COOL RULERS: Laura Facey's Emancipation Park statue, "Redemption Song," was recently painted jet black.
JAMAICA is hot. The land of wood and water has kicked off 2018 with quite a heat wave. The murder rate is shamefully too high. The National Security minister and the Commissioner of Police are at loggerheads. The public sector workers are demanding more money. The list goes on.
The point is, we need to stop and take stock. Where are we going as a country? What do we want to accomplish this year? In 2017, Jamaica recorded its third highest number of killings in any one year. To bring these frightening crime statistics under control what must be done? Starting now? It will require focus, faith and a flexible plan.
To our leaders, the timid, wait-and-see approach will not work. It’s time for firm, decisive action that will bring real results fast. At the current rate, the JCF will be announcing 2,000-plus murders at the end of the year. We cannot afford that kind of loss. Jamaica is in crisis!
Speaking of loss, as I’m writing this, the country just bid a final farewell to esteemed journalist Ian Boyne. He was a relentless achiever whose vast accomplishments, not to mention “tremendous capacity for hard work,” Dr. Peter Phillips (in his tribute) said many of us would do well to emulate, in crafting our own legacies that will contribute to the nation-building thrust of progress and prosperity.
He’s so right. We all have our part to play.
Outstanding young Jamaicans like this month’s cover subject, Renée McDonald (“Girl on Fire”), a supernova talent going places, give us real hope of a brighter tomorrow. We’re also very lucky to have devoted institution builders like Nurses Association president Carmen Johnson (“Woman on a Mission”) on our side.
Jamaica is destined to triumph over the current obstacles. There’s much work to be done. “Hardships there are, but the land is green and the sun shineth.”