The 5 'how comes' for the nation
HOLY Scriptures mandates the church to be the watchmen or gatekeepers for the nation (Isaiah 62: 6 - 10). Our voices must be heard through the pulpit, in the pathways and certainly through the press.
Drawn from Morgan Heritage's song, released 2005, the slang "How Come" became even more popular with the series of advertisement from Jamaica Public Service (JPS) in 2011, which sought to mirror and magnify the hypocrisy, inequality and inconsistencies in our nation.
The Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Christians, in our reflection and spiritual oversight, raised the following questions in an attempt to provoke thought, challenge the conscience, and to call a blessed nation to God.
How come Vybz Kartel is in State custody yet it appears that he is able to release songs? The prison system and to a lesser extent the justice system in Jamaica have often shown signs of ineffectiveness and weakness, with wardens and other custodians sometimes being ill-equipped to handle inmates who are prominent members of society. They exercise leniency and bestow certain privileges on these individuals. We are led to wonder if it is by Kartel's designation of "worl boss" that he has been afforded this special right. This special treatment speaks to the inequality and double standards which continue to permeate our society, in that, persons of prominence seem to get privileged treatment. In contrast, those who are without are sometimes left to rot in prison and are the victims of all manner of ill-treatment. It is time that the powers that be address this matter, where not even the "worl boss" is above the system. Equality must prevail for all, and the same rules must apply, even if the participants are those who have alleged to act contrary to the norms of society.
How come the Maggotty High School incident came under fire from the public yet our Minister of Agriculture was trending for months with his 'daggering' scene? Were the children of Maggotty High merely mirroring what they have observed from adults? Jamaica's culture includes dancehall music. We live in a country where parties such as 'Passa Passa' are glorified. However, when our children chose to re-enact these scenes, they are placed under scrutiny. With such double standards, we will never be able to get a younger generation who are holy, and set apart. These so-called role models, who are instilling values and virtues, are the same ones 'daggering' publicly, and are somehow pleased with themselves. We seem to know what is right for our children, but we fail to realise how easily influenced they are. Let us therefore not be alarmed when they stray from the norm. After all, children live what they learn. We have a responsibility as adults to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Proverbs 22: 6).
How come the street boys continue to be a nuisance to commuters yet Government and society are blamed, and parents are not held responsible? Jamaicans no longer place the responsibility of parenting on the biological parents, who are admonished by the Bible to grow and nurture their children in the admonition of the Lord. Instead, when these children end up in the street, the Government is placed under increasing pressure to remove and find proper housing for them. These boys were born of a woman and impregnated by a man who, regardless of whatever issues the family may be facing, has a responsibility. How is the breakdown in a family structure, which led to numerous boys being homeless, Government's responsibility? Parenting is supporting, providing, nurturing, and protecting our children from birth to adulthood. Most of these boys are minors and should be under parent's care and protection. For too long our parents are not held accountable for the deviant behaviour of their offspring in society. The time has come that pressure must now come to bear on their shoulders and not that of the Government.
How come prostitution is illegal on the books yet there are so many signs of it in Society. Driving through the streets of the corporate area on any given night, we see prostitutes hard at work making advances at the passing motorists. This activity is done without much interference by the powers that be. How come the locations remain the same and it prove so difficult for police to rid the streets of this socially depraved activity. We are in no way condemning these women; however, we condemn this activity for it is both anti scripture and in breach of the law.
How come citizens' plea for justice with such passion when an alleged gunman is killed, yet when members of the Jamaica Constabulary are murdered the silence is deafening by the community? It is common practice when an alleged gunman is killed for his family and friends to cry for justice, block roads and at times portray that the person was without sin. Yet, when members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who took an oath to protect and serve the people of this country are gun down there is no sincere cry or plea for justice in the communities where they are from, or by extension the society. It is high time we evaluate ourselves to ascertain where our loyalty lies. Are we going to lean on the side of the criminal elements and protect them even in death, or will we work with the members of the police force who are tasked to protect and serve every citizen of this country? We need to take a stand. Failure to do this will be at our own peril.
Our motto speaks to the fact that though we are a diverse set of people; different background, ethnicity and race, we are one! "Out of Many, One People." Morgan Heritage in their song asked the question: "Out of many one people, can you say you see that anywhere?" The harsh reality is, when equality is not practised it festers and breeds all the ills which are evident in our society. As we reflect, let us consider the example of Christ who, according to Romans 12 verse 11 showed no partiality, let us now come to a position as a nation where we will not ask the question of our actions "How Come?", but we will be able to reflect and feel satisfied not only of our music and sports, but when it comes to justice and equality, we can proudly stand and shamelessly say, truly out of many we all are one.
The above is from the Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Christians, headquartered at 67c Waltham Park Road, Kingston 11 email@example.com