Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Letter of the Day | Jamaica in denial over crime crisis

Published:Friday | June 24, 2016 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

"The Canadian government has upgraded its travel advisory to its citizens who want to visit Jamaica, encouraging their foreign nationals not to venture into sections of the Corporate Area and western Jamaica.'' (Star online, June 22, 2016).

Anger, blame, complaint, denial and making excuses are among the most disempowering habitual human reactions. We have all experienced these reactions. And at the personal and national levels, they have all been fuelling our horrendous level of crime, but we remain in denial.

Being in denial is a psychological protective mechanism. It gives a false sense of comfort, hope or peace of mind which is achieved by the refusal to admit to a problem or face an unpleasant reality. The first step in solving any problem is in its recognition. But far too many of us have been in chronic denial regarding our crime situation.

It often appears that successive governments and some special-interests groups become only truly aware of our crime situation when foreigners are killed or travel advisories are issued by countries like Canada and USA, where the majority of our tourists come from.

There seems to be the belief that once we can create the right images abroad, we do not have to deal with the harsh realities in our backyard, especially if tourists continue to flock our shores.

It's for this reason that when travel advisories or foreign journalists expose the facts, these are met with anger, the blame game, and the usual denial or petty excuses that we are not the only country with a crime problem or our situation is not that bad.

 

ENDLESS EXCUSES

 

Angry reactions in heated or simple arguments often prove fatal. The blame game is seen especially between our two major political parties as to the real causes of crime, or during which administration crime increases more.

Many complain endlessly but will not play a part in helping to reduce crime and will even shield murderers. And there are those with high levels of influence who make endless excuses for criminality.

A United Nations 2014 report ranked Jamaica sixth in homicide rate. Our homicide rate is that of a country in civil war. One of the rules of war is that you should never believe your own propaganda. Maybe our biggest problem is we have come to believe our marketing strategy that Jamaica is indeed a paradise.

DAIVE R. FACEY

dr.facey@gmail.com