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Real talk on Jamaica

Ok so…we all know about Jamaica. Our neighbor to the south. Where folks go to “get their [alleged] groove back”. Where everyone “smokes de ganja” (side eye) and listens to reggae. Etc etc. You know the stereotypes.

Ok so what most folks fail to realize/acknowledge/discuss, is that Jamaica is still a poor country, cuz that sh*t aint publicized in the “One Love” tourism commercials. Sooooo with this recent bit of drug wars going on, I have to ask: are we really that surprised?

I mean…ok. Jamaicans. Don’t go snapping at me (man, all the Jamaicans I know are a wee bit crazy and ultra-super-duper hype over their flag and all things Jamaican, I still love yall though! Great food, lol). But I mean really, Jamaican homies…didn’t yall’s parents move here for a reason? Was part of that reason the craziness that has been going on in Kingston for YEARS?! I mean…let’s survey some quick history:

  • Like most Caribbean nations, the island was inhabited by natives (Arawak Indians), til the white people showed up (namely, good old Chris Columbus)
  • Fast forward a little bit, lol
  • African slaves were brought (like most Caribbean nations)…yea yea, fast forward a little bit more
  • Jamaican independence started a wee bit in 1938 with the People’s National Party, and later, the development of the Jamaica Labour Party. Full independence from Britain gained in 1962.
  • Fast forward a bit more to major emigration to Cuba, the US, the Dominican Republic, and other places due to a lack of jobs, high levels of violence, and gang warfare due to drugs
  • Read this and this for a pretty good overview of the drug trade in Jamaica

So yea, that was the extremely abbreviated history…but really…ask any Jamaican you know WHY they ended up in the US. There is a reason you don’t see Kingston featured in the commercials…and everyone gets hype off of “Mo Bay” and Negril. Because the eastern half of the island is a hot flaming drug filled mess. Yea I said it.

Yea…I’m going to cut myself off here on this issue, because I could go on for days…because at some point we have to address how our nation’s drug policy is contributing to these problems. And we also have to address why this, and the crippling poverty which exists throughout the island, is something we choose to ignore when we hit up Negril.

On to lighter subjects…

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