Years ago I warned that our continued affinity for following blindly behind, and accepting the narrative of anyone with pale skin would probably lead to our undoing as a nation.
Sadly, despite the fact that slavery was abolished in 1834, and Jamaica gained its Independence (of sorts) in 1962, Many Black Jamaicans to this day, seem to be stuck believing that white people are superior to themselves.
This sense of dark-skinned inferiority, and fealty to Caucasians, is also extended to Mullatos and pretty much anyone, not Black.
Most of you can relate to this, what I call the (bigger-heads )syndrome.
The unfortunate truth is that like in Blacks in other parts of the world, some Jamaican Black people have resigned themselves to what they have been told about themselves, (that they are inferior to other races).
Sure, I know that this kind of talk may be offensive to some people, but sometimes these things need to be said. There is no point sweeping the garbage under the carpet and pretend that the house is clean.
In the early, to mid-1990s Jamaica’s murder rate was at what I thought at the time was an intolerably high level. I had entered the law enforcement space in 1982 believing that I could make a difference.
I was not the only one who felt that way, I know for sure guys who had left the teaching profession to become police officers, others had left other jobs including in the private sector. I for one had decided on law enforcement after they made the Jamaica school of agriculture defunct. My dream was to pursue studies in agricultural science as a career. That dream was enhanced by my high school teacher Mister Bascoe who thought he saw something in me, and gave me an all-expense-paid trip to the Jamaica school of agriculture (JSA) situated on the Twickenham Park campus. This facility now houses the Police academy.
As a teenager, I was in hogs-heaven during that visit. However, before I could get into that institution it was made defunct.
I eventually spent the better part of the year 1982 on the same campus, not as an agri-science student, but as a police trainee.
As I said initially, I was aghast at the number of homicides being committed during the time I served. In retrospect, I believe that every ‑law-abiding Jamaican would do anything to get back to where we were between the years 1982 the year I joined & 1991 when I departed the JCF.
What is evident in the numbers below is that though the murder statistics were highly intolerable and should provided no comfort to anyone, particularly because the country is so small.
The numbers were what they were, and so we worked assiduously to make the streets safe for Jamaicans and visitors alike.
It is important to reconcile that in the year 1980 during the bloodiest national elections in the country’s history, 899 were killed, largely as a result of political violence.
After the elections of 1980 murders dropped by almost 50% to 490 in 1981, this was under the JLP’s Edward Seaga’s Government. We do not have accurate numbers for the year 1985.
By the end of 1988, Edward Seaga was gone from office, Michael Manley had been returned to Jamaica House by the short-memory electorate.
Prime Minister Manley was ailing not long after taking office again, and as a result, he was forced to turn over leadership of the country to his Deputy Percival Patterson by 1992.
What happened in Jamaica afterward, is up to anyone’s interpretation, those paying attention can come to their own conclusions.
One thing is certain, it is that Percival Patterson became the only Prime Minister in Jamaica’s history to be sworn into office for a fourth term, consecutive or otherwise.
The People’s National Party occupied Jamaica House for an unprecedented 181⁄2 years between 1988 and 2007.
The murder statistics below are reflective of those four terms and beyond.
In the September 2007 general elections, Bruce Golding eeked out a marginal win for the JLP, breaking the PNP’s stranglehold on Jamaica House. Murders which seemed to have taken on an even more ominous trajectory in the same year continued through 2008 and 2009 before taking a dive in 2010.
The over 200 fewer killings in 2010 than 2009 is attributed to the actions the security forces took to annex the JLP stronghold of Tivoli Gardens to the rest of the country.
The southward trajectory continued even after the JLP was ousted from office as a result of Bruce Golding’s handling of the Christopher Duddus Coke extradition request by the United States.
A closer look at the numbers reveals a rather telling story. In the numbers is the appearance that a cultural shift occurred.
Something happened during those 181⁄2 years that undeniably changed the way Jamaicans viewed the sanctity of life, or should I say, for many Jamaicans life was no longer a thing of value.
