Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Collective Guilt?

Collective Guilt - The unpleasant emotional reaction that results among a group of individuals when it is perceived that the group illegitimately harmed members of another group. It is often the result of “sharing a social identity with others whose actions represent a threat to the positivity of that identity. 

Most Jamaicans lose their minds whenever they hear that a black person in England or in America was charged with a crime. They would log on to various messaging boards, posting messages of hope that the culprit is not a Jamaican or of Jamaican origin. It seems that Jamaicans regardless of geographic location suffer from collective guilt and shame only when a person of Jamaican origin, who lives in a foreign country commits a crime. However no such guilt exist when a Jamaican commits the same crime in Jamaica. 

If one Jamaican commits a crime in a foreign country he is blamed for making all of "us" Jamaicans look bad…  US?  …. Excuse me?... Where did this “US” thing come from?

Why should I share the guilt and shame for another man’s crime when I am a hardworking and law abiding person and he is a damn criminal. When did this become my responsibility, my shame and my guilt even though it was not my crime. I do not see this collective shame and guilt happening in the first world especially when white people commits a crime. So it must be a Third World thing.

When a white American or British citizen travel to faraway lands and commit crimes like murder, drug smuggling and child molestation I do not see or hear collective guilt coming from the people of these countries. When their Governments sends their armies to some poor third world brown people countries and drop 500lb bombs on innocent women and children, I do not see them holding their heads in collective shame. When they are caught at my airport trying to smuggle drugs out of my country I do not see collective guilt and shame from their countrymen.

I have as much control over the hearts and minds of my fellow Jamaicans as an American or British person would have over their citizens and I have no control over a person who is a citizen of another country but either descended from a Jamaican or migrated from Jamaica at a young age.   

NO We are NOT genetically predisposed to violence! We are not connected like cybernetic robots to a hive mind, no sir we are not borgs.

This collective pity party by Jamaicans must stop because this is meaningless collective punishment. I know you are concerned with how people in the outside world will look at you or treat you. I know you care how white people see you as you spend so much time trying to win their approval but believe me when I say. Regardless of what you do in life, how good you live your life, regardless of how law abiding you live your life, certain people will only see you the way they want to see you and even if you have a halo above your head and white angelic wings on your back.

What is more important is how you view yourselves and others around you because you cannot control how these people see you, just refrain from making generalized statements and take each person one at a time. There are some good people in this world and some very bad ones regardless of colour and nationality because I have met good people from many countries. If you have not broken any laws and you are good honest hard working inhabitants of this planet raising your family to be good honest people then you have nothing to be ashamed for or feel guilty about. NOT a Damn Thing!  

The British-Bomber of “Jamaicans Descent”
The British media takes extra pleasure identifying black British citizens as either Jamaican descent or Jamaican born, even when that person have never been to Jamaica or left Jamaica at birth. Take Germaine Lindsay for example (No seriously …. Take him because he is yours) the British-Bomber of “Jamaicans descent” was described as Jamaican. The man was born in Jamaica, yes but was NOT bred in Jamaica, he left Jamaica at age 5 and spent his entire life in England. Got all his education and all his socialization from the United Kingdom of Great Britain. He was a failure of the British Society but that did not stop one British reporter from saying "He had British soil under his feet and Jamaican blood in his heart” that speaks volume to me and I will never forget hearing it.

At what point does the responsibility of the Jamaican Government and people ends and the responsibility of the British government and its people begins. Are we to assume responsibility for the crimes of first, second or third generation British citizens with Jamaican lineage. The British government and people are blaming Jamaica for its failures to properly educate and socialize British young people.

When a Jamaican-born person or a person of Jamaican descent represents Great Britain and achieves greatness then that person is presented as a proud product of the British Society and Jamaica never gets the praise, no report of Jamaican blood running through that person’s heart. However, the opposite occurs when a person commits a crime or disgraces themselves in any way, then and only then do we find out immediately that the person is associated with Jamaica.

Ben Johnson was Canadian when he was winning races and breaking records but as soon as he failed his drug test Ben Johnson became a dirty no good Jamaican. We found out almost immediately that he had Jamaican blood running through his heart. A number of the current England national football team have origins in Jamaica and if we go by the British media standards when reporting on crime, we would have to list them as follows, The Jamaican Darren Bent, The Jamaican Aaron Lennon, The Jamaican Theo Walcott and the Jamaican Shaun Wright-Phillips but since us Jamaicans lay no claim to them in their height of glory for England, we want no part of them if they fall from grace.

If Germaine Lindsay or Delroy Grant (the rapist) had ran the 100m in 9.77 sec. flat for the UK at the Olympics they would have been British and no mention would have been made about their Jamaican connection. The British double gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes father is Jamaican, so too is the father of Jessica Ennis and countless others. Yet the British press makes little or no mention of them as Jamaicans, no grand news headline stating “Jamaican Dame Kelly Holmes or Jamaican Jessica Ennis” and I don't expect them to.

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