Black Heart Man

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?”

Duppy don’t know who fi frighten

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.

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4 thoughts on “Black Heart Man

  1. Diabtrialist, one knows that writing a post of this nature — involving children being viciously and barbarously murdered — is never easy. Indeed, such an undertaking or effort can be extremely emotional, even for the most seasoned journalist/writer.Such an emotional state or disposition is also applicable to readers of the post. Undoubtedly, on reading and watching the video about the murders of the children in your post, tears welled in my eyes — and I actually started to shake ,quiver and tremble— as to what children are experiencing in today’s pathological and beleaguered Jamaica, with its corresponding level of flagitiousness, depravity, iniquity, and ungodliness engulfing the society in a tsunami like manner.

    Like you, I am totally incensed and infruriated as to what is transpiring/unfolding in Jamaica vis-a-vis the treatment and general development of children, by their parents in particular and the wider or larger society in general. Unquestionably, and also quite unfortunately, the fictional black heart man, rolling calves, and of course duppies, are no longer the dreadful, frightening, harrowing monsters that/which create anxieties, apprehension and trepidation for today’s children, as they did for previous generations of Jamaican children.

    Today’s children are being reared in a qualitatively different Jamaican, social, political, economic, legal, educational, religious, moral, environment and space, peopled with numerous sociopaths, pedophiles, child abusers, murderers, child killers, crack addicts, inter alia. And interestingly, many of these people enter numerous sundry transactions with us — the so called regular Jamaicans — , including our children, on a daily basis, in various working and non-working capacities.

    As a people, and a society, we need to return to a sense of community, where each individual is looking out for the other, specifically, with respect to questions and issues regarding crime, violence and the security of our neighborhoods/communities.We have become relatively insular as a people, and in essence, we do not care or exhibit any sense of concern for others until a horrendous, and ghastly act manifests itself, such as the killing of children. And it too like many other issues and problems extant in the society becomes a nine day wonder or phenomenon without any resolution.Hopefully,as a people we will not behave in this manner with respect to Ananda “Passion” Dean and the young student from Sandside, St.Mary.With respect to Passion, someone definitely knows something and such an individual should act now, by DOING THE RIGHT THING, furnishing law enforcement authorities with the necessary information to apprehend this cold blooded murderer, before another innocent young life is barbarously obliterated.

    Indeed, the innocence, and irreproachibility, and the state or quality of being virtuous, that/which generally characterise children no longer exists in Jamaica. Children become so hardened, thoughened,inured, and incorrigible by the realities of their existence that childhood is no longer enjoyed. As a people and society, we need to reverse this phenomena and humanize the development of our children.In essence, they are people too, and they are our future.

    Sincere condolences to the bereaved parents, families and friends.


  3. I told the same thing Esteban, to an inner-city resident who was complaining about an incident she witnessed in her community. Her response? “An mi live till when?”

    The distrust of the police has eclipsed the desire for justice to follow its legal course and your own survival means you remain very tight-lipped. I told her to use the cellphone in a way that her number would read unknown ay its destination, but she was so convinced they would trace the call back to her. That’s partly why jungle justice is the preferred mode of exacting punishment or revenge now. Playing by the rules can be deadly.

    Read “The Making of Savages” at for my response to all who are wondering (in mock-disbelief) how Jamaica ended up here. For there is no mystery, is there?

  4. Yes, Kadene, playing by the rules can be extremely deadly in a society like Jamaica. Indeed, the level of distrust and suspicion on the part of residents in sundry communities vis-a-vis the police is tremendously significant, and as you rightly contend, such a distrust has resulted in residents not furnishing —- or, are extremely reluctant to furnish —- the police with useful and real-time information that/which may/can assist in resolving some of these atrocious and barbaric crimes —- especially those meted out towards children. Because of the overwhelming palpable fear and apprehension regarding retribution and revenge with respect to one’s life, family and property. Hence, the question of justice following its legal course and logic is severely embarassed, compromised, undermined imperiled and interestingly, but unfortunately eclipsed and supplanted by jungle jurisprudence in a Hobbesian manner as evidenced in sundry inner city sub-states, garrisons and fiefdoms.

    Certainly, such circumstances and conditions are totally anathema and abhorrent to the rule of law in any self respecting society. Kadene, is there anyway, we as a society can transform this bete noire? Or, are we as a people to cynically accept this Hobbesian condition/existence in our quasi-states?Have we fallen into the abyss or the unfathomable chasm? Have we passed the Rubicon —- that limit when passed or exceeded permits no return? Hopefully not, although, subjectively, hope has been gradually declining or diminishing with respect to the general question/issue regarding the abating of crime and violence.

    Certainly, with respect to denizens furnishing the police with information regarding various crimes, the police definitely and categorically has to radically undergo transformation regarding personnel, philosophy and image as a positive entity operating within the context of the rule of law of the Jamaican state, exhibiting and demonstrating respect for the residents and communities that/which they serve in.Persons with pertinent information, if reluctant to go to the police, should also be able to confide in a priest or member of the clergy regarding such classified information.On doing so, the member of clergy can act as an intermediary for such persons/witnesses,while adhering strictly to the principles and ethics of confidentiality that which generally governs their priestly charge and responsibilities.

    The police should and must also upgrade/modernise extant programs or implement new mechanisms, modalities, paradigms, and technologies —- cell phones,videos,et al,—- which lends or allows for witnesses to furnish valuable/pertinent information regarding heinous criminals without experiencing a sense of dread, distress, disquiet, fretfulness and foreboding, regarding being exposed as an informer with its concomitant revenge and retribution. Also, a massive cultural, legal ,and security/safety education program across the length and breadth of the country, promulgating the virtues, security and civic responsibility of interfacing with the police regarding information, with the objective of eschewing and denouncing the INFORMA FI DEAD culture and psychology which in recent years has become vogue and somewhat institutionalised.Indeed, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, nonetheless, these are possible areas that/which we need to address to seize and liberate our communities from the Hobbesian nightmare of jungle jurisprudence.

    Kadene, copious thanks for the information on your piece “The Making of Savages.”Certainly,it is a must read post lunch.Nuff respect!!

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