THE EDITOR, Sir:
There is so much hoopla about tribalism and garrisons in Jamaica. Most persons will agree that they are indeed a social blight.
Our politicians are often rebuked for facilitating the practice, and rightfully so; strong-arming a community to create a party haven is a vice to be punished by the good Lord. Arming party rank and file in a community in order to keep out non party individuals is a social toxin and grave injustice, as the 1997 report from the National Committee on Political Tribalism alludes to.
But there is another dangerous social practice on the rise, and it is going unnoticed. I am referring to the rapid increase in gated communities all across the island. Their existence is deemed harmless, yet I perceive that they are as harmful as politically tribal communities; they are in fact socially tribal communities. And the real social implication of the existence of these isn't generally perceived. These establishments stand out as modern-day forts, fending off outsiders; outsiders who are fellow Jamaicans. There must be some psychological fallout to this.
This social injustice in Jamaica is a huge threat to our development as a people. Vision 2030 cannot ignore this anomaly. And we cannot stop the increase of these garrisons - the gated communities - as socially destructive as they are, without quickly addressing the need for a real and lasting sense of security for all.
1. Focusing development on low socio-economic areas (i.e. spend heavily on low-income areas).
2. Distributing more rural lands, in prudent ways, to those crammed into low-income communities.
3. Recognise and reward the efforts of community development workers within these areas on days like Heroes Day.
Christopher G.E. Brodber