Happy Independence, Jamaica?" title="
Are we independent or nah?
Happy Independence, Jamaica?" sl-processed="1">
Are we independent or nah?
Happy Independence, Jamaica?
"I affirm Jamaica that we are a great people. Out of the past of fire and suffering and neglect, human spirit has survived, patient and strong" is a statement drenched in truth and honesty once behest by the political savant and scholar, Norman Washington Manley. Such words signify the plight and local colour of the nation, like a pearl softened by the sheen of pride and fortitude. We as a nation have been through hills and valleys, to reach 57 years of political independence from the clutches of the empire where the sun never sets: Great Britain. My colleague, Mathew Dawkins perfectly refreshed our minds with a journey through time from the Amerindians in 1492 to Labour strikes in the 1930s, until the eve of the broken chains of colonialism.
However, you know the saying 'Out with the old and in with the new?' Well, it seems as if Jamaica-well at least those with the political capital and power, have taken this idiomatic expressing a little too literally. It seems as if we are out with Britain and in with just about every Tom, Dick and Harry that flashes some economic prospect in our faces. Candidly, of all the countries, it seems as if we have taken an inclination to the Asian roots. So from the Union Jack, to the black, green and gold to now proudly waving the Wǔxīng Hóngqí, more commonly known as the Five-starred Red Flag. (P.S Might as well learn the Mandarin name; we are practically a colony all over again).
Jamaica celebrates 57 years of 'independence' [a term used very loosely], since our independence is only on paper. It was once a term that meant we were politically, economically, socially and culturally autonomous and filled with a free identity that we curated ourselves. Sadly, it has now been a concept; I seem to not recognize anymore. Because since we outstretch our hands for alms to the global economy, in hopes that someone will drop a penny or two in the bucket, we are welcoming those 'generous' nations to run amok and do as they like in return for a road or two.
Jamaica: " Oh, hey China-just a couple roads and in return you culturally erode our society and overrun the job markets with Ling, Ming and Lee"
China: "Of course! We have no problem with that'
Thanks Jamaica (the government). I honestly could not be any prouder.
Frankly, George William Gordon, Bustamante, Manley, Seaga all are filled with euphoric jubilance at how you have parceled out every bit of land to these Asian colonists. All the years to break the Eurocentric clutches and 'Jamaican-ize' the socio-political climate and economic atmosphere, and we just hand it to China on a golden platter. In tandem, the concept of cultural imperialism and neo-colonialism could not be emphasized anymore. Indeed, there are significant changes in technological and infrastructural development, and yes we applaud that, since technology is always an indication of development according to some theorists. However, must this come at an expense to us, the locals? To Jamaica herself?
Every turn you turn there is a Chinese man, and perhaps doing a job that our own locally and highly trained citizens have the capacity to do. But if it is one thing to note, is that labour in China is cheap-which means that many will work for what an average Jamaican may scoff at. This is an alluring image to the Neanderthal politicians who absorb, quantity over quality. If the work of these 'immigrant-citizens' was not so lackluster and a patch up job, then maybe my fears would be allayed and perhaps this would not be so discouraging. Nonetheless, the reality is that many of these roads, bridges and infrastructure are not up to par, and in a couple of months they'll just patch it up with some asphalt. Why not do it right, so you do not have to do it twice?
Furthermore, we cannot patch up our culture, economy, society on a whole like these Chinese roads, Mr. Prime Minister. Our society is competing in a cultural, economic and societal war and we are losing miserably. THIS BEGS TO ASK THE QUESTION, ARE WE INDEPENDENT?
DO WE HAVE THE BACKBONE TO DO ANYTHING ON OUR OWN? CAN WE NOT BUFFER IMPERIALISTIC NATIONS?
Before some of you attack me-yes, we are aware that in this day and age the notion of diplomacy and alliances are quite crucial; and indispensable to the functioning of a country, nation and state. No man is an island-no country has the capacity to do it all for themselves-congrats you've won a gold star for that fact! The issue is when these alliances prey like a satiating wolf on the smaller countries, like Jamaica- we only become sitting ducks. Is that what we have morphed into? Apparently so!
In addition to China, we cannot leave the Star Spangle Banner nation in the back. When it comes to neo colonialism and imperialism, they wrote the 10 Commandments on it. The 'great' USA is another antagonistic, domineering, overriding nation that has plagued us like the Black death.
Mr. PM are you sure you can make a solid decision without Chain or USA getting perplexed? Can you actually make pragmatic strategies for us or have you become titular?
My seemingly uncouth rhetoric should not be taken seriously. It is just that I am greatly angered by the fact that we have become a rest stop for tourists, and we Jamaicans are the second class citizens in our own country. I am infuriated that our local produce and agriculture takes a backseat while these foreign items stock up our shelves, the jobs that ordinary, qualified Jamaicans desire-go to others who perhaps haven't even spent two good years on the island. It is easier for a foreign investor to seek his fortunes here, but let the little man on the street try to get a loan to start his business? Better you sell two patty yah.
Jamaica is not for Jamaicans. That's just the irrefutable fact!
When it's not China or USA tugging at both ends, it is another foreign power. Our moral fabric and value systems have been unraveled like a poorly sewn piece of cloth. Our children can sing the anthem of the USA and could not even tell you the first inhabitants of Jamaica. Our young people would rather listen to podcasts of some US celebrity or watch Mukbangs than read a Kei Miller or watch local programming. USA has infected us, and like a sore, we are festering and running-spreading everywhere to eventually killing us. While China cuts off our circulation and leaves us dangling to their will and command.
We have lost our identity; we have lost our backbone.
We have become a reflection in a blurred and soiled mirror-nonexistent.
The dollar slides as if it's at the Winter Olympics, China seems to own every bit of land, USA just comes and goes as they like-dictating everything. Whilst we sit and look like mid 1950s Cuba, a rest stop for aristocratic, highly developed countries to economically, socially rape us, and leave us in the spoils. And that is your 57 years of Independence for you!
Happy Independence Jamaica-my heart weeps for you!
She has a rich history
A beautiful woman with the sweetest gifts
Beautiful sunrise and an evening kiss
I find a nice sunset on the evenin seas
But she told me that she's tired
Tired of exploit and liars
She gave them reggae beaches flowers and ferns
All she got was abusing in turn
---Smile Jamaica, Chronixx
---- Zora Langston