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The political problem that Jamaicans have


Permalink 04:31:41 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Commentary

The political problem that Jamaicans have

Having spent the majority of my life in Jamaica and also having been to many different occasions, parties etc., I have come to a realization about Jamaicans and Politics. I will never try to say that what I am saying is the only truth, or that its the cure to our many problems... but its something that we certainly need to pay more attention to and do something about. But essentially Jamaica's foremost political problem is that we are too passive.

If that initially sounds like its not really a problem at all and that its easily solved then please allow me to expand by giving you a little history. We all know that Jamaicans has been through colonization and slavery for most of its written history, and there is one thing that has stayed constant throughout that period and that is that the vast majority of the population has never had a say in the countries political decisions and the steps taken by the government.

Fast forward to independence and the granting of universal adult suffrage and we have a set of people who have been given freedoms that have never before been available and that are not sure what to do with it, and then a set of people who will take advantage of this situation... these are our politicians. In the initial euphoria of independence and the subsequent confusion, Jamaicans were mostly ok (either that or were simply not willing to exercise their new found power) with allowing the first set of leaders to simply run the country as they saw fit, and to an extent this was fine as the leaders of the country made decisions that were for the most part to the benefit of the people. However this lack of action has began to transfer throughout our political history to the point where we don't even see the need to tell our government... “we don't want you to do this”, or “you're doing it wrong”.

Don't believe me? I implore you to research when was the last time Jamaica had a referendum (nationwide vote) on any political matter... To make your lives easier, the answer is 1962, notice that's the same year we gained independence... 48 years have passed since the Jamaican people have had to vote for anything except general elections (Just for your information, the last referendum was to decide whether we would stay in the West Indian Federation). That means that when Hugh Shearer became Prime Minister in the latter part of the 1960s and passed a rule banning people from having or reading pro-black books (yes the same Prime Minister we put on our highest bank note didn't want black people to strive), the people simply sat back and allowed it to happen. In the same breath when Bustamante gave the bauxite companies a 99 year lease on bauxite lands and charged them a bare minimum in royalties per tonne, and all the other horrible choices made by politicians throughout the years, the people simply sat down and allowed it to happen.

This is in stark contrast to the other countries in the world where in general the government is kept in check. Look at how the US citizens are currently behaving with regards to Obama's healthcare bill, or look at how the citizens of the UK and other European countries behaved when they were told that their soldiers were going to enter into the Iraq war with the US. This political activism has never taken part in Jamaica since slavery when we fought for our emancipation, some people will point to the gas riots in 1999, but it is well known that even that move was lead by politicians. So instead of having people who – when we have governments who have disrespected us, and lied to us on numerous occasions, defended gunmen and area leaders – are willing to take the steps necessary to take them out of government, or tell them that we simply will not stand for what they have done, we have a people who are willing to lay down and take what is given to us.

Instead of political activism in Jamaica we are filled with a set of people who do nothing but sit in bars and at other social gatherings and complain. Those who don't do that call radio programs and complain to somebody who will be able to do nothing... or as I experience most sundays, family gatherings of mostly educated and brilliant people who are simply teeming with ideas who are in constant discussion but will not take that first step to actually do something about it.

Jamaicans need to stop yielding to any and everything our government says, and start becoming more active in stopping politicians from having free reign over us. It is our constitutional right to to do so, that is the reason why we have the constitution, the politicians can do nothing to stop us from exercising our rights. Time to start using it.


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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."


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