Drugs, Disparity, and the Untold Stories

BY D.R. Miller

Drugs, Disparity, and the Untold Stories
Shortly after the U.S. born Oscar-winner, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died in February 2014 from what is believed to be a heroin overdose. Many supports gathered at his residence and on television and mourned his sudden death. “How could this happen?” they asked.

These were some of the stories mentioned shortly after he died.
• We lost an Icon:
• The movies will never be the same
• One of the best ever walked the stage
• A great lost for the Industry
• Where are the drug dealers
In the initial media report, it appeared as if he gunned down in and robbed in the process.

Two years earlier, February 2012, the country also lost another superstar, Whitney Houston in the entertainment industry. “She was one of the best singer worldwide,” Clive Davis, an America record producer and music industry executive, and her mentor stated.

Although not all comments were negative, these were some of the stories mentioned shortly after she died.

• We knew it was coming
• This was based on the life she lived
• We tried to save her, but no one tells her what to do
• She refused treatment
• It was only a matter of time.

During the initial reports by some pundits, it seemed she died in a shoot-out as an active member of a gang.

What is consistent is that both of their stories have a drug purity tone that once stood on a drug paraphernalia scale. However, it seems when it comes to the use of illegal substances in the industry, some tend to overlook what I believe to be an “untold story,” where dealers, users, the criminal justice system and the media only have a view that is tilted in ounces along cultural, racial, and socio-economic status.

The interpretation drug afflicting wounds in our society often seems one-sided. Moreover, as society mourn premature deaths in the U.S. from substance abuse, the U.S. is not alone facing these problems. Less than 200 miles from some of it coast lines, the Caribbean Islands routes are not just hubs for trafficking. Many high potent drugs are making a landfall like a hurricane. They are attacking hillsides, small parishes beautiful rivers, and along the white sands and blue waters as recent studies have shown heroin and other hard-core drugs are on the rise where many like to relax.

Since independence from colonialism, economically many of these islands are struggling to combat substance abuse problems. It seems the pride that roars like the ocean gushing at the shores makes mentioning of a substance abuse issues other than marijuana rejected immediately and scorned as a taboo. The lack of awareness such as during the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980, it was viewed as only a gay issue until several family died from the disease.

Addiction has no specific genres of music. Moreover, several songs have been recorded in support for continuous use of marijuana. We cannot blame it only on Bob Marley’s embrace of marijuana through his music or few Rock & Roll stars who are associates with crack, cocaine and heroin.

Today, society has a new attitude towards marijuana. Several States in the U.S. have passed laws for limited medical purposes and legalization. In the Caribbean, some lawmakers have begun to review marijuana policies, and whether to make it legal, or reduce the criminal elements for small possessions. However, it should not be used as a gateway to build credibility to import other substances.

Many entertainers have been arrested on drug charges. Example: Buju Banton received a 10-year sentence after he was convicted for Cocaine trafficking. Sean Paul, Reggae Festival in Sweden one weekend in August 2008. Recently, Andrew Davis, aka Flippa Mafia, and previously Denroy Morgan. Many others in the industry have had court appearances as both a sellers and users. “What role have they played in this drug epidemic?”

However, one cannot discount the debate surrounding disparities in sentencing laws in the U.S., when it comes to black and other minorities convicted on drug charges. On the other hand, parts of the Caribbean often justice can be bought-off and less debate about disparity.

When an entertainer is under the influence of drugs, especially in the Caribbean region, one assumes it is marijuana. Since a urinalysis reports is not available to confirm what type of drug(s) used. However, most counselors, treatment providers, and in law enforcement have an understanding when one is under the influence and a treatment modality might be needed.
Notwithstanding, the new push to relax drug related laws low level users, society still has to be informed that any exposure to marijuana at an early age can become a gateway to more drugs such as heroin, opiates, crack, cocaine, PCP, LSD and prescription drugs.

Many stars before Whitney and Phillip died from drug use: Jimi Hendricks used LSD, marijuana, speed and sleeping pills. The report stated that he died from asphyxiation by his own vomit while sleeping under the influence. Other such as Michael Jackson, James Belushi had issues with drugs.

