Jamaica at 50 and beyond


Just before midnight on August 5, 1962, the Union Jack of the Brutish empire, enslaver of Africans and number one imperialists colonizers in the known world, was lowered and the Jamaican flag raised for the first time, marking Jamaica’s independence and the dawn of a new era.  The national parade, flag-raising ceremony and fireworks were held at the National Stadium with the evening’s events beginning at 11 p.m. More than 20,000 people gathered at the venue for the night’s celebrations.  At one and a half minutes to midnight, the first verse of the Brutish anthem was played. The lights on the 60-foot pylons were put out and darkness descended upon the arena. In the hush that followed, the Union Jack, which waved over Jamaica for 307 years, was hauled down. Then 30 seconds to midnight, the lights came on again and the Jamaican flag was raised to the top of the flagpole. Then, both verses of the national anthem were played.

 This was a significant event, not only in the Caribbean area but across the non European world. Because just five years earlier the continent of Africa (the largest Continent on the planet) saw to it that its own black star, Ghana, raise its own flag of independence from the same oppressive pirate nation that believed whole heartedly that the Sun would never set on that empire. Ghana’s independence was the catalyst for African lead and populated countries and islands to seek their own manifest destiny. It was as if a divine circle had started to close and a new era of a African Unity as espoused by the Honorable Marcus Garvey was to be realised.  The two nations, Ghana and Jamaica have a closer our story than many people believe or know.

The colors of the Ghanaian flag – The Red, Gold, Black and Green- represented the symbolic beauty of Africa as preached by the Honorable Marcus Garvey. The Black Star in the middle represented the flag ship of the UNIA the black star liner and of course, when Garvey was at the heights of his power, one of his followers was Kwame Nkrumah, who along with Ho Chi Minh, came listened and internalised Garvey’s cry for the oppressed to through off the yolk of oppression and unapologetically claim their own freedom. In turn Ghana’s independence, the crowning of Ras Tafari Makonnen as Haile Selassie and the independent struggle by the land and freedom party of Kenya were the inspiration that speed up the independence movement in Jamaica.

After 1962, there was a much smaller celebration for the anniversary of Independence in 1963. But in 1964, a structured Jamaica Festival began where there was a parade, as well as a showcase of arts. In 1997, when Emancipation Day was introduced as a national holiday on August 1, celebrations started from July 31 and ended on Independence Day, August 6.  Jamaica is now fifty years old.  In the timeline of nations, this is quite young. But Jamaica’s narrative is a old and wise story of pain and redemption. Of lost glory and opportunities squandered and hopes of a better tomorrow.  Most people not having a clue about Jamaica only know of Reggae music, Ganja, beautiful beaches, vibrant and lively people and gun culture. Most people, even the die hards have not paused to consider the true heroic attributes of the people of our nation and culture in our story.  When the first pirate ship, with captured African prisoners of Colonial wars touched on the island coast, we were rebellious. in fact, legend says that Jamaica was were the most rebellious warriors were sent to be broken before going to America. If they couldn’t be broken they remained there to be brutalized and discarded like human refuse.

 But like a phoenix rising out of the ashes of destruction meted out by the psychopathic vultures that is/was the Brutish empire, the spirit of Nanny, Kudjo and the Maroons rose up and smote the beast and had them running and squealing like stuck pigs into suing for peace.  This action struck a chord in the very fibre of other nations and showed the world that just like Haiti did decades ago, an African Republic could grow out of the burning embers of revolt and revolutionary struggles. Just like Haiti was tricked into paying the devil America for her freedom, after siding with that bitch against the French for Louisiana, the maroons were tricked into embracing their own freedom at the expense of those who took no part in the revolution. When the Maroons were shipped first to Nova Scotia and then to Liberia, what Satan did was to remove any chance that these Africans would repeat this act of resisting colonialization.

Jamaica’s our story is one of resistance…fiery resistance. Our legacy is filled with it. From the Maroons to Sam Sharp; Paul Bogle and the Morant Bay rebellion  ( note the modern Jamiacan phrase “evry ting Irie” was a reference to the brutal put down of the Rebellion that had the governor’s stamp on it) to Marcus Garvey; Rastafari and Reggae Music… on and on. Each stop has its lore in our Island’s narrative, but also has integrated itself into the lexicon of the bastardized Language of the Brutish Empire…English.

