Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

By R.D.

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Beyond October: It arose from a day of unity led by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in October 1981, with purple serving as the official color.

This global public health issue will not be resolved because many partners will continue to abuse, and there will be more victims before and after October.

Simply put, domestic violence is more than just one fight. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably is. Domestic violence abuse, on the other hand, can take many forms, including physical, mental, social, and economic abuse.

Domestic violence does not discriminate based on
Gender
Ethnicity
Age
Socio-Economic Status
Sexual Orientation
National  Origin; and regardless of the season.

For several years, I have participated in a three-mile walk during the fall season. This is a community event designed not only to support victims of domestic violence, but also to raise awareness about his frequently unseen killer; participants include members of the law enforcement community, advocates, treatment providers, and other support groups.

During my annual walk, I am frequently reminded of the impoverished victims in poor and developing countries, as well as many immigrant communities around the world, who have few or no resources.

Domestic Violence’s Challenges, Revictimization, Blame Game, and Faces

Unfortunately, many victims do not come forward because they fear having to defend themselves in public, especially with today’s social media.

It is often difficult to leave these toxic relationships because of additional fear, economic reasons, children may be involved, and sometimes the perpetrators are powerful and well-respected members of the community. As a result, many victims continue to sympathize with the perpetrator.

Photo by Liza Summer

Furthermore, in many poor and developing countries, when a victim comes forward, conversations about the case begin with the victim being interrogated. As a result, obtaining appropriate intervention or medical assistance becomes difficult.

Even more problematic is some people’s re-victimization attitude as if they deserved it.

What caused her or him to be abused?….. Why didn’t she/he leave?

But, it appears, no one ever asked an offender, whether in jail, school, church, or the community, why the abuse occurred.

Many victims, and even those tasked with assisting them, may deflect or minimize, or lack the necessary training as a first responder to create a safe space for the victim. This is why training is essential for reducing potential implicit bias.

It is never the victim’s fault, whether the victim is subjected to forced sexual activities, intimidation, stalking, social isolation, economic manipulation, or deprivation, such as being denied access to medical treatment.

Who are the real victims of domestic violence?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, both men and women can be victims of this type of situation, but women are more often than not the victims. In 70-80% of cases, men are found to be the abusers of women, and without intervention, the women are frequently murdered..

Domestic violence affects approximately 25 to 40% of men. However, because of the stigma attached to it, this, as well as the perception of weakness, is frequently overlooked.

According to UN figures, 137 women are killed every day around the world by a partner or member of their own family – a total of 50,000 women per year murdered by people they know and should be able to trust; a partner, ex-spouse, or some dating partner kills one woman every 14 hours.

Data is more than just numbers.

According to several academic international journals, domestic violence accounted for approximately 19% of the total burden of healthcare for women. Victims who lost days of work alone cost an estimated 5.1 to $6.8 billion dollars, which equates to approximately 32,000 full-time jobs.

Domestic violence cases account for more than half of all police response calls, outnumbering robbery, motor vehicle theft, and burglary. Many studies have found that even after the violence has stopped, victims continue to use the healthcare system more than others.

Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused or neglected, according to studies.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old are 2.41 times as likely to experience physical violence. Over three million children witness domestic brutality in their homes every year. 

Domestic violence extends beyond the primary victim; it can result in child trafficking from a runaway child who fled a violent home. According to the UN, approximately 15 million young girls are victims worldwide each year.

Beyond the COVID-19 Mask.

Admitting to being a victim may be a delicate balance of power and status. As a result, some people are left in the dark. This type of behavior is not restricted by one’s title or position. Power and control are still used to abuse women and men.

Photo by Anete Lusina

Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused anxiety, fear, and frustration, experts have reported an increase in domestic violence cases involving unemployed individuals, some of whom are depressed or have other mental health issues, and where there are ongoing conflicts in these relationships.

Domestic violence is still taboo and hidden in some of these communities that share our roots, culture, and heritage. Furthermore, imagine countless others being abused today off-camera, due to a lack of support, and outdated ideology, for every abuse captured on camera.

Despite the breathtaking scenery and wide-open fields, beautiful shorelines, and white sand, not all victims, including perpetrators of domestic violence, recognize a safe place to go for help.

Domestic violence abuse often goes unnoticed in many of these communities. A beautiful sunglass may conceal the scars of a violent relationship, which may be disguised as a day trip to the beach, a corner store, or church, but taking this walk with me for awareness could have a positive and long-lasting impact.

