Saturday, March 31, 2012

Community Vigilante Jungle No-Justice…


This is not the type of blog that I wanted to write but I cannot ignore the white elephant in the room, especially when some groups are calling for Justice, let's not be selective, lets demand 100% pure Blind Justice from each and every member of the Jamaican society.  

Let us not forget this favorite Jamaican past time, playing Judge, Jury and Executioner on those they suspect of committing a crime. We are outraged when the police do it, but cheer when we read that members of a community took it upon themselves to carry out their own brand of justice. You cannot want proper Justice sometimes but not at other times, you are sending mixed messages to an already confused society.

Growing up in Jamaica I have had the misfortune to witness Community Vigilante Jungle Justice up close on a number of occasions, it is something I am trying to wipe from my mind, humanity at its very worst. I remember two of these occasions very well, I was in my teens and on my way from school.

On the first occasion my friends and I entered the Plaza just when the chase phase of Jungle Justice was coming to an end and the beating phase was about to commence, yes sometimes the chase and beating phase are rolled into one but that is only when the victim refuses to stop running but is not running fast enough, this time the victim was cornered and beaten for the crime of being gay. He was beaten by an angry mob who shouted “beat di batty boy!!”… he managed to escape to the laughter and merriment of the mob.

Acting like Animals!!
Was this video viewed by the Police?
Did they try to identify the attackers?
Did they issue warrants for their arrest?


On the second occasion my friends and I was in Half Way Tree hanging out with some Holly Childhood girls waiting for the bus home when a woman accused a man of trying to take money from her hand bag. It seemed she felt someone going into her bag, looked up and accused the man standing behind her. The cry of pick pocket went out and an angry mob quickly surrounded the man, who was protesting his innocence, one man grabbed him by the shirt collar while the accuser continued to accuse.

We all knew what was coming, he knew what was coming as there is no reasoning with these people, not when they are in this mood, it was only a matter of time before the first kick and punch landed. He managed to break free and made a run for it but that was short lived as the crowd in Halfway Tree turned into Vigilantes as sidewalk sellers ran from their stalls to take up chase. That man was beaten to no end, he was kicked and punched and on one occasion a higgler woman decided to use her knife with great skill and efficiency like Edward Scissorhands.

After quenching their thirst for revenge and blood the mob slowly depart, leaving the motionless body of the man in the street, he seemed dead to me but at the tender age of 16, I did not know what being dead is supposed to look like. Amazingly during all this another man was trying to get the crowd’s attention it seemed he saw the initial incident, he said he saw the man who was trying to go into the woman’s bag and it was not the man who the angry mob was beating, but no one would listen, he said the guilty person made his escape during the diversion. This ladies and gentleman is why I do not support “Community Vigilante Jungle Justice”… I could have been that person standing behind that woman at that time and I would not be sitting here writing this.


There has been a recent increase in the number of reports regarding “Community Vigilante Jungle Justice” in action to the cheer and support of the online crowd. Several men was suspected of Praedial Larceny (Theft of agricultural produce), beaten and chopped up by the community, man suspected of stealing blackberry, beaten by community and the news goes on and on but where is the outrage? I am not saying that we should hug and kiss people suspected of a crime, far from it but we have a system of Justice in this country that requires our full support, we have laws, a court system, a Ministry of National Security and Justice, a police force and a military, so why is it left to the man in the street to play, Judge, Jury and Executioner?


If the Justice System is broken then fix it dear Liza but like everything else in this country we managed to find a way around everything, we never fix anything, we just find a different path. Water problem? then buy water tank, light problem? buy generator, road problem ? then buy big SUVs and problem with security? Carry out our own brand of jungle justice. I have yet to hear the powers that be set some standard and speak out against this with one voice this is because they know that if the Jamaican people choose the alternative then they will not put any pressure on the Government to fix anything, the Government gets an easy ride and I have yet to see "Jamaicans For Justice" organize to send a message to the people that this is wrong, no rallies, no protest. The name "Jamaicans for Justice" should cover every form of injustice not just injustice by the police, Community Vigilante Jungle No-Justice is not justice it is injustice and should be rallied against just like Police corruption and Crime and while we are at it lets also rally against Politician corruption and Crime, another class of Jamaicans who are so above the law.


In 2003 students of The University of Technology beat and murdered a man accused of breaking into cars on campus, the man jumped into a waste water pit as he attempted to escape after being cornered by an angry mob, the students lit fire to dry grass surrounding the pit to prevent the escape of the accused.

This is a perfect example that children live what they learn, I am sure like me most of these young adults have been witness to public beatings and execution and now thinks that this is how they should behave, this is normal behavior to them. One must also look at what percentage of these young adults were barrel pickney, children whose parenting and love came only from the occasional barrel and western union money their parents who have all but abandoned them and migrated to foreign to start a new life and family. A study must be done on the effects migration had on the kids that were left behind.

A small number of people spoke out against this type of behavior but on a whole public beatings and executions are accepted behaviors. The political class will pay lip service against this only if they think they can score political points from it. In most other countries the level and amount of condemnation would be consistent and persistent as various political and social leaders/groups visit the site of the murder and address the nation stating that this type of behavior was not accepted and against the law. That those who were involved would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, various rewards would have been offered for information and videos of the beating examined to identify those involved, they would have been rounded up, questioned and guilty party charged but not so in Jamaica where Jungle Justice is an accepted form of crime and punishment, accepted by the Police, Public , the political class and the proud dancehall DJ’s as stated by that semi-literate DJ Bounty Killa “ah dat fi happen to petty tief, beat up him bloodclaat”.

Read More: Cesspool death at UTech

Tuesday, repeating the mantra of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that "there is no health without mental health", Dr Hickling said other research work carried out by himself and a colleague in Jamaica showed that four out of every 10 Jamaicans have some form of personality disorder. "That's 40 per cent of our population. It's a serious issue and of course there is a corollary to that, that 60 per cent of us are without a personality disorder and in fact are resilient and productive," he said.

Read More: 'Psychopaths' - beheaders have severe personality disorders

THE MOB killing at the University of Technology (UTech) and the anti-social behaviour of some tertiary students, in general, have drawn further scrutiny and condemnation from another section of the society. Professor Barry Chevannes, Dean of the Social Science Faculty at the University of the West Indies, and Dr. Benjamin Chavis Muhammad, American civil rights activist, have added their voices to the debate on the behaviour of tertiary students.

Read More: Chevannes slams UTech mob killing


Young Animals!


An angry mob chopped to death three men accused of stealing a goat in Westmoreland in a bloody weekend which saw at least 10 Jamaicans being killed.Reports from the police are that, about 8:30 Saturday night, the three men were seen with a goat in a Toyota motor car on a farm in Fort William district. An alarm was raised and residents converged on the scene, beating and chopping the men to death.

Read More: Mob massacre - Alleged goat thieves savaged in Westmoreland


Update: April 2nd 2012 - Jamaicans For Justice Response:

Visit site: Jamaicans for Justice

Thank you for sharing your blog. Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) agrees that “community vigilante justice” is not justice and opposes all acts of violence that contravenes the rule of law. The rule of law is based on standards and important procedures to which all citizens, are subjected. No matter what crime a person is alleged to have committed, he or she should be brought to book, for the law to take its proper course.