Reggae superstar Gregory Isaacs just to name a few had issues with substance abuse before his death. Sadly, the taboo still lingers in the region like be top secret.
After Phillips Hoffman’s death, law enforcement took a relentless manhunt to capture the individuals or terrorist who sold him the drugs based on the amount of attention they received.
The last report I read, few were arrested. However, Phillip had already used some of the evidence, and prosecution will be hard. What happen to Whitney’s drug dealers and many others who are still roaming streets both in the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean?

Taking drug dealers off the streets and beaches are always good for community safety. It reduces crime in general, and overall promotes healthier life style. Equally important, what happen when the names are less known?

Far too often, our society only look for changes when it becomes personal The dealers who sold poor people crack, Cocaine, PCP and Heroin and other illegal substances still lives in the same buildings, along the beaches, and are posted back stage at concerts. Fortunately, some celebrities have been rehabilitated, but we must treat addicts, as they are, just that, and not based on their socioeconomic status and body of work. An Oscar or a Grammy or amount of money one has in the bank cannot save an addict.

Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S., former Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIH) U.S. once provided testimony in 2002. He noted, “Cocaine or Crack in any form produces the same physiological and psychological effects once it reaches the brain.”

Drug use cuts across all color line.

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Dr. Hanson further provided an in-depth analysis: a drug user snorting powder cocaine begins to feel the high within 3-5 minutes, the blood level peaks at 10-20 minutes, and fades within 45-60 minutes. Intravenous use, or injection – for which powder cocaine is also used – results in a cocaine “rush” within 30-45 seconds and the drug’s effects last for 10-20 minutes. Inhalation, or smoking – i.e., using crack – produces the quickest and highest peak blood levels in the brain. The user experiences the “high” within only 8-10 seconds. There is no difference based on one’s race:

As (marijuana) push reaches an all-time high, we cannot tilt the scale when it comes to the crack, heroin and cocaine and other illegal substances being used as if it is not dismantling our communities. There are plenty of addicts brazing stages, and the only start to rehabilitation is to take personal responsibility. Imagine how many concerts would have been cancelled if we were to conduct a drug test screening before several artists perform. I am hoping one-day new laws can prohibit one from being under the influence before he or she can perform.

Addiction and drug related death or even sentencing should not be polarized by race, religion belief, ideology, or social and economic status. Let us continue to watch movies, dance and celebrate the arts together from Aruba to the U.S. and worldwide.

When these entertainers in our communities needs help, promoters, managers, and publicists must take responsibility to develop treatment plans before it is too late. Sometimes their estates generate more money after death, but an anticipated new album or movie is priceless.

Copyright©  This article is held by Derrick Miller and its reproduction or republication by any media or transmission by radio or television without his prior written permission is prohibited. Republished with permission.

Commentary: Hello Caribbean: Is it the criminal data or lack of policy?

By D.R. Miller

Justice: The region often talks about crime, and that is always good, but ignores the root causes of crimes. Far too often, when one has a criminal record, he or she is treated as an outcast and their ability to be heard diminished.

This is no different from the stigma placed on teenage pregnancy. The pride of the Caribbean is just as important as any policies, but it is a two-edged sword.

Today, government has to find an effective way to manage the offender population and not community isolation. It has to use the community, from the church, to the boys club and other outreach programs. Gone are the days when one is sent to countryside to live with a grandmother, or an older aunt because of shame. We are now more connected than decades ago. This is not an argument to relax on criminal behavior.

When national security leaders make crime a priority, however, despite good efforts, far too often when leaders find common ground in solving major issues, strategies seem to serve political sides and not the law and justice in general. The same applies to an economic agenda.

Although politics is everywhere, there comes a time when the elections are over. The concept of multidimensional approach that addresses emerging threats must cover all aspects: rehabilitation, vocational and career development, and make sure a fundamental social justice part. These are not mutually exclusive.

Today, I challenge any member of this region’s public safety departments to look at their offender population who are sitting in jail waiting to be tried, and see how long they have been incarcerated before due process. Sure, we must make sure that a person who has alleged committed a crime has due process. However, sometimes the pre-trial period far exceeds the real length of sentence the court can impose and this can only lead to more frustration and distrust in the system.

The good news is that recent reports have shown a reduction in crime. However, simply scanning these Caribbean new headlines there is always a crime related story. Crime is not unique to the Caribbean alone, but these local issues cannot be compared to what is going on in industrial countries such as the US to satisfy frustration locally.