Photo by RODNAE

The lingering shadow and struggle to break free from some historic belief.

This October has provided another opportunity to look deeper beyond gender stereotypes, masculinity, and sexuality, all of which can obstruct self-observation.

Experts also noted that, despite the efforts of a few groups, classes tend to remain in the shadows. They are understaffed, frequently close abruptly, and offenders frequently require the cooperation of law enforcement to ensure that they attend treatment programs.

When treatment programs are available, dropout rates remain high, and victims will use cultural reasons to justify their absence. According to experts, the lack of resources suffocated by poverty can make it difficult to connect families or victims to programs in many Latin American, African, and Caribbean communities, as well as other poor and developing areas.

Fear of losing solely financial support, economic status, racial intolerance, and social stratification; many victims remain silent while navigating the cultural and legal complexities that cause further isolation.

Despite increased rights and a growing shift toward gender equity, equality, and even upward mobility into leadership positions for women, this does not always result in increased awareness.

Some regions’ challenges; wrongdoers with 16th-century mentalities; and cultural beliefs that see women’s role in society as property and bearer of their children have all contributed to the cycle of violence.

Some men who hold deeply held beliefs may believe they have the right to control women and that women are not equal to men. Scholars have noted that the dehumanization of black females who were relegated to the kitchen is linked to colonialism, where slavery’s tragic period cannot be ignored.

Even though many people are still suffering psychologically as a result of the colonial tragic past, the mistreatment of some women cannot be attributed solely to that dark period, and we must debunk it.

Is it time for a new treatment program?

Domestic violence creates a pattern of psychological barriers to overcoming traumatic experiences, which have long-term negative consequences.

Because a victim may not have a visible scar, the nonintervention mentality must end. Many studies have found that even after the violence has stopped, victims continue to use the healthcare system more than others.

Whether in Barbados, Boston, or the United Kingdom, or as a gay person living under a bridge in the Caribbean, being victimized should make no difference: It hurts everywhere, and everyone must work together to develop solutions to this problem, including victims, advocates, providers, law enforcement, and even previous offenders.

Is your community doing enough to bring this issue to light, or should political leaders wear victims of domestic violence on campaign buttons?

Aside from the light, camera, and dance:

Before COVID-19, many cultural colors would have emerged in the summer for celebrations, dancing to the latest Soca, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, Reggae, and Latin rhythms, African Beats, or any other cultural events around the world, but beneath many of these costumes, and one love vibes beats; someone is hurting from the perpetrator of violence’s irrational decisions.

Looking back on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, while medical advances made it a manageable disease, it was through awareness and accountability that many communities were able to reduce stigma.

We must move away from minimization, acknowledge and create a more safe space for victims, and hold abusers accountable for their actions.

No one is immune from violence:

As studies have shown, violence and death within the LGBTQ community have increased since 2010 and continue today due to ignorance and taboo; even by straight offenders who may struggle with homosexual tendencies.

Our society is becoming more accepting today, with advocates promoting equality, but it has been a long and winding road. Some social, religious, and political groups continue to regard lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender relationships as sinful and morally repugnant.

It is more difficult for a victim in these communities to seek and receive help in an abusive relationship because of their identity.

No, you do not need to be a member of the LGBTQ community or a victim to support these organizations.

I hope that the next time you walk or run in purple, or even stand under a banner for victims’ rights, you think about how many stories are being told in silence, and how many are unable to get a like on social media due to a lack of resources and awareness.

Making people aware of the need to change course begins with you and your community. Please use your platform because, while we appear to be closer than ever in terms of social media awareness, we appear to be further apart in terms of helping each other. Keep yourself safe!

R.D.

Choosing between a rock and a hard place: Jamaica’s governance color’

BY R.D. MILLER

This, like others before it, is an unfinished canvas and a variety of colored bags:

On September 3, 2020, the island of approximately three million people will decide whether to replace the locks or return the keys, as well as which party color they will hang for at least four more years, as voters consider a plethora of economic issues.

Economic pressure, unfulfilled promises, a growing or shrinking economy, high or low unemployment, climate change, economic mobility, COVOD-19, Distribution of Funds, stagnation, who is less or more corrupted- high, low crime, how many murdered under what party, prosperity, poverty, a growing divide between the haves and have-nots, high or reduced taxes

The covid effect on the pain brush

Many voters and party officials questioned the timing because of COVID-19, but Prime Minister Andrew Holness of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) seized the moment, observing favorable poll numbers, and called for an election in the hope of extending and addressing the socio-economic and crime dents that have been inside these communities’ neglected paint shop for many years.

