It seem that Jamaicans for Justice was unable to secure a $35 million dollar International grant, as such JFJ has intimated it may be forced to slash services it now offers. In a Jamaica Gleaner Editorial bemoaning this fact it was revealed the so called human rights agency will be forced to re evaluate how it does business in light of its cash flow crunch. The Editorial bemoans the lack of solvency of JFJ as it indicates that most Jamaicans do not understand what human rights really mean.
Since an estimated 38 per cent of Jamaicans have no sense of what human rights really mean, the value of the work being undertaken by JFJ and other such rights groups may not be readily appreciated.However, the work of these volunteers reflects a wholehearted commitment to better the lives of their fellow citizens, and it takes much time, energy and spirit to accomplish this.(jamaicagleaner.com)
There are very few causes more noble than service to others. Human Rights volunteers who dedicate their lives to the service of others are indeed a special bunch. They deserve all the protection and support we can give, the rights they fight for are also our rights, and god forbid we may need them to fight directly for us in the future, separate from the generic benefits we derive from their efforts.
But before we talk more about the financial and other woes besetting JFJ I would like to disabuse the Editorial writer of the notion that quote: “Thirty eight per cent of Jamaicans, have no sense of what human rights really mean”
Jamaicans are some of the smartest and intellectually savvy people anywhere, even when they are unable to read or write they are fully capable to articulate how they feel if one is able to relate to their vernacular. Ordinary people unable to read or write who put their pennies into banks, have been known to challenge bank officials correctly on inconsistencies on their balances. They are able to discern and comprehend the most minute details even without the benefit of formal training.
Jamaican tradesmen, from masons to construction workers, from plumbers to carpenters have done incredible work in building our country, and yes many of them are unable to read, yet they are incredibly intelligent and astute.
It is an insult for an opinion writer to suggest that these people do not know what human rights really mean. He/she owes the Jamaican people an apology. None will be forthcoming however, that elitist attitude is derived from the University of the West indies, the place the late Wilmot (mutty)Perkins so aptly characterized as the intellectual ghetto. The beneficiaries of that ghettoization are the new slave masters the “never sis cum si” Their disdain and contempt for the common man is the same as that which was practised by the colonialists to black Jamaicans. they are now practised on a caste basis.
THE REAL REASON JAMAICANS DO NOT FULLY SUPPORT JAMAICANS FOR JUSTICE.
Jamaicans like fairness, they want to be respected, even as they struggle with dealing with Governments that are insensitive to their needs. They understand balderdash when they see it.
Jamaicans for Justice appointed itself as guardians of the human rights of Jamaicans, let me be clear this was not something the Jamaican people voted for, Carolyn Gomes appointed herself the mother Theresa of that movement, yet that agency and others like it are populated with elitists like Gomes and Hilaire Sobers to name a few who have no connection to the common man ,other that to use them to secure overseas funding . Most Jamaicans do not associate with these people, some of whom do not share our values. This may seem inconsequential to the critics but they deny it to their detriment.
Jamaicans for Justice like others before them have sought to demonize certain sectors of the public sector, rather than embarking on a national education campaign which would prevent most of what they complain about in the first place.
What would the result be if Jamaicans for Justice and other agencies which source large sums of money abroad use these resources to educate the 2.7 million people on how to obey the laws of the country? What would be the result of a sustained campaign to build bridges between the Police and the public? Is it possible that a strategy of that nature would reduce the number of people looking to JFJ and others for help? Food for thought!!!!!!!!!
Jamaicans for justice like others before them who took on the mantle of rights in Jamaica have calculated that the way to get recognized is to demonize the police. Carolyn Gomes time and again has been exposed for using allegations, innuendos, and downright fabricated material to argue that her mission is just and her cause moral , even as she seek more funds to carry out that mission.
As I have written in previous blogs , during the last Administration Gomes did incalculable harm to Jamaica in Washington DC at the conference of the Inter American commission on human rights. In these forums Gomes and her minions presented to the commission questionable and unsubstantiated allegations as facts. Even as those claims were truthfully debunked. Gomes was not going to allow facts to get in the way of sensationalism, she continued to paint the government of the day as negligent in stopping what she characterized as mounting police excesses and instances of extra judicial killings, using the name of individual police officers, without supplying one shred of evidence.
The Jamaican people are not fools, they know what they see, if it walks, talk, and quacks like a duck it is a duck. Jamaicans for justice is not a credible human rights agency it is a anti-police arm of the elite, populated and tasked with creating enmity rather than solving problems. What is needed is a complete audit of JFJ’s books , they have received a lot of overseas funding, that is where the spotlight should be.
Speaking as someone who believe in human rights and justice I will do whatever I can to support legitimate individuals and agencies which are in the business of preventing human rights abuses, Jamaicans for Justice is not such a group. I am sorry to burst the bubble of the Editorial board of the Gleaner which has flowery praise for JFJ, maybe it’s time for you to get out of your air conditioned offices and see what is actually happening on the streets instead.
And while you are at it you might also get a glimpse of the government you campaigned for and the early consequences on the country.