I find more and more my relationship with Jamaica is a conflicted thing full up of resentment and growing short on hope.
I hate the feeling.
The latest thing I am trying to make sense of is the vendors who beat a Rasta man and left him for dead because he started (him alone mind you) chanting against their jerked chicken and saying it smelled like dog and was polluting the place.
The whole thing bothers me for a number of reasons:
1. Is it that easy to kill a person now? Anything they say that’s against you or displeases you deserves death? What happen to all the shades of responses in between and why more people inna the crowd never recognise say it was a mob against one man and that never fair? And when we going to realise that this particular brand of badness can only ever benefit a select few while taking advantage of most…rather, when we going to recognise that our time as the ‘bad’ is limited and soon we will all fall from power and become the beaten?
2. I know somebody is going to say
‘well you haffi consider say wah him a do coulda did a interfere wid the people dem money…some people nuh play bout dem money’.
This I understand. When smaddy a ramp wid you money it nuh just easy fi siddung and watch. But that draw up even more question fimme: a) people really in such desperate situations (that kind that warrants killing a man fi piece a bread) or we just tell we self say things desperate as a way fi excuse we self fi treat one another terrible? Because sometimes me feel say we turn the sufferers story into the national identity and use that justify anything we do. Not everybody is at the ‘anytime me hungry again you a go see mi nine’ state. Some a dem nuh even hungry but dem a tear out people neck and headback like dem a starve. We, the not hungry, tell we self say Jamaican dark lakka midnight inna every situation and go from there. Fi why? To what end? And what cost?
3. Now as me write this round and brown me know say smaddy a go tell me say
A middle class browning like you cyan chat because you have privilege and you belly full and you will never understand
Yes, me have privilege. Cyaan deny it and the impact it have pon me life. And me nuh waan take up too much space in a conversation that is not about and my experience. But the fact that I am privileged does not mean I am blind and don’t mean me cyan call out foolishness when me see it. And this is it: One Rasta man chanting fire on a whole slew a jerk man never did a go cost them business, dem cudda shout him down and run him dem never need fi do him physical harm. Dat a just people feeling like anybody come against dem must be exterminated because them a pest. That a we feeling like black people easy fi kill and deserve fi dead. That a colonial ignorance and foolishness. That a summn we need fi puddung.
4. Why is it so easy for us to sing about and talk about and actually do harm to black people? Because me sure a white man woulda never get beating and me nuh see white people a sing bout killing niggaz nearly as much as black people. So wah di deal?
5. Why all now Rasta cyan get some respect. This many years after defining some aspects of Jamaica culture internationally, after the many atrocities including Coral Gardens, after everybody wanna be a Marley, people still cyan see Rasta as anything but dutty foot mad man.
The more I think about my future in Jamaica the more deeply riddled I am with doubt.
What do I see?
An upper class that manages to thrive because they have enough social and economic buffers to make a world inside a world. To live in the Jamaica we wish we could inhabit. Some of whom have grown mercenary in their relationship with the lower classes.
A middle class that is being held accountable for the country’s debt through taxation. Some of whom have grown mercenary in their relationship with the lower classes.
A lower class that has managed to resist and recover from crippling under development. Some of whom have grown mercenary in their relationship with the middle and upper classes.
Criminal activity passing for culture. Violence as a marker of national identity. And hopelessness.
Inside of that beauty and hope and children growing businesses opening and people living their lives.
When I think about my future here I don’t know what I see…and with the love I have for the country…this burns me.
It actually makes me cry.
I want to scream that we can do better but I’m not sure who is we and who I should scream at first. Perhaps at the colonisers and the ones with the whip. Perhaps at myself.
look here nuh, me used to see the meme dem and laugh after dem but me never realise how it real…
is there any betrayal that cuts more deeply than when he smaddy who claim fi deh wid you nyam and leff you out?
everything gone inna doubt after that
yes you love me…when you belly FULL
will you love me when you hungry
matter of fact
will you love me when you peckish?
me cuddn believe it, come inna the bathroom as cool as you please wid di cheese trix crumbs a circle him mouth like lion fish inna harbour – well proud a tell me bout him likkle snack.
like me did fi happy fi him.
like me did fi celebrate say him nah starve.
inna that moment if me see him a road a dead fi thirst me wuddn even piss inna him MOUT
so deep was the wound if you cut me you wuddn find BLOOD
JESUS wept and died and rose again for this charlatan to come moggle pon me wid cheese trix crumbs…the salty part a the bottom too…the nice part weh you all tun over the bag fi lick out.
me hurt, me devastated, me nuh know if we can make it back again.
#TheVoice fever may have subsided somewhat but #Tessanne fevah a bun hotter dan ever.
Chinita Goodaz debuted the first single from her new album #EverythingRemindsMeOfYou on the Voice tonight and needless to say plan fi send people right inna dem feelings
she say she cyaan talk to di man modda, fada, sister or brodder cus every single one a dem look di same
big farrin and dese tings Tessi a talk enuh
Big up YEW Tessanne
and when yu buss di small one drop
also….nuff love to 13th Street Promotions for bussing us on di link
PS it nah embed but see di link YASO
lies you tell
while the sentiment ‘you don’t know what you got til its gone’ is true and helpful for people who are trying to heal, it should be used with care. sometimes we fixate on the idea that people don’t know what they got til its gone and fail to recognize that 1) some people never make the kind of connection with themselves necessary to have that realization and 2) regardless of how valuable you are some people will not recognize it despite their loss, also 3) no matter who you are there will be some people who find you to be a bad experience. this last one is hard to accept but in much the same way that the person you’re having a bad experience with may not seem bad to others or may be different in the future, some person may be having that same experience with you. it can be hard to swallow, especially when you’ve given your best and especially if someone hurt you. you’re sure they’re a bad person. and some people are. some, however, are just bad to you or for you. allowing for the fact that they may not be completely bad people doesn’t negate the pain they cause. and regardless of how pain is caused people will always have to pay for the harm they cause, especially if it is deliberate, especially if they harm a person who has tried to do the best by them. the universe does not allow that kind of imbalance to persist. but fair is fair (even if you’re too hurt to be fair right now) you could also be that person to them. so use it, use the sentiment to get you over the rough patch, but don’t hold on to it. do not hinge your healing on some mythical day when somebody will recognize the error of their ways, it may not come. recognize instead that with or without that realization, you are valuable. defy the odds: wish them well. if they hurt you to the point that they lost you, there’s probably some pain the haven’t dealt with that they need help with anyways- whether they know it or not. hold your own value in your hands, heal, and elevate, not because they recognize they lost you, but because you recognize what you have in yourself.
got ’til it’s gone