COVID-19 Pandemic, financial accountability, old-new manifesto, but who is accurately counting depends on one’s political affiliation. The COVID-19 fear, easy access to polling places for seniors, or abandoned hope and trust in the system. Many of the low-probability voters who will vote in this election are caught between a rock and a hard place

The island has made some progress in containing the pandemic at this early stage, but leaders must be honest and initiate a genuine debate about managing the pandemic. Many people argued that Tests, Treatment, and Trace (TTT), which will be critical, could be improved.

COVID-19-Image

The long-term economic impact is unknown at this time, as the country and my other locations continue to follow the science and recommendations.

This battle to paint the nation’s next canvas may not be decided by who won the political debates or who has a better understanding of the country’s needs, but as experts have pointed out, the team that is more adept at using social media allows politicians to avoid the traditional method of reaching out to voters.

The reality is that it depends on the color you want to see.

An earlier nationwide radio poll found that roughly 64% believe the Holness administration is corrupt, but that it may be better to manage corruption. They will view these issues through a political prism that is either half-full or half-empty.

This report implies that having these foxes guard the hen-house is preferable. This election is still about what they should have done, what they could have done, what they might have done, what they might have done in the past.

These battles should be about the country’s future, environmental issues, the actual trade deficit, the balance sheet, investments, particularly for youths, education, corrections, training and development, and other key economic indicators for Jamaica’s real economic stability, which will benefit everyone.

When the election whistle blew, the two leaders, the players, went into non-stop color media bliss, taunting the progress or lack thereof. COVID-19 social distancing appears to be on the back burner of a national political campaign.

Unfortunately, no matter what the circumstances, justification, rationalization, or excuses are, bad things invariably follow when a country’s life is put at risk for personal gain.

Take, for example, the pandemic that I mentioned earlier. Rebuilding will be a continuing challenge for the new leader. COVID-19, economic stagnation, crime, poverty, and, yes, COVID-19 Blame Game Will Get Uglier as this election pandemic is ruthlessly exploited at the expense of people’s lives

This election debates for changing the nation’s economic tires, repainting, refueling these communities, and repairing broken parts may simply come down to which side is telling the truth or is better at covering up the truth as the island battles for its soul consistency looking for good governance.

The only certainty is that the winning party will need a majority because there is no room for compromise, even if the messenger on the other side has a friendly message, and more likely that the losing candidate will steer his ship into an iceberg if down-ballot candidates are on the ballot?

The same cars, dented but in different colors?

Local politics in Jamaica are frequently compared to a contact sport in which only the strongest survive. The economic strain will continue after the political colorful game is over, with injured community players sidelined due to lost jobs, navigating students who may face distance learning in rural areas without resources, and many other camouflage colors that have been blocking upward mobility, from a checked flag to a good finish line.

Photo by Denys Gromov
Photo by Adrian Dorobantu

An incumbent has an advantage, and people may stick to the putrefaction because sifting through political tribalism is difficult, and governmental power is rarely based on real accomplishments, but on personal time served in a cabinet and popularity, resources to paint a better picture than reality.

Whether Dr. Peter Phillips, the People’s National Party (PNP) opposition leader, agrees with the election call. It is a delicate balance to ask residents who have been neglected to buy another ticket for their economic future. Both ships, each with a new soundtrack, argue that better days are ahead while accusing the other of being in the same murky water.

The reality is that any losing party’s leadership will almost certainly lead the entire crew into an iceberg. Even if the messenger on the other side has a good plan, the tribal toxicity in these campaigns leaves little room for compromise.

Sadly just holding the paint brush from the window, it seems; one side is blemished, the other is imperfect, while the oppressed are constantly squeezed from decades of promises, distrust, and ineffective management, as well as a lack of upward mobility, as many argue that only political leaders appear to be the only ones getting ahead.

The color that is missing while leaders shine:

Jamaica will rise and do better, but who will be less tainted, or who will carry a permanent stain, to continue navigating these ostentatious waters, roads, and hills?

When voters are whipped into a desperate frenzy, pitting communities against each other for temporary feel-good, the youths, downtrodden, teachers, law enforcement, public safety victims of crime, small businesses, and the middle class are trapped inside the body shop hoping someone fixes their dents from years of neglect and bumps.