Here is why: If an individual is killed next door in the US very rarely the neighbor has an idea what happened until one might ask, “Have you seen Bob or Malcolm?” Take that same person killed on the beach in the Caribbean; this could have a rippling effect on the tourism industry, and the community in general as these issues will be magnified tremendously.

When we look at a downward trend as it relates to crime, we cannot only highlight the real numbers of deaths as the common denominator. When the numbers are reduced, it should be commended by the efforts implemented by law enforcement.

However, can we say the success of a nation is being measured by the amount of deaths reported? Crime is beyond a gun war; it is domestic violence, financial, organized crimes, kidnapping of school students, poor schools, rape, incest, abuse, robberies, drugs being sold in front of schools, older men preying on young schoolchildren who are not at the right age to engage in relationships and easy access to alcohol and thefts. All these areas have to be reported

Managing crime must cut across all political sides. In these debates, crime rates are often viewed through the lenses of political sides. Where a downward slope can be found, all sides should praise it because all sides are linked together in moving the country forward. No one political party is immune from crime.

How do you screen this person or possible predictor and therefore proper screening is always requires.  

Risk Analysis: Some of these people have serious mental health issues that were not treated and later led to these problems. Family dynamics, such as broken homes, and victims’ crimes, poor education, and the lack of opportunities. They are depressed, and have been frustrated with their leaders, and any outlet to become belligerent will often take place.

Horde Scorpions

A police officer is always the first responder to incidents. Therefore, an officer who has been afforded a high degree of discretion in the exercise of their authority, and in some events, since one’s attitude and preferences can often shape how he or she acts, it is important that one exercises self-control even when he/she can get away with negative behaviour

As the rhetoric continues about getting tough on crimes, do they actually know these criminals, and their whereabouts? For example: someone who has been deported and suddenly arrived in your town. This person has been gone since he was 15 months old, and the only thing he shares with the local people is a birth certificate issued in the same government building.

Upon arrival back to the island, no one knows why this person was deported. Not all drugs dealers are killers, and not all killers are drug dealers. Some of these people were simply caught for being at the wrong place and, through affiliations, or a past incident after which they have turned their life around, suddenly become part of the massive deportation policies being implemented from the US, Canada and England.

The lack of support and labeling when they arrive often forces them into illegal activities. In some crime fighting events, local officers have lost colleagues in shoot outs, and this is not that deportees are long time criminals, it is simply they have better weapons skills stemming from early exposure and the easy access to weapons back in the US and other areas from where they were deported.

Now authorities are left wondering why an officer was killed. Sometimes it takes more than one big tent to get to know these people. I am not implying that measures have not been taken, but more needs to be done with the right training and proper resources in place.

Reducing crimes does not always lie only with apprehension and incarceration of community criminals. Recruiting of right police candidates is equally important. A comprehensive analysis is paramount to make sure that, not because one enters service to society, he or she is the correct person for the job.

It is essential that they have the right mind to serve and protect, and not just another way out of poverty, and to earn a paycheck and, also, using their power as a platform that engages in illegal activities. The potential here for corruption can be high. If one is being viewed as part of the problem, the community often sees all as a bad bunch.

Perception: Throughout the world, law enforcement officers die often in the line of work. However, the numbers can be high at times in the overall Caribbean region. There seems to be a level of disconnect the important role officers play in restoring order and other public safety issues. Install a permanent reminder to let future officers be aware that their service is vital to keep up democracy peace and freedom.

How do you reduce crime when law enforcement is seen as part of the problem and not the solution? In the same communities where these officers serve, often people show and call for the release of accused people, even when the evidence points to guilt. Again, it is sometimes linked to the overall lack of hope and trust in the criminal justice system, as they often received more support from other criminals than the opportunities to find real work.

On the other hand, nothing is accomplished when people take to the streets with knives and machetes to resolve disputes and political disagreements. Today, it appears guns have replaced an individual coming down the hill with a piece of stick after a disagreement occurred.

These people must take the time to research issues, seek a mediation process, arm themselves with information, and when one meets a senator, ask questions how their numbers are going to work, and what the backup plan is if all fails. I have never seen anyone being released after committing a crime because he/she had no idea of the laws.

How an offender transitions back the community, the support one receives, including victims, will be more critical. Furthermore, how that society provides intervention(s) will have a significant impact in the long-run as to more guns being bought, alarm systems installed to protect homes, purchases of groceries and other goods online delivered in armored trucks.

