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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Jamaica at 46!

Today Jamaica celebrates it's 46th year of Independence from British Rule. It is good to have reached 46 years as a independent, sovereign nation. However, I am not so big on Jamaica's Independence. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of my country and do feel a sense of patriotism as do most Jamaicans. However, based on the current state of our country and the developments it has made since gaining independence I often wonder if... well think I might have been a better country if we were still a dependent of Britain.

Since independence Jamaica has seem to have one bout of turmoil after the other and has despite the many achievements, have been caught in a tailspin and a downward spiral that cannot seem to stop. We are one of the worse Caribbean country economically, we have a very high rate of illiteracy and very few professionally trained people in our dwindling work force, and of course on of the highest crime rate in the region (and the world). Our countries infrastructure, legal system and political guidance is much less than to be desired for the most part.

We have the examples of other islands that did not seek independence, such as Cayman, and they are doing a whole lot better that our country! They have facilities close to a first world country like the United States and their citizens enjoy certain luxuries most Jamaicans only dream of. On the other hand though, there are other Caribbean islands that have gained their independence, but have been successful and has escaped the quagmire that we have succumbed to. A good example of such it Barbados, which has one of the strongest economy in the Caribbean.

This makes one wonder, what is the problem with Jamaica? Why did we fail? Maybe we were not ready for independence at the time we got it. Maybe the leaders where not ready or did not have the experience and knowledge needed to lead a successful post independent Jamaica. maybe our leaders of the charter to have an independent Jamaica had other selfish motives. Whatever the reason is, the fact still remains that we gained our independence 46 years ago and our country is no where close to being a truly successful independent nation.

It is good to have your own, unique flag, your own anthem, your own national symbols and o govern ourselves. However, despite the many achievements post independent Jamaica has to boast, we are still in a very bad position. Jamaica is a country that has been blessed with so many resources, best coffee, bauxite, reggae music and has such a strong presence in the world, there is no way our country should be in the state that it is in.

The government leaders, business people and every Jamaican, yes all of us need to take 46 seriously and take the steps to make our 46 years of independence count. We are a great nation with awesome power, but it seems we just do not know how to use it to better ourselves. Hopefully the ones we elect can enact policies and strategies to make our country more successful. Hopefully our business leaders will contribute more to the countries development instead of only thinking to fatten their pockets. Hopefully every Jamaican will change their mindset to one that will better themselves, exhibit pride in their nation and make a positive contribution to the development of Jamaica. Hopefully, Jamaica will do better and be a stronger country when 47 comes. Have a great independence Jamaicans both home and abroad!

10 commented:

Excellent post Stunner!!I am particularly impressed with your exhortation imploring all Jamaicans,ranging from the government leaders, business elites and the average J'can to challenge themselves by being proud of our nation, while playing a positive role and contribution in its development. HAPPY 46 Jamaica! Rally around the BLACK, GREEN and GOLD J'cans.NUff Respect.

happy independence

maybe they just lost their way along the way. or maybe external forces assisted in causing jamaica to be how it is now.

still is not too late, what goes down can come up right? things can change for the better

I think we are basically too selfish and don't really care enough about each other, especially the poor and the less fortunate. If we as a people really cared about each other...Jamaica wouldn't be in this state, now would it?

We are a product of our collective past decisions.

i am aware of the problems but I am convinced they can be solved. It's up to all of us as Jamaicans to do our part to contribute to the betterment of our blessed island home. I hate the ppl who sit on the outside and talk shit but they themselves are doing nothing that contributes to a better Jamaica.

As I read you post I feel alot of emotions, most distinctively pride, love and hate (anger).

I like most Jamaicans love this country but one can not escape the anger at the problems we face after 46 years of independence. These are problems created by our ourselves. They are pro-longed year after year, party after party, generation after generation. What is even more disturbing is that these problems can be solved and we have the answers but lack the will.