After all, these political spray paint parties and leaders must serve as primary colors, combining both sides to produce an excellent portrait. Constant political wrangling only complicates governance and paints a bleak future picture.

Despite its cultural significance, Jamaica’s prosperity is not the best beat on the street; it is a single unemployed mother, father, sons, daughters, cousins, grandparents, and uncle on the hill debating whether or not to dance because what happens when the music stops?

“”The rhythms may change, but they’re all on the same vinyl,” one person argued.

Many argue that the politics in that country, as well as other impoverished and developing countries, are similar to some aspects of Chinese investment. They come to mine minerals and other natural resources in exchange for low-cost goods. However, little will change.

Unfortunately, after an election, Jamaica, like many other poor and developing countries, is dominated by kleptocracy leadership. Despite coming from modest means and being democratically elected, many of them have amassed massive fortunes.

These politicians use their political clout and clout to amass personal fortunes. Several reports have surfaced of people stealing money and important resources from the countries they lead, including close allies and family members. They govern in a charismatic manner for the people, but when they leave office, they are enormously wealthy.

As some locals have pointed out, the wealthy, well-connected, and politicians are often the only ones who continue to prosper. Many gated communities will claim patriotism and continue to wield political power in order to protect their profit margin.

We’re hoping for a new blend:

According to local reports, a number of women have entered this election on both sides, and whoever wins must demand a seat at the prime minister’s decision table.

Few Pictures from 2020 campaigns: Photo Credit JLP & PNP.

Scholars have observed that women are under-represented in key positions to make critical changes in elected offices, civil services, the private sector, and academia, not only in Jamaica but in several other poor and developing countries.

This political election will not significantly reduce COVID-19 the next day, reduce crime, create affordable education, violence against women, better medical care, lower unemployment, increase bed space, or provide new life-saving equipment.

As the region continues to navigate the choppy waters, I hope that after these colorful events, everyone can find a color combination to renovate the country. It will take more than party dedication to see hope triumph over fear and reality triumph over fiction on this beautiful island.

Will everyone enjoy and benefit from the finished product?

This battle to paint the nation’s next canvas may not be decided by who won the debates or who has a better understanding of the country’s needs.

Voting should be done for the future, not for temporary jobs or a financial handout in an emergency. What about tuition and school supplies for your child’s education in the long run?

If your participation or reason for running for office is purely for personal gain, the nation’s socioeconomic upward mobility from healthcare, safety, education, and better roads will be lost at the polls.

During this political battle, the only question that communities should be asking is whether they are better off today or envision a future for the next generation. However, this election may come down to a single issue, “safety,” which is a public health issue.

Bob Marley

Jamaica is not without flaws, but it is a vibrant place full of hope and opportunity. Change must begin at the bottom and work its way up. Regardless of which color is elected, the country must deal with a number of ignored rusts that weave a new upward mobility pain for long-term development; transforming the country.

An election, like art, should leave people with wonderful memories. As this shore tries to choose an image for better days between a rock and a hard place, regardless of who has the next paintbrush, they must remain hopeful until everyone can genuinely enjoy these recycled portraits, adding their color for both the country and personal prosperity.


Is there a me-too moment for racial, economic- equity, justice and reparation in the` Caribbean region?

BY. R.D. MILLER

The unexpected call:

Shortly after George Floyd, an African American killed during an encounter with members of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, police department; a global social consciousness rose with massive protest. They called for the universal reversal of laws and systematic practices that many deemed socially and economically ruined local communities of color for decades.

Protesters gather Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Minneapolis

The domino effect forced several businesses once benefited from slavery and the institutional discriminatory practices to confront their past. However, many argued that some gestures were not enough as it appears some banks and insurance companies across continents where slavery generated enormous wealth now setting the agenda regarding implementation of any reforms, apology or compensation.

The global reckoning on race relations and discriminatory business practices has caused some noted changes despite previous resistance. Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s Rice, and Mrs. Butterworth’s brand changed its logo from 130 years that many argued were racial stereotypes of blacks. Other companies have been taking steps to address hiring practices even more diverse advertising that featured people of color.

Will that be enough remains an open question.

Today’s global racial equity call is not like recent women’s me-too movements when several ladies came forward and spoke up about their experience of inappropriate widespread sexual advances, harassment, and rape by powerful men that have gone un-noticed for decades.

