Stop letting things slide
The current spate of murders in Jamaica is a clear sign that the chickens have come home to roost. Years of turning a blind eye to the breakdown of discipline and certain types of crimes have given rise to a generation of criminals who feel like they can virtually do anything and get away with it.
We turned a blind eye to 'Dudus' and his activities, and it blew up in our faces in 2010. We turned a blind eye to 'Bebe', and he became the godfather of lotto scamming.
After Bebe was gunned down, political figures showed up at his funeral, J-FLAG (the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays) called for an investigation, and representatives of the current Opposition described him as a friend.
"People might say a lot of things about him, but he was a loyal and dependable person," one councillor said.
All this despite the fact that it was an open secret that he was believed to be a major player in the lotto scam that has now become a source of national embarrassment. This wicked scam has led to the once relatively peaceful parishes of St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland becoming slaughterhouses.
This is like the small sore that wouldn't heal. We ignored it, and it has now become gangrenous; we are about to lose a leg.
All that is now behind us. We can't change the past, but we now have to work together to contain this beast that is at the doorstep of each and every Jamaican. Many Jamaicans know someone who has been murdered by gunmen.
Lax parenting, absentee fathers, loose discipline, poor social programmes, and more are all contributors to the scary situation we face today.
The fix is not going to happen overnight. If you believe otherwise, you are delusional. The damage is so bad that it will take years to heal, and we may very well need help from outside.
Jamaica is being overrun by criminals because when we had a chance to act, we decided to let it slide, believing that no harm would have been done.
This is a major wake-up call for all of us. We need to start doing the right things all the time and stop letting things slide because when we do, as we can now clearly see, things can get really scary.
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