The Bottom Line is that the most critical thinking Jamaicans have long agreed that our Political Parties have failed us and many are slowly coming to the awareness that our UNIONS are now betraying us, even as they sell and barter our rights to the very Political Parties which have longed failed us.
The last act of betrayal from our UNIONS came these last few weeks, as without demanding a reciprocal act of sacrifice from Parliamentarians Union bosses have forced workers to agree to a wicked, dehumanizing and cruel deal of wage freeze or wage restraint – as they euphemistically call it!
Without demanding that Parliamentary take a wage cut and/or wage freeze? Without demanding that Parliamentarians demonstrate their understanding of the sacrifices they are asking us to make, by symbolically cutting their super inflated numbers? Without insisting that Parliamentarians show restraint themselves by unloading some of the many consultants and advisors they have saddled their Ministries with?
The Bottom Line is that this act of betrayal from the UNIONS which should be representing workers rights, is one in a long string of betrayals, and something tells me…….we aint see nutten yet!
Successive Jamaican Governments have engaged in corruption, nepotism and greed of untold proportions, the levels of which we shudder to even think of; and when they have drained the coffers and fatten themselves, they collude to sell us into enslavement again by signing our death warrant with IMF agreements, MOUs of which we ourselves have no understanding, about which were not consulted and to which we have given no consent;
And when they have drained the coffers and fatten themselves, they collude to sell us by way of suspect Economic Partnership Agreements in which we are powerless to make decisions about our own economy and security initiatives which make us beholden to military superpowers and obligated to surrender our sovereignty!
The Bottom Line is that this is a sordid state of affairs… in which we are powerless actors on a global stage; in which we are betrayed first by those whom we elect to represent us, those who we ask to be trustees of our sovereignty and property; and secondly by those who we select to represent our rights as workers, who have by their very action of betrayal of our workers rights, have seemingly sold out to party and partisan ideals.
The Bottom Line is that we must resist this sordid state of affairs, AND because we’ve been betrayed and bamboozled for so long, we are now challenged to do so through Social Movements, Media Radicalism, and Rebelliousness which still are the most dynamic expressions of resistance, more effective in this climate than, Political Parties and Unions.
The Bottom Line is that the kind of Social Movements which should have been emerging out of Jamaica in response to the betrayal of the people’s trust, the oppression of the poor and the wanton over taxation of Jamaicans, have been stymied. And those that have been the vanguards of Equity and Justice, have been hijacked by fifth columnists, spies and political cronies who pose as sympathizers and/or genuine members, only to effectively sabotage Liberation Movements and calls for Equal Rights and Justice.
The Garvey movement has been hijacked by what Julius Nyerere calls the African Elite, probably the most dangerous to the Liberation movement. The Rastafarian movement has been hijacked by Politicians and Government agents posing as sympathizers; by EGO, Greed and Individualism, away from the collective and community focus upon which it was founded. The Pan African Movement has died a natural death as Pan Africans are given prominent positions in Party, Government and Academia; and Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations are dependent on funding and therefore genuflect to European and other funding agencies in the issues they highlight.
The Bottom Line is that Media is complicit in its lack of Radicalism, in its fear of rebelliousness and its failure to generate and stimulate the kind of social movemment upsurges that would critically question (not just underline) governance and demand accountability.
The Bottom Line is that but for a few individual media practitioners, the Jamaican Media is no more than a prostitute sleeping with anyone who can sponsor, fund and/or keep its commercial base strong. In that way, the Jamaican Media has become a significant part of the sordid affair, as it stokes the egos of politicians, artistes, advertisers and agencies.
The Bottom Line is that as a Media Practitioner I am acutly aware of the power of the Industry and the need for Radical Activism and as Downing et al argue,“Rebellious Communication” not just Partisan activism which is aimed at unseating politiciians and nothing more – as was blantly obvious in the efforts of some in the Media to topple the Golding Administration – all of whom have now gone silent on issues they appeared to have been genuinely concerned about.
The Bottom Line is that many of these so called Media activists (who we now know were merely PNP Cronies) are now either Senators, Communication consultants and Public Relations officers for PNP Ministers. And before there are any misunderstandings, this very same sccenario was played out by JLP Media practitioners, who under the guise of objectivity used the powerful platform of Media in a bid to unseat Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller…..and so on and so forth
The Bottom Line is that the kind of Media Activism, that the sordid state of affairs warrant, cannot be partisan, should not be about settling personal scores and/or driven by professional ambitions. The sordidness which faces us, must be enough of a catylyst for media practicitioners to demand accountability first from ourselves, then from Government Ministers and Political Representatives; from Public Sector Workers and from the Private Sector and to make Justice and Equity the Principles upon which we approach our craft – as Media Practitioners.
Media Activists and Advocates, who – to misquote Osaygefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah “are concerned with the immediacy of total Independence and Unity cannot be prepared to wait upon the evolution of history; but must be prepared to give history a revolutionary push”
Media activism assumes that there is an interdependence between social movemnets and the media, That the role of the Media (especially in a democracy) is more than just to report and entertain, but to be the fourth estate, more powerful than them all.
Media Activism understands the role of the Media in revealing our selves,to our selves; in the role of Media Practitioners to be more than mere reporters, but to speak truth to power and to be impossible to be bribed, payed off or silenced. Media Activism is about Truth, and Rights, and Justice and Media Practitioners are challenged to be more than they have ever been.
As the Emperor Haile Selassie in his October 1963 speech to the United Nations noted,
“This, then, is the ultimate challenge. Where are we to look for our survival, for the answers to questions which have never before been posed? We must look, first, to Almighty God, who has raised man above the animals and endowed him with intellegence and reason. We must put our faith in him, that he will not desert us or permit us to destroy humanity which he created in his image.
“AND We must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill – prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been; more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook.
“We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudices, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community”
That’s the Bottom Line
Remember to share this article on Facebook and subscribe to our mailing list to get new articles sent to you automatically.