These communities need to attract investments, and sometimes development is the only way it can generate employment, but we cannot develop more private beaches disguised as five-star hotels and homes only to shut out the local people who support roads, cut the grass and clean the bathrooms. This depends on what kind of future society wants to create. When leaders use the media in cases of child neglect, there has to be a balance the social and political data when these disparities occur.

Reintegration: Society cannot sustain growth when one segment is being shut out: my philosophy on crime will remain tough and that if one commits a crime, the only solution is that he/she equally does the time. Building any society will need a holistic approach. It is more than likely that, given the geographic location of these towns, and the lack of resources, an offender will be back in the same area as the victim, and how do you reconcile that without retaliation?

Just as much as victim support is critical, the offender needs the same level of support.

Incarcerated people often struggle in the re-entry process. We have to cut some of the inhumane ways these offenders are being treated both inside and outside of the prison walls.

A paradigm shift cannot be the new buildings we develop, and ignore other problems as to some of the root causes, and how to discuss these issues. Often an individual goes to jail for stealing a goat, few coconuts, or petty theft from a local store or from a fight, and someone gets hurts.

Although we must not decrease the impact on their victims, however, one returns to the community after a period of incarceration as a cold blooded killer stemming from indoctrination housed with hard-core criminals.

Suddenly, this offender arrives back from prison without any level of supervision and or resources, parents are gone and could not buried in the town they were born.

The small districts often remain empty, abandoned, and some are riddled with the ghosts of the past, now occupied by substance abusers stemming from the economic investments that have diminished.

The only shop on the street is a small liquor bar, manufacturing has left because of privatization a once treasured area has now been taken over by greed, and access to alcohol for the ones we condemn only play to a high recidivism rate. This I believe has contributed to more gang activities, crime infected areas that often have created more victims.

Several counties have begun to modernize their prison system and have instituted policies to move the offender forward once they return to society. St Lucia and Barbados have good modernized prisons. I am sure there are others. However, it is ironic that these two countries have some of the lowest crime rates when compared to others, and have attracted solid investments.

The Bordelais Correctional Facility is the only prison in Saint Lucia

There is no fundamental correlation to this trend. For example, building better prisons will not reduce crime. In a recent study, as Fared Zakaria noted: Building of prisons dollars far exceeded amount spent on education.

He talked about not only the higher rate of incarceration in the US compared to other counties such as Japan, Germany and Mexico; the amount of money US states spend on prisons has increased at a faster rate than on education. This did not have any positive impact on the over two million people now sitting in jail in the US.

Moving Forward: Leaders make sure that some families who lost loved ones to violence and scared to make the trip to pay their last respect because they too are in fear of being re-victimized must be addressed. It is very sad when victims are turning to voodoo worshipping, and other material idols to solve crimes, and for medical issues because they too have lost hope

These leaders have to educate and lower the risks through education and against exploitation of the elders and allow the law to solve crimes and not some abstract ideology.

The hope is that when one takes a short walk to the next Parliament building, or drives over a bridge, think about what policy will be supported or be introduced for the homeless, victims of crimes, and countless others in the shadows. It he or she finds employment, it can have a positive impact on any proposed and anticipated crime and GDP numbers.

If the system does not change course, prisons will be bigger than super-malls in the next decade. The migration of people looking for better job opportunities will be fewer because their own system of government has failed while unemployment remains high across several nations, and especially among the youth.

As the area transitions this year, nothing will immediately stop the rate of crimes being committed each day on the streets. Domestic violence, rape /sexual assaults, substance abuse, kids going to run down schools or teens being forced into early relationships with older men just to survive, or being forced into child labour will not change. One in four women will be a victim of some type of rape or sexual assault.

Furthermore, corruption, human rights issues, victimization, and other community conflicts are just a few roadblocks this year that the region has to deal with. Some communities will still fear the police while engaging in illegal activities. Others still will be prosecuted because they are different

Why should you care when the only problem some of us have met today was the snow outside that kept them from riding a bicycle or the crab grass in the lush lawns.

It is simple; create a solid economic, peaceful, happy, and healthy environment and when you are in the region whether as a return resident or visiting, or reconnecting with one’s heritage, the stay will be smoother. However, the region must develop a universal blueprint to move everyone who wants to move forward.

