Tue | May 30, 2023

The uncomfortable truth about murders in Ja

Published:Monday | January 17, 2022 | 12:08 AM


Please permit me to share with your readers an uncomfortable truth about murder in Jamaica. Recently, I was having a conversation with my son, who now resides in another country, when he brought to my attention something that I found, and still find, disturbing. No matter how I look at it, I cannot escape the veracity and profundity of the statement that he made.

This is what he said: “Now that I am away and I look back at the Jamaican society, I have come to realise that murder is so acceptable in Jamaica that when Jamaicans want to tell you how long ago something happened, they make reference to murder.”

My response was: “What!”

He responded: “You know the saying.”

Immediately I saw how comfortably we speak of “When Wappie kill Fillop” (different versions of these names are used in Jamaica). Who were these persons? I don’t know, but there is constant, comfortable reference to this killing. Have you ever noticed how often the word ‘kill’ is used in ordinary conversation?

How can we change the way Jamaicans think about killing? How do we change the thinking of murderers and would-be murderers? What can we do to effect such change?

This is where we need to begin. The minister of security and the security forces cannot solve the problem of murder by themselves while the rest of the society, including the murderers and their cronies, play the blame game and point fingers at the inability of the Government to control the murder rate. It is time for those of us who respect life to take a stand in the home, school, Church, community, parish, county, and in our country. The murderers are not coming from outer space. They live in homes and communities. They have family and friends and neighbours.

Each of us play a role as part of the problem or a part of the solution. There is no in-between. Being neutral is being a part of the problem.

May truth and reconciliation play an important role in stemming the bloodletting tide. Who will lead the way?

Winnie Anderson-Brown