I keep trying to address a topic here that I am so far incapable of coolly and rationally addressing — because I’m so ANGRY that I just can’t calm down long enough to address it fully. Oddly I’m not a hothead or even known as someone with an explosive temper; but there is something about the murder of children (and let’s be honest it’s more than murder that is taking place) that irks the hell out of me.
First of all I keep trying to start the post without the use of the word “I.” Being that I’d like to think my feelings about this are not about me — but the truth is they very much are.
I (there’s that word again) had a wonderful childhood in Jamaica where I was careful with strangers but they didn’t pose a threat to life and limb in the way that Jamaican strangers do now.
It wasn’t too long ago that my basic school buddies and I would run with faux-fear and squeals of glee from our anointed “Black Heart Man” — a homeless dread-locked man that lived in the vicinity of our basic school. My mother used to pay to have a robot taxi (guess they were all robot taxis back then) take us to school in the mornings and back home in the evenings when I was still very young. In fact, my first documented crush was on a girl that was a ride-mate in this taxi.
I think back to those days, serious times in Jamaican history books, and yet I still had a childhood — filled with a-sham, juneplums, suck-sucks, guineps, and nutty-buddy ice-cream bars. Remember the guys on mini-bikes yelling/selling “Cremo”?
It saddens me to see what has become of my country. I am sophisticated enough to understand that we don’t live in a world of GI Joe and A-Team ‘lunchkits’ anymore. But there was an innocent quality around my childhood that I fear is gone — forever. And what has replaced it?
Fear of everyone you don’t know? Skepticism about everyone you do know?
There were a thousand transactions I conducted while a child — daily purchases of salted juneplums, mintballs, a-sham packets, and the like. Can we still trust the vendors who engaged in these sales or are they all suspected child predators now? I watch the news from Jamaica and increasingly it is filled with scenes of shrieking children.
And I see so much wrong when I watch this video — so much that says to me there is no law, no order, no government.
Where is the counselor, why was the counselor late that day? Why weren’t counselors in place prior to the students arriving for the day? Why do these counselors still have a job?
Why did it take the blocking of the road to get police attention? And why is arson an acceptable response when some one has been charged with a crime but is yet to stand trial? Might it be an absence of government that created and fueled this tragedy? Who will be arrested for this arson?
Quote — “Nuh falla nuh fren go ah dem yard cause dem fadda, uncle or cousin wi’ sex you.”–Unquote
Is this really the reality of my beloved Jamaica now, these are the necessary conversations of a mother with her pre-teen child?
At 7:40 onwards in the second video, again, more news of shrieking kids. No counselors!
And the most distressing thing, most distressing, is that according to news reports Ananda was last seen speaking to a woman. Now is it possible that women are out there kidnapping kids, but since women are not known as sexual predators it would indicate the presence of a “ring of pedophiles” to me. But I know, I’m jumping the gun. Let’s wait for conclusive forensic evidence to come back — despite the fact the family has identified a pair of shoes found at the scene where the body of a child fitting Ananda Dean’s description was discovered; according to news reports.
I asked a question once when this blog was new:
“As reported by both the Gleaner and Observer, Jamaica continues to receive poor marks for its attempts to combat the scourge of human trafficking. We are a source country, transit country, and destination country for trafficked humans — including children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
In a country the size of Jamaica, no-one has seen or heard anything regarding this pernicious practice? Or do we — the successors of slaves (blacks) and serfs (Indians, Chinese, poor whites) — sit in silence and watch as chattel slavery is perpetuated in our midst?”
It saddens me to know the answer. In a country where you can hardly take a shit in the bushes of its least populous areas without someone knowing; I am to believe that organized child-abduction rings can operate in the most populous area of that country with impunity and no-one knows a thing. Perhaps it is more important to us to not be an informer than it is to not traumatize an entire generation?
Today’s Jamaican children will have no need to invent black heart men and women — today’s children are tucked in by them nightly.