Destroying the Green Mangoes Stoning the Tree for One Ripe Mango
The State of Emergency: Despite the objections of a few misguided souls that would stretch an analogy out of proportion to fit their warped sense of the world, it is fitting to liken governments to parents and their constituents to children.
This is so in as many jurisdictions as there are types of governments, and in as many households as there are types of children. In governments, you have Dictators and Dictatorships, Democracies, and even some with a mixture of both. In many households as well, you have a different type of parents with varying styles of parenting. Both governments and parents, operating at highly evolved levels, seek to get the best out of their constituents and out their children. However, the lowly of governments and parents abuse and exploit their citizenry and their children for various reasons too numerous to list.
In the scenario where governments are highly evolved, the constituents are likely to thrive, progress and prosper. These countries are the envy of the world and abused citizens from all over the world, turn up seeking refuge and to avail themselves of the opportunities available there, that are either scarce or non-existent in their countries. Likewise, children thrive and progress in households operating at a high level where their interests are first and foremost in their thoughts and actions.
In countries and households that are not run at high levels, there are myriad of problems. In the cases of the households, you have behavioural problems; and in cases of the countries, you have social problems with high crime and violence rates.
The State of Emergency: Jamaica suffers from governments that are not highly evolved, and where the interest is not so much the citizens, but those of the players involved. Fat cat MPs get fatter even as their neglected constituents grow ever leaner. This sets the tone for incivility, chaos, bedlam, social decay, poverty, crime and violence.
Among the ‘children’ whose welfare needs to be looked after, are the majority people up from slavery through colonialism, and have fallen right into the ‘isms’ and ‘schisms’ of poor quality governance that serves narrow interests. The majority Black people of Jamaica is marked for the suffering of all and sundry kind that has only changed complexion since slavery, but it is the same beasts that oversee the privations the people suffer: Poor security for them and their families; poor health care facilities; and poor educational opportunities for their growth and development.
Never mind the protestations about investments, foreign and local, tourism and the development of infrastructure, most of this mean little or nothing to a people so far behind that they can barely touch any of this prosperity; and some of it barely touching them. The irony of this is that all of this is taking place under ‘Black Head’ people in leadership, and in government. These people are as Black, or even more Black in complexion than the majority people consigned to second-class citizenship in the land of their birth.
Small wonder, the majority citizenry exhibit little care or concern, let alone patriotism for the country. They see others being catered to and for by governments that allow ‘aliens’ to come here, exploit them and leave without much regard for flag and anthem. It is the sufferers who are called upon to sing ‘Jamaica land we love’ with meaningless gusto and to show obeisance to the flag. Their citizenship is largely worthless, and so a lot of them run away to other countries in search of opportunities not available to them here, some never to return.
The State of Emergency: Any effort to fight the crime and violence now gripping the country must take into account the sidelining of the majority people through governmental neglect perpetrated by both the PNP and the JLP are at the point to now fix this social problem caused by oppression and inequality. With the bar set so low, save for a few periods in our history, one would think that a young Prime Minister would seize the opportunity for greatness with both hands, but as things turn out, he is truly bothered by the storm; and it doesn’t appear as if he is capable of stopping the sinking ship. Instead of being decisive, and taking the bold steps when needed, he waffled and waited until things were almost completely out of control before he acted; and when he did act, he and his Advisers came up with one of the most self-destructive things the could have done: The grand announcement of a State of Emergency that cannot bring more than a Pyrrhic victory, if any victory at all.
The State of Emergency: The Crime Monster must be tamed, but not at the expense of commerce and a fragile Tourism Industry that can hardly withstand even the merest shock. There are many associated inconveniences to students and other commuters; delivery vehicles being held up with much-needed goods, and a host of consequential ills. If parents allow children to do as they please for a prolonged period, they are likely to be forced to resort to drastic measures. So it is with negligent governments, who have neglected its majority citizens, they must contend with what is going on now. It is no easy fix, but it can be done without destroying all that is good.
Do not destroy the green mangoes surrounding the one ripe mango by stoning the bunch. There are other ways…
This column was contributed by columnist Mr Warren Johnson and is the sole opinion of the columnist and not the vievs of Mckoy’s News..