Who can forget Claude McKay’s “if we must die?” as a rallying cry during the Red Summer during America Inc’s most turbulent times.  Ever since I migrated to the ice box land, I was told that Jamaica’s population was 2.5 million. This was more than three decades ago. During that time, I was told that the grand total of emigrants never exceeded 2.5 million. Not only does it seem we replace one for one each after every emigration, but it boggles the mind that a group of people that like to ….share the one love, seem to be treading water in the population department. I think the people who tabulated this number are the same who claim that China and India are the most populous ethnic group, while the ignore the Africans in the Southern and  mountainous regions of east and south Asia, in South America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southern and Northern Europe and Africa. And all the folks in the USA and Canada.  We have impacted modern music outside of Reggae and numerous celebrities either have one or two Jamaican parentage, including:

Sean Kingston (Musician)
Canibus (Musician)
Shaggy (Musician)
Busta Rhymes (Musician)
Biggie Smalls (Musician)
Patrick Ewing (Athlete)
Naomi Campbell (Model)
Colin Powell (Politician)
Christopher “Kid” Reid (Actor/Musician)
Alicia Keys (Musician)
Heavy D (Musician)
Mike Mccallum, Champion Boxer
Linford Christie, World Champion Sprinter
Lennox Lewis, World Champion Boxer…
… to name a few. Not all of them I would endorse but this is just a short list of the influence of Jamaica on the world.

Jamaica is currently the third largest processor of Bauxite, which at this point is not necessarily a good thing considering the recent issue with toxic dumping and environmental rape. At one point Jamaica produced stunning art work and natural wood furniture around the world. Our dollar was greater than the Americans and was on par with the Brutish Pound. We gave the world a lot more than what was indicated above. But that all came crashing down with the election of Socialist leaning, Fidel Castro friendly Michael Manley and PNP party. The USA had a massive conniption and did what they could to sabotage the freely elected process. The CIA armed the opposition and it’s leader was forever known as Edward CIAuga (Seaga), the rise of garrison community, political gun battles and the gun culture, became synonymous with Jamaica as Reggae music.

When Stephanie Black put out the documentary Life and debt, it not only shone a light on how colonialism still had it’s gangrenous death grip on the colonies, but how the fetid breath of the IMF is always breathing down on the necks of the people’s aspiration for freedom. Into this light is birth the Sovereign movement of Jamaica. Like all the other colonies of the Brutish Empire Jamaica is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model, with a (dis) functional two- party system. Under this system of government, the prime minister and his cabinet are responsible to the legislature, and universal suffrage exists for citizens over the age of eighteen. The clauses of the 1962 Constitution, which consists of 138 articles in 10 chapters, may be amended by majorities of two-thirds in both houses of Parliament or, if the Senate does not concur, with the approval of a special majority of the electorate voting in referendum. The sovereign movement initiated by current Prime Minister Portia Simpson, Claims to want to establish Jamaica as a Republic. Now I really believe that after the mess last year with the raid on Trench Town to capture Christopher Coke and the subsequent fall out was that many in Jamaica were pissed and wanted to know how an “independent” nation like Jamaica could allow US style invasion, murder of locals and the eventual imprisonment of a local folk hero.

Well, being the opportunist (like any politician) Portia Simpson introduced the idea into the dialogue and even had a poll to determine how many Jamaican’s would go for it. The results of the poll was 44% for and 40% against and I would Ass sume that the remaining 16% don’t know what the hell was happening  (some know what’s happening, some don’t know what’s happening and some ask what happened?) Not only is this a obviously a hasty venture, but based on the 40%, not much was put into the education of the people. Those from Jamaica know that despite some of us wanting to attach our legacy to Africa, many have been and continue to run as fast as possible the other way.  To tell these people that they are going to break away from the “true motherland”, the Brutish (dead) Empire is telling someone with Stockholm syndrome that it’s time to straighten up and fly right and expect them to feel all peachy keen.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sovereignty should always be a desired goal, but don’t get it twisted. America Inc. and the Brutish Empire, China, Japan, Canada and Russia, would never allow this kind of shit to happen in their backyard or interfere with their own interests. Ask Libya, the Congo, Uganda, Grenada and Iran.  This desire for sovereignty is a process and during the 50th year of our leaving the plantation fields for the yard of the plantation house, we should continue this dialogue, but over stand the need, and consequences herein or meet the fate of the Maurice Bishop Government and others who tend to forget to give jack his jacket.

The documentary Life and Debt

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