Jamaica: The don's paradise
The Editor, Sir:
Yesterday's Sunday Gleaner editorial sought to suggest that Jamaicans should be outraged at the current year's murder rate for two reasons: first, that it was a statistically significant increase over the previous year, and second, that the current Government seems truly unaware of the magnitude of the crisis.
Aside from wondering why these two reasons should make much difference now, particularly years after this shockingly high rate first appeared on the world's radar screen, a more important question might've been: can anything be done at all to reverse this shameful trend? Personally, I don't think so, and I suspect I am hardly alone in my thinking. Let me present the simple rationale behind my conclusion:
First, the sad truth is that Jamaica is a nation where life has always been seen as cheap: where unmarried, non-family-committed men and women, through their supposedly Christian society's tacit, yet hypocritical acceptance of its grossly irresponsible sexual behaviours, have hordes of unwanted babies. Consequently, there are always great numbers of poor people struggling to make do in or escape from a world where, in stark contrast, there is at the same time a great show of wealth on the part of a controlling few, both the respected and respectable alike.
Second, with its mere pretence as being part of the world's community of respectable nations, Jamaica is in fact, little more than just another, Third-World, Caribbean brothel where hedonistic pleasures await the tourist in a slowly declining, physical paradise and where, at the same time, the society remains a favoured target for those so-called, 'spiritually-concerned' groups in foreign nations that continually send their all-too-conservative, often less-than-reputable, religious missionaries and social volunteers to save the wicked sinners and assist in the country's development.
Meanwhile, it tries its best to present a civilised image through the support and promotion of exceptional cultural achievements such as sport, music, and dance.
In short and in summary, in this contrasting, tepid, enigmatic, and dynamically wasteful and wasted environment, the criminal and the killer survive and thrive juxtaposed with the hungry and the despairing. Jamaica, if the truth be known, is in reality a don's paradise, where the big man can 'nyam good' daily without much fear of the law or certainly of guilt of conscience, enjoying the revelry of his lackeys and sycophantic, would-be peers, unmolested except by the occasional, 'tiptoeing-around-the-truth' editorial from the local paper or the intentionally misleading, deceitful verbosity of some local politician.
I am, etc,