LETTER OF THE DAY
Ja becoming a real 'preckeh'
The Editor, Sir:
I feel compelled to write about the state of our country, which Professor Carl Stone said in 1992, had "become an arena of violence, aggression and lawless behaviour". In the last week, we have seen a schoolboy killed by his classmate, and a group of mostly female students at a rural high school demonstrating for the television audience that the dress code was too strict and that they were entitled to a jeans day.
Then, we witnessed a group of rural youths rioting in Grange Hill after the tragic death of their friend at the hands of the police. Then, there, were three policemen killed in quick succession. While I recognise that justice should be demanded, I have not heard one word of condemnation of the destruction of the property of the people in Grange Hill. I suppose that justice should be only for some people.
While we display our inability to manage our affairs at home, we ought not to be surprised at the contempt of the immigration officials and other citizens in neighbouring jurisdictions as we pour into their countries with our bad behaviour. While the majority of us know how to conduct ourselves at home and abroad, we still have not found the way to arrest the deterioration in the behaviour of a growing minority
I sat in the airport in Curaçao and watched about six women in all, suck on and chew the bones in their lunch containers loudly. They were all Jamaicans, and of the probably 300 people in the terminal, they were the only ones doing anything like this. On my arrival in Curaçao, on another occasion, one of my countrymen had tried to get a "skip" in the line by going under the barrier instead of joining the line. The immigration officer growled "Get to the back of the line!" I now realise that some of us have lost our shame tree.
If we think that we can compete with the Asian tigers or those countries in which there have been long-standing authority structures which buttress their development, we are merely fooling ourselves. Jamaica in its present state is becoming a real "preckeh".
As a law -abiding citizen of this country who is paying at least a quarter of my salary in taxes, I am just about ready to organise a Kingston Tea Party similar to the Boston Tea Party. The electoral process is just one of the avenues to demand good governance, but the citizens of this country seem to becoming effete and incapable of the kind of will that it requires to transform the country.
This is my Christmas wish for the country, that we summon up the will to save us from our worst selves.
I am, etc.,
Dr. HILARY ROBERTSON-HICKLING