Therefore, as a citizens’ rights organisation advocating for good governance and state accountability and transparency, JFJ sees “community vigilante justice”, as undermining the functioning of the rule of law and the proper systems put in place to achieve justice. We have indeed spoken out against vigilante acts. We have made appearances in the media and have written press releases condemning mob violence (please see below a sample). In spite of this, much more needs to be done to bring an end to the increasing incidence of the use of it across the country.

We are glad to see that another well-thinking Jamaican as you, taking up the mantle to end this chaotic and destructive force.

PRESS RELEASE
For release Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Mob Violence Abhorrent and Unacceptable
Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is deeply disturbed by yet another incident of mob violence directed at persons who are alleged to be gay. This latest incident is particularly abhorrent because it occurred during a funeral service on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007, at a church outside Mandeville. It is alleged that members of a mob surrounded the church and hurled missiles through a window at the back of the church, directed at persons in attendance who were alleged to be homosexual. This latest incident reflects intolerance, ignorance and a blatant disregard for human rights and the rule of law, behavior that is unacceptable in a democratic society.
The Easter Sunday incident follows an assault on allegedly homosexual men attending the MoBay Nite Out Carnival on April 2, 2007, as well as another very public incident of mob violence against alleged homosexuals, which occurred in Kingston in February of this year. JFJ condemns the use of violence in any situation, against any group of people living in Jamaica and is particularly concerned that incidents of violence against gay men are shamefully pervasive and appear to be increasing in frequency.

Much more must be done to bring an end to the increasing incidence of the use of mob violence across the country. Mob violence is destructive and abhorrent in a democracy supposedly built on the rule of law. A great deal of work must also be done to ensure the dignity and equality of all human beings, including sexual minorities, and leaders in all sectors of society must loudly and publicly condemn the use of violence as a means of problem solving in any situation. It is long past time for Jamaicans to acknowledge that all people, without any exceptions, must be treated as human beings whose dignity and equality should be respected.

We call on the police to investigate the matter speedily and professionally and on the leaders of church, state and the private sector to raise their voices loudly in condemnation of mob violence in any circumstance and in support of the rule of law.
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I cannot Stress enough the importance of Public Advocacy Groups like “Jamaicans for Justice” and   “Jamaica Environment Trust” we the public must support these groups and get behind them in their fight for equal rights and justice and for the protection of the environment, at the end of the day when our backs are against the wall it is these groups who will defend the rights of man. We must empower these groups since they are trying to protect our interest. There power comes from the support of the people, they are the force that will stand between us and tyranny, they are not trying to tear down Jamaica, they are in fact trying to create a solid foundation from which we can build a proper just society.

Clovis Toon: Mob Killings

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jamaica Election, Police Killings and JFJ Protest

Jamaica Election 2012: The Second Worst Election Campaign I have ever seen


Whoever is in charge of Andrew Holness’s Public Relations and Election campaigns should be fired. Mr. Holness is fast becoming a mediocre politician after bursting on to the scene with so much promise and hope. Only his diehard supporters still believe in him, with the same level of faith a religious nut believes in Religion. To me Andrew Holness was suppose to be the idealistic 21st Century Leader, young, vibrant and innovative the kind of person that would kick open the old ancient doors of Jamaican politics and let some fresh air and light into that frowzy halls of power, the Mark Zuckerberg of Jamaican politics but instead I keep hearing same old, same old. If I close my eyes and listen to Mr. Holness, I would think Mrs. Portia Simpson-Miller or Bruce Golding or PJ Patterson was speaking, yes people, nothing new here, nothing to see, move along, the old guard is alive and well in Mr. Holness who has failed to redefine Jamaican Politics and Politicians.

Don’t get me wrong, Andrew Holness will be Prime Minister again, if his party does not get rid of him first, he will be Prime Minister not because of his message but because it is the nature of Jamaican Politics, for the people to get fed up with whoever is in power and replaces them at some point. He will also be elected Prime Minister because of the future failures of the current PNP Government, Holness will be selected by default, then unselected at some point and reselected again, which is how things run in Jamaica. The people want true leadership, they want a leader to deliver hope and a change they can believe in but both the PNP and the JLP are incapable of delivering this, both are unwilling to break the old party mold and deliver something new and why should they? The old ways have been working for the political class for quite some time now and Jamaicans are not a proactive people, we are incapable of engaging the political class on any level, social and political activism is not our strong point that part of us died when we became independent, we are failures in the Nation Building Process.

Better things to do than vote and Protest 

By far the stupidest excuse for losing an election is low voter turnout…. I do not know who came up with that rubbish, but anyone who use it sound like an idiot. The fact that the people who voted favored one party over the other means the democratic process worked, since no one prevented the people who did not vote from exercising their democratic rights, they just had things that was more important to them to do. Lots of countries have low voter turnout but I have not heard them use this excuse to console the loser, as if to say well if more people voted we would have won, what complete and utter rubbish, maybe you would have lost by a bigger margin.

Jamaicans only go out to vote if their backs are against the wall, they only vote when they are in trouble, so Jamaica clearly does not have any problems, well no problems serious enough that require voting, as per the people, by their actions. The clubs are open, there are dancehall events every night, fashion show are a plenty, jazz festival, wine and cheese tasting and skeet shooting have all gone on as scheduled. If the Government had wanted Jamaicans to vote they would have kept a dance at every polling station or in every town square and hand out free rice from the back of a truck or try to ban the dancehall, lock clubs and restrict merriment, then they would rise up.


Police Killings and a call for mass Protest

Since the start of the year 2012, 50 people have been shot and killed by the police, nearly 30 of them was killed in March alone. As a result Jamaicans from all walks of life, from various geographic locations took to the internet to register their total and utter disgust. Well to tell the truth, the outrage was based on which political party you supported it was in a sense a pretend outrage since police shootings is not new to Jamaica.

In 2011 about 213 people were reportedly killed by the police and 382 reportedly killed in 2010, 73 of which was killed in 2 days, in 2009 saw a 58% increase in in the first 5 months of that year over 2008 in which a total of 224 people was killed by the police but there was no outrage then, no call for protest, at that time the Police it was said was being "Tough On Crime". Between years 2000 and 2010 there was 2,220 fatal shootings by police but only 2 police officers have ever been charged.



I do not have a problem with “Jamaican for Justice” call for protest against police brutality; in fact I support it since police brutality and extortion (drinks money or ticket money) is a problem and warrants our attention... However I refuse to play politics with regards to this matter, if you are against police killings and corruption then which political party is in power should NOT change your position on this, it should be a matter of Principle over Politics. However looking at the murder rate in Jamaica for the past decade it is clear that we have a bigger more deadly problem facing us with over 1000 murders per year and these murders are getting more gruesome as the criminal gangs unite, expand and become more depraved.