The leadership equation for racial and socioeconomic equity along these shores

Though the Caribbean islands often take a hint from the international media and struck courage. However, the Caribbean me-too for equality, and an economic package to build a better future from its dark past, is more complex.

Furthermore, with reported millions of dollars in debt owes to foreign investors, it is almost like one is in playing in a football game down 3-4 touchdowns, and two minutes before the game ends, and the opponent has the ball.

Can they all afford to protest earnestly for fundamental as for a change in the street; and how do you bite off the nervous hands that are merely sustaining you? But the lack of a massive protest along these shores, as seen elsewhere; does not mean that there is not one brewing especially among the younger generation.

Sure, it is a noble feeling to eradicate 400-years of the colonial chain, laws, and mental debris for equality and equity that has been hitting many disadvantaged communities like a destructive hurricane recklessly causing administrative, economic, and social barriers to upward mobility. This sea change will take more than tweets, likes on social media, or political position, or silence.

The Caribbean tragic colonial history cannot be eradicated with a rope, stones, or fire as seen elsewhere pulling down historic generals or former slave owners statues; or call for the official resignation of local managers who typically operate businesses in the region once benefited from these ships with tweets, anger, and photo-ups for quick sound bites.

Decades of economic and social disadvantage despite few educational and economic transformations, as it sits now, need a new blueprint to reverse not only what was on paper, but to reverse the mental anguish of colonial practices that have caused communities to be stuck at sea without an anchor.

Sadly, it is an uphill battle as some leaders cannot even decide if or where to hold a protest, whom, or policy, structure’ leaders should move or steer this reparation vessel for critical change.

Change can be difficult, but moving forward requires a holistic approach from the youths, churches, community and elected leaders, political alliances through collaborative voices. Who arranges a seat at the head table with the biggest notepad along these shores remains a challenge. Many reports have shown there are wide-spread skepticism and distrust of local elected leaders in several communities as to who will benefit from any mee-too approach

One of the challenges, not all on a similar path, but they are looking dock. Barbados, where scholars noted that colonial powers first docked in the region with the blueprint may have an alternative approach from Jamaica, Haiti still looking for an economic anchor to move several people out of poverty may have a different approach.

Another example, Trinidad and Tobago, where many Indians descendants were also enslaved on sugar, cane plantations during slavery. However, today some see themselves as a prominent part of the privileged class and may embrace a different approach to reparation. Antigua and other islands are still under colonial rule and benefiting directly from the shade of the Commonwealth structure.

A Troubled History:

Despite one mission from the Transatlantic slave trade as many philosophers have recognized, in which they transported between 10 million and 12 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas from the 16th to the 19th century.

Many who share the umbilical cord have a different approach, deep philosophic difference, while some rather remain silent woven in a social class system despite being descendants of slaves while others continue suffering from the lingering legacy of slavery racial inequities. As a result, it seems today, on many of these shores, they invite more discussions than policies.

Based on historians; the Caribbean islands fell under the ruling of a European nation; British, Dutch, and French. Denmark, Portugal, and Sweden also occupied territories in the Caribbean. And since innocent people of color did not have a personal reservation, they established rigid rules and penal laws that transcend into systematic institutional racial discrimination today.

History has informed us, between 1788 and 1838 workhouses in Jamaica, one of the most significant British West Indian colony marginalized its population, and that affected local industries, like finance and manufacturing to progress. Today, many dark-skinned people experience steeper mobility subsequently carries forward even in more migration elsewhere across these shores for better opportunities.

The Caribbean may have passed its hostility tone since those cultural prohibitions of black settlement in some areas to interracial sex, part of the racial discrimination known as the “color bar” that has severely constrained its unique culture and economic growth, but it until now reverberates globally today. It may give that melting pot atmosphere, but it is, however, segregated by class, and yes, the complexity that many darker skin people still struggle from that horrific past.

A delicate dance for equity:

Colonial occupation has established a legacy where only a new economical reconciliation path for all that will establish an economic foundation to left people out of poverty. Some argued, perhaps eliminating several debts, financial compensation, but I believe a mental rehabilitation from slavery has to be balanced across these coastlines to reduce decades of a psychological drain.

Many reports have shown that many of today’s buildings, imported goods, and service contracts, ports, and manufacturing own by foreign investors on the shores, which will sit at the reparation table, therefore; me-too may not represent the downtrodden. Subsequently, where does the Caribbean start for social and economic justice for Afro-Caribbean and ethnic minorities who have been marginalized for decades?

