Those who view the killings and the general sense of lawlessness in Jamaica with consternation may be missing a fundamental fact.
Jamaica, like other Caribbean Islands, comes from a colonial past.
The Independence proclamation of August 1962 and the handing over of Jamaica to its darker skinned second-tiered caste for leadership did not result in the end of either racism or casteism.
Today money and formal education dictate who sit atop the social pecking order. This does not necessarily mean that skin pigmentation or the lack thereof does not go a long way in deciding status.
Average Jamaicans still embrace the concept of the big man. The “big-man “according to Jamaican vernacular is anyone they view as vested with power.
Those of a lighter skin color, monied or educated or all of the foregone is certainly not shy about being the big fish in the little pond.
A convoluted system of patronage and elitism.
Then there is the impoverished urban black youth who were once tools of the political class. As a matter of survival, many were forced to align themselves to either of the two political parties.
Often times not necessarily out of choice but because of the zip code in which they come of age.
Over the years the lure of the big city the prospect of an easier life has acted as a magnet to draw young men and women to Kingston and to some extent Montego Bay.
In very short order the vast majority of them are forced to recognize that the lure and lights of the city are like an unattainable mirage.
Ultimately they too end up in the slums of the city, destitute, disenchanted and disillusioned.
Politicians are ill-equipped to hand out goodies today as they once were able to do in yesteryear. As such control of the cities, urban youth have gradually slipped from their grasp.
Urban sprawl became a factor, many of the disillusioned seeking a better life in the cities and towns ended up on lands they capture in and around the metropolitan areas. Shanty towns emerged in and around the metropolitan areas of Kingston, Spanish Town, Montego Bay, May Pen and others.
Those Shanty-towns are now incubators which produce a never ending line of gangsters who engage in murder for hire, lotto scamming, extortion, robbery, human trafficking and a plethora of other crimes.
From the zones of political exclusion(garrisons)created by the politicians and the zinc and plyboard, shanty towns emerged young men and women hopeless, yet determined to have a life of excess which they view as a life of success.
These youngsters cannot be counted on to till the soil or wait their turn for the shiny objects money can buy, they want it now.
The advent of the Internet and cable Television vastly compressed the world bringing into sharp focus the way the rich and famous live.
Jamaica’s young, men and women are not going to be told to work and wait when they can take it now they have the means.
Lotto-scam, murder for hire, robbery, prostitution, human trafficking, drug-dealing, extortion and every other vice is acceptable as long as it brings in the money.
God and Church are scoffed at, derided as outdated relics of the past, representative caricatures of the failings of previous generations.
As a result, the Church is no longer sacrosanct, they are prime targets to be robbed, the hallowed halls of churches and temples no longer engender reverence, not for the men and women of the cloth not even for a higher power God.
High powered weapons have supplanted the mysticism of divine power former generations reverenced and sought.
The number of dead bodies created by a thug now defines the respect he receives in the streets. Like scalp on a Braves belt, they gather bodies unmindful or unconcerned about the value of life.
The hallowed halls of the church are just another place to take a life and where better to do so?
Doing so sends the message, the man behind the weapon is more powerful than the god of their victims.
“Not even God can save you”, fear in the hearts of others is what they crave.
It is terrorism plain and simple.
It is within that environment that a Bill to deal with crime is contemplated and passed yet the focus is not on the barbarism of the killers but on the actions and strategies to be used to root them out. It is on that basis that it is doomed to fail and it will fail.
God help us comes to mind but then again God helps those who help themselves.
This problem requires decisive action, unfortunately, the people tasked with the solution are the people who created the problem in the first place.
If you believe social intervention will change this you are even more stupid than I thought.