The Rally Against Crime and Criminals:
A mass Island wide rally against gangs, criminals and murderers is required to send a strong message to the terrorist criminal elements among us. A message that we are sick of it, we are tired of it and we are not taking it any more, to show them that our Resolve is Strong, we want our country back, we are ready to take it back and we support the police and the military to do what is required to eliminate them. SO where is the general outrage, where is the uptown outrage, where is the downtown outrage, where is the overseas outrage, we get nothing but lip service.

It is also said that "Jamaican for Justice" is an affiliate of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party, since they were very active in the run up to the 2007 elections and became very quiet after that party came to power even though the amount of police killings and corruption was sky high. I hope this is not true, since this group is in the perfect position to bring about change if they are in fact non-aligned because if they are aligned to a political party then their words means nothing, they become part of the failed political class, talking out of both sides of their mouths, trying to score political points. Social Advocacy groups must detach themselves from the political parties and embrace the people, they can only have true power if it comes from the people. Jamaica would not have achieved Workers Rights and Universal Adult Suffrage if the leaders and the groups of that time did not draw their support and power from the people.


So in light of the current police killings "Jamaicans for Justice" called for a mass protest, which was held in front of the Ministry of National Security, as an outlet for all the rage against the police. The aim of the protest should not be to bring down and demoralize the security forces nor is it supposed to be a partisan political movement design to score political points for the JLP but should be done in the best interest of Jamaica. You cannot support police brutality when your party is in power calling it “being tough on crime” but denounce them as soon as your party is out of power. I am however worried that we are very quick to organize against the police but do nothing but pay lip service against the Gangs of Jamaica.

In any case after weeks of outrage and online protest only 60 people managed to turn up on the day of the gathering, I am not just disappointed with the turn out, I am completely disgusted by it. I have always said that nothing is too important to Jamaican people except merriment. In Jamaica If you want a lot of people to support your cause then keep a dance in the middle of the street and hand out free rice. The same reason why they do not turn up to vote is the same reason they will not join any protest.

The clubs are open, there are dancehall events every night, fashion show are a plenty, jazz festival, wine and cheese tasting and skeet shooting have all gone on as scheduled. Not to mention it is car show season and the new 2012 Mercedes Benz ML-250 is on show for all to see, apparently..."an evening of elegance at the South Camp Road office of Silver Star Motors", with a starting price of just $9.15 million Jamaican dollars($105,066.33 USD), you too can drive around in a car that is valued as much as a Condo in Florida ... So what’s the problem? Yard Nice!

New York nice but ina di summer time
Canada nice but ina di summer time
London nice but ina di summer time
Jamaica nice all di time.


Police Statistic 2007-2012
Number of persons murdered in Jamaica by gunmen - 5,829
Number of persons shot and injured by criminals - 8,574
Number of major crimes committed by persons using guns - 25,448
Number of illegal firearms seized by the security forces - 3,102
Number of rounds of ammunition seized from criminals - 48,868
Number of civilians killed during police-criminal clashes - 1,260
Number of police personnel killed on duty - 62
Number of police personnel shot and injured by criminals – 127


Number of Jamaicans Murdered By year
1998 - 953
1999 - 849
2000 - 887
2001 - Page not found on JCF, the BBC says estimated 1,100
2002 – 1045
2003 – 975
2004 – 1471
2005 – 1674
2006 – 1340
2007 – 1583
2008 – 1618
2009 – 1683: Jamaica records highest ever murder rate in 2009
2010 - 1442
2011 - 1124

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Neutrality and the Diehard Party Supporter

Neutrality does not mean docile, or that you should not have an opinion, it is the opposite really, it means you can have any opinion your want, you can come out of the corner swinging left right and center, you have no allegiance to anyone, any group or any party. It is freedom from the shackles of conformity, from those who are fighting you to conform,to live life on their terms. Because one declares one shelf to be Politically Neutral does not mean that one have given up ones rights to be a Political and Social Activist, it just means I am Free, to be the Political and Social activist on my terms.

"Peoples Hernandez: You're not a cop anymore.
John Shaft: Do you think that makes me less dangerous, or more dangerous?"

Given the choice between parties who are equally bad, I means really bad, with politicians who are just bold face dirty, liars and thieves, I mean nasty piece of work, how can people who claim to be educated and have common sense chose between them and support them? Unless the people who support them are idiots or have some personal interest, I am not saying I would never support a party the problem is I see none that fits into my view of the world and worthy of my support.

While I do follow Jamaican politics, I am beginning to believe that we are in fact a doomed people simply because we believe that everything in our society has a political cause and a political solution. I grow tired of partisan politics and the entrenched minds of the diehards who support them. They have no understanding of neutrality, they cannot comprehend it and to them you must fit into a partisan bucket. Neutrality is the ability to say what you want, when you want to and how you want to, neutrality frees me from the constraints of the party and the party supporters or the beliefs of any other groups or persons. I do not have to fit into any pre-conceived mold, it is not about what you think of me, it is about what I think of myself and I feel better for it.

Conformity

I will express any concepts, any ideas I feel is right and if what I expressed resembles the views of any party, then that is just coincidental, since I do not consider the party but my own Principles and Policies, which is all I have to go by, to live by and will never compromise who I am and what I am for anyone. I consider it demeaning, pathetic and shallow if I derive my Principles and Policies from a party or any other group, it means I have lost control of the ability to define me. They fit themselves to me, I do not fit to them, they must conform to my views I will not conform to theirs, they must sing my song, I will not sing theirs. If person A in party B says X and I agree with it, it is not because person A said it or it came from Party B, it is because Person A and Party B said something that I already believe in, something that is already a part of my core belief, they said something that fits into my view of the world.

Which is not how the diehard views the world, if person A in the party the diehard supports, party B says “X”, he will agree with it and defend it to the very end but if person A in the opposing party C says “X” he will oppose “X” to the very end, “X” is no good even when he was a defender of “X” the night before the election.I do not understand blind allegiance to any group or party or persons, it is a concept that is totally foreign to me, where did we get this blind religious like faith in the party from, this may explain the fact that I also do not understand the blind allegiance/faith to a Religion, I am just not wired that way.

I think Jamaicans for the most part are blind partisans and tribal and will never see our way out of any situation because of this. Partisan Politics is use to pass on the Nation Building responsibilities, away from ourselves, it is not me but them, yes those people, that party is the problem. We are not a pro-active society, we are not an organized society and we are for the most part a greedy shellfish one dimensional society, we stand up for nothing but our own self interest.

Partisan Diehards see Jamaica’s progress as depending on a party, I see Jamaica’s progress as depending on the Jamaican People regardless of Party. Even if the Party you support is not in power you are suppose to be guided by a bigger principle, a bigger force, that is the nationalist, patriotic Nation Building force, you should give 100% to Jamaica and nothing to the Party.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jamaica: Tourist and Local Harassment

Tourist Country - That part of Jamaica frequented by large numbers of foreign visitors and the annoying local people they attract like flies to excrement.

I will never defend those worthless individuals who leave their farms, work, school, family and homes behind to walk the streets of Tourist Country, trying to sell both themselves and drugs to every Tom and Jane tourist that set foot on the island.


