This is the second of a two-part series, on the subject of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Jamaica, for talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
I intend to show in the simplest form possible, that the American Secretary of State’s visit, though couched and wrapped in beautiful and flowery dressing, is nothing more than an attempt by the Trump administration in Washington DC to ensure that it keeps Jamaica in the fold, in the face of the massive Chinese foray into the Caribbean and the developing world.
Even as Pompeo was supposedly engrossed in serious bi-lateral talks with leaders of the tiny island of 2.7 million people, largely of African ancestry, house managers were presenting credible and damning evidence against Donald Trump, Pompeo’s boss, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
In normal times the evidence against Trump would have been enough for the 45th occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to be sent packing.
These are no ordinary times, the very existence of the American experiment is at stake. Regardless of the outcome, a new precedent will be set, and the United States will absolutely be worse off for it.
I have no doubt that the Jamaican Prime Minister recognizes that the country cannot continue under the cloak of murders and violent felonies committed daily across the country.
And so I have no doubt that he believes in Pompeo’s [BS] charm offensive.
He may even be dazzled by the presence of the Secretary himself, as some in the media believe that Jamaica should be honored to have the secretary himself, when a lower-rung bureaucrat would be more than enough for Jamaica, right?
[We peasants out hey in di colony do not need anyone as important as Massa’s secretary, we [is] quite comfortable with anyone white].
Clearly, some in the opinion-making business still struggle with unshackling themselves from the yoke of sub-human status.
It is for that reason that the Prime Minister said the following with giddy schoolboy excitement;
“For our regional engagement, the US-Caribbean 2020 Engagement Strategy also sets the course for further work to promote prosperity, energy security, health and well-being, peace and security, and ongoing high-level political engagement in the years ahead.”
In a press briefing after the talks ended Mike Pompeo said the following:
“Today in our meeting, the prime minister and I strengthened our country’s friendship and set the table for greater engagement.”
Does anyone seriously believe that the bonds between Jamaica and the United States need strengthening?
Whether it is prosperity, energy security, health and well-being, peace and security, or high-level political engagement, the United States has had more than enough time to strengthen those areas over the last decades.
And so the question must be, “why now”?
What about the mass deportations of people who committed only minor infractions, some who are even innocent?
What about the mass influx of illegal automatic weaponry flooding Jamaica’s streets and alleyways, is America helping to stop it?
What about infrastructural development, why did the United States not offer Jamaica low-interest loans over the years?
Those infrastructure development loans would have helped to make Jamaica a first-world nation as Israel is?
Jamaica is smaller than the state of Israel, so if America wanted to help Jamaica, it would be rather easy to help Jamaica’s development over the years.
Those loans would have provided good jobs for Jamaicans, which in turn would lessen the need for Jamaicans to line up seeking a way into the United States.
Or, is taking money from poor Jamaicans who line up expecting to get a visitors visa an easier way to extract from the poor what little they have? Even though the vast majority of those people will never receive a visa to set foot in the United States?
There are roughly 39 million African-American people living in the United States. That number is greater than the entire population of Canada, with its 37.59 million.
Black spending power is 1.3 trillion dollars annually, according to [Neilsen].
Despite that numeric strength and economic spending power, the United States still treats its black citizens as second class citizens, and without the respect they deserve.
It behooves those giddy with excitement that [massa] came down to the [colony] to grace the peasantry with his presence, and to offer platitudes, to cool off on drinking too much of the cool-aid.
As I wrote before Pompeo started his talks with Holness, the singular reason he is in Jamaica is to whip Jamaica in line over China’s growing influence in the region.
Of course, this did not require much critical thinking. Last year the American Ambassador to Jamaica, some guy named Donald Tapia, had the gall to lecture the Island about accepting loans from China.
And then Pompeo made clear the real reason for his visit by admonishing the Island about accepting loans from China. The United States is itself heavily indebted to China. If America is so heavily indebted to China, why should Jamaica not have the right to exercise its discretion on who it borrows from and under what conditions?
Who gives Pompeo, and the United States the right to exercise paternalistic authority over Jamaica? Is Jamaica unequal to the task of self-determination?
I hate to say I told you so but .… actually, I don’t, I told you so. If Jamaica is able to secure low-interest loans from China, America loses out on its high-interest loans to Jamaica.
If Jamaica sees benefit in dealing with China, the Asian behemoth becomes a lot more attractive to the Island, as it does to other Caribbean nations.
It is for that reason that the stance taken by Barbados & Trinidad & Tobago is so valiant.
I understand the utopian view Jamaicans at home have of the United States, who could blame them.
If we wish to speak the truth, most of us believed that American streets were paved with gold when we saw the beautiful picturesque images of the Manhattan skyline.
In our minds, there were no potholes. Friends and I joked recently, many believed there were no mosquitos in America.
Despite the best mental images we had of what America was, before we first set foot on American soil, she remains everything but what we imagined.
No, the streets are not paved with gold, they are pot-holed infested.
Sure the Manhattan night-time skyline is picturesque, but the background darkness masks the hunger, homelessness, and despair of tens of thousands, it is a beautiful wallpaper that covers up the decaying walls, of poverty and racial exclusion.
For the hard-working people of color raising their boys in Manhattan and other metropolitan centers across the country is a daily grind of nerves. Their fears are not that their boys will be murdered by their contemporaries so much, as it is that they will be murdered by the very people they pay to protect them, the police.
Poor whites with no influence are hardly any better off, poverty, economic anxiety, and drug abuse are wreaking havoc all across the nation. When it affects blacks they are lazy crack addicts, this time the label is the opioid crisis.
If America refuses to fix its own people, why in hell would it want to help black people in Jamaica?
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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