20 Things Jamaicans Don’t Want to Know

It took me 5 days to put pen to paper for this piece. 5 days of thinking, wondering should I just get it out of my system. It was very easy to reach my conclusion. Yes I had to get it off my chest as I was taught if you want  to see change, say something and let the chips  fall where they may.

I follow the PM’s lead. I usually don’t  watch the local media houses as their pathetic attempt to deliver what is considered the ‘national ‘ news is watching 2 presenters sit and read boring scripts or gossiping at worst. But every now and then I check in to see what scene the clowns are acting out  on the   stage and sure enough it was a continuing comedy of errors , from the continuing Michael Dean saga to the daily bushfires and water  problems. It is incessant. We cannot seem to solve our simplest problems.

Over the past 5 days I have come to the conclusion that this comedy  started 52 years ago when our  statesmen  Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley took the country on the road to independence from the English tyrant . Some may not want to acknowledge or admit it , but Bustamante and Norman Manley failed to initiate a plan. Subsequent leaders had their own ideas, based on their political perspective  of where this country should be headed. There was no collective gathering of the greatest minds in Jamaica to map out a plan that we all can agree ,  establishing a definition of the Jamaican  Dream, that ideal that every Jamaican can buy into and work towards.

Jamaicans wont say anything bad about the country A country that fails to plan, plans to fail.   Jamaicans, all  1.6 million of them , were preoccupied with political warfare and skullduggery moving  from the brink of communism to the other extreme of outright capitalism. Our leaders were fighting each other, poisoning Jamaicans to take sides. The classic black man internal trust and struggle prevailed and who suffered, the people without wealth. And so we struggled, struggled to make the right choices: what type of government, what type of infrastructure, what  type of economy, health care, social systems, security, education and most importantly we struggled to create a Bill of Rights that every Jamaican can enjoy and use as their guiding light towards social and economic upliftment. The Jamaican Dream turned a nightmare and now the dream is to get a visa and enjoy every other country’s dream.

  

Through trial and error we worked, we strived, we laughed, we cried, we mourned, we fell 52 times and we stood up 53 times,  such is the resilience of Jamaica and its people. But there are only a few things in this world that irks me and turn me into a giant squid and that is when our present  leaders,  on both sides of the isle , pretend to show leadership and resilience. Collectively  they make  the actors of Laff it Off look like amateurs. Our leaders are still clueless on the path this country should take and are presently at the steering wheel seemingly heading over a precipice. It is as if we are still walking on the plantation digging and searching for a pot of Gold.

In 52 years we still cannot fix a leaking pipe that spills water for months , yet we talk about conserving water. 52 years and we still have not figured out the difference between religion and politics that never the 2 shall meet in the forum. We still have not figured out the type of education that educate our people or  the one  that turns them into collective zombies. 52 years later we have no clue of the economic engine needed to run this country  and if we do have a clue no plan to get that engine firing on all 8 cylinders. . We still have no clue of creating a country of Justice for all where the poorest of the poor know their rights.   The list is vast but the basic necessities of life is a luxury for many . in Jamaica the most popular word in all sectors is NO.  It is as if the Jamaican people are always doing something wrong to put them at odds with any government agency or local business for that matter.

What we have managed to be very good at is  expressing most vocally that we are a christian nation, whatever that means . In a country of many  religious practices some  government officials are  proclaiming Jamaicans are ‘backsliding’  hence our country is suffering because we have turned from God, I am paraphrasing here. The recent pronouncements of the junior Minister for Entertainment and Culture actually chided  Jamaicans, admonishing them to turn back to God and when a Jamaican speaks Anti- God that makes him suddenly un-Jamaican.

……..”I said that being atheist and agnostic is Un-Jamaican. I also said that it has become fashionable to make anti-God pronouncements, and those doing so should stop. I stand firmly by both statements….”  Damion Crawford.

Really Mr Minister?  a statement like that is fashioned by the people that control your mind. God , as you know him Mr Minister is a completely different person to someone else, no definition is exclusive.  When a politician speaks  like that it reminds me of another guy called Hitler whose pronouncements created the worlds first tyrant because he wanted things HIS way. In this case if you are not a Christian,  like the minister and do not recognise God ,  then  a pox on your house.

