This month Kharl Daley commentary focus on the recent gang "issues" in Spanish Town.
Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Extortion-A Social Revolution

Stated below are my views on the social revolution in Jamaica and in particular to Spanish Town and the One Order Gang. I lay no claim to be a sociologist nor am I even a student of sociology; nonetheless, this is an observation of an appalling process taking place and is reshaping our society and its values.

Extortion is born out of the condition of needs and has become economically expedient to the poor, deprived and often neglected members of the community that supports it. (It’s a survival thing). There are no recourses, no affordable institutions in place for academic and technical learning and so the people’s aspirations and hope have given rise with credence to this from of living which expresses the integrity of the affected community at large. Bounty Killer, “Look into my eyes, tell me what you see”. The people are interested in the immediate solution to their cries of suffering and their struggles, and so survival finds root in this scheme for their own good.

The merchants do pay up, al be it under the direct power of the gun (Mao Tse-tung), yet isn’t this a classic reform of capitalism in reverse, one in which a portion of the capitalist wealth is redistributed among the very people who created it. (Karl Marx) The Dons no doubt like the pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm takes the greater portion of the spoil. They are the mastermind behind this independent survival of the community or at least its self sufficiency. The respect and social status of the Leader is maintained by the lavish lifestyle of jewelry, women, latest fashions, motor vehicle and well furnished and fortified dwellings while the members of his community remains in “dignified” squalor.

The acts of random handouts by the Dons to the very needy within the community be it to assist in funeral expenses, a night’s meal or lunch money and bus fare for those in direr needs are seen as a tremendous illustration of a passion to better the conditions of the under privileged. This creates and atmosphere of camaraderie and lend supports to, “the knight in shinning armor” mentality, (Robin Hood). The community is protected within from petty thieves via vigilante justice and everyone supports and protects each other. Normally no one pays water bill, electricity is usually stolen but to the people this is a sweeping social revolution that has adopted the name “One Order” and is a militant protest against the rich capitalist and governmental organizations that are bilking the poor and provides nothing in return.

Whether it is noble to suffer the daily pangs of poverty or to resort to extortion as a means of survival (Shakespeare /Mac Beth- to be or not to be) has now become a driving force to reckon with and is it liken to hot coal underneath dry leaves waiting at any moment to burst up into flames against a system that the community view as corrupt and meaningless. Should this be interpreted as an undercurrent revolt of the spoken voice of the people the “sufferas”?

Education is the process by which ignorance is to be eliminated and provides the knowledge and advancement towards the ladder of economic and social success. But education is unaffordable added to the shortages of underpaid well trained teachers, dilapidated schools and overcrowding; it becomes for the most unattainable. And so it is akin to feeding fowls, corn is cast to the ground and those who are lucky to peck their craw full so be. Out of desperation evil seemingly becomes good and out of needs social disorder.

About the author

Kharl Daley