Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jamaica in Need of Moral Guidance

“Social conservatism is a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values.”

I am not an advocate of American style “Social Conservatism” however I do believe that the Jamaican society could do with some form of moral guidance, it cannot continue to just “Ga-long-so” with the younger generation being educated by the dance hall DJs and a growing population of single mothers, absentee fathers and children who are left to find their own way in life. It is safe to say that there is no organized group in Jamaica that advocates good individual and family values and if they are then they are not loud or consistent enough or are just paying lip service to the problem.

Our Political Class is not seen as role model by the Jamaican people and truth be told they are not trying to be role models, being a role model means you have to stand up for something, adhere to some principles even if it cost you your political future and our politicians are not about to let principles and good moral judgment stand in the way of Power and Money. You will never hear a Politician at a Political rally, stand up in front of the people and appeal to their moral consciousness.

When was the last time you heard one of our politician’s male or female try to appeal to the Jamaican men and boys, on the proper role and responsibilities of men and boys within our society, what is expected of them as adults, how to be good fathers, husbands, a gentleman and head of the household?

When was the last time you heard one of our politicians male or female try to appeal to the Jamaican women and girls, on the proper roles and responsibilities of girls and women within our society, how to behave like young ladies, as mothers, wives, their social and societal responsibilities, what is expected of them and how they should not behave? As per the Planning Institute of Jamaica about 45 percent of all Jamaican households are headed by single female.


Our Politicians are afraid to hold the people accountable fearing they might alienate their electoral base and the people may also start holding them accountable.

Another reason for the delinquency of our minors and adult population is migration, absentee parents and family structure.  Mothers and fathers have migrated in search of a better life and leave behind their children to be raised by extended family members such as old grandparents. These absentee parents find comfort in the fact that they send home some money or a barrel here and there such is the extent of their parenting, parenting by proxy, they are not there to help shape young hearts and mind, many of our absentee parents have gone on to create new families, new husband, wives and children.  Young people who are left behind with extended families feel abandoned by their mothers and fathers and lash out in various ways. I would like to see a comprehensive study showing the effects of migration on these children.



"The popular "Dutty Wine" dance is being blamed for yesterday's death of an 18-year-old St. Catherine woman. Tanisha Henry was attending a 'school uniform' party at Beacon Hill, Thompson Pen, about four o' clock Sunday morning when, while doing the popular dance, she collapsed and was rushed to the nearby Spanish Town Hospital  where she was pronounced dead."


Clovis Toons 

A person on facebook posted a dance hall video and in that video a young woman was thrown on a table, she spread her legs and then the man took out a bottle of hot pepper sauce and began to pour it between her legs to cheers and merriment of a crowd of on-lookers. This is the type of behavior that we are now reduced to, where hot sauce poured between a woman’s legs is seen as entertainment. I responded that this was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen to which he responded that he sees nothing wrong with it as slavery was over and this represented art created by a free people. … “Art…?” If after 300 years of slavery and colonization this is all we come to then what’s the point, all our National Heroes wasted their time and life, if The Hon. Paul Bogle could see the future then maybe he would chosen to live till a ripe old age instead of dangling at the end of a rope because he was fighting for our freedom.


I am not asking for Dancehall to be banned, I am asking for it to be regulated because on a nightly basis various underage kids can be seen in the dancehall instead of at home studying. Maybe promoters should be fined a certain amount per underage child. But I suspect like everything else the promoters would just increase the amount they are paying the police to keep the dance in the first place and how do you regulate something that takes place on the street and spans one or two streets? I would definitely support banning Dancehall events from taking place on the streets.Further, I know there are laws already on the books that can be enforced to curtail this behavior: Noise abatement act, Children curfews, Child welfare laws (which applies to teens under age of consent) and aiding the delinquency of a minor to name a few...