Mr Minister  when  some of us left the plantation we left behind all vestiges of manipulation and mental corruption and started to think for ourselves and guess what  Mr Minister, we are Jamaicans, free thinking  Jamaicans. I define a country of the sum of parts living homogeneously sharing a common heritage and culture, each man individually adding their own flavor to the human mix, while creating his own karma maintaining peace in the society. Your definition of a country is:

……the majority accepted norms to form a country. Jamaica is a Christian country full stop. We have Rastafarians, Jews, Muslims etc, but the accepted norm is Christianity. In the same way that some countries are defined as bi-lingual because of the high representation of secondary languages while others are simply defined as Spanish speaking or English Speaking etc because their isn’t a material number of other languages represented. …”  Damion Crawford

That’s where we differ on interpretation. You are an educated man, Think for yourself, leave your books written by those who care to brainwash you and think objectively. Jamaica has a religious heritage . It is not a christian country. There I said it. Unfortunately for you I am still very much a Jamaican.  In this country   there are many norms.  The accepted norm for you   is the norm accepted by the new oligarchy, the ones that determine what  Jamaicans think. Yes Mr Minister it suits the government  to brainwash people to think they live in a Christian country. I am not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance. Jamaica belongs to Jamaicans, not any leader, religious or political aspirant. If your navel string plant here, you belong here, whether you call God  God, Allah, Jah , El Shaddai, Ohm, whatever!

Religion true false usefulFor you to say not paying homage to our slave owner’s contribution to our human development by implanting in our psyche what God is while he lashes our skin with whips and chains,  is frankly showing us that your mind is still a slave to the system. The learned gentleman has gone mad.  Sometimes I wonder if this country is run by smart people or by religious or bellicose  noises who really mean what they say. The effects of slavery is still evident. Mr Minister we need a plan  to really abolish slavery once and for all. 

  

It irks me every day. Learned, seemingly intelligent people cannot get their act together. So I have listed 20 things that I believe Jamaicans don’t want to know, pretending that ignoring them they will suddenly go away.

1.Leaders:  Jamaicans are suffering from a serious disease called Leader Madness Disease. We do not have a present leader that knows the way, walks the way and shows us the way. Along with this  there is a cacophony of jokers called Ministers of government from both side of the isle. The Jamaican  dies in the hands of politicians from political skullduggery and strangling bureaucracy. Instead of fighting to excel , the Jamaican fight daily to survive the obstacles and hurdles  placed before him. It is a constant battle.

2. History: We never learn from history. History has shown us that when we work together we strive together. This simple equation is still incomprehensible to the Jamaican. The effects of the plantation is evident here.

3. False Belief: We believe that politicians can change. How many times have they shown us their colors and true self and yet we continue to elect  them  as if the carousel of politics is  a rotating Wheel of Fortune?

4. Religion:  We believe God will help us if we follow our pastor and pray and when you are done praying , leave your collection. Ghandi said      “ Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics don’t know what religion is.”  It is as if unless we go to church daily and pay our tithes then we will forever be doomed.  The problem is while the people  are praying they  are stealing from their pocket books. Religion starts wars. Pastors preach hate. Beware of the false prophet. Even demons can cry out Praise the Lord.

5. Matriarch: We are a matriarchal society with a strong affinity to work overseas and send money believing being away from the problem is not your problem. Living in Switzerland or having the famous green card does not suddenly not make you Jamaican. Open you mouth and your identity defines you. The frequent words “I love my country” is as empty as the lips that utters them. Long distance love in any relationship will only work when there is plan to cut the distance.

6. Crime: Jamaicans are psychologically just as bad as the cops they resent.. Jamaicans kill Jamaicans for the same reason the police kills Jamaicans. We do not value each other.

7. Society: There are 2 societies in this country- the society of wealth who are the new slave owners and the society of workers that pander to the wealthy. Within those 2 societies, we don’t trust each other.  We have created successfully the Haves and the Have Nots.

8. Money Machine: For some people , namely the working class , no matter what your accomplishment, your home, your car or your education you are still a money machine for the government to squeeze every last bit of penny in the name of providing services for the sole purpose of financing pork barrel politics to the people they pander to for votes at election time.

  

9. Backwardness: We are virtually still in the year 1962 but physically in 2014,  a majority of Jamaicans are still struggling to catch up to the world’s technology and education. We feed our mind with the excuse that we are a small island so our actions make it right. The real problem is technology replaces unskilled workers. We are so behind  the Internet revolution when will we catch up?

10. Dirty State: Our reference to Jamaica as Yard is exactly equal to how a chicken lives in a yard…dirty!  This country is dirty and we claim to be a tourist  destination.

11.Values:  We claim to be a christian country and yet the least of our brothers still go hungry and homeless. We have no moral authority to call this country  a christian country any more than Israel have a right to  call Palestine their home.