Both the sellers and the buyers are the reason why I have a Self-Imposed Exile in place, in my own country. I will never stay willingly in Tourist Country and try very hard not to visit it or stay longer than I have to. I do not like what goes on between some local Jamaicans and some tourists and as such I have decided to leave unto Caesar the things that are for Caesar. I will go even further to say they are a perfect match for each other. It is not really that I do not like it because I am not a conservative nut and in fact I really do not care what takes place between two consenting adults in the company of adults.

However the main problem with the interaction between some locals and some tourist is when it all goes wrong. It is at that time when the foreign media and tourist have a tendency of painting everyone in Jamaica with the same brush. They never say some Jamaicans, they say Jamaicans are, as if the entire population spends their days outside, hotels, airports and piers waiting for the unsuspecting tourist to sell them stuff because most of us have a life that has nothing to do with tourism and want nothing to do with it.

Of late I have been reading various travelers review forums and media outlet and the number one complaint some of these tourist have with Jamaicans, is that the minute they step off the plane they are confronted by harassment from local Jamaicans. Constantly they are being asked to buy drugs or offers from local men and women selling their services as “tour guides” with benefits.

I often wonder what would drive local Jamaicans to behave like this, to think that selling themselves and drugs was a lucrative business. More lucrative than staying in school and getting an education, more lucrative than developing the farm, more lucrative than to stay at home and be fathers and mothers to their offspring. Could it be that the demand for their services from the types of tourist coming to the island is so great, that prostitution and drug selling is a lucrative business made profitable by the willing and eager tourist looking for sun, sand, weed and a rent-a-dread with the big bamboo?

If the demand was not there to begin with then there would not be a need to supply a product no one wants. I am going to be so bold and declare that 7 out of 10 visitors to the Jamaica's tourist hot spots are willing and eager participants in the market of drugs and rent-a-dread. Jamaica is known for some of the best weed in the world and many of our visitors come to Jamaica to enjoy this product. Some visitors to our shores have defined an authentic Jamaican vacation as one that includes smoking large quantity of weed and having sex with locals ...some NOT ALL. And I really have no problem with that, I am liberal when it comes to smoking weed and having sex. Smoke as much as you want and have as much sex as you want but when it goes wrong take personal responsibility and shut up. And I do wish Jamaicans would be more productive in other areas of life, which would have a lasting positive effect on the island other than this but to each his own.


When reading feedback on various travel sites you will always find several post on tourist harassment and various reports of women claiming they were taken advantage of. How they were promised love but all that these rent-a-dread wanted was money. Jamaican men are being described in some publications as predators, on the prowl looking for sweet innocent little white women to take advantage of. Stripping them of money and breaking their poor little hearts. Surely you cannot be that naive, that stupid to think you are going to enter the market place of rent-a-dread and drugs and come away with a lifelong loving partner, are you mad, stupid or both?

Some of the woman or man who hang out outside the hotels and bars that tourist frequent, offering themselves as “tour guides” are there to sell themselves to any fool who would have them and willing to pay for it. There are loads of legitimate travel grievances that I would agree with, from rude hotel staffs, to hotels not to your liking, terrible service, being asked over and over to buy the same stuff, to valuables stolen but having your heart crushed by an ambition-less Rent-a-Dread is not one of them.

When will you take personal responsibilities for your actions, my grandmother had a saying “Water always finds it own level” and that is exactly what is happening here. You are no different from these worthless men, both pathetic in your own way. Does the sun and sea have such an effect on your brain, suppressing the part that controls good decision making? You are not the innocent party in this transaction, you are the willing party but you like to portray yourselves as the innocent, poor little girl who was used and taken advantage of by those evil wicked disgusting natives. Talking about he said he loved me …What!!. “Hahahaha I laugh in your face”… yes you and everyone stupid enough to believe a man who sleeps with tourists for money. Trust me these men and women while at the airport departure lounge will put on an Oscar performance wiping tears from their eyes, looking up to the heavens, professing their undying love for you then the minute you are out of sight they walk over to arrivals for the next willing partner/buyer ...Not Victim.

With such a high rate of demand for love, sex and drugs it is then understandable why locals cannot tell the difference between a tourist looking for drugs and sex and those who just want to be left alone to enjoy their vacation in peace, soak up the environment, culture and people. If lets say 7 out of 10 times local sellers get a positive response and are financially rewarded then the odds are in their favour to walk about and harass honest visitors who wants to be left alone. I am not making any excuses for these scums of the earth, they are like warts on the backside of humanity but they are being rewarded. 

Spring Break is upon us again and those innocent young people from first world countries are not afraid to get naked, get drunk and perform public sex acts in front of minors at the drop of a hat. Spring Break and the Jamaican dancehall are two of the most disgusting things to take over Jamaica in recent times. It says more about us as Jamaicans, how low we will go to earn a dollar. The demand for Jamaican weed and the Rent-A-Dread will be at its highest during this period. Sellers from other slow tourist locations with flock to the big tourist country areas as they fight to keep up with demand from the spring breakers and to make the almighty Yankee dollar. As drunken vomiting spring breakers try to make this the Spring Break to remember.

What upsets me is that they come away from the experience with their reputation intact as it is not the buyer who gets negatively stigmatized, they get a pat on the back, wicked vacation but it is the locals who come away looking dirty in the eyes of the world, like trained monkeys performing with the world thinking those people will do almost anything for a dollar.

Falmouth was once a wonderful quaint little town until the pier, cruise ship and tourist arrived then like locus the hustlers descended on the town. Like roving band of bandits they turn up at various piers on the day the cruise ship arrive, trying to sell everything including themselves, the kitchen sink and their mothers.






The Economics of Tourism
There is a reason why countries like Jamaica only measure and report on Gross Earnings of the tourism sector or the number of stop over visitors and that is because it is embarrassing to measure Net Earnings and tourism contribution to the development of Jamaica. Having large Stop Over numbers mean nothing if the money generated is airlifted aka repatriated right back to the home country of the resort owners. Not to mention most of these large hotel chains pay little or no taxes, they exist in a tax free world and import all the resources they use free of cost. When it comes to tourism or foreign investments in general we enter into deals with the idea that a little something is better than nothing, every “mickle mek a muckle”. Former Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett recently said that “many tourism destinations are retaining as low as (7c) seven cents of every dollar tourists spend”, noting that much of the tourist dollar "goes back to where it came from".

He also pointed out that research has shown that only about 3% of the produce from the agricultural sector currently goes into tourism. Not only is profit from tourism being taken out of the country but the sector is also not supporting the other sectors such as agriculture.  The Bank of Jamaica declared that 78% of all earnings from Foreign Direct Investments is extracted from the country and goes back to the home country of the entity. The official STATIN figure show that tourism contributes 7.3% GDP contribution.

Normally when I travel to some other country I do not want to consume the things I am used to back home preferring instead to immerse myself in the culture of the country I am visiting. Eating what they eat, where they eat but not so for the people coming to Jamaica they want to leave their homeland and arrive at their home land and so the hotels must import and serve the food they are use to.

Some Typical Tourist Behaviour 
Most American tourist want what they normally eat at home, void of any imagination or spirit of adventure. They travel but some are geographically and culturally illiterate/ignorant.

