Repair The Mindset Before Reparations

Having read all the comments and opinions on the British Prime Minister’s recent visit to Jamaica and the furor that ensued, here is my take on it. Yu see dis reparations argument? It will never happen if as a people we are not organized.

The set of people who call themselves Jews are organized. They are so organized that they are able to exert influence and power. When they demand that their wealth be returned to them, or that reparations be paid, that decision is not measured by how worthy they are deemed to be of reparations, but rather by how much damage can be done should they withdraw their support from the economy. Black people as is, barely support Black business. In Jamaica alone, the fight well meaning people have received trying to unify groups is tantamount to committing professional suicide. Recently I was made to understand that there is a ‘business mafia’ who will deliberately obstruct your progress if you challenge the status quo in any way. Many of us are keyboard ninjas who only have mouth behind we computer, but when it comes to the test will not even stand up to superiors in our own offices, churches, various organisations and by extension, our country when we see wrongs being committed. We can’t even agree that we are from the same piece a landmass that is Africa. #whatating Our ancestors are surely rolling in their graves now for shame. Their struggles have been in vain. The ‘articulate minority’, so long as they are comfortable – happily paying bills until death – will continue to pose in cars they can barely afford, to keep up appearances, to take out loans to buy costumes to jump in carnival, to siddung ina Emancipation Park and eat Dinner en Blanc while the Riverton City dump burns. Meanwhile our country Jamaica, ‘land we love’, sinks. Now don’t get me wrong. Enjoy yuself! What is life without fun? We all work so hard in our respective fields. Just don’t forget what we are up against as a unit. My modda used to sey “fun is fun and joke is joke”. Mi know there are plenty of us who don’t care as much or even at all, until, whatever affliction gets to our door and affects our own family, our own children. It is always somebody else’s problem. By then it might just be too late. This great little dot that has made such an impact on the world is being let down by the people who occupy it. It might sound cliché but united we stand, divided we fall. One hand cyaa clap.

The challenge now is … what is next? Where do we go from here? Are we ready to get organized? To support each other for the collective good of our country? Our homeland?

In response to these questions posed on Facebook a friend, Kira Karelle Williams offered this solution,We need to start by holding ourselves and our fellow citizens accountable for the future of our nation, even in the small acts of the day. Don’t put up with people littering or drivers cutting in front of you in traffic, or poor customer service. In service to depressed communities and special needs groups, in random acts of kindness, regardless of social class, religion (or lack thereof), or skin colour. No more of this “he needs to go back to where he came from” or “not my problem, MY Jamaica nice”.

Only then, can we hold our representatives and leaders to account in a meaningful and sustainable way.

 For those who think this is of no relevance to your situation – you may not have had anyone incarcerated or Hawkeye and King Alarm protecteth thee, where do you think the difference that is, di £37M, going to come from to fund this prison? Tan dey dey. All who like go Miami go shop, mek sure your Jamaican dollar can stretch that far!

Repair the reasoning before reparations.

About The Author:
Alison Latchman

Alison Latchman is the award winning writer and co-creator of Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s first animated series Cabbie Chronicles. She is also the writer of the children’s book series Magnus the Mongoose, a tale of Caribbean adventure full of culture, discovery and real pickney fun! Available on, and select bookstores across the Caribbean.