12. Economy:The reason why we are in an economic problem is because suddenly we got up and hated who we are amd decided to be someone else. We stopped producing from the soil and started importing to live like Americans and now we are paying the price. The IMF one size fits all package will continue to put this country in turmoil if there is not a parallel economic performance of export, export, export.

13. Stress: A majority of Jamaicans are living with stress.  Jamaicans are so accustomed to no miracles  that any chance of celebrating an  event or person that shines in sports or otherwise provides the necessary release .

14. Police: The  Jamaica police is here to protect and serve the people of Jamaica. In  reality they have decided  to fight the Enemy of the State. That enemy is the people of Jamaica.  Justice is weighed according to the size of your pocket.

15. Trust: We don’t trust each other. As Jamaicans and emancipated blacks coming out of slavery we have never really learned to trust anyone, and our leaders have done nothing but lip service to correct this.

16. Children: Our children are lead astray and it’s our fault, no one else.

17.Weapon: The Church is the politician and the wealthy’s  greatest weapon against society.

18. Help: We are quick to call on somebody to come and help Jamaica, China, the IMF whoever is willing to hand out,  not realizing that the “somebody’ is Us, Me, You!

  

19 Politicians:  Our politicians , the leaders we elect to move us forward  are so passive and clueless it is easy for them to rely on the IMF  or the Jamaican people  to blame them  for their failure. No politician will lay down his life for any Jamaican. Those days of chivalry died 52 years ago.

20. Changing: Jamaica is a changing society  yet the government’ does not recognize this. The government  is as static as a conservative trying to move one leg forward. Government’s best effort is to strong arm the people they lead  that are poor mentally and physically. The PM is in love with the poor as much as the poor is in love with her but they do not communicate with each other. They smile, they hug they even  sip cocoa tea under the coconut tree but  the government sees poor people as problems well before they are seen as people. It is in the politicians interest to keep poor people poor, after all in the Jamaica wealth is something to aspire to and the poor  is something the PM loves.

Written by Paul Tomlinson

Please check out Paul’s website HERE

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Carlton White
6 years ago

Thank you Mr Paul Tomlinson you,ve written a letter that have a profound impact on the Jamaican way of thinking and life.Icould no express myself quite like you wrote this but i agree wholeheartedly with all you said.

George Bond
6 years ago

pretty much on the money sir…..damion Crawford may well have been educated but hes demonstrated very well his ignorance and bigotry that sets his kind apart from real people…..and by the way,us british tyrants couldent dump Jamaica fast enough back in 62..all it took was the planting of the idea that Jamaicans could govern themselves…..worked out well did it not….x

Christine Smith
6 years ago

Well written!!! Thank you sir for putting it out there for those who want to listen and read.

Christine Smith
6 years ago

Well written!!! Thank you sir for putting it out there for those who want to listen and read.

Christine Smith
6 years ago

Well written!!! Thank you sir for putting it out there for those who want to listen and read.

Steve Mann Rtwr
6 years ago

Sir, we can never rely on the media, to give an unbiased opinion, but sadly, some of them actually seem to be quite accurate, from what you have said. Fortunately, i have George Bond as a friend, so i have gained a real insight into Jamaica. What i find mildly amusing, is that so many of your points apply directly to England as well. It’s a global disease. (Incidentally, i live in France.)

Andrew Francis
6 years ago

Afraid to read, but you read.
Thanks
I see spiritual people as very separate from religious people….and very rare. I agree religion has this role you state.
The rest of it clears up some things I’ve thought and a lot is outright revelation.
Your title drew one such as myself in. What other ways can we draw in other types of people to learn these things ? I really wish to see a help-yourself Jamaica.

Oliver Crawford
6 years ago

you’re a real jamaican and know your country,you are so right

Rev'd Marc Mullings JP

This is a most interesting article Paul Tomlinson. You’ve highlighted some very serious concerns as you view them. However, whilst you may have alluded to it, what are some of the very practical solutions that you think may be applicable to bringing some form of resolution to the problems that have been mentioned? I look forward to and anticipate a prompt reply…

Richard Jimmy O'Meally

Well said,my one critique is that this does not only pertains to Jamaica.It actually depicts most of the rest of the World.

Melanie Smith
6 years ago

TRUTH!!!! Thank You!!!! ….seriously, Thank You!!!

Donovan Tegre Thomas
6 years ago

Kinda hard to swallow but on point!!!

