“The majority of our population is poor; whole heap a dem over deh so have money. Dem inna better job, better situation. They can engage, but part of the problem is half of them are scared. Dem don’t want to come down here for a cause because they are terrified… it’s as simple as that. “Much like how we have leaders in Jamaica who take a stand on certain issues and push things, you don’t have community organizers in the Jamaican diaspora that are active… who are just at it. You just kinda find a man who will say ‘mi a yaadie’, wear the colours and a it dat and big up themself when Bolt a run. For us to have a strong Jamaican or Caribbean voice we need organisation, we need people to be actively supporting causes in Jamaica,” These are the word of dance-hall artiste Shaggy as he addressed a press conference at the Jamaica Observer where he announced plans for his concert to aid the Bustamante children’s Hospital.


Observer Photo:

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Shaggy-appeals-to-diaspora-to-help-Jamaica#ixzz2pCCLatLf.

Shaggy has done a great job on behalf of children, through his Make a Difference Foundation, his work on behalf of children and the needy is worthy of praise. I believe his heart is in the right place and I sense some frustration in his comments, probably because he feels those of us who live overseas can do more to help. With that said however, I believe his comments were at best in-artful and worse case, smacks of ignorance. There is an old saying that you can attract much more ants with honey than you can with vinegar. Shaggy certainly has enough acclaim and influence to make successful appeals to the diaspora which can translate into cash.

That is why his comments are so unfortunate. I hope I am not over-analyzing  Shaggy’s comments but they do smack of something dark and sinister which many Jamaicans can attest to. It is a kind of deep envy which comes out of even those at home who are well-off and have the option of leaving. “whole heap a dem over deh so have money. Dem inna better job, better situation. They can engage“. Many returned residents and others returning  to visit have been killed because of what that statement signifies.

Jamaicans living abroad send significant sums of money home every year. That is foreign currency which keeps the Jamaican economy afloat. I understand that what he is contending is that there is not enough support for charities, yet the remittance sent home is not the only foreign exchange being put into the Jamaican economy by the diaspora. The Customs Department rake in tremendous amounts of revenue each year from goods sent home by the diaspora. As a small business owner I see the level of commitment of our people in the remittances , goods and even the Digicel and Lime credits they send home. Many including myself, make important contributions to various Charities, Schools and NGO’s without the fanfare of press conferences.

What Shaggy does on behalf of the poor is commendable, more of us really need to engage in helping if we are in a position to do so. However it is important to note that what each person or group does is as important as what Shaggy and other celebrities do, even if of different magnitudes. As we aspire to do more to help we must also simultaneously work to change the mindset of many at home that those who live overseas are an unending money-pit to be raided and exploited or even killed. We must dispel and discredit the notion that  dependency is a virtue. Lets hope we will all find a way in 2014 to lend a hand-up to those less fortunate, while avoiding the acrimonious and regressive demonizing of others.


4 thoughts on “SHAGGY MISSES THE MARK:

  1. Well “Shaggy” gets the chance to call a spade, a spade and he pretends as if it is a fork. What he should have done, is to point finger at both political parties, especially the PNP because they are in power at this time! As a former US Marine and a man who has little knowledge of the American laws, he should called for a revamp of our “archaic laws” that are on the books in Jamaica. He should have called for the scrapping of “Indecom” because it lowers the moral of the police and embolden the criminals to commit barbaric crimes.
    This was his opportunity to blow the whistle against the “protectionism” of criminals by the current government, which was pass on by the previous government as a respond to the extradition of “Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.” His narrative is sending the wrong message to criminals, as if all foreigners who’s of Jamaican descent are visiting or returning to Jamaica with lump-sum of money and these parasites are entitle to some. If they don’t get it freely, they will kill you, because it is us against them and those who work hard to achieve what they have must share with them. This entitlement thing is killing Jamaicans and Jamaica, since the “bush jacket man” Michael Manley. Those poisons of dependency have been planted and it is now a part of our “cultural relativism.” It would be better if Shaggy attack the current administration for their ineptness and nonchalant attitude towards crimes and their fondness of criminals within Jamaica.
    2014 is not going to be a Happy New year for some Jamaicans, as they will always live, work, eat and sleep in constant fear of their lives. Jamaica is a criminal’s paradise.

  2. Let us start firstly with the poor. Encourage, force or make laws to prevent them from multiplying the poor by getting and having children they cannot afford to take care of properly. it burden others as well as the economy. come together and farm lands to survive if that is the only skills you have, start a backyard garden if the land space permits, try to help yourself legally before you seek intervention. You are allowing yourselves to be used to commit all sorts of crime by the brains with their money who can import purchase and import guns and bullet making machines into this island, all because of the bad choices you have made over the years, well this is 2014 and you have the chance to correct all of that let me see what you will do with the ball sitting there in your court

    1. Sometimes tact is a better application than the truth mister Brigham. Shaggy would be well served if he learned the difference between the two and how to apply them appropriately .

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