The British are notorious for making a beeline for Little Britain the minute they land. Almost all popular British tourist destination have a little Britain because old colonial habits will not die for these people and the only locals they want around them are the ones cleaning up after them. Most of these people would be better of vacationing on a wet muddy caravan in Cornwall.

So bring on the Full English Breakfast served in a pub owned and run by a British person and frequent by British people. Give them the sun, sand and sea but keep your local food and culture. Now while American ignorance have an excuse, British ignorance is shocking. The British had a Multicultural and Multiracial Colonial Empire where Britain governed and in some parts still Govern and most countries still have the Queen as Head of State. So they have direct access to almost half the entire planet, to different culture and races but seem more ignorant than the Americans who had no such Empire.    

In Jamaica we import the food and we import the chef to cook it trying to recreate the dishes our visitors are use to. The average vacation is just over a week so I do not understand why they cannot do without the food they have been eating all their lives and enjoy a change, something different, are they that shallow?

Before I start jumping through hoops in order to service the tourist, I would first like factual information regarding real contribution of tourism to the Jamaican Economy and people. It is also because of the above fact “7 cents of every dollar” why I only vacation in “Jamaican owned hotels” and refuse to give my hard earn money to foreign entities that are making super profit at Jamaica’s expense and doing nothing to build this country of mine.

With regard to foreign investments, in order to attract these foreign corporations, governments are forced to provide economic perks such as; a tax-free existence, the free movement of all profits back to the home countries and the removal of the trade union and worker rights from employment agreements, in most cases companies are released from all environmental responsibilities, such is the desperation of Jamaica and other poorer countries.

It is as if the populations of these countries are sold as slaves to the foreign investor, for them to do with as they wish or the government of the poorer countries is acting as pimps for their own people. In most cases the impact of this foreign investment on the local economy is minimal. Foreign companies don’t have to invest in the health care of the local workers, they don’t have to invest in the education of the local workers nor do they help these workers to provide for their retirement as they do in their home countries. For most of these companies all levels of managerial staff are imported thus leaving the manual, more mundane, lower paid tasks to the local workforce. Most of these foreign investors have adopted a here today gone tomorrow mentality, since competition between countries is so high it is not uncommon for these companies to be lured away at a moment’s notice, by competitors who are willing to offer more perks and even less restrictions.

Let me make it extra clear that not all tourists come to Jamaica to smoke weed and engage in sex with locals, a lot tourist come to Jamaica for a nice relaxing vacation. These people work hard and need some downtime and they do not want every retarded Tom, Dick and Jane bugging them every minute of the of the day to buy rubbish. To them I apologise for the actions of some Jamaicans towards them. My advice is a quick stern “no thank you” and walk away, this normally works. To my local Jamaicans harassing these people I say, leave the people alone and let them relax and enjoy their vacation, stop acting like warts on the backside of humanity and the authorities need to do more to rid the streets of this infestation.

Dear Tourist,  let me also make it extra clear that not all Jamaicans exist to service you. Most of us do not sell drugs or sex, we are self respecting people going about our business trying to take care of our families and are offended when you approach us to ask for drugs. 

We are always willing to offer help when you need it, direction and advice but treat us with respect and we will do the same to you. We hear a lot about Tourist Harassment by locals but we never hear anything about Local Harassment from the Tourist. Stopping any Jamaicans you see, asking for drugs or where you can score some action is not on! This is part of the reason I have exiled myself from tourist country, between you and the selling locals I do not know which one is worst and it seems both are guilty of stereotyping.

Some locals assume every tourist have money and want drugs and sex while some tourist assumes that every Jamaican sell drugs, sex and wants to rob them. These sets of people are making it very hard for those of us locals and visitors who make no such assumptions and would just like to be left alone.

There are three types of foreigners who come to Jamaica, first there is the tourist (1), the kind that wants to be picked up from the airport in a coach bus and taken directly to their all-inclusive resort and care nothing about leaving the resort, they are also the type that complains on messaging boards if they see any local Jamaicans at the resort where they stay, the only local they want to see is the one serving them the drinks. And at the end of the vacation they want to be taken directly to the airport departure lounge where they can make their escape. The only problem I have with this type of tourist is when they have an opinion about the wider Jamaican society which is almost always negative. They can have all the opinions they want about the condition of the bus use to transport them to and from the resort and about the resort but how can you have an opinion about a country and its people just by looking out your bus window?

Then there is the visitor types (2), they may or may not stay at an all-inclusive resort but will venture out into the society. They want to enjoy their vacation but also want to know more about the country they are visiting.

Then there is the third type, the traveler (3) my favorite type, they adapt to any country they visit like a fish to water, eat local foods, and only rent locally owned and operated hotels. They not only come to the country for vacation but sometimes try to help the wider society, helping out at local schools, join various environmental groups for beach cleaning anything they enjoy or they can do nothing but wonder the country interacting with its people, they have street and travel smarts and will always make the right decisions. When they are ready to give their opinion I listen because in almost all cases their opinion is both open and objective never malicious.

A person intent on vacationing in Jamaica must do some research, you must know what type of person you are and what area of the island fits your personality. Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios are well known worldwide and for good reason. For the most part they offer the generic brand of tourism that appeal to both low, mid and high end tourism in a generic type of way, whatever you want and can afford they will provide, sun, sand, sea, weed and sex but these types of locations attract certain types of locals and certain types of tourist that may not fit your conservative personality and may spoil your vacation experience. If you are offended by public nudity, public sex acts, public drunkenness and weed buying, selling and smoking then maybe this location is not for you. We have loads of different locations which offers different experiences just do some research, ask around.




Assumption is the Mother of all Fk-ups!!!
Long ago, I met some Black Americans after their visit to Jamaica, they complained that they never get the same treatment as white tourist, well after further discussion I realized what they were really saying, which is that Jamaicans do not make the same “initial” assumption about Black Americans tourist as they do about white tourist. The determination as to whether they are tourist or not is only made after speech, they are assumed to be Jamaicans until they say something in an American accent, after which for the most part they are treated like an American tourist but the “initial assumption” can make or break an entire experience.

I had a discussion with some friends of mine and one said it is not possible for a Jamaican to be a tourist, or treated like a tourist in a predominantly white developed country. The general consensus was that Black Jamaicans are never viewed or given the tourist treatment regardless of which country they are in, the assumption is that Jamaicans are assumed to be either impoverished refugees or emigrants who could never afford a vacation. I stated in another blog that the same assumption is made of a black person in a store or supermarket on the upper east side of Manhattan; they never assume you are a fellow shopper but a worker, always asking where is this item or do you have this in Blue. One friend said heck! It is not possible for Jamaicans to be treated like tourist in our own country much less some other country.

A friend of a friend who lives in North America decided to treat his white girlfriend to a vacation in Jamaica, he booked both flight and hotel then decided to surprise her with the grand vacation. They arrived in Jamaica and checked into their hotel, all was well until the next morning when the happy couple went out to enjoy what tourist country had to offer. On their return to the hotel his girlfriend walked pass the guard at the gate and she was greeted warmly, followed by her Jamaican boyfriend bringing up the rear with the days shopping. He was promptly stopped at the gate by the guard who refused him access, the guard called back his girlfriend to ask her if this man was in fact with her. The basic assumption by the guard is that this man is not vacationing at the resort and was a rent-a-dread of some sort, his assumption also was that the girlfriend was in fact a valid guess just because she was white. This caused the mother of all confrontation as he was not having any of it.