What is holding back Jamaica? selfishness, greed, people who simply put themselves first and I am not just talking about politicians here. There is plenty blame to go around and everyone of us is responsible for the state of Jamaica. We are held back because of lack of leadership in the business, academia, social, political spheres. We are AFRAID, very afraid to step out of our demise and achieve. We are afraid to offend,afraid to change our paths, afraid of the person who lives in that other community that is supposable supporting green or orange, afraid of the applicant with that address. We are afraid to stand up for what is good and proper.

Crime, illiteracy, one of the lowest per capita income, trillion dollar debt, failing infrastructures from roads to schools. It is not like something is wrong with us because others with way less have achieved way more.

The majority of our people are cynical and they have become accustom to the failures as norm but I am not ready to give up on Jamaica because as I said I am still proud our athletes and other sports people, our musicans, Jamaicans who have gone abroad and has done extra ordinary things, our own [people here in the business, political, academia spheres who are really try to make a difference even though their voices might be drowned out by the can't change,won't change, I benefit from the way it is now crowd.

I have to consider despite our serious problems our people have remain mature enough to hold this democracy to together.

I talk to my mother who said if she knew that Jamaica would turn out the way it is today she would not have supported independence. For some of us we are not old enough to know the difference between British rule and being independent. When I hear people who have the experience to know it makes me wonder. I will admit often being critical of those who wish we were still ruled by England.

I am going to be a revisionist and speculate if on August 6 2008 Jamaicans gather for the first time at the national stadium and others all across the towns and districts, glued to their radios and TV to watch the black green and gold raise for the first time as we celebrate our first independence. The governor general, the governor (who represent england) Queen Elizabeth herself .Prince Charles among other distinguish Jamaicans in the political sphere gather to mark the momentous milestone of independence.

Base on what has happended to other countries recently independentor still under British rule we would have been in better shape gaining independence today in 2008 than in 1962.Look at Hong Kong, Cayman island just to name two. Better literacy rates, lower crime, much much better infrustructre. I imagine an iland that rival offshore finiancial centers not just in the caribbean but the world. Under British rule we have a larger percentage of visitors from england and of course the close USA and tourism florish with almost 5 to 7 million a year. The north and south coast littered with cruise ship ports and 5 star hotels that rival any other destination in the world. Crime is a problem like anywhere else in the world under 200 a year it does not cripple us with fear, bogg down a diverse economy. Jamaicans being as innovative and entrepreneurial as our people are creat new industries and many small businesses that create self employment.

Ghetto?,inner-city-. There are no garrisons because there is no PNP or JLP, just representatives of the queen at Kings house and Jamaica house, the governor general and the governor. The so called garrisons does not exist they are instead an educated middle and lower class part of Jamaica with high moral values.Because our economy is flourishing we can afford to have smaller classes provide world class education. A rainy Jamaica can not escape bad roads but they are maintained. Police abuses occur but are rare and when it does there is general out rage , a full investigation and even a pulblic inquiry, Jamaicans feel confidence in the institutions of justice and knows without a doubt that it will be served.

Good hospitals, we still travel to the "motherland" without discrimination or need for a visa. There is no debate yet about a final court of appeal. We still use the Jamaican dollar similar to the Cayman dollar but its value is worth more than the US and Canadian dollar.

I am not dreaming here I am just wondering out load what Jamaica would be like if we gain independence August 6 2008. I know some people are very upset at this revisionist lust that some express and I can understand. Alot of independence is not just economic or even social development but more to do with pride, autonomy and most of all self identity. I doubt strongly we would have such a strong culture under British rule. I wonder if Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Garvey what would it be like.

This post is very long, thanks for the opportunity. I have so much ,re to say but I am rambling.

Interesting insights Dutty Bwoy!!

Haapy Independence. Like you I get disillusioned about what it means to my island. So,I tend to just focus on what there is to love about my island

THE FREAKING POLITICIANS.... them fcuk us up but slowly through education this will change....

Great post Stunner. I think we need to break the cycle and instill national pride in our youth. We can't rely on the schools, parents need to instill patriotism in their children. Only they can save Jamaica.

Your country lacks structure, education,and authority. This may be a great way to start.