Tanya Stephens
6 years ago

I could cry reading this! The fact that you and others like you exist gives me the little sliver of hope I feel from time to time. I thank you without end!!!!

Astley Scott
6 years ago

A good piece. It is clear that you put some real thought in this. We have to want to hope. We have to want to work to realize our hopes. We are the ones being affected. We are the ones who need to change ourselves and the system. Cheers Bro

Astley Scott
6 years ago

A good piece. It is clear that you put some real thought in this. We have to want to hope. We have to want to work to realize our hopes. We are the ones being affected. We are the ones who need to change ourselves and the system. Cheers Bro

Li Annie Fenna
6 years ago

Well said!

Marcia Scarlett
6 years ago

Mr Tomlinson, your article bears nothing but facts. However, my question is, how and when can/will we take the “bull by its horns?” Secondly, who will the one/ones to initiate the task?

Vernet Bryan-Staddart
6 years ago

Well done!

Vernet Bryan-Staddart
6 years ago

Well done!

Vernet Bryan-Staddart
6 years ago

Well done!

Baldwin Wilson
6 years ago

that scrare’s me as a Jamaican
but we will never give up the fight.

Baldwin Wilson
6 years ago

that scrare’s me as a Jamaican
but we will never give up the fight.

R Elena McDonald
6 years ago

Thank you but you are speaking to the few thinkers and not the so called movers and shakers who enjoy their life style and are scared of the poor who like george jefferson, might move on up. Our soil erosion and environment can attest to that, as they keep Moving further up in the hills to avoid the poor living next to them. This country that we all claim to love so much is in what my granny would say a state of conundrum. Thanksagain if only it could open some eyes…a miracle

Christine Smith
6 years ago

I would like to recommend a book that I found opened my eyes and mind and had me thinking.

Junie Richard
6 years ago

Well stated. Brilliant. Jamaicans need to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. We continue to wait for the master to feed and clothe us or beg. WHAT has happened to us? We used to be so progressive. Some of us can’t even string a sentence together – why? Many of us don’t even know Jamaican history. Many of us show no self interest to grow – many people just want to dress up and look ‘cute’. Shallow and self defeating.

Og Tboy
6 years ago

Love this Paul….lengthy but it’s well worth it.

Andrea Angie Tater
6 years ago

Informative and eyeopening on so many levels on the plight of Jamaica and our future well written Mr. Tomlinson

Robert Farese
6 years ago

tell me please ,your article is insightful,however like jamaica there is seldom a solution ..the qualities that jamaicans possess are the footings in which they will build ..so lead us forward or follow the rest ..!!

Hewitt Stamp
6 years ago

Well said Mr. Tomlinson, this is nothing but the TRUTH. I am really inspired by your writing

Trevor McPherson
6 years ago

Thank you for your wonderful letter you are doing a wonderful job. I love my country Jamaica is the land of my birth. They took the chain from our feet and place it in the brain During slavery they used the church to keep the people from rebellion and it work and the politician today is using the same strategy to keep the people happy God will save them. Sad to say the reality is we need a change in our Education polices before we can take the chain from our brain.

Ro'Mando Douglas
6 years ago

Yet Another Inspiring Article To Read. But We Need To Focus On How To Spread The Word To Every Jamaican and The World By Extension. Too Many Times The Truth Has Been Known To A Few. We Need To Find Ways To Spread The Truth To Everyone. Im Thirsty To See A True and Real Change. Love, Honesty, Care and Understanding are Some Simple Things We Disobey, Then We Wonder Why The World Is What it is Today, Especially Jamaica.

Ibraheem Musa
6 years ago

Well said, thanks for the info. It’s good to read articles like this that should encourage and motive Jamaicans to strive to achieve greatness.Too much excuses and blaming others. Surely learnt a lot from it.Hope to read more of your work.

Darius Brooks
6 years ago

I couldn’t agree more with everything you expressed here Paul. Truth and facts are bitter pills to swallow.

Howard Bogle
6 years ago

Well said my friend, I share every sentiment expressed. The greatest denominator of the country’s problems is the people. However, the day the sun rises and the people of this country realises that it is not they who work for the Government but it is actually the Government who works for them, and creates a single voice which represents the collective of the Jamaican people consciousness and be forced to manifest into a needed voice to strike like an arrow to the centre of needed change!, it will forever be a never ending circle.

