Categorized | Editorial

Stop burying heads in the sand, then honestly study and pray about the problems

Editorial – April 5, 2012

A recent Editorial from the Jamaica Observer newspaper and highlighted in CARICOM News (online) sought to address, “the root of violence in today’s Jamaica.”

It referred to the United Nations “designation of March 25 as International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, highlighting the atrocities suffered by the 28 million Africans who were violently subjected to slavery, mainly in the United States, South America and the West Indies.”

It continues: “The legacy of that holocaust and its brutal violence meted out to our ancestors are indelibly etched in individual and collective memories of Jamaicans of African descent. Arguably, this experience of dehumanising violence is partly the cause of the violent behaviour of many Jamaicans.”

“The fact that other societies which experienced slavery have levels of violence that are less than Jamaica’s in no way invalidates the claim. Indeed, these differences refer to the attenuating impact of several other factors,” the third paragraph read.

In Montserrat St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated firstly to honour St. Patrick’s especially that the Roman Catholic Parish Church is named after the St. Patrick, and for its connection to the Irish as well the British slave trade all connected with Ireland. Then more prominently memorialising the consequential slave uprising on the day back some 300 years.

The Editorial said further after that brief introduction, “To deny or downplay the connection between the violence perpetuated during slavery and the behaviour of contemporary post-slavery individuals is to disregard the considerable sociological and historical scholarship on the social pathologies of Black people. Nobody should trivialise the discussion by misrepresenting this proposition as blaming our contemporary problems such as poverty, underdevelopment and fathers not supporting their children solely on slavery.”

One may need to read the foregoing more than once, and some may even disagree with the writer, but when one considers the kind of violence that Jamaica and other places in the region  experiences, it may be argued that statistically, Montserrat is comparatively high. What we do not have at our finger tips are comparative figures from say 1994-95 and back, so we make no pronouncement.

According to the statistics  we shared last week, violent crimes numbered 263 in 2010 and  220 in 2010, all down from 306 in 2009.

Nothing at all is wrong with prayer and vigils, if nothing else, we hope the marches and the pronouncements last week will hopefully quiet the alarmed fear, anxiety and panic that had been quite unduly raised.

However, it served also to cover the reality of what in the first place is the result from the poverished situation of far too many of a certain section of the little Montserrat community. It served to cover the fact that our government ministers, or is it just the Premier who do not believe that there is any poverty in Montserrat and compares the malady with Haiti.

It is for this that we paid attention to that Editorial of Jamaica and the Communication specialists at CARICOM obviously did not miss the point either.

There are many who would have supported and be glad to join and support the vigils, many who are comfortable to try and blame the others for what appears to threaten their peace, so misguided and hypocritical they are, or perhaps just ignorant even when there is no threat. They miss the real threat or ignore it, bury their heads in sands; some even stifle their already dead consciences, pretending some of them, and refusing to honestly study the times and seek out the problems.  The mental state of Montserrat may well be more precarious than will be admitted. The census figures will show that there cannot be many Montserratians left who will or be able to leave.

The statistics of the census will reveal much, and we hope that the authorities will present the findings that these will present and come up with solutions to correct and propel this starved country forward. Oh, the new town plans that they continue to promote on the non-visible government websites notwithstanding.

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Editorial – April 5, 2012

A recent Editorial from the Jamaica Observer newspaper and highlighted in CARICOM News (online) sought to address, “the root of violence in today’s Jamaica.”

It referred to the United Nations “designation of March 25 as International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, highlighting the atrocities suffered by the 28 million Africans who were violently subjected to slavery, mainly in the United States, South America and the West Indies.”

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It continues: “The legacy of that holocaust and its brutal violence meted out to our ancestors are indelibly etched in individual and collective memories of Jamaicans of African descent. Arguably, this experience of dehumanising violence is partly the cause of the violent behaviour of many Jamaicans.”

“The fact that other societies which experienced slavery have levels of violence that are less than Jamaica’s in no way invalidates the claim. Indeed, these differences refer to the attenuating impact of several other factors,” the third paragraph read.

In Montserrat St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated firstly to honour St. Patrick’s especially that the Roman Catholic Parish Church is named after the St. Patrick, and for its connection to the Irish as well the British slave trade all connected with Ireland. Then more prominently memorialising the consequential slave uprising on the day back some 300 years.

The Editorial said further after that brief introduction, “To deny or downplay the connection between the violence perpetuated during slavery and the behaviour of contemporary post-slavery individuals is to disregard the considerable sociological and historical scholarship on the social pathologies of Black people. Nobody should trivialise the discussion by misrepresenting this proposition as blaming our contemporary problems such as poverty, underdevelopment and fathers not supporting their children solely on slavery.”

One may need to read the foregoing more than once, and some may even disagree with the writer, but when one considers the kind of violence that Jamaica and other places in the region  experiences, it may be argued that statistically, Montserrat is comparatively high. What we do not have at our finger tips are comparative figures from say 1994-95 and back, so we make no pronouncement.

According to the statistics  we shared last week, violent crimes numbered 263 in 2010 and  220 in 2010, all down from 306 in 2009.

Nothing at all is wrong with prayer and vigils, if nothing else, we hope the marches and the pronouncements last week will hopefully quiet the alarmed fear, anxiety and panic that had been quite unduly raised.

However, it served also to cover the reality of what in the first place is the result from the poverished situation of far too many of a certain section of the little Montserrat community. It served to cover the fact that our government ministers, or is it just the Premier who do not believe that there is any poverty in Montserrat and compares the malady with Haiti.

It is for this that we paid attention to that Editorial of Jamaica and the Communication specialists at CARICOM obviously did not miss the point either.

There are many who would have supported and be glad to join and support the vigils, many who are comfortable to try and blame the others for what appears to threaten their peace, so misguided and hypocritical they are, or perhaps just ignorant even when there is no threat. They miss the real threat or ignore it, bury their heads in sands; some even stifle their already dead consciences, pretending some of them, and refusing to honestly study the times and seek out the problems.  The mental state of Montserrat may well be more precarious than will be admitted. The census figures will show that there cannot be many Montserratians left who will or be able to leave.

The statistics of the census will reveal much, and we hope that the authorities will present the findings that these will present and come up with solutions to correct and propel this starved country forward. Oh, the new town plans that they continue to promote on the non-visible government websites notwithstanding.