What I do recall is that the Jamaican people were told that quote; “anything a anything, run wid it”.
Out of that wink and nod by the Patterson Administration to criminals to do as they please, was a resultant massive escalation of killings.
Those were not political killings as had obtained during the 1980 election cycle.
Those killings were gang-related and were largely attributed to the criminal underworld murdering people who had refused to bow down to their extortion demands.
During this time not a single detective was trained by the Patterson administration for over a full decade. As rampant criminality escalated, the police became more ineffective. Patterson who seemed to have hated Detectives issued through his lackeys in the JCF hierarchy, a decree that all police officers were to be back in uniform.
By that decree, Percival James Patterson effectively gave criminals carte blanch to do as they please without consequence.
The JCF is still reeling from the harm done to it and the country as a result of the Patterson government.
Another significant event occurred during that period. A mass smear campaign against the hard-working members of the JCF who were keeping the murderers on the run was initiated. It was executed across the board with precision-like mastery.
Literally, every police shooting was branded as an extrajudicial killing in the media.
It was a masterful stroke of genus initiated by the thugs who ran the innercity communities. Those communities had become veritable incubators, producing a never-ending supply of young men ready for a life of crime.
The media in total fealty to the campaign of smear, willingly gave a platform to the throngs of manufactured mourners who turned out to mourn every police shooting.
Throngs of women gave exact eye-witness accounting of how those events occurred contrary to police accounting of events.
Never mind that many of those shootings occurred in the dead of night, or early in the morning when they could not have been present and clearly were lying.
No one bothered to check the veracity of those stories, no one bothered to take notice that it was the very same faces who claimed to have seen each and every shooting in the respective communities.
The murderers who operated under the sanitized name of (Area Leaders) given them by the media and the self-styled NGOs like the Peace Managemen Unit operated by Horace Levy, had all but taken over.
The PMI and other groups that had sprung up supposedly in the fight to protect civil rights, were essentially running interference for the Gangsters.
When the police designated a certain gang as such, Horace Levy refuted the police designation and claimed they were not gangs at all, but [corner crews].
The grossly understaffed, poorly paid, unsupported, poorly trained, grossly under-equipped police department was on its own.
The Patterson destruction of the Police department and the rule of law was complete.
Between the slew of foreign-funded groups like JFJ that had sprung up and the false information being bandied about, foreign publications like the [Guardian] and others engaged in a feeding frenzy.
They Blared out insidious headlines like “JAMAICAN POLICE FINALLY BEING MADE TO ACCOUNT”.
Tragically for Jamaicans, not a single one of those entities care about the bloodshed occurring today, except to highlight their home country’s travel advisories to their nationals wishing to travel to Jamaica.
Not only had the gangsters seized the initiative based on the support they were getting from all quarters, but they also went on the offensive by using the proceeds of their ill-gotten wealth to import more guns and ammunition into the country.
Communities were solely run by these overlords, none more powerful than Christopher Dudus Coke.
By now Lotto scamming and other trans-national crimes, including human trafficking( et al) had now found their way into the arsenal of the Islands criminals.
Battered bruised and confused, members of the JCF began to look for the exits. The force not only could not keep the people it had, but it was also unable to replace those who were heading for the exits.
In all of the foregone, no single individual had been more impactful in changing contemporary Jamaica than a mullato pediatric doctor named Carolyn Gomez.
Gomez created a group she named Jamaicans For Justice, (JFJ). Like the white angel she was, Carolyn Gomez convinced herself that it was her calling to ride in and save Jamaicans from the police who were supposedly killing everyone premeditatedly and extra-judicially.[sic]
It was not hard for Gomes to gain traction, she has pale white skin and she is a doctor to boot.
Jamaicans, even some of whom had sent their daughters and sons to risk their lives to keep the country safe, fell hook-line-&-sinker for the smear campaign against the police.
That is not to suggest by any stretch that the police are without bad actors. Like any police department, the JCF has always had its share of incompetent and corrupt cops.
This reality was not anything closely related to what was being promulgated in the media. Nevertheless, by then, an expansive phalanx of anti-police agencies had sprung up in the space.
