Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Accepting Shocking News

In the Gleaner yesterday, and also on television, there was a story about three men being killed for stealing a goat in Westmoreland.

Or to be more accurate, they were lynched.

Apparently, they were in the process of stealing a goat, when their plans were waylaid by people in the district who spotted the stolen goat in an abandoned building. They decide to wait for the men, and when they arrived, they attacked them en masse with machetes, and probably anything else they could get their hands on.

I imagine that many went to church the following morning, and are probably justifying their attack to themselves and those around them. After all:
-- these men should have known what was coming
-- this is someone's livelihood that was being affected by the theft
-- the Bible says "...."

And the chances that it will happen again are quite high, as a search of the Gleaner archives reveals that this kind of mob action happens every few months or so. I have mentioned a few prior incidents in my blog a few times.

I doubt that anyone will be persecuted either.

Living in Jamaica has taught me how to accept shocking news, and how to move on with life in spite of it. This might just be an essential skill for anyone coming to live in Jamaica...



At 1/01/2008 11:51 AM, Anonymous kinpuppalik said...

It is quite unfortunate that lives were lost in this incident. The deeper issue however is the downward spiral of lawlessness that is so pervasive in Jamaica.

To me it seems like a no-brainer that if most of these thieves were to take the time to do something for themselves the country would become immensely wealthy. If they were to try something for themselves not only would this benefit them directly, but very importantly it would inspire more people to be productive and not be afraid of losing their little savings when they invest it in something to benefit themselves and their family. It continues to show up the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of leadership in Jamaica. The leaders are now sadly the "Dons" and DJ's, whose voices and direction are the dominant ones in "Land we love". They have killed agriculture and self-sufficiency. Youths now aspire to be "taxi drivers", where many want to sit on their posterior, drive and listen to gun-talk music, "nyam outa foam box" and seduce school pickney..oh, and dodge police. jamaica is crying out for leadership!!

At 1/02/2008 7:44 AM, Blogger No Nonsense said...

Francis, the court of public opinion is worse than the court of law. I remember when I was 11 years old; a man approached my mother and asked if she had any “yard work” because he was hungry. She agreed to have him plant flowers, mowed the lawn etc. We called him “Cee”. He did such a great job that the other 12 homes on the avenue had him doing their yards as well. We all had in on a rotating bi-weekly basis. A few months of him working there someone whispered to my mother that he had done time in prison for burglary. She asked him about it and he told her he spent some years but he didn’t commit the crime. (I am sure all criminal say this) Anyway as the years ticked on the neighborhood doubted that he really committed this crime. What we all knew he was guilt y of was stuttering. And boy it was bad! The word “yes” would take no less than 20 seconds---I swear. And if he got excited, frustrated or simply flustered it was worse.

Cee spent four years beautifying our homes. He had now moved on to do handy stuff as well. During the summer of 1985 while on summer break, I heard some excitement going on outside on our street. I quickly dragged on my slippers and went outside only to see one of my neighbors been tossed on the grass as she tried to defend someone that about 20 men were beating with boards and stones. I couldn’t see who it was then, but I saw blood--- lots of it. Jennifer (my tossed neighbor) was screaming “he didn’t do it—he didn’t do it” She looked at me and said “It’s Cee—they said he stole $20”. Another male neighbor (Danny) showed up and managed to chase off the mob. We lined his car with plastic and old clothes so that he could take Cee to UC. Later my mom got home from work and we went to the hospital only to find out that he died from his injuries. Not one of those men that were beating on Cee went to prison! I am sure Cee turned down our avenue looking for a refuge because he knew that none of us would believe that he would steal $20 frigging dollars. He made considerably more from the 12 homes he worked on.

His blood stain was on the street for the longest time. And it been over 22 years and my last visit as I pass the spot I remember with remorse and thought what would have happened I put my slippers on fast enough, or if Danny showed up a little earlier would it have been different?

A fatal beating doesn’t shock me anymore Francis and it’s sad to know that it hasn’t changed in over 22 years!

At 1/02/2008 11:34 AM, Blogger fwade said...

No Nonsense,

Thanks for sharing in such detail. I can only pray that I never get to witness such a thing.


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