Devon Mcfarlane
6 years ago

Hello Paul, in as much as you have some valid points, I have some issues with your essay. Contrary to the efforts of those who perceive themselves to be wise, to imply that the church is the enemy, I would gladly count myself a fool. Gandhi, one of the greatest civil rights leader of our time, said that, “his religion is his politics and his politics his religion.” until the two meet, chaos, injustice, and corruption because true religion seeks to unite man with his God, man with his fellow man, and man with himself. If it were not for… Read more »

Devon Mcfarlane
6 years ago

Paul Tomlinson, please consider, in as much as you have some valid points, I have some issues with your essay. Contrary to the efforts of those who perceive themselves to be wise, who imply that the church is the enemy, I gladly count myself a fool. Gandhi, one of the greatest civil rights leader of our time, said that, “his religion is his politics and his politics his religion.” It is said, true religion seeks to unite man with his God, man with his fellow man, and man with himself. So until the two meet, chaos, injustice, and corruption will… Read more »

Owen E James
6 years ago

Very well said. Regrettably those who should read your commentary will be few. The truth is often bitter going down like most “good” medicine but quite often it is all that stands between life and death. It would be my greatest pleasure to send you a complementary copy of my book “Sufferers’ Manifesto” whose theme mirrors much of what you contend. Know that you are not alone in your concerns about our country.

Errol Brown
6 years ago

While I agree with most of what you ave to say and regard these as hard truths. As a Christian, I find that you have stereotyped all who believe in God as a brainwashed enslaved people. I think that you are as guilty of being in the same position for thinking the way you do. The reason, education or the lack thereof was used to enslave Africans as much as religion was. By your hypothesis we should not subscribe to education as well. Africans were always and will always be a religious people before, during and after slavery. It would… Read more »

Lynval H. Hall
6 years ago

Well said!

Strailer Taylor
6 years ago

Plain Truth.

Desreine Taylor
6 years ago

One thing was not said about children — why as human beings those who can ill afford to continue to bring more kids into the world than they should – in an age of available and affordable birth control. This is a chronic part of our problems in Jamaica as many of our people continue to believe that the Lord and society will provide for their children who are carelessly and thoughtlessly conceived. This is a moral outrage — and nobody is talking about it, not even the government. As a small country why are we birthing 50,000 children a… Read more »

Desreine Taylor
6 years ago

One thing was not said about children — why as human beings those who can ill afford to continue to bring more kids into the world than they should – in an age of available and affordable birth control. This is a chronic part of our problems in Jamaica as many of our people continue to believe that the Lord and society will provide for their children who are carelessly and thoughtlessly conceived. This is a moral outrage — and nobody is talking about it, not even the government. As a small country why are we birthing 50,000 children a… Read more »

Dwaineangelicka Williams

Wow…I wish half of the people of jamaica share your views, we would have better country…please keep putting these brain food out and i’ll keep posting it, our people are hungry for knowledge and we need to feed them.

Angela Elkington
6 years ago

Well said, but how do we help to make changes, everyone has a lot to say and nothing ever gets done.

Juliet Powell
6 years ago

Wow! I wish I could have said all this and more and I wish they would stop saying this is a christian country because it is not. All they do is make promises to God that they don’t expend a lot of energy trying to keep and judge others like me who really don’t go to church, by THEIR beliefs. I like to think that Christianity is more than just belief that God exists and being present in church each week-end. We could start by not caring about other people’s political and religious choices and let them have the same… Read more »

Ramsaran Gary
6 years ago

What do you mean Israel has no right to call Palestine home,so you are an anti Semitic

Sashii Edwards
6 years ago

perfectly written and so true

George Bond
6 years ago

pretty much on the money sir…..damion Crawford may well have been educated but hes demonstrated very well his ignorance and bigotry that sets his kind apart from real people…..and by the way,us british tyrants couldent dump Jamaica fast enough back in 62..all it took was the planting of the idea that Jamaicans could govern themselves…..worked out well did it not….x

George Bond
6 years ago

pretty much on the money sir…..damion Crawford may well have been educated but hes demonstrated very well his ignorance and bigotry that sets his kind apart from real people…..and by the way,us british tyrants couldent dump Jamaica fast enough back in 62..all it took was the planting of the idea that Jamaicans could govern themselves…..worked out well did it not….x

Steve Mann Rtwr
6 years ago

Sir, we can never rely on the media, to give an unbiased opinion, but sadly, some of them actually seem to be quite accurate, from what you have said. Fortunately, i have George Bond as a friend, so i have gained a real insight into Jamaica. What i find mildly amusing, is that so many of your points apply directly to England as well. It’s a global disease. (Incidentally, i live in France.)