Mahatma Gandhi said, “Poverty is the greatest violence.” It follows that jobs and not bullets are
the armaments with which the war against poverty will be finally won a journalist recently commented as a follow-up.
I disagree vehemently with the above statement. Mr. Gandhi, though a great man, was certainly no authority on how to overcome poverty. If he was, India would not have more poor citizens that the population of North America!
I cannot understand why so many smart men and women like Henley Morgan and Wilmott Perkins.
continue to talk about the link between poverty and crime as if there is a causal relationship, in this order, between the two. One only has to examine other countries (poorer and richer than Jamaica), the history of Jamaica and other countries, to find a multitude of examples which contradict the assertion of a poverty – crime link. If there is a link, it is weak at best and certainly outweighed by several other factors.
Even Haiti which is much poorer than Jamaica had less crime before Aristide was kidnapped. Incredible is it not? The poor in Jamaica were never rich. Why were there not wholesale criminal neighborhoods forty years ago when they were also poor then? Poverty does not cause crime the way a bacteria causes disease or else everywhere in the world where poverty exists, crime would be rampant. But this is not the case. Instead there is a much stronger link between the major political parties and crime incidence than there is between financial status and crime. It is clear that the hatred between the lower level members of the major political parties has led to some crime in the past, leads to crime today and will do so in the future.
It is clear too that many violent crimes are crimes of fierce passion -anger, rage, jealousy, revenge etc., which erupt due to many things which have nothing to do with poverty and which when they are uncontrolled, will cause anyone under their influence to sometimes act totally outside of character.
It is clear too that many mind altering substances like crack cocaine which are used by rich
and poor persons alike, produces a consequent alteration in the actions of the users often leading
to violent outbursts.
It is clear too that persons who as children, were not taught to respect life, to respect the possessions of others, to respect another’s spouse and to do no harm without provocation to others, are more likely to commit crimes. Look at the Italian Mafia a fabulously rich syndicate but they will kill members who try to defect because that is the culture- it has nothing to do with the poverty rate. Many gangs will kill members who want to defect. Gangs are not formed because of poverty, but all studies show that an inferior home life is the primary factor.
It is clear too that church goers and people called Christians, (much more so the true sons of God), poor or rich, have an almost insignificant crime rate. So insignificant it is that it is a mystery why the prime minister does not encourage all his ministers to join a church (there would hardly be any corruption and millions would not be disappearing). Based on this observation one could easily make a strong link between sinners and crime! If you are a sinner then there is a strong possibility you will commit a violent crime in your lifetime. Any study anywhere in the world would certainly conclude thus.
It is clear and has been demonstrated in numerous studies that child abuse and single parent home
graduates, dominate death row in many countries. In addition, as weapon availability and sophistication shows simultaneous increases among: drug addicts, criminals, those who do not respect others, those who show poor control of their emotions, those who show open hatred for nonparty members etc., there should be a parallel increase in crime and we have seen this. Now Henley Morgan and others must be aware of these facts and not raising these issues when looking for the reasons for the crime level shows that there is an agenda that is being pushed down the consciousness of the unsuspecting who read their reasoning. I am here to refute that.
While there has been no clear demonstration worldwide that poverty causes crime, it is clear that crime causes poverty and one can cite numerous examples all over the world. Why is this not being focused on?
I find that many who talk about the poverty to crime link live in a world where their adulterous behaviour causes them to have children they are not parenting. Let me make a shocking statement that will anger many- but your anger will help set you free. If you are raising a child without the aid of a father-figure and / or if you are abusing your child there is a good chance you are raising a criminal. So it is your adulterous lust and inability to hold your seed and the rampant child abuse that many call parenting, that has a greater link to crime than perhaps almost anything else. It is not poverty that cause the average Jamaican man to run around impregnating women. An 85% child out of wedlock rate is stunning. This is the true roots of crime in any society and should be labeled a medical and social disorder- “Mi poor but mi hafi haf pickni” syndrome.
We set the bar too low when we implicitly tell people that it is ok for them to rob and steal and kill
because there is no other option available. This is the way to true anarchy and revolution and no way to build a civil society. Listen society has set the rules- some we like and some we hate but if any man wants to function within a society they had better play by the rules or frankly forfeit their place here. The rules are -you go to school, do your homework, do not break the laws, study and pass your exams and study the market place to see what is the best career to enter. If you need help because you are in a one parent home, find a church where there are many positive role models, join the Jaycees or Kiwanis, etc.
The rules are -you can borrow money and go to college. If when you graduate college you are not skilled enough to convince some company to hire you there are techniques that can make you stand out from the crowd. The problem with our college graduates is they are too weak mentally, are of shaky faith, and lack persistence and creativity which a church environment would have helped them to address and correct. But they chose not to go to church instead party and waste time at home… Life is supposed to be a struggle and a fight- that is the law of nature but when you violate the rules you are out of here! If your parents are disadvantaged you do not blame poverty, blame your parents for not having enough sense and restraint and wisdom, but when you become of age that blame now is transferred to you.
Society does not owe you a car and a fancy home and a job paying you $100,000 a month. These are things you work and compete for and you get the standard of living that parallels your faith. If you decide that you are going to get these things without working for them then you have implicitly forfeited your place on earth and sooner or later you will be taken out of here! If you do not have the faith and persistence and vision to lift yourself out of poverty, then stay there, that is just where you should live. The IMF and the World Bank do not owe you anything and neither does anyone else.
