The very idea that the Government’s strategy to deal with the existential threat the gangs pose to our country is to flood neighborhoods with police and soldiers tells a story which begs introspection.
Close your eyes for a minute please if you will and picture heavily armed soldiers and police officers in neighborhoods. In that mental journey, I want you to imagine for a minute where in the world are these images part of daily lives.
I hear Iraq, I hear Afghanistan, I hear sub-Saharan Africa.
Now open your eyes, because I hear Jamaica. Now think for a minute, not just about the optics but about the reality which necessitates this.
Then understand what led us to this point.
Political manipulation, social engineering, and a process of systematically dividing the country into political camps which ostensibly careened out of their control and now they cannot control it.
Many of us former police officers have been warning about this for decades. Many of us have walked away.
Today even with the lack of opportunities in the country people sign up and in a couple of years, they decide they want no part of it.
On average 600 officers simply walk away each year, the political leaders and the department’s hierarchy can continue to delude themselves into believing that the primary reason officers are leaving at the rate of 50 each month is purely economics.
The fact is that many who leave the department leave and remain in the country despite the shortage of better opportunities.
Worse yet, if they think that to codify into law a six months notice before officers leave at the peril of imprisonment will stop the mass exodus, they are even dumber than we thought.
You want to fix crime give respect and tools to law enforcement.
You are not the ones placing your lives on the line each day.
For their part, principals of both political gangs/party may continue to apportion blame for the nation’s predicament but both would be well advised to do some soul searching and deep introspection.
Maybe just maybe a mea culpa would be a good place for them to start the healing process in this country.
Maybe it’s time for a truth and reconciliation commission, as was instituted in South Africa after apartheid was dismantled.
Inevitably though, it would require exactly what the title says, “Truth and reconciliation”, something I doubt Jamaica’s politicians are capable of.
In the absence of that, there are ways in which we can at least arrest this slide our country is on.
There are those who refuse to face the reality that our country is teetering precipitously close to anarchy. We have some choices we must make, none of which requires us to ignore reality, or paper over the realities with a thicker veneer of bull.
There are those who rather criticize and demonize the messenger/s, than see the problems for what they are, and recognize those who have created the situation we are in.
It is a dangerous stranglehold Jamaica’s politicians have placed around the collective neck of the nation’s people after the colonial era. One which causes the larger population to see literally every issue good or bad, through the narrow lens of politics.
Some read the headlines an form political opinions because they are too piss lazy to read. They would rather say we identify problems without attaching solutions. For those I have no time.
The fact is that for years this writer has attached a series of working solutions to ending this culture of criminality which has gripped our country.
For the most part, they are ignored, in some instances, they are copied and used only when the proverbial shit has reached the fan, then they claim those ideas as their own.
I am absolutely not perturbed that they would use my ideas, I beg only that they utilize all of them in a comprehensive manner for best results. Maybe we will have a better Jamaica for future generations if we care enough about anyone but ourselves.
There are those who are inclined to disregard the solutions I have offered, because I make an easy target. It allows them to absolve their political idols of culpability for the state of the nation, while they spend their time engaging in ad hominem attacks on those who talk about the issues.
In the same way, the political class blames the police for the problems they created, their minions’ character assassinates anyone who dares to challenge the status quo.
IN THESE MUSINGS YOU MAY FIND SOME SOLUTIONS
The path forward out of this morass will require a monumental lift and a paradigm shift from the way we see the problems. This will mean that we have to try new things which our country have not tried before.
We did not get to this place overnight, we had roughly 55 years, a lifetime of doing the wrong things resulting in what we have today.
It will require much time and effort to right the ship, but the single most important thing is that we recognize that what we have been doing has been failing and that we need to make a change.
How do you begin the process of reorienting the masses to the idea that crime is having a debilitating effect on their lives?
How do you convince a nation which Transparency International rates inherently corrupt, to turn away from supporting and assisting criminals and embracing the rule of law?
It requires that we have Godly, moral, and upright people in leadership, whose interest is in nation building, and not self-enrichment.
It requires that Government take responsibility for its failings and stop placing blame on underlings it has set up to fail.
How do we begin the process of training children to believe in God family and country? How do we reorient our young people to having respect for life and our cherished institutions? Are we too far gone that we cannot clean up our public institutions and as a consequence, ensure that private institutions adhere to the rule of law?
Can we have police officers, prosecutors, and judges with righteous intentions in the way they dispense their functions?
Are we willing to spend the time to put adequate laws in place to protect the innocent and punish the guilty? Do we have the character to ensure that we are not paying lip service to the existential threat we all face from the existing situation because we gain mileage one way or another?
Those are some of the broader questions we must tackle before we begin to execute a more precise plan of action which will pull up by the roots the culture of criminality which is choking the lifeblood out of our national life. I stand ready to assist this administration or any one in the future which asks for my help.
What I will not do is to be anyone’s puppet while they carry on with business as usual
Each and every Jamaican have a responsibility to work toward a better country for their children, at the rate things are going it seems the Island is destined to be corrected when the Chinese have fully taken over.
Those who forget the mistakes they made are destined to repeat them.
A people who came over on slave ships, were brutalized for centuries, sodomized, marginalized and murdered, who came out of slavery and the degradation of a vicious caste/class system, only to turn on each other, may very well find themselves back in the shackles of economic and class bondage once more, in a country they call theirs but which will be theirs in name only.