Writer Kharl Daley in this article from his own personal experiences gives an insight in the mind set of the Ghetto Youth in Jamaica.
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In The Mind Of The Ghetto Youth

Ghetto Youth Livings.

This excerpt is in no way claiming this is the mind set of all Ghetto Youths but I can say this much from my own personal experiences which I need not justify yet dare anyone to refute.

On the outskirts of Spanish Town where the desolate poor are nestled each day is like an endless journey into the unknown. It is within these confine boundaries of a landscape of poverty that the hardship of life evolves. The cycle continues even after 14 years of my departure and seemingly much longer prior to my existence. The illiteracy rate is exceedingly high, unschooled children rampant, some fatherless from the fatalities of the struggle and the vociferousness of the needy remains unheard by every elected government. Life expectancy for the male child hardly goes beyond 25 years if not incarcerated while teenage girls that haven’t mothered a child before age 19 are nick-named as “mules.”

Although many ghetto youths are barely functionally literate, they are quite articulate and reasons with astounding intellect. Yet others are exceptionally gifted and well educated but as Buju Banton puts it, “Dem noh own a payroll.” The ghetto youths arithmetical skills are superb, be it in gambling or commerce. The ghetto youths are very much aware of current and world affairs and suckle information from the tits of the public media. They are conscious of their identity. Marginalized and often brutally oppress they remain combative in their daily struggle for survival. Honesty among dwellers often prevalent and beliefs in biblical teachings and Rasta philosophies bountiful.

Each youth idealizes the elders and shows tremendous courtesy and respect to them and so ghetto youth for the most are loving and lovable, humble yet defiant, peaceful yet militant.

Their conditions of sufferings stem from the very limited resources available and not from lack of trying. The present Jamaican system does not allow the ghetto youths to be fused into the progressiveness of society, (again not by their own choosing) and being aware of the imbalance of wealth, naturally envy of possession takes hold of their consciousness. Any intent or actions of the ghetto youths are born out of need not greed, making the law of existence by whatever way possible.

The ghetto youths are seldom cowed by the intelligence gathering of foreign crime fighters on Jamaican soil, neither are they frightened by the local military personnel attached to crime prevention mobiles and operations on their turf. Thus, each man’s own survival finds root in his own desperate boldness, immortalized in the following.

Verse3: of Bounty Killer’s Song: “LOOK”

Look down on my shoes, can you see my toes?

The struggle that we live no body really knows

Stop and ask yourself, would you live like that?

And if you had to then, wouldn’t you bus gun shot?

The past and present government systems are designed to keep the youths them under ground, both figuratively and literally. Those enlightened servants of the colonial masters that occupies Devon House since 1962 have promoted the willie lynch syndrome amongst the youths, using their political parties to cause pure partitions, war and rivalry. Area dons and the “bigman” them are influencing and brainwashing most ghetto youths, that the only way out of poverty is to “try a thing.” A thing that will most likely bring a youth from rags to riches as evident by the bossman them lavish lifestyles. Many youths fail to realize that also when you try a thing it is from long-gevity to only a matter of time for dirt and pebbles to be cast down on your casket in the act of ,”ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”

It is a false notion that ghetto youths are merely idlers, beggars and wrong doers. The average hombre wants to honestly and legally fend for his bread. He is caring and possesses family values decorated, fashioned and designed with sound morals. The youths are willing to learn and eager to step-up into life. When opportunities dangles in the eyes of a deprived man, the reward will far out weigh his history of sufferings and so however dangerous or illicit the act, he will partake.

When the conditions of relative deprivation and frustration caused by such poverty , neglect and false promises get to the youths then what other alternatives are in store? Nothing! There is absolutely nothing except for wishful thinking of a Divine Intervention or a Visa.( America or England the preferred destination). The little help that trickles in aren’t much to sustain hopes of a better future. Trust me, those are some of the realities the ghetto youths face on daily basics and so, the only counter attack society can bring forward is to create legalized means, by which the youths can become gainfully trained, employed and involved.

If the affluence of the Jamaican Societies continues to disassociate from the problems of the ghetto youths, if the business operators and entrepreneurs feel no need to assist in community developments and social programs, if all the churches can do is to hold prayer vigils and administer paid funeral rites, and if we all are going to wait on the government to alleviate the social ills of our fellow man…what will become of him let alone you? If he is to stay alive he will resort to ANYTHING. (One Love Zeen)

About the author

Kharl Daley