Anti-police demagoguery had now become the nation’s largest growth industry, outside what the criminal underworld was doing.
Anti-police demagoguery now had a recognizable face, a white face, a face Jamaicans could not for once believe may be wrong, or have ulterior motives.
Simple concepts like (esprit de corps) the spirit of brotherhood, that we were taught we needed, each one look out for the other, something critically necessary in police work was slandered and demonized.
The nation’s political leadership bought into the defamation, so too did the inept police hierarchy. Esprit de corp was now a blue wall of silent criminal acquiescence. It was gone.
What the Jamaican people clamoring for Gomez and JFJ never bothered to find out was where exactly was the funding coming from?
They did not draw the line when Gomez jetted off to Washington DC to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, with the names of hard-working police commanders whose jobs it was to keep crime under control in tough depressed communities like Western Kingston and Saint Andrew Southern.
Those officers were branded as extrajudicial killers by Gomez and JFJ without a single scintilla of evidence.
Other bottom feeders like (FAST), Families Against State Terrorism one of the many human rights groups had joined the fray to protect the Jamaican people from the extra-judicial killers in police uniforms.
The struggling police department tried to hold down crime even while it was losing its members to the gangster’s guns. This same police department according to FAST was for all intents and purposes A terrorist group.
Merriam’s: definition of the word “Terrorism”, the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
The poor police department that may have been a lot of things was never this.
Carolyn Gomez, Horace Levy, and the others continued with the tarring and feathering of the Police Department, too pitiful to defend itself the department absorbed the body blows without fighting back.
The Government did nothing to defend the police,
and so the violence producers stepped up their game. By the time Bruce Golding took over the country the police department was so battered, demoralized and depleted, the damage was already done.
Golding was to add the coup de grâce, INDECOM was born.
Today murders are trending dangerously high, it harkens back to the period in 2002 when murders topped a thousand for the very first time.
That period included the twilight of Patterson’s régime, through the March 2006 Portia Simpson Miller take over as Prime Minister, through to the Bruce Golding tenure.
What the homicide numbers portend is that the endemic violent crime has incubated, taken hold and metastasized under Percival Patterson.
It continued unchecked under Portia Simpson Miller and Bruce Golding’s leadership and even under Andrew Holness’s truncated first tenure as Prime Minister.
On 5 December 2011, Andrew Holness was defeated at the polls by Portia Simpson Miller turning back Holness’s bid to gain his own mandate after succeeding Bruce Golding who resigned in disgrace.
For Portia Simpson Miller it was a political vindication of sorts, winning her own mandate after she was beaten by Golding during her truncated tenure, having taken over from Patterson.
On 25 February 2016, Andrew Holness would defeat Portia Simpson Miller in national elections called by Miller.
Holness too had been vindicated politically, he had won his own mandate.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that former Prime Minister Simpson Miller does not deserve credit for the southward trajectory of violent crime which occurred on her watch.
The single defining event of the security forces storming Tivoli Gardens in 2010 caused a drastic reduction in murders and other violent crimes.
That event demonstrates how violent criminals should be handled as long as the security forces are resolute and are in it for the long haul.
The answer to the nation’s murder problem is right there in the 2010 security forces response to Christopher Coke’s militia.
Violent thugs ran away and scattered like the vermin they are. However, once they realized that the Simpson Miller government was more intent on playing politics with the issue by setting up the Kangaroo Tivoli Inquiry, the dispersed criminals who were laying low in rural communities attached their tentacle into those communities.
Jamaica by then had a nationwide Gang problem, no one in the Simpson Miller administration would do anything about it.
It is now the single largest driver of the nation’s murder problem.
Carolyn Gomez would later be exposed for who she truly was, but the damage was already done.
Others like Horace Levy,.….……oh, they are still there, like termites eating away at the woodwork of our country’s rule of law.
Yup, the [bigger heads], the mulattos and the uptown crew, they damn sure have made a mockery of our country and the people who placed their trust in them.
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Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, businessman, researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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