Sun | Oct 2, 2022

Once more unto the breach

Published:Sunday | July 9, 2017 | 4:30 PM


Shakespeare may well have been speaking about Jamaica in the play Henry V. The words were spoken by the king himself to rally the troops to war. Here in Jamaica, the bill in Parliament passed again to wage war on those drawing blood across the country,

Apparently, the attackers might include adolescents in the grips of complex trauma honed in Jamaica's garrisons by weapons bestowed by dons and their political masters. This could now be the third or fourth generation fuelled by our gangsters in diaspora.

Killings have been followed by reprisals, turf wars and the like.

We are sending young policemen, policewomen and soldiers to fight people in some of the communities from which they too have come. Have you travelled into many of these communities where garbage is not collected, where zinc fences dominate, where schools built for 500 have half that number of children?

Have you heard of communities that were violence-free one generation ago but now figure in warnings issued by foreign embassies. as dangerous places? Where hospitals have been overwhelmed by those wounded by knives, traffic accidents and guns causing the regular operations to be stymied?

The people who are turning the guns on their neighbours need to hear a new message so that we stop making Jamaica into a bone yard.

This is a society in which the language of war has to be changed to a language of justice and redemption. Listen to some of the music. It is about war, tribal, lyrical and sexual war.

We have to learn to make ploughshares and we need to have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Flawed as the concept is, it is better than anything that we have. For nearly four generations, we have been rallying the people to war. We need a war on hunger, illiteracy and injustice. Is time that we stop killing one another. We need to become productive.