I am asking for some sort of moral guidance from our so called leaders at least speak out against the disgusting things that goes on in our society, set some standards, do something. The Upper, middle and educated class are the power brokers of our society, the movers and shakers, they control the commerce of the country and yet they too go through life with blinkers on, they see no evil, hear no evil and pretend it does not affect them. They are in the society but not part of the greater society, they have narrowed their scope and could not care less about the rest of society. The education system is in a mess simply because these power brokers have no use for it, they have identified only a few selected schools that their kids will attend, they then make sure these schools are in proper working order, when their kids out grow the school they then export them overseas, to attend schools in various first world countries. The public healthcare system is in a mess because these power brokers do not depend on it, most have private healthcare in North America making regular visits to their doctors and dentist in Miami, some have even paid for a service to airlift them to Florida in case of emergency so why should they care about the future of the healthcare system and the public. Our power brokers exist with one foot in Jamaica and another foot elsewhere, their foreign passports and visas are never far from them and maybe the new underused four lane highway to the airport is being built to ensure their smooth exit in-case of emergency.




Clovis Toons 
The church is not only a disappointment but hypocritical to say the least, that organization behaves no different from the Political class, the educated class and in some cases the Dancehall DJ’s, they only see what they want to see, too busy living the high life at the expense of their flock. They go on and on about Sunday racing simply because they do not want any competition on a Sunday fearing that the money they would normally get would then go to the horses. They go ballistic when the word gay is mentioned, for that they would open the very gates of hell and stop short of demanding their followers to hunt down and kill people who are gay but will never speak out against the moral decay that takes place in our society, what goes on in the dancehall, the lyrics from the DJ’s, nothing!

Child molestation takes place on a daily occurrence in Jamaica, how often do we see young girls 10 and 12 or high school girls being molested by grown men standing on the corner trying to pick them up, recent news reported that grown men was having sex with girls young as 10 and 12, the girls and these retarded men was educated by the dancehall DJ to think that this is how they should behave and in Jamaica for the most part this is seen as normal healthy male behavior, “Young, Fresh and Green” as the song says and where are the politicians, church, the women’s groups and all other powerful groups… nowhere to be found, that is because even the pastors and politicians are engage in this practice, they see nothing wrong with it.


The least I expect from educated, upper class and Political Class female and male is to stand up and speak out against such behavior, to reason with the women and girls, Men and boys of our society, a sort of a “million woman and man march” type of reasoning, to define what is expected of them and to denounce the bad behavior that have infected our society. I am not asking you to go so far as pass laws to control people’s behavior, to ban the dancehall and nasty lyrics but to express your disgust at the bad behavior and continue to express it, to drive home that this sort of behavior is not the norm and to be frowned upon. We need to counteract the teachings of the dancehall DJ’s because right now they are the lone voice that is loud enough and consistent enough that is brainwashing our youths, yes our youths are learning how to be men and women from a bunch of semi-literate/illiterate low class Dancehall DJ’s.

Problem/Solution

Some of the lyrics in the dancehall have engineered our young people to dehumanized each other, conflict resolution have been reduced to primal levels, if you feel a person did you wrong then kill them, the dancehall advocate murder and violence as a way to resolve conflicts, it promotes for the most part that everything should be reduced to Murder, Violence and Sex. Even the sex act is reduced to an act of stab, ram it violence! Everything leads to violence in the dancehall and this message is continuously being pounded into the heads of our young and is now being played out in real life.

 "INFLUENTIAL British reggae historian and sound system selector David Rodigan believes contemporary Jamaican music suffers from a lack of original ideas and creativity.
According to Rodigan, the music has lost its identity."
Read more: Lost Identity - Rodigan says music lacks creativity

As a nation we need to stop and seriously evaluate how we got to this point in our existence, why is it that the people of our country find it so easy to kill, to take another person’s life for the simplest things. I know our immediate response is to become partisan and tribal but this is beyond party politics, this is an attack of the core values of a society by every member of the Jamaican society, by not speaking out you have become part of the problem. The political class, the educated class, the lower, middle and upper class, all of Jamaica needs to come together and reverse this trend. We need an injection of conservative values within the Jamaican society, we need the political class to stand up and defend good values and denounce bad ones, we need the rich and powerful to stand up and defend good values while denouncing bad ones, we need the powerful women in our society to stand up and engage the women of our society, to denounce bad values and promote good ones, we need powerful men of our society to stop making excuses, Man up, stand up and be men, be leaders, promote good healthy values and speak out against bad ones, to engage the boys and men of our society. We need to take to the streets to promote good values, public burning of nasty disgusting dancehall CD’s and records is a good start and sends a strong message that we are ready to take our young people back, to take our country back from the counterproductive and destructive voice of the dancehall DJ’s.

