Taking Jamaica back from criminals and social delinquents
THIS newspaper joins with well-thinking people in welcoming news of a 12 per cent reduction in murders and a 13 per cent drop in all serious crimes in Jamaica for the first quarter of the year.
Yet, Jamaicans had hardly digested the information when they were assailed by yet another story of terrorism.
Two people, including a 12-year-old boy, shot dead as they stood among a group at about 8:30 pm on a street corner in West Kingston on Friday. The boy's nine - brother was also shot and injured.
Our reporter quotes a woman as saying "The man dem just come inna the area an' start fire shot at anybody dem see".
More evidence, if ever we needed it, that the 'dawg-hearted' with their guns and ammunition remain intent on destroying communities.
We are told by our reporter of talk by West Kingston residents of criminals walking among them and demanding the allegiance of people. Failure to comply can lead to death.
Note the comment from one person that "The last man dem (criminals) hold two weeks ago in the area and ask him which side him on, the man say Jesus and a shoot dem shoot him and kill him..."
Even religion, for so long a stabilising influence in such communities, is under threat.
One of the hard lessons of the recent Vybz Kartel trial is the negativity now pervading popular culture. Many Jamaicans are shocked when a woman declares without equivocation that the murder victim was no great loss; he was just a friend of the murderer(s) and was (in summary) unimportant. Therefore, she says, the alleged murderer(s) should face no great punishment.
It's not just that this woman — presumably from a similar social background as the murder victim — has lost all sense of balance. In essence, self-esteem — so important for the well-being of any individual — seems to be entirely missing.
The cultural aspect has to be on the front burner as well-thinking Jamaicans strive to "take back" their country from the influence of criminals and social delinquents.
Critically, society must find creative ways to counter the 'badness' and negativity being spouted by neo-criminals masquerading as artistes. They must be defeated. Their influence on impressionable youth is far too great to be ignored.
In that respect, this newspaper applauds the energetic Unite for Change campaign being championed by National Security Minister Peter Bunting and his team.
Anti-crime measures such as the boosting of personnel/material resources and the anti-gang legislation — all of which will hopefully be accompanied by welfare and employment programmes — are all of the greatest importance.
Equally important is the achievement of massive positive behavioural change among young people.