Are you a patriot?
Someone, somewhere must've wanted the turmoil of our history to be forgotten quickly and thus chose the shortest month for its commemoration.
This Black History Month, ironically, has been chosen to celebrate the perpetuation of the politics of hardship the month was meant to memorialise for the sole purpose of helping us to avoid it.
We wonder why our leaders, who are supposed to be intelligent, sometimes display a propensity for the opposite. Again, culture dictates how you think, and education is what you think. Education is useless if how you think is a hindrance to the proper utilisation of what you think. The culture clash in Jamaica is perpetuated by the ethnocentric ideologies held by the lower and upper classes.
To understand cause and effect, we must indulge its history. The crab-in-a-barrel complex most of us experience is based on the deliberate institutionalisation of ignorance for the financial gain of those in authority.
From the days of our ancestral enslavement, we were subject to social engineering. Self-worth is the understanding of one's value, while confidence is the celebration of that value. The slave masters taught us that if we were confident, we were being arrogant; and that humility was being quiet and submissive. Most of our parents who were adult manifestations of this indoctrination passed it on to the children. Most parents who weren't educated didn't see the value in education and, by extension, the necessity of enforcing it among their children.
This resulted in those who suffered from those beliefs becoming the typical Jamaican naysayer n every conversation that we often encounter. "It will never work." "We can't change it." "Mind closed until further notice." These are the signposts nailed to the forefront of their minds. In literal slavery, for example, whereas one slave would say to the other, "Let's rise up and burn this plantation to the ground," the other slave most often chose to stay in the same place because he feared the possible repercussions. They would devote all their time and energy to stopping the other slaves' pursuit of freedom for fear that it would force them to confront the reality that they wasted their lives believing a lie.
These are the fundamentals that constitute the psychosis of the diehard political degenerates of today, who will complain about how bad something is but are never willing to try anything else.
The upper-class or upper middle-class politicians we now encounter are mainly descendants of the self-hating house slaves who willingly cut all ties with their African heritage. They adopted the separatist ideologies from their masters, whose acquisitions and social standing they inherited over time. The majority of us are all descendants of slaves and our actions are still inspired today by many of slavery's dogmas and ideologies on both sides of the cultural divide.
Our leaders should be living examples of the principles they claim to represent. Instead, Comrades are involved in redesigning the national flag to disrespect the JLP in Montego Bay. Or, in the case of the JLP's Everald Warmington on January 19, referring to Lisa Hanna as "Jezebel".
Our leaders are a reflection of our collective perceptions and indiscipline. They are who we allow them to be. We are all complicit in the ignorance that influences their actions.
We must change ourselves in order to change them. We must not only desire change but be the change. I have admiration and respect for a lot of candidates on both sides and wish them the best of luck. All I ask is that the people wake up, stand up and govern their country. I want to stay here and there are many who wish to return.
Again, are we going to stay comfortable with symbolism, suffering in silence while embracing the emptiness of pretty speeches, vetted questions and the illusion of intelligence, political correctness, and control aided by the teleprompter?
This is not a debate about who is right or wrong, or smart or dumb. That debate has gone on for centuries without any real attempt at resolution. We've seen people criticising the Government, the Opposition criticising the Government, and the Government criticising the people and the Opposition.
Knowledge of who the fool is doesn't fix the fool's foolishness. I have recognised my part in the contribution to the problem and am doing my part to fix it. I can truly say I'm a patriot. Are you?
- Patrick Gaynor, better known as Curly Lox of Twin of Twins fame, is a singer, songwriter, author and social activist. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @twinoftwinscurlylox, or FB twinoftwinscurlylox.