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.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Case Study on Crime

Just in case any Jamaican is scratching their head wondering where much of our crime comes from, it's not only from a poor economy and significant disparity.

As I have noted in prior posts, the vast majority of murders come from interpersonal disputes that grown out of proportion into full-scale warring and killing.

In the case of these two communities, Southside and Tel-Aviv, the killings of the day can be traced back to an event that split the gang at the time in two:

"He was walking past Rosemary Lane and Barry Street corner, when some of the Max man seh, blood fire fe dem pants deh, only b...boy where dem pants deh," said Tallman.

Some 1500 people have been killed since that remark was made in ongoing fighting between these communities.

In short, it has nothing to do with the economic situation.

Instead, it all has come down to a lack of communication and conflict resolution skills.

While this is sad, it also gives me some hope, because these are teachable skills. What i don't know is who is attempting to teach them, and how.

I am aware of the work going on in schools -- PALS (Peace and Love in Schools) -- but I don't now enough about what is being done for adults. I know there are efforts underway, and now I can understand their importance after reading this article.


At 1/15/2008 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that we should both choose to blog about violence yesterday, I guess there are days when the spirit is moved to react to the quotidian. The numbers are staggering but for me they do not capture the tragedy of Jamaica, with an exceptionally warm people and rich history, turning to a country plagued by violence in such a short time. While I am here I will, must keep looking back as I move forward through my experience of learning about this country. The works in the National Gallery, Maroon culture, Miss Lou’s poetry, mento and ska are reminders of the true spirit of Jamaica that now carries a veneer of violence.

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At 1/15/2008 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The crime will eat away all that rich culture within the next few years. The vibrant culture and history will exist in memory and books.
Enjoy it while you can

At 1/16/2008 6:19 AM, Anonymous Esteban Agosto Reid said...

Yes,you are absolutely correct Mr. Francis Wade,a considerable number of killings in Jamaica are based on poor communication skills and the inability of individuals and groups to resolve conflicts utilizing proper conflict management/resolution skills,techniques,modalities and paradigms.Nonetheless,economics/education is still a crucial and essential variable,because the paucity or dearth of conflict resolution skills,is far more pronounced and significant within certain strata of the society,i.e.,the urban poor,the materially dispossessed,the peasantry,the lumpen,and the declasse -- and of course alienated youths -- elements of the society vis-a-vis other socio-economic classes -- namely the middle class-- that/which constitute the social pyramid of Jamaica.One is of the perspective that the lack of communication skills and interpersonal skills with respect to employing and utilizing conflict resolution techniques to eschew violence and possibly murder are a consequence of ones socio-economic status within the society,and in essence such skills are not mutually exclusive from ones socio-economic status as you contend or assert.Consequently,economic positioning in a society such as Jamaica is extremely critical.Notwithstanding,the promulgation and development of interpersonal skills and conflict resolution skills are essential to abate the extremely high incidence of homicides within the society. Jamaica,therefore,needs to invest much more in the development of psychologists,social psychologists,social workers,et al,to promulgate conflict resolution skills among its people,especially,the social classes that are predisposed to resolve conflicts via violence.RESPECT!!


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