Where Is The Outrage At The Horrible Killings?

Given cri­sis sit­u­a­tions, nor­mal reac­tions are usu­al­ly to (a) pan­ic, (b) take dras­tic cor­rec­tive mea­sures, © ask for help. There may be oth­er options, but these three are the options that read­i­ly come to mind. You may notice that my first reac­tion was pan­ic.
This, how­ev­er, is no time to pan­ic, it is a time to take dras­tic cor­rec­tive mea­sures and ask for help in the process.
I speak of the cri­sis of mur­ders in Jamaica, and the fail­ure of the author­i­ties to see it for what it tru­ly is, a house on fire.

There were more mur­ders in 2019 than there were in 2018. The year 2018 had seen a slight drop off form 2017, as I point­ed out in a pod­cast months ago, the slight reduc­tion in mur­ders in the year 2018 was kind of an anom­aly which had no log­i­cal expla­na­tion.
As I point­ed out then, since the slight drop-off of 2018 had no clear artic­u­la­ble for­mu­la, the num­bers were prone to go either way.
My log­ic then was that since the Zones Of Special Operations (ZOSOs) & States Of Emergencies (SOEs) would have lost what­ev­er shock val­ue may have emanat­ed from them, the num­bers would most like­ly trend upwards.
They did.
Constantly say­ing that ZOSOs and SOEs are not the answer to the nation’s crime cri­sis is a fore­gone con­clu­sion. Any fur­ther con­tin­u­ance of these mea­sures is pun­ish­ment on the mem­bers of the Security forces, and to no one else.

We are present­ly just over a month into the new year and already it seems that we are on a killing-tear. The Gleaner report­ed that up to Saturday night, 116 peo­ple were killed since the start of the year.
According to the same report­ing, Jamaica’s mur­der rate has risen by 43 per­cent already.
But that is hard­ly the full sto­ry, as I wrote days ago, there is cred­i­ble evi­dence that some of the homi­cides nev­er make it into the report­ing, much less into the papers or on tele­vi­sion. Which means they do not make it into the nation­al con­ver­sa­tion.
For exam­ple, the bru­tal mur­der of my child­hood friend Elvis Richards over a week ago, nev­er got a men­tion in any of the nation­al pub­li­ca­tions as far as we know.
It is as if this dis­tin­guished hard­work­ing Jamaican nev­er exist­ed.

In most oth­er soci­eties, author­i­ties would have tak­en dras­tic mea­sures to stem the tide of vio­lence, but this is not so in Jamaica, the strat­e­gy is two-fold. (1) paper over the mur­der num­bers with polit­i­cal talk­ing-points, and (2) apply the same old band-aid approach­es hop­ing for dif­fer­ent out­comes.
In the mean­time experts have sprung up all across the nation­al secu­ri­ty space, usu­al­ly, they are know-it-alls from the University of the West Indies. They trot out all kinds of con­vo­lut­ed the­o­ries that they swear will lead to mag­i­cal utopi­an out­comes. None of those sug­ges­tions con­tain the hard fac­tu­al real­i­ties which must be faced in bring­ing to heel Jamaica’s blood­thirsty killers .

The Island’s default propen­si­ty to empathize with crim­i­nals is a huge part of the rea­son the coun­try is inun­dat­ed with vio­lent crimes.
Someone post­ed on a social media plat­form a sto­ry of a teacher/​senior jus­tice of the peace who was arrest­ed for sex­u­al­ly assault­ing a stu­dent recent­ly.
He was Immediately blast­ed for not includ­ing the word “alleged­ly.“
As impor­tant as it is to remem­ber that a per­son is pre­sumed inno­cent until proven guilty, and even though some­times there are doubts even when con­vict­ed, I was struck that the default option was to defend the per­son accused of the crime rather than empathize with the under­age vic­tim.
That has been the men­tal­i­ty of Jamaicans for as long as I have been alive.
A weak man decides to spend his liveli­hood on a woman he believes to be out of his league, because to him that is the way to own her. She even­tu­al­ly decides to leave him because he is (a) abu­sive, (b)controlling, or ©she just wants out, so he mur­ders her.
The default option, even of oth­er women, is to ratio­nal­ize away her mur­der, say­ing she brought it onto her­self.

I under­stand that it was nor­mal for Jamaicans to revere and wor­ship the likes of the ban­dit Three-Finger-Jack. Since then they have lion­ized ever scum­bag mur­der­er that has man­aged to evade the law for a time, even as they con­tin­ue to take inno­cent lives.
But lion­iz­ing crim­i­nals in Robin Hood fash­ion has sim­ply got to stop. Jamaica is a very small coun­try, much of the ter­rain is rugged and moun­tain­ous. Even if mur­der­ers are able to oper­ate in places like Warieka Hills, as they have for decades, it has been the sup­port of fam­i­ly mem­bers that have allowed them to stay one step ahead of the law for as long as they have been able to do so.
For the most part, these gang­sters are oper­at­ing in plain sight today, they are among the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion. It is the fear of com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and the com­plic­i­ty of their fam­i­ly and asso­ciates which allow their blood-stained ram­page to con­tin­ue.

It is a nation­al dis­grace that there are so many Jamaicans walk­ing around know­ing full well that their fam­i­ly mem­bers are mur­der­ing oth­er Jamaicans, and are doing noth­ing about it.
But it is the fail­ure of the lead­ers of the nation that is most appalling. Real lead­ers do not piss in the wind to see where it is blow­ing, nei­ther do they take polls to decide on what’s right.
Leaders look at data, con­sult with experts and make the right deci­sion for the pop­u­la­tions. No one does that in Jamaica, every­thing is done based on polit­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions.
It will get much worse until some­thing gives.

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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