You who champion the poverty crime link are guilty as hell as the perpetrators! If you so believe in this erroneous premise, why do you not send them some of your own money? Put your money where your mouth is and prove that you are not one of the 2 million hypocrites that inhabit this place. I have a surprise for you. The war against poverty will not be won because many have learned to love their addiction. No the war will not be won until the the multiple causation environment is embraced. The poor will always be with us as they have always been though because you love to sow wild oats so much that I understand there is a common saying among the poor young studs, that you only have “a one burna stove if yuh haf one woman”. Shame on you Henley, are not you a minister of the gospel? the Bible clearly teaches the way to prosperity but the so-called church has missed it because they are too busy inside their four walls waiting to be raptured.
Some even claim that the reason the crime rate was lower 40 years ago is that the expectations of quality of life then was much lower than it is today. It is not the poverty that caused the increase in crime during that time. Instead, if you want to follow this thesis, it would be the increase in quality of life expectations which you can attribute to someone or something that convinced these people that they deserved assets without having the requisite faith, skills and income to acquire them legally, because they would have been committing crimes before their levels of expectation increased.
If one factor (poverty) remains constant and a new one is introduced, and the equation / situation is
altered it cannot be the cause of the constant. (Hey I think I may have just invented a mathematical theorem or does this one exist already?) And if you then blame it on the fact that the levels of expectations have increased, what we would have are persons sympathizing with criminal behavior and a bunch of hoodlums saying to us “we waan liv de good lif too or we ah go kil an rob yuh” as they hold the nation to ransom.
I refute the notion that criminality is the only option available to the extortionists. Absolutely not! Education is free. Why did they not go to school and complete their homework? Why did they not study hard and pass ther GCEs? Why did they not learn to become persistent in looking for a job? Why did they not find a mentor to help them through the early years of their careers? We set the bar too low when we implicitly tell people that it is ok for them to rob and steal because there is no other option available. Let us see who can demonstrate scientifically the link between crime and poverty. These points raised are not only unchallengeable, they are irrefutable. And even if they there was a link between crime and poverty , what sensible person would dare publish this? This would justify unlawful behaviour, increase the crime rate and reduce society to a bunch of uncivilized rampaging savages as live on Maxfield Park- attacking a bus filled with children because they are poor! They need to be out of here! I would surround the community with 2000 soldiers, call all children and women to leave and storm in and take them out. Just put me in charge of the JDF instead of the wimps we have sitting under air conditioners sipping ting!
Gunmen are poor so it is ok for them to set up an extortion syndicate- pay me protection money or we
will kill and rob you? They are full of the spirit of the massa and those that defend them and talk in
their defence have that spirit rushing towards them. Yes, I will rant in defence of country, and life- while others rant in support of career gunmen? Listen these wimpy police and soldiers who do not understand undercover crime fighting do not know what it means to stand on the altar of nation building. All they had to do was set up an undercover operation at Azan’s business and wait for the extortionists to appear and then take them out of here! Simple! We need a terrorist bill that would label all extortionists, gunmen and owners of illegal firearms and ammunition as class one terrorists subject to forty years at hard labor if convicted. Why do these weak-kneed politicians not pass such a legislation? I will tell you why- it is because the spirit of massa fills their corrupted white souls. But as the Lord God liveth I tell you that the spirit of revolution and anarchy is rushing toward this country like a mighty wind and those that support poverty minded criminals are as guilty in the eyes of the Living God. Tough words, but Bogle and Gordon and Nanny did not die in vain for a bunch of fake Robin Hoods to undermine the nation with their warped ideas of justice. I say again even if there was a proven poverty crime link, why the hell would we want to disperse such findings- that would just lead to mass extortion, anarchy and more bloodshed! Your parents made a choice to create you when they should have made a wiser decision because they could not support you, and you talk about poverty – crime link. Learn to control your seed and use condoms. You waste time watching cable tv when you should be studying how to raise your children and talk about poverty-crime link? You can afford expensive M16 rifles worth over US$1000 and talk about you are poor? You waste your money on expensive clothes and shoes and pay for expensive telephones and per minute charges and cars when you should learn the lesson of delayed self-gratification and talk about
poverty-crime link? They suffer from misplaced priorities, overactive testosterone levels, fake egos
and low self-esteem more than poverty!
THANK GOD FOR A SOLUTION BUT WHERE ARE THE TALKERS AND MARCHERS?
If what I read about operation restoration and Lorna Stanley and the work she is doing in Trench Town is even partially true, then we not only have one of the solutions for crime and community restoration right under the noses of the crime-solution-seekers, but we have a woman who should put on the same pedestal with Nanny of the Maroons, a Jamaican heroine and prophetess, and should be given resources to start similar schools in every district in the whole country. Why has she not won a hundred million dollar grant from Chris Blackwell, or Michael Lee Chin, or Dahlia Walker-Huntington, or Philip Mascoll, or the U. Penn. professor or the many Jamaican billionaires, I do not know. This woman should be funded by every known Jamaican organization and Jamaican in the universe because here is an opportunity to do more than the efforts of forming more foundations, to do more than any local or overseas politician and to strike a permanent blow against the crime production factory. I am putting my money where my mouth is and sending her some money and every last jack should do the right thing. Read below for the details.
Account Name: Operation Restoration
Bank address: ScotiaBank, 80 Half Way Tree Road,
Kingston 10, Jamaica
Account number (for J$): 3398-14
Account number (for US$ or £sterling): 601471000
or send via:
Integrity Children’s Fund, PO Box 2941, Alpharetta, GA 30023
Email: [email protected]
If sending a cheque please ensure that you send an
e-mail to Lorna Stanley to let her know how much you
have sent and which bank you have sent it to so that
she can look out for it.
Please make cheque payable to: Lorna Stanley/Operation
Account number: 137042
Bank address: Campus Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box
147029, Gainesville, FL 32614-7029
Please make cheque payable to Operation Restoration
and send to:
Bank address: ScotiaBank, 80 Half Way Tree Road,
Kingston 10, Jamaica
Account number (for J$): 3398-14
Account number (for US$ or £sterling): 601471000