Not too long ago reggae was regarded as the voice and heartbeat of the people, its message of upliftment and promoting social consciousness of the poor and oppress. If you asked people from other countries what they know about Jamaica they would tell you Reggae music, Dancehall can only wish it had reggae's notoriety and fame, not only that, the doors that was opened by Reggae is being slammed shut by Dancehall, no one want to hear their desires to beat, murder and dismember people or sex being described in the same manner. I am still trying to figure out how throwing hot sauce in a girls crotch or Jumping from heights landing feet first in a girls face or throwing a girl off the top of a wall cracking her head open have to do with entertainment and I equally cannot understand why young women would subject themselves to such public degradation in the name of cheap entertainment.

The following Dancehall entertainers have been arrested:
  • Busy Signal -Extradition to USA on drug charges
  • Ninja Man -Murder Charge
  • Shawn Storm -Murder Charge
  • Beenie man -Assault Charge
  • jah cure -Charges of gun possession, robbery, weed and rape
  • vybz-kartel -Charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of firearm
  • Gaza Slim -Charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy
  • Bounty Killa -Charged with Beating Pregnant wife with Hammer and Chain
  • Tommy Lee Sparta -Charged with Murder
  • DJ Frass -Charged in Lottery Scam
  • Elephant Man -Charged with rape, sexual assault and electricity theft
  • Buju Banton -Guilty of three cocaine related charges
  • Mavado -Charged with two counts of assault
  • DJ Zebra - Double Rapist, serving out his first rape charge, came out raped again, got 30 years... 
  • Flippa Mafia was given a 25-year sentence

"However, close analysis shows that Jamaican dancehall entertainers, mostly male, have also been banned from performing in parts of Europe and in several Caribbean nations, including Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.

"For some time there have been complaints inside and outside of Jamaica regarding the quality of dancehall music and the behavior of the artistes. There have been consistent criticisms that the lyrics of some dancehall music are overtly vulgar, sexually explicit, demeaning to women, and promote violence, particularly gun violence. The Barbados government banned dancehall artistes Mavado and Vybz Kartel on the basis that their songs have a negative effect on that country’s youth. Additionally, some dancehall artistes are linked to drug use and wanton indiscipline."

CN Weekly News Article: Why the ban on dancehall artistes?

video

TruTv World's Dumbest: Jamaica - poppin-and-clockin

"For the male courtier and/or conquerer, the 'p-.ny' (vagina) must be subdued by any means, at all costs, as a matter of fact. It must be conquered before it becomes too powerful and results in the subjugation and submission of men and the corruption or elimination of their masculinity. Here, the feminine other becomes a trophy whose conquest bequeaths an overtly masculine identity to the marginalised male.

As argued earlier, the intersection of the race/class/gender variables forces a man with limited or no access to true power or resources, to define his maleness, his identity through the most available and accessible avenues legitimated under Jamaican patriarchy. These include sex, sexuality and male dominance of women at its most physical and extreme point of manifestation."
Gleaner Article: Courting and conquering the feared Punany

Selling Ourselves Short
These days the great debate in Jamaica is about attracting High-end investment to Jamaica, everyone is talking about attracting fortune 500 companies but no one is talking about why a fortune 500 company would want to come to Jamaica or just how the government and the people intend to lure these companies to Jamaica. There are certain basic questions we need to ask ourselves, such as, what do people all over the world think when they hear the name Jamaica and Jamaicans, what first comes to mind?

I remember having an interview for a company overseas in the early 90’s, I sat in front of the interviewer waiting to impress upon him my knowledge of the subject matter. He looked at my resume for a while and then leaned back into his chair and said forgive me, this might seem a silly question to ask but does Jamaica have computers? It was then that I realized that the interview was over and that I could relax and have an open conversation, he said that when he thinks of Jamaica, high end technology does not come to mind, what does come to mind is white sandy beaches, reggae music, rastas and weed. After which we spent a lot of time talking about Jamaica’s education system, technology base and software development future among other things, to make a long story short I did not get the job.

The fact is, people all over the world see us how we want them to see us, they did not make these things up, these are the perceptions we export. Our Government Spend billions of dollars selling tourism and most people around the world see us through our Jamaica Tourist Board adverts, which are always generic and one dimensional, “come to Jamaica and feel alright”, reggae music have reached the farthest regions of the planet carrying with it rastas and weed and the sexual prowess of the renta-dread with the big bamboo, have also been exported and attracts females from all over the globe. The idea of trading sex for cash have caused our young men and women to migrate from the farms, given up all hopes of innovation and education to service the tourist in one way or another. The degrading antics of the Dancehall are now being promoted to the world with the increasing use of the internet and youtube, this negative self promotion is destructive, counterproductive and does not send a strong message to fortune 500 companies that Jamaica is open for business, that we are multidimensional.

I have never seen a promotional advert by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, telling the world how creative and educated we are, pushing our IT sector, business environment, fiber optics network and infrastructure as a place to invest, get value for money and do business. No one is promoting the people, agriculture, software development and manufacturing in the living rooms of North America and Europe. If we can spend millions of dollars promoting tourism worldwide, then why can’t we promote other aspects of Jamaican life?

I remember in the 1970’s the Jamaica Tourist Board had a slogan “We are more than a beach, We are a country” and some people in Jamaica went crazy that we are trying to scare the tourist away by telling them that there is more to Jamaica and Jamaicans than white sandy beaches. We need to be very careful how we market ourselves, how we sell brand Jamaica and before we can even sell brand Jamaica we must have an idea of what that is, we need to know where we are going as a country and a people, we do need to sell all aspects of the Jamaican society else we will be selling ourselves short.

A Fool and his Money



While traveling in the English countryside I came upon a food stall called the honesty box by the locals, this food stall was unmanned, various goods left in the stall with a note containing the price for each type of items, people would approach the stall, take what they wanted and pay for it, even rumbling through the money box to find correct change.

On another occasion while in Amsterdam trying to get a train we noticed that there was no turnstiles, inspection points, no booths or people on the platform inspecting our tickets, you just buy your tickets and get on the train, I asked a fellow passenger how this worked, what was I to do with my ticket, he said that someone may come around to inspect our tickets, the fine was very high for not having a ticket and that the system was based on the Honor/Honesty System… on the what???

"An honor system or honesty system is a philosophical way of running a variety of endeavors based on trust, honor, and honesty. Something that operates under the rule of the "honor system" is usually something that does not have strictly enforced rules governing its principles. In British English, it would more often be called a "trust system"."

Even when we got to our stop no one came around to inspect our tickets but that did not stop people from buying their tickets, getting on the train and settle down to read their morning news paper.

Could such a system work in Jamaica? I am not sure, I would like to think that in some nice quiet Jamaican villages that the concept of the honesty box could work, that people in some rural areas would respect and trust others. I know such a concept would not work in most major cities around the world, I cannot see the Honesty System working in New York subway system based on the amount of people jumping the turnstile, nor would the concept of the Honesty Box work in a city like London. I am not saying that people in the rural countryside of England are all honest people but one report states that 98% of the people are honest enough to make leaving your goods and money unmanned in a stall a worthwhile venture. My cousin believes that if you were to leave your goods and money unmanned in a stall in Jamaica than you would return not only find the money missing but also the goods and the stall itself would be nowhere to be found as people would laugh at you and call you “eeediot” for trusting yardman.

My Granny used to boast that she could leave the house with her front door open and feel safe in the fact that everything will be in place when she returns. That tells me that Jamaica use to exist with the same level of honesty as the people who lives in the English countryside, Amsterdam and countless other countries, so how can we get back to that level.




Mutabaruka Rastafarian dub poet, speaks out against the Dancehall



===============================================
A Rastaman went to visit an old family friend.
The Rastaman knock pon di door and smaddy inside seh:
" a who dat?"

The rastaman said: " It is I and I, Jah Rastafari, Kings of kings, Lord of lords, conquering lion of the tribe
of Judah, son of Haile Selassie I" .

The person inside replied: " A me one dey yah and mi nah open mi door fi so much a oonu".