Hotels need to develop and implement a sterile, standardize way of dealing with everyone regardless of colour, gender, local or foreigner etc. Only when this is done will we avoid making stupid ridiculous superficial assumptions.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jamaica Education Then and Now



There is nothing Jamaicans love to talk about when they get together than the Socioeconomic and political state of the country, ...well except their past Primary and High School experiences. The glory days when we had not a care in the world, fun was our mission and the mission was fun. For the most part the person we are today was shaped by the schools we use to attend and the friends we use to hang out with coupled with the type of education system that existed in those days. A system that instilled pride in who we are and what we are about. A system that not only gives us a sense of the world we live in but who we are in relation to that world, who we are as Jamaicans, our goals in life, our responsibilities towards our country, ourselves and our fellow man. We were told that we are our brothers keeper.

If the current generation was supposed to learn from the past generation, inherit our fine qualities then why is our country in the state that it is in today and continues to head in the wrong direction. Where did we go wrong as a people, why was there a disconnect from the values of the past and today’s generation.


We were very competitive when I was growing up but that competition was not based on material possessions. We had no video games and most of our entertainers operated with a certain moral code, they had no bling and could only sell themselves using raw talent. Back in the days we took pride consuming local made products since we had not developed this barrel mentality you see today. The same mentality that ultimately destroyed our manufacturing base. If you wanted a pair of trousers you either bought it directly from a store, who sourced it from local manufactures or buy yourself some pants lengths (cloth) and take it to the tailor, who would measure you and build it, custom made, a “win win” situation for Jamaica and did I mention Custom made, these days people would pay lots of money for custom made products.


In school our competition was based mainly on accomplishments, even in Primary school it was about whose ticky (a tick mark placed on your work by a teacher, if it was correct) was bigger, kids could be heard teasing each other about who got a bigger ticky. later on this competition was extended to grades. These days it seems to be all about blackberry, IPads, IPhone, Xboxes and various electronic gadgets whose yearly version number go up with their price. Back in the day our bling was a darkers (sunglasses), a pair of clarkes wallabees and your pants length, that's it you were now trashed out and ready for day fetes and Teen Jam at Tropics BUT NOT School.


In Jamaica then and now wearing a uniform to school is the norm, most boys wear a khaki shirt with a pair of epaulettes or a tie and khaki trousers, with brown or black shoes and socks unless you were in sixth form then you were allowed to wear a white shirt with a tie. Most girls would wear a blouse with pleated skirt or blouse with a tunic. There was nothing else we could wear to school unless we had a letter from our parents asking the school to excuse our non standard attire, you had to present this letter to every class you entered.


We had nothing else to show off with except our grades and our standard attire, how we presented ourselves gained value.We competed constantly trying to get a better grade than others in our class and we competed with how neat and clean our uniforms were. In primary school we even competed on how shiny we could get our desk. Bringing to school wood polish, a coconut brush and a cloth to clean and shine our desk and the classroom for maximum effect. When we could no longer compete with kids in our class we competed with kids in other classrooms and when we could no longer compete with kids in other classrooms, we competed with kids in other schools. At regular interval the entire school was let out to help clean up the school yard, students would sing out loud while they work to make the school clean and tidy ...

“Bits of paper … Lying on the ground ... Make the place untidy... Pick them up ... Pick them up ...”

I remember spending hours ironing my uniform trying to get the seam just right, so sharp and straight it could cut paper. Spraying the seams with various liquids then in slow motion pressing the hot iron into them. Our shoes so shiny it would be dangerous to look directly at it without protective eye wear and a white undershirt that glistened in the sun, was the only non standard part of the uniform we were allowed to wear. I remember watching my older sisters preparing their primary school uniforms they wore dark navy blue pleated skirt with navy blue bloomers and a very white blouse. Their uniforms would be washed and doubled starched before spending hours ironing their skirt pleat by pleat. Their black or brown shoes shined to military precision and finished with a black, brown or navy blue socks rolled neatly down to their ankles.

I will always remember my older sisters and their friends in high school, how neat and lady like they were, how they carried themselves meant a lot to them. How they stand, sit, walk and talk was very important, very lady like, a trait that is still with them to this very day. Various school badges were also allowed to be pinned to shirts or blouses. These we wore with pride, the school badge, the house badge, form caption and a prefect badges was pinned on the left of your shirt, it was all very military. Jewelry was not allowed and would be confiscated for the rest of the school year, you were not even allowed to wear elastic bands.


We not only had pride in how we looked but we had pride in our school, we were aware of the fact that how we behaved on the street could reflect badly on our school and as such a conscious effort was made to remove all labels that would identify our school, if we were about to do something that would bring shame on our school or displayed proudly if we were about to do something that would bring great pride to ourselves and school. It was not uncommon for bigger students to publicly reprimand other students outside of the school yard. I remember sitting in the class room when a fellow student reported another student in my class for doing something that brought shame to the school, he and the principal searched every class room until he could identify the offending student, who was put on display during the next morning's assembly and disciplined.



All our schools are represented by an emblem, a flag, a school motto which could be in Latin, English, French or some other language depending on the history of the school. During morning assembly it was not uncommon to hear the singing of the school song, loud with pride for our sinister opposing school to hear because like Sherlock Holmes they were our Moriarty, our archenemy, we were batman and they were the Jokers. The morning assembly was held in a chapel or school hall, various issues were discussed, information provided or public discipline given and house point standing read out aloud followed by the Lord’s prayer, the national anthem and the school song. The members of the cadet would raise the national flag and the school flag sometimes. Emphasis was placed on pride, pride in one’s self and pride in one’s school and pride in one’s country. It was not uncommon to leave the chapel inspirited and ready for the day’s challenges.

Within our school we had Houses, when you start school for the first time you were assigned a house, each house have a colour, a house badge, an emblem, the names of the houses was sometimes taken from Greek mythology or English history. Various members of the student body along with one or two teachers were selected to sit on the house committee. On display in the common area was a score board, it showed the point standing of the various houses. Every student that belongs to a house could affect the point standing of that house. If you did something good, then the teacher might add points to your house and if you did something bad they could deduct points from your house. Every morning in assembly a report was announced on who caused points to be added or deducted and you were either congratulated by your fellow students or kicked up the bum for point deduction.

One minute you are walking along then all of a sudden someone shouted “Bum Him!!”, to which one student grabbed your legs the other grabbed your arms and students from far and near would come over to kick you in the bum while bouncing you off the ground a number of times. Then you were dropped, discarded like yesterday's garbage. The house committee could negotiate with the school to organize events in order to earn extra points for your house, for example we would clean up the school yard or class rooms, put on a car wash and donate money to charity organizations or to the school. In school Merits, Demerits and Detentions was given out base on performance and behavior and they could affect your house point standing.

