I recently travelled to the United Kingdom for two-and-a-half weeks.
While there, I was asked by quite a few people where I was from after they heard me speak. After answering that question, I was asked: “How do you live there with so much crime?” or “Are you not afraid?” Others say: “I have heard so much about Jamaica, but I would never go there!” One said: “I would love to see where Bob Marley came from, but I am afraid.”
All the comments were of this nature, negative. Of course, I would respond in the usual fashion: “It’s not as bad as it sounds” or “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
Then, I arrive home and I am greeted with the headline ‘Slaughter’.
I do believe it is time to stop trying to fool my myself and other people that it’s not so bad. That Jamaica is a wonderful place with nice people. We are not. We are a society full of sick, depraved, violent people who are lazy and not prepared to work and support themselves and who have no regard for other people’s life. All they want is the next spliff, a money to buy “a food” and a money to buy the next “outfit” to attend a funeral or a dancehall event.
When did my beautiful Jamaica become this hell? When did we stop being outraged at the way people expose themselves in public, the language, the lack of respect for authority, the elderly and the disabled, when teachers are not allowed to discipline our children at schools and the road code applies only to a few?
When are we going to fix this? When are those in authority going to make an effort to get the guns off our streets? Are we going to remain content with just condemning every shooting, with consoling the bereaved families?
We have very short memories, I say this because all it takes is for our athletes to go abroad and do well — as they always do — then we start rejoicing, banging our pot covers, patting ourselves on the back claiming to be this wonderful country and pretending that all is well. All is not well!
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