Please allow me to offer some observations to those Jamaican born persons resident in foreign territories, and their offspring, also, to resident citizens of our land of birth. The intent of this letter is to encourage them to take a new interest in their cultural heritage and by so doing urge them to actively participate in solving our current dilemmas. I think it is clear to all non-participating observers, and to a substantial portion of the captive population, that a disabling phenomenon (political tribal conflict) has operated so as to impoverish the moral quality of the society. Our articulation is loaded with the concepts (We/They, Browning’s, Homie/Expat., etc.) If Jamaica is to achieve even the most basic level of economic balance we need to shed this and other such disabling current social attitude towards each other; which permeates our society today.
Prime Minister Michael Manley in his first term of office proposed a Commission to set rules of conduct for governing parliamentary affairs. This writer is of the view that the Commission failed our Country; recommendations specifying codes for parliamentary behavour fell miserably short of those needed to ensure secure governing in any newly emergent social order. That our society was a Hodge Podgy of non-cohesive cultural norms; with components that had previously been bedeviled by social inequalities, and oppressive cultural misconduct, was hopelessly ignored to the detriment of courtesy and truth saying in our political arena’s.
The real dilemmas any state, emergent from occupational oversight by a governing cadre not homogeneous with the majority population, must face; is how to reconcile today’s behavour with yesterday’s divisiveness. If there is to be any hope of attaining a cohesive strategy for success; two specific initiatives are mandatory.
Firstly: The strata closest to the overlords must come to accept that any status or privilege from that connection is forever abolished. They must also recognize that for prosperity to persist, in their long run future, it behooves them to be the leading proponents in endeavors to correct for incongruous treatment of the under classes. Should that grouping fail to do so, seeking to constitute themselves as a replacing cadre, and remaining recalcitrant in that stance; then only a deepening of the divisiveness will ensue. This author is convinced that all intelligent Jamaicans from that era and still living; will accept as fact this statement;” the affluent component of Jamaica’s pre Self Government population was guilty of those failures.”
Secondly: No stone should be left unturned to bring about an understanding by the underclasses that the agencies of government in place; is now there for their advancement. This is a crucial attitude, as crucial as the two attitudes the affluent cadre failed to achieve. It is a tragedy for us Jamaicans as a people that racial disrespect was central to most of the divisiveness. That evil has operated so as to inure such of the intelligentsias as shared the experiences and aspirations of the underclass, from acknowledging their inability to avoid the practice of reverse prejudice. The same behavour as was assigned to the affluent class’s, is hereby reiterated for the political cadre which came from the underclass. The failures of the Manley Commission this writer claims; is typical of the shortsightedness which is as inevitable a product of the concept “there is none so blind as they who will not see” as Death & Taxes is for human existence.
The most cursory observation beggar ds this acknowledgement; that a paucity of constructive thinking characterizes the leadership strategy of today’s intellectual elite. Bickering and backbiting, pettifogging nitpicking, we sell to non-national’s assets it took generation to create and call that divestment a mark of positive governance. In many instances the state acquired control to forestall discontinuation of productivity. We spent humongous sums to that end but saved the infrastructure. This trend does no credit to the parties who pursue that line of action; their vision is as limited as their incompetence is enlarged. The underclasses had no history of entrepreneurial skill: for us to achieve success as a people that talent had to be engendered. We failed to achieve that objective because the players in that arena moved heaven and earth to retain that advantage for their own exploitation and our political cadre had no scope of thought through which it could be made to emerge.
My fellow Jamaicans, please accept these prayers. Please say them each night for the next succeeding nine after you see this letter.
“Lord God of heaven; hear our Prayer. Lord God of heaven; show the despondent in our society that despondency leads to inaction which in turn leads to stagnation. Lord God of heaven; show the hate mongers in our society who sow that evil in their neighbor’s vineyards; the injury it will bring upon their children. . Lord God of heaven; show the greedy in our society who prey upon their neighbor’s weakness; the deformity it produces in their immortal spirit. . Lord God of heaven; show those who profess religious intent in our society, but who are in it for the benefits they desires; the gates of hell. Lord God of heaven; remind the Homebody and the Expat that the nature of their jointure “Out of many, One people” is as applicable for today as it was in 1939.
Huie M. Fox