would youngsters in underserved communities want to go to school when they can have all of the perks [now] through the power their guns give them?
Everyone wants to be a Don and so the inevitable proliferation of gangs across the country was only a matter of time.
The spoils from the illicit activities in which the gangs are involved fuel the economy of many communities.
Large numbers of the people in the communities are somehow tied to or are benefitting from the illegal cash flow to those communities.
Enforcing of the laws is not a part of the plan in the communities and so everyone comes out to demonstrate whenever the police dare to enforce the laws, no matter how justifiable their actions.
In the image above we see the reaction of one St Mary community when a local criminal was shot by the police and an illegal weapon taken from him.
And so the question arises given the facts as I outlined them, why would the police not play the game some are playing, leave the department, or simply turn a blind eye?
The fact of the matter is that there is only one institution standing between the anarchist and our country and it is the law enforcement community.
The behavior of large groups of people in response to police activity in their communities have precious little if anything to do with police misconduct and everything to do with the solidifying and condensation of criminality as a result of years of nurturing.
This has been supported by Politicians of both political parties since 1962 to present day.
The lies of the ruling class and their cohorts in civil society amplified by their mouthpieces in the media cannot be left to stand.
We can in no way allow the continuance of misinformation and outright lies as well as the misappropriation of blame to the police which is but one of the several arms of government tasked with the dispensation of the justice product.
In light of the Prime Ministers assertion that 99% of the Jamaican public are good and decent people, there is no basis for those claims, his statements are not borne out by the facts.
The scene which played out in St Mary weeks ago have occurred thousands of time over and over all across the Island. These are not good and decent people.
These are not just 1 % of the population. Houston we have a problem.