At the end of the school year we had a sports day, where houses compete in track and field events, during this competition supporters wear the house colour, wave the house flag and banter each other, we wrote songs and cheers, practiced these days before the main event then unload them against our opponents, singing as loud as we could to drown them out. Points won from the sports day would be added to the points accumulated throughout the school year to decide the winner, so your house could get the most points at the end of the Sports day but would still lose because the members of your house had a bad disciplinary record or did not do enough community service over the school year. It was in your vested interest to engage your fellow house members and prevent them from doing harm to the reputation of the house.

From intra-school competition to inter-school competition, schools competed with other schools to see who would be the Greatest School the world had ever seen. The now famous Boys and Girls Championship is a yearly event but back then they were separate events, The Boy Champs and The Girls Champs. We were let out early to attend the boy’s champs but had to sneak out early to attend the Girls champs, it was the yearly cat and mouse ritual between teachers and students with the latter trying to evade the gauntlet of teachers’ hell bent on keeping you in school and away from a stadium full of girls. When we got to girls champs we were like peacocks on display, extra neat uniforms with school badges, epaulets or ties and your T-Square if you had one, all on display for the girls to see. When you attend an all boy’s school you do not get a lot of chances to be around so many girls, so when you are in a stadium filled with girls from almost every girls high school from across the island it becomes very important that you are well presented because competition was very stiff, since boys from every other boys school was present and accounted for. Certain boys school and and girls school would also form pair bonds, brother and sister school in which case they would keep various events together.

Lets also not forget the annual school BBQ which was a family event as students were given tickets to sell to family and friends. For entertainment the BBQ committee would try to get a well known bands and invited entertainers would entertain the crowd.


High Schools in Jamaica also compete in a national general knowledge competition called School's Challenge Quiz and for your school to win this most valued prize was the pride and Joy of everyone who supported the school, this was an academic achievement for the entire school and we all made sure to be home on time each night to watch this event.

Some Yearly School Competition:
  • The Boys and Girls Championship (Track and Field)
  • School's Challenge Quiz (Knowledge Base Competition)
  • Manning Cup Football Competition (Football)
  • Walker Cup (Football)
  • Olivier Shield (Football)
  • daCosta Cup (Football)
  • Grace Shield Schoolboy Cricket Competition

My sisters attended The Queens High School for girls, (motto: Virtute et Sapientia Floreat - May she flourish in virtue and wisdom) so that was my main stomping ground, then there was St. Hugh's High School (Fidelitas- faithfulness) which my aunts and cousins attended over the years, not to mention Holy Childhood, St. Andrew High School, Immaculate High School, Alpha Academy all schools rich in history and tradition that everyone was proud off.



Small example of boy’s school:
  • Calabar High School(CBar), 1912, Motto: “The Utmost for the Highest, Colours: Green and Black” there was no rivalry bigger than KC and CBar,
  • Kingston College(KC), 1925, Motto: “The brave may fall but never yield”, Colours: Purple and White
  • Jamaica College(JC), (1789, Floreat Collegium, Fervet Opus in Campis, May the College Flourish, Work is Burning in the Fields
  • Wolmer’s High School, 1729, Age Quod Agis, The oldest school in the English speaking Caribbean


Small example of Coed schools:
  • Ardenne High School, 1927, Motto: “Deo Duce Quaere Optima, WITH GOD AS GUIDE, SEEK THE BEST, Colours: Blue and Gold
  • Campion College, 1960, Motto: Fortes In Fide et Opere, Steadfast in Faith and Good Work, Colour: Red and White




List of Schools in Jamaica

Just to name a few “Kingston” schools because in the rural areas we also had some powerhouse schools that rival any school in Kingston, for example Munro college, Manning's, Hampton High School. Most of our schools are great institutions, rich history and tradition with a proven track record in discipline, building the great men and women of our times. These schools created ladies and gentlemen, where respect, pride and a desire to achieve, to build a nation was the corner stone of their development.

Over time, some of these schools have lost their luster, their brilliance, no longer the movers and shakers of Jamaica’s education system like much of Jamaica they now perform mediocre and marginal while appealing to the lowest common denominator of our society, more likely to turn out Dancehall DJs than Doctors. What I dislike about the old boys association of some of these schools including my own, is their over emphasis on sports and not on academics, nine out of ten emails I get from this organization are emails requesting money to support sporting activities which is a direct reflection on society today trying to throw money and fix what is popular, not what is required. On my last visit to my high school I was surprised/shocked /dismayed to see the dilapidated state of the school, the louver windows was dirty, broken or missing, the desk and chairs broken or missing, the classrooms filthy, I do not understand where these kids sit when they come to school, the state of the class room was disgusting and the tools to aid learning broken or missing but I keep getting emails for money to support sports.

A Former Prime Minister of Jamaica and other high Government officials all attended my high school, including movers and shakers in Business and finance, Academia, the Clergy, Politics and law not to mention Sports, Arts and culture but yet the school continues to decline. In comparison a High school like Campion College just have to pick up the phone and several of their influential successful alumni /alumnae would build another wing or donate computers and supply furniture, the fundamentals of schools like Campion College is well in place. While Campion College does compete in all sporting events they do not see it as the beginning and end, that is not what is important to them, they lead this country on SAT scores and 98% of their graduates attend 4 year colleges and Universities. They are the top performing school in the Entire Caribbean both in CAPE and CSEC (pass rate 100%), they understand their purpose in life, their alumni understand the purpose of the school and the parents and parent teachers association understand the role they must play, everyone understands that the purpose of Campion College is to educate kids and prepare them for the future. There Alumni are the movers and shakers of Jamaica, taking their place in various halls of power from politics to finance to manufacturing.


However what every school, including our top performing schools fails to do is prepare our kids to be Jamaicans, nation builders. Our kids are prepared for life outside of Jamaica, our schools are staging ground for export, they leave school with little or no civic pride, no love for Jamaica as we no longer instill these values in them. We have for some time now stop teaching civics in school but our kids can tell you the local government structure of New York and London to great details, they know their rights under the American constitution and they live in Jamaica, they can recite every amendment to the American Constitution but knows next to nothing about their rights under the Jamaican constitution much less tell you what is in the Jamaican constitution or the structure of the Jamaican Government. At some point in our history we decided to devalue what it means to be a Jamaican and we tell our kids that Jamaica does not matter, that all they need is their passport and a visa, we tell our kids they must leave in order to make a life for themselves, most do just that and never return, the brain drain continues. I would really like to see a study done on what percentage of the exported ones actually return home to make a contribution to the Nation Building process. Most of our upper class Jamaicans who go abroad for school do return because they quickly realize that outside of Jamaica they are nothing, just another face in the crowd, nothing special and their advantage, lifestyle and specialness comes from being in Jamaica, as they say "ugly girls have uglier girls as friends because they stand out more".