Commentary: The elephant is still in the room

BY R.D. Miller

The elephant is still in the room

Often when one looks at the Caribbean region from outside, only a few things come to mind: (1) the warmth of the people; (2) the blue waters; and (3) most of those who visit from other industrial countries have no idea that the region still has social and cultural issues hidden under the warm welcome.

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P.M. Portia Simpson-Miller

Despite upward mobility and economic growth women have made since the late Eugenia Charles became the first and only female prime minister of Dominica from 1980 to 1995, today, women are still under-represented in this region. There are now a couple of top positions held by women: Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prime minster of Trinidad and Tobago, and Portia Simpson-Miller, prime minister of Jamaica. More needs to be done, and if your name not listed, you know who you are. To some of these male leaders who are stuck in past: let us face it. The generation gap often creates tensions.

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P.M. Eugenia Charles

While more women hold advanced degrees, they earn less for same work performed by men. Although some progress has been made where a few higher offices held are women, they constantly face tremendous resistance. Often the only reason(s) their economic policies are blocked or not taken seriously both by some government leaders and by the community are simple: that they are women.

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P.M. Kamla Persad-Bissessar

The male chauvinism mindset instilled from birth continues to be passed on for generations in the region. The expectation is that she should be at home cooking and ensuring kids are clean and well fed is now by choice, and that can be hard to fathom in a male dominated circle. Yielding this treasured power to women even when it is for the greater good of the society is very difficult despite modernization for several decades.

Additionally, about 57 percent of all college degrees awarded were to women in recent years. It represents about six in every ten college degrees earned today are by women. Furthermore, since January 2013, women lead some of US largest weapon makers: Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and BAE Systems.

Equally important, despite those significant upward-mobility and accomplishments in areas such as government, research and development, media, medicine, sports, and academia, recent studies have shown there is an increase in the women prison population. It is my hope, as more women leaders take offices, and these issues can be addressed going forward, to reverse the negative side of the statistics.

A few weeks ago, Senator Ruel Reid of the Jamaican Parliament delivered what I believe was an excellent speech with a broad appeal beyond the beach of Jamaica. He called for “Rebuilding Jamaica,” across several sectors. However, the senator also argued that families should consider only two children as a part of an economic growth plan.

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Jeddah Marriott no women sign

The concept of a repressive system of government lurking in one’s bedroom to dictate how many children one should have plays into a structured ideology, and does not quantify a sound economic plan to move forward. Furthermore, this system of government is not China, who recently eased its 34-year restriction on population growth from one to two children. According to the Population Research Institute, about 25 million men in China cannot find brides because there is a shortage of women.

The region’s population numbers and the size of the countries are not the only real barriers to growth, but also an intangible that has to change. It is important not to ignore the colourless statue still lurking in these regions: “Stratification.” A few leaders who graze the stages in front of the cameras are not always the perfect picture they paint when the lights go off in moving the region ahead as one body.

Whitenicious-hand

Many writers have talked about one’s colour and its importance in the region for decades. The stratification and the willingness to be accepted saw an explosion in bleaching cream. This product, as noted, should give the appearance of lighter skin tone than one’s actual skin pigmentation. However, this is a topic where a dermatologist will better to explain the downside to this trend.

Professor Oliver Mills talked about “liberation of our minds from mental slavery.” As noted, often these traits can be traced back to the old colonial ideology, slavery, and oppression where only a few rule the greatest. Several locals are being priced-out of affording basic food supplies, this trend cuts across all colours, and when these barriers continue to divide it creates a sociological stagnation and hinders economic mobility.

As society evolves, most new generations have a total different outlook on these social barriers, and are willing to move forward, but past ideology still woven into the political system makes it more difficult to form alliances. Sure, society often can learn from older leaders, however, sometime one has to yield power or simply give it up.

It is not helpful to sit on the cyber crime committee, but cannot save a document in Microsoft Word. Maybe term limits in Parliament could help change some of these perceptions, as it will welcome new ideas if such law can become a reality.

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Solidarity is always important to one’s country. Moreover, it gives one sense of belonging, but when it promotes separation, it can be very difficult to move all forward. Each island is unique in its own way. The Caribbean is not alone in wanting to be different despite similar history. For example, in the US, northern and southern states tend to have different views on several socio-economic agendas, and it often dictates who gets elected into office, or what political agenda is important.

