Fri | Feb 26, 2021

Carolyn Cooper | Holness a sell off Jamaica birthright

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2021 | 12:14 AM


Riggle mi dis, riggle mi dat, guess mi dis riggle an perhaps not: hell a top, hell a bottom, hell inna di miggle. Nuh pudding nah bake. Not potato, not corn meal. Nuh pudding pan nah siddong inna no fire inna no coal pot. Nuh fire nuh deh pon nuh zinc, pon top a nuh pudding pan. Nuh molo-molo nuh deh pon top a nuh pudding, a nice it up. Nuh alleluia nuh deh inna di miggle a dis ya riggle.

Dis ya hell a real-real hell fi true. Di whole world a dry up an burn up. Top to bottom: air, ground, river, water under ground, seawater, animal – big an lickle – an tree an bush. A long time Richie Spice im tell wi seh, “Earth a Run Red”. Blood an fire! From inna 1998, im seh, “A revelation time, check the signs of the time, you no feel the heat”.

Nuff a wi a feel di heat. But wi a gwaan like seh wi no understand seh a wi same one a burn down di world. Oil a dig outa di ground; tree a burn down fi mek coal – di said same coal inna di coal pot fi di pudding. Wen wi burn coal fire an wi drive inna vehicle weh run pon gas or diesel, wi a poison di air wi ha fi breathe. An a so cancer an asthma kill wi off.


Den mi see seh hard-ears Andrew Holness nah listen to nobody weh a tell im seh im fi tek back di permit weh im gi Bengal Development Limited fi dig down piece a Puerto Bueno Mountain. Holness a sell off Jamaica birthright fi lickle or nutten. It look like seh im never go a Sabbath School di week dem did tell di Bible story bout Esau an Jacob. Esau come from bush an im a dead fi hungry. Im bredda Jacob did a cook lentil soup. Esau so fool, im tell im bredda im wi gi weh im birthright fi lickle soup. Im seh if im dead, birthright nah nuh use.

Holness a mek di same mistake. Ascorden to Govament, 200 smaddy a go get work offa di mining. An Bengal suppose fi gi Govament $40 million dollar – Jamaica pop-down money – fi fix up back di mountain after it dig down. Dat mighta sound like nuff, nuff soup fi wi birthright. A nuh nutten. After Bengal done kill off di plant an di animal dem pon fi mountain fi dig out 35 million ton a limestone, dem nah go able fi fix up back di land. Look pon di dead, dead land weh lef after bauxite dig out!

Mi no kyah wa dem a seh bout “mitigation”. Dat a one a dem Latin word inna English weh no mean nutten to nuff a wi. It come from ‘mitis’ an it mean ‘mild’. So after Bengal done mash up di place, dem a go try mek wi feel seh di category five hurricane a one lickle breeze blow. Mi glad fi see seh eight smaddy sue Govament bout di permit. Mi ongle hope dem win. Jamaica suppose fi be di land a wood an water. Dis ya govament a turn wi country inna dry river bottom. Wat a hell pon wi!


Rigl mi dis, rigl mi dat, ges mi dis rigl an paraps nat: el a tap, el a batam, el ina di migl. No pudn naa biek. Nat pitieta, nat kaan miil. No pudn pan naa sidong ina no faiya ina no kuol pat. No faiya no de pan no zink, pan tap a no pudn pan. No molo-molo no de pan tap a no pudn, a nais it op. No aliluuya no de ina di migl a dis ya rigl.

Dis ya el a riil-riil el fi chruu. Di uol worl a jrai op an bon op. Tap tu batam: ier, grong, riva, waata aanda grong, siiwaata, animal – big an likl – an chrii an bush. A lang taim Richie Spice im tel wi se, “Earth a Run Red”. Blod an faiya! Fram ina1998, im se, “A revelation time, check the signs of the time, you no feel the heat”.

Nof a wi a fiil di iit. Bot wi a gwaan laik se wi no andastan se a wi siem wan a bon dong di worl. Ail a dig outa di grong; chrii a bon dong fi mek kuol – di sed siem kuol inna di kuol pat fi di pudn. Wen wi bon kuol faiya an wi jraiv ina viikl we ron pan gyas ar diizl, wi a paizn di ier wi a fi briid. An a so kyansa an azma kil wi aaf.


Den mi si se aad-iez Andrew Holness naa lisn tu nobadi we a tel im se im fi tek bak di pormit we im gi Bengal Development Limited fi dig dong piis a Puerto Bueno Mountain. Holness a sel aaf Jamieka bortrait fi likl ar notn. It luk laik se im neva go a Sabat Skuul di wiik dem did tel di Baibl stuori bout Esau an Jacob. Esau kom fram bush an im a ded fi ongri. Im breda Jacob did a kuk lentil suup. Esau so fuul, im tel im breda im wi gi we im bortrait fi likl suup. Im se if im ded, bortrait naa no yuus.

Holness a mek di siem mistiek. Azkaadn tu Govament, 200 smadi a go get work aafa di mainin. An Bengal supuoz fi gi Govament $40 milyan dala – Jamieka pap-dong moni – fi fiks op bak di mountn aafta it dig dong. Dat maita soun laik nof, nof suup fi wi bortrait. A no notn. Aafta Bengal don kil aaf di plaant an di animal dem pan di mountn fi dig out 35 milyan ton a laimstuon, dem naa go iebl fi fiks op bak di lan. Luk pan di ded, ded lan we lef aata baksait dig out!

Mi no kya wa dem a se bout “mitigation”. Dat a wan a dem Latin word ina Ingglish we no miin notn tu nof a wi. It kom fram ‘mitis’ an it miin ‘mild’. So aafta Bengal don mash op di plies, dem a go chrai mek wi fiil se di kyatigori five orikien a wan likl briiz bluo. Mi glad fi si se eight smadi suu Govament bout di pormit. Mi ongl uop dem win. Jamieka supuoz fi bi di lan a wud an waata. Dis ya govament a ton wi konchru ina jrai riva batam. Wat a el pan wi!

- Carolyn Cooper, PhD, is a specialist on culture and development. Email feedback to and