Letter of the Day | No such thing as post-slavery syndrome
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Sometime ago, while listening to my 50-plus-year-old stereo, I heard a discussion programme about the effect that the supposed post-slavery syndrome was having on our worsening crime situation. This position is supposed to have been advanced by some of our leading experts - you know, people with every letter of the alphabet after their names.
Well, I am here to tell you that this post-slavery syndrome sickness is nothing but poppycock.
First, those of us who are old enough will tell you that Jamaica was never the violent country that it now is. Sure, we may have one of the world's highest murder rates today, but this was not always so. Indeed, based on all of the information that we have, Jamaica, until shortly after Independence, was a relatively peaceful country.
If slavery was a major cause of us treating each other like animals, we should have experienced much more serious crime in the past - and less today. In other words, the effects of this syndrome should be felt strongest near the end of slavery, many decades ago, and less as time went on.
Also, this talk of us suffering from post slavery syndrome is very demeaning and insulting. Is it that the proponents of this post-slavery syndrome are saying that we are intellectually inferior - and very prone to mind control?
Other countries have had similar experiences, in respect of slavery, and they don't have the high murder rates that we Jamaicans have seemingly got used to. Barbados had a very similar history to ours - where is the excessively high murder rate there on account of their post-slavery syndrome?
Israel, through the Holocaust, has experienced even worse. If post-slavery syndrome was true, then the people of that country should be cannibals. Why aren't they?
Also, during the programme, one of the proponents of this syndrome was lamenting the sad situation of this improvable syndrome claim.
If the link between this syndrome and our high murder rates could be established, as it was being wished for, a stronger claim for slavery reparations could be made.
You know, as a people, it seems that we excel at always passing the buck. For some strange reason, we simply don't want to accept responsibility for our own failures. We have managed to basically turn this once promising country upside down, and, instead, of accepting responsibility, we want to blame the Europeans. When are we ever going to grow up?
MICHAEL A. DINGWALL