Me-too on many fronts absolutely is not about resettlement, re-distribution of land to the poor owned by elected officials, or the top one percent of the rich, removal of colonial images from a local church window, lower interest rates on predatory loans, a new police station to cut violent crimes, and reported corruption or political alliance that only create a stalemate.

The mental complexity

If the Caribbean solution is to its decades of poverty, inequality, and other barriers,  “reparation” or a unilateral economic package permanently building the education system, job opportunities, adequate healthcare, better salary for public servants, modern infrastructure, or manufacturing will represent an excellent approach.

However, openly talking about reparations for the descendants of enslaved people, remain open debate on philosophical grounds like the ocean as to where, who, when any economic wave will approach its shores.

This reconciliation debate is more than a dollar value, social and economic equity, nor can it be the voice of the privileged class, but an economic widespread policy that addresses institutionalized practices that have created a wide gap between the have vs the have-nots.

Today, many wealthy islanders who have successfully attained academic opportunity, business success and can promptly compensate their way into that privileged class often still harbor the colonial bourgeoisie consciousness mentality and a strong grip maintaining stratification, them vs us. Often there is minimization in areas of poverty, crime, poor education, healthcare structural impediments as it appears these poverty-stricken community are at fault.

Conveniently some will yield their financial power to maintain their status> One former diplomat said, “many locals are more foreign minded that the foreigner.” This mentality will stymie any me-too moment for equality.

What is good from the colonial doctrine if it does not eliminate the paralyzing debt, promote manufacturing, improve schools that play a key part in economic prosperity? Many island nations have contributed to the economic power of their once colonial rules, and the economic success they enjoy today.

The hidden rough tide:

Though these islands remain a place to forget your overdue bills and any other issues temporarily; where the smile continues to be broad, linked by the slave ship. The region’s shorelines forever roar with a dark cloud after Europeans decided they wanted to establish their economy and Africa represent the place they went and eagerly snatched people of color, filled several ships without reservation.

An economic collaborative even the ability to travel to other islands for accurate diagnosis and critical medical care rather than waiting eagerly for weeks for urgent surgery or test results will safeguard many lives, and access to good and affordable healthcare represents new me-too respiration. But social disadvantage remains difficult to detect with the naked eye like bigotry seen elsewhere because many bears a resemblance to you does not make it a steady path.

A notable example: Since the COVID-19 pandemic washed onto these shores, it exposed the already poor healthcare system, the ever-widen gap between the haves vs the have-nots, access to decent healthcare, and the major disparities. And if provided local reports that highlight ongoing corruption, mismanagement of COVID-19 funds received, and a system where not everyone can agree on if it is going to rain, or what party is less corrupted in leading these islands; it generates more questions about how to manage any potential reparation or me too question..

This pandemic has affected tourism one of the vital economic and significant industries in the various Caribbean islands. Today, despite measures balancing the economics and safety, It further shows a lack of collaboration as these island stances regarding which one secures a firmer grip on the pandemic for the next terrorist dollar.

This COVID-19 pandemic may leave the shore one day. Those impacted numbers can be disguised as to which leaders telling the truth on the figure of infected individuals, fatality, and the exact cause of death or delivered it there.

What is clear, the internal political struggle goes on, and hidden division between many of these islands that should be working together more than it seems to reverse this decade of ongoing strain from the colonial slavery virus.

The enduring mental impact:

Slavery divided the region into different plantations that established a protectionist and competitive system, subconsciously or not. Today islanders are not from the sugar canes and coffee fields and are free to travel between islands, but some continue to identify others as you over there, and if some could erect a wall, they would.

Recently the Jamaican Supreme Court ruled a student could not attend classes if she didn’t cut her dreadlocks and the school did not infringe on the child’s constitutional rights. This ruling confirms that Rastafarians typically remain a social outcast based on an old colonial ideal, and this culture should only be practiced behind closed doors.

Slavery is no longer on paper, the casting of a new fishing net to have a balance dance is still delicate; especially if the judiciary system has holes in basic democracy and cultural tolerance for all? To such a degree, these communities must step back and rigorously evaluate that, “Out of Many One People,” and any other motto after colonial rule.

Undoubtedly, the Caribbean continues to search for its socio-economic soul, and if one’s hair is no longer acceptable in the local school, what next, Rasta solitary bathroