This beautiful island nation of ours is scarred. It makes no sense we continue spewing platitudes of a paradise that has been wronged through the course of its history. We have long been subjected to speeches that allude to our hope and longing for a Jamaica that is either too far in the past, or yet to be.
So here’s to the truth.
We take pride in the resilience and strength of the Jamaican people, but shy away from looking directly into the eyes of the brutal hardship against which our resilience is built. We have a rich history of breaking free from the shackles of slavery. However, we still carry with us the ghosts of bondage as we hang on to the chains that restrict our scope of vision.
Jamaica has been short-changed by consecutive governments. For too long the leadership has failed the nation. In spite of the many areas of success that we celebrate as a nation, our leaders have made grave errors. We have policies that threaten to exploit our natural resources. We have made agreements that, instead of expanding our reach as an independent nation, create such strangleholds of debt and dependence for generations to come. Even though we tout the importance of quality health and education for our people, we can barely provide this. This is not a phenomenon that has come upon us overnight. This is after years of inadequate and generally poor stewardship. The next generation have been grossly failed by our choices – and in some cases, our apathy.
And our politics.
It is time we acknowledge and confront the politics of our past that has haunted us into fear, silence, and immobility. It is a shame, but it has to be said: our politics (and more specifically, political parties) have for too long enabled conditions for criminality and victimization of our people. This is not simply a problem for any one party. This is a NATIONAL CRISIS. Too many victims of injustice have been created in the name of politics.
As we chart our way beyond 50 years of independence, we recognize that governance no longer carries with it a sense of humility and servitude. It cannot be that our people continue to perceive its leadership as corrupt, arrogant, and out-of-touch. We know that Jamaica, in the face of all its flaws AND glory, deserves good governance from those for whom standards of quality should never be lowered.
So in this moment of truth, let us commit to unmasking the problems that plague us, and resolve to disarm the enemies of dishonesty, hypocrisy and injustice.
This, for Jamaica – land we love.