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The history of seeking separation too has played a role in the American Civil War, fought between states in 1861. Some still argue that it was to free the stronghold on slavery in the South while others believed that it was a separation between the North and South. However, the tension sometimes between each other will not amount to civil wars in the Caribbean, but limits cross-border travel, investments that could expand tourism, imports, and exports that could give to a better social agenda, crime control.

The mindset that its population size and notoriety are reasons to isolate and continue to classify some as small islands can be problematic and, therefore, cut its importance in the long-run to connect. Every island has a graph on the economic scale. Too often, one sees themselves as different and, yes, nothing is wrong with that. Every person has a certain amount of biases. However, when one fails to accept and address biases, and uses them as a determinant factor, they can become a roadblock in moving forward.

The word “independence” tells us that one has to do what is best for their growth engine. However, when they compete where it is not necessary and ignore the bigger picture through collaboration to move the next generation send, the only outcome is that someone loses. However, to reach a reduction in high unemployment rates, this region has to grow more than what has been forecast to lift the lower class out of poverty.

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Moving   forward is critical and to make sure equality for all to cut gaps between haves vs. the have-nots should be a universal mission. These regions were once the envy of colonial powers. The English, Dutch and French, and the US were once colonial rivals in this region. St Lucia, Barbados, and Jamaica, as well as Bermuda in the Atlantic were all economically important Caribbean islands. Caribbean sea-lanes as it was called were of strategic significance as early as the 17th century before the slaves arrived. They should get back to that essence of belonging.

What will change you might ask in this year? Answer: not much: There will be another election in this region in several months and leader’s re-election signs will be posted to map their next re-election path. If you are not careful and lose track, every four to five years, another proposal will emerge. The values we place on governance, whether we agree or disagree, at some point we are responsible to create a better future for the next generation. This is why it is important to work together.

The region must ask itself: “What happened to an economic inequality agenda; victim’s rights, women rights, gay rights, comprehensive educational policy to lower the cost of education, the offender population, homelessness and the prison system reform. In addition, what resources are there to help others with less hope stemming from long periods of incarceration, conflicts, and resources for rehabilitation?

Although government is not the solution to some of the social problems the islands face today, it has a responsibility to make sure that basic safety is paramount, including policies that are fundamentally geared to moving people forward and especially young people who have more student loan debts than opportunities.

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Far too often, segments of that society who fall on hard times are left out. Some are labeled “lunatics” because recently he or she has been seen in the same clothing for a few days. It appears this often ignores what happened. Did this person witness a crime, and needed an outlet to cope? Alternatively, were she and her family just being physically, sexually, verbally abused and have no one to talk to so she ended up in the street, and later raped by the same [lunatic] the system has ignored. If these people are woven back into society, the economic growth will continue. A country cannot sell only the white sand, and ignore the ones that washed away.

These issues go beyond pure numbers in any class. Nothing will immediately stop the rate of teen pregnancy, the level of care that only financial status dictates, automobile accidents, and other crimes from being committed each day on the streets. One in four women will become a victim of some sexual violence, and the prison sizes will not drastically be reduced.

The region has to move from the mindset where some are often measured by race, culture, and economic status. Not everyone will be a senator, or member of parliament, a doctor, and attorney, or the chief of police. The trash needs to be picked up, and the farmer to make sure you have the supplies for a good meal. However, structural ideology often divides us by race, culture, sex, and socioeconomic status. Far too often, these labels have dictated one’s outcome in the criminal justice system or the education they receive.

It is more critical that my [Generation X] balances the appetite for the latest gadgets searching and the next best thing and miss what has taken place next door. We do not talk as much as we once did; we rather stay wired to the next headlines a million miles away. Most of the local media seem to be more on entertainment than what is actually going on in the local region. I am not implying that some are not responsible; however, we should not isolate ourselves but we need a balance and to stay informed.

One of the biggest threats to this region is not its location that has a hurricane hovering over it or an outbreak of disease on local crops. It is simple the lack of sound economic policies, and collaboration, and moving from that they vs. us mentality as several writers have discussed before.

Although economic development is critical to sustain the quality of life, however, all aspects of the community from the media to the local police department, schoolteachers, religious leaders, Rastafarian community, to the minimum wage workers and investment bankers should all have a voice at the table because too often the barriers to success in the region far outweigh the opportunities.