Gordon Butch and other dignitaries 
break ground for the Campion College Jonathan Stewart Library Media Centre


The thing that bothers me about the education system today is that the pool of good schools is getting smaller and smaller as the educated class isolate just a handful of selected schools, cutting only a few from the heard, while turning their backs on the rest, allowing them to run wild, run free. They realized that they only need a hand full of good performing schools as staging ground for child export while leaving the others schools in the hands of the Political class who also only send their kids to the few selected schools. The Political Class cares nothing about the other schools, paying lip service to education as a way to get re-elected. Even the alumni associations that represents the failing schools do not send their kids to their old high school, as everyone is trying to get their kids into the hand full of selected special school.

Clovis Toons 

Nepotism
OK so you went to school and did everything that was asked of you, you study hard and pass all you exams. You graduated High School with honors and did what every Jamaican child is expected to do, grab your passport, get a visa, migrated to the States and enrolled in a college, after 3+ years you now have a couple of letters behind your name, yup you now have a degree and one or two years work experience but now you are coming home to Jamaica to get a job based on your qualification and engage the Nation Building Process, you create the best resume and started sending them out and …wait for it..... NOTHING, not even a response to say you did not get the job.

What you immediately find out is that the Jamaican society does not roll like any other societies, your resume and your degree means diddly squat in the scheme of things, it is about who you know, which circle you moved in, what high school you went to, who your father is and what connection he has, but you went to Wait-A-Bit District High school and now you are trying to get a Job from an upper St. Andrew person who stocked the entire company with his relatives and old school friends, what to do, what to do.. You either, stay and try to break down the door of opportunity barricaded by nepotism or move to Canada like everybody else from Wait-A-Bit District High school and any other obscure high school that is not in the Selected Circle, you are not in a position to drop name and you cannot make that all important phone call, all us Jamaicans have to make at one point or another, this is Jamaica's lost, turning our backs on good human resource but one's man reject is another man's pride and joy.

Lets say you are heading to the bank to deposit or withdraw some money, how do you go about that then, well you can do it like the plebs, walk into the bank and stand in the line of death, at the mercy of the teller and hope she does not put up that next window sign because it is lunch time and she must pick up the kids from school OR from the comfort of your home, you pick up the phone and call the old school chum, the now manager of the Bank to inform him or her that you are on your way, once you are outside the bank you make a quick call and you are met and shuffled into the office where you are able to conduct your business like civilized human beings, this is how we roll, Pretentious and consumed by our own self-importance.... excuse me, pardon me, important person coming through..

Here is another scenario a Jamaican migrates, enrolled in college and got his or her degree, after the degree they then get a Job in a fortune 500 company, America's finest and worked there for a couple years but yard is calling you, you must return and you have massive plans. You have been working in a first world country, filled with first world experience and every molecule, every cell in your body in vibrating at a first world pace, you have a first world attitude towards work, on time, start early, finish late, eat on the go, meetings, plans, implementations, you are getting paid to do a job and will do it to the best of your abilities, in order to climb the corporate ladder.

You cannot wait to get back home and show those lazy locals how it’s done, what is required for first world development, work, work and more work. So finally the day comes, you arrive in Jamaica and hit the ground running, everything must happen yesterday (frustration starts to set in), you have no time for this small island foolishness. You tell everyone that Jamaica needs more people like you and they agree with you, nod and smile but day turns into weeks into months and years and over time each molecule, each cell in your body begins to move, vibrate to a different island beat…. “Ring the alarm another sound is dying ... by Tenor Saw”… comes to mind.


Jamaica is like a drug, you want to change it, crank it up a notch but it always end up changing you, you are trying to vibrate at a speed that is not consistent with the other people around you, Jamaica vibrates at one frequency and the first world vibrates at another, soon one molecule after another starts doing the rub-a-dub and before you know it you are in sync with the yard vibes and start to keep up the same almshouse you vowed to eradicate. You are now going to Hellshire beach on a Monday with your work colleagues  for a lunch of Festival and fish, feeling the cool Caribbean breeze, sipping a Red Stripe and declaring that your boss in not even paying you enough to get up in the mornings, so a 3 hour lunch is perfectly in order... Any way I digress....

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So when did this disconnect between the old education system and the new education system take place and why did this disconnect happen?  Social scientists need to sit down and study the transformation that took place over the years, examine the state of the Jamaican mind, what change and why? I have made a few observations myself but the experts really do need to take a deeper look at our society and the fickle minds of the people.
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"School systems in developing countries are being ransacked by teacher recruitment agencies to fill staff shortages in England. Jamaica is the latest to feel the effect. Last year 600 teachers left the island to work abroad, mostly in the USA and England. More have already gone this year. One high school head teacher told the BBC the recruitment raids amounted to "Rape and Pillage".


"British-Caribbean parents are choosing to send their children back to the West Indies for a more traditional education. In the second of our articles from Jamaica, we spoke to one such family and asked what more might be done to raise the achievement of black boys in British schools."


"Boys of African-Caribbean origin fare badly in England's schools - and are more likely to be excluded for bad behaviour. So some teachers, mostly white, went to Jamaica to learn how schools there do things."

Former Prime Minister's High School force to close because of rat infestation

Jamaica College

Immaculate High School Girls
Holy Childhood High School 

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Jamaica's National Prayer
Let us give thanks for all God's goodness and the wonderful heritage into which we have entered:
Response to each petition: We give thee thanks, O God

For Jamaica, our island home, the land of our birth -

RESPONSE
For the majesty of our hills, the beauty of our valleys, and the flaming loveliness of our gardens

RESPONSE
For the warmth and brightness of our days and the calm and peace of our countryside

RESPONSE
For the rich heritage of our people coming for many races, and yet one in purpose, in achievement, and in destiny, and for the dignity of labour and the service given by every citizen of our land

RESPONSE
For freedom, just laws and our democratic way of life

RESPONSE
For the high privilege and responsibility of Independence and for bringing us to nationhood

RESPONSE
For our parents, teachers, religious and other leaders and all those who in every walk of life are helping to prepare us for responsible citizenship, and for all those who are giving voluntary service in the public interest

RESPONSE
For the poets, artists and thinkers and all who create in us the vision of a new and better society

RESPONSE
For our godly heritage, the example of Jesus Christ and the sacrifices of our fathers in the faith
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National Pledge

Before God and all mankind, I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart, the wisdom and courage of my mind, the strength and vigour of my body in the service of my fellow citizens; I promise to stand up for Justice, Brotherhood and Peace, to work diligently and creatively, to think generously and honestly, so that Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, and play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.
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National Song

I PLEDGE MY HEART

I pledge my heart forever
To serve with humble pride
This shining homeland, ever
So long as earth abide.

I pledge my heart, this island
As God and faith shall live
My work, my strength, my love and
My loyalty to give.

O green isle of the Indies,
Jamaica, strong and free,
Our vows and loyal promises
O heartland, ‘tis to Thee.

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The Jamaican National Anthem

Eternal Father, Bless our Land,
Guide us with thy mighty hand,
Keep us free from evil powers,
Be our light through countless hours,
To our leaders, great defender,
Grant true wisdom from above,
Justice, truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love,
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love

Teach us true respect for all,
Stir response to duty's call,
Strengthen us the weak to cherish,
Give us vision lest we perish,
Knowledge send us Heavenly Father,
Grant true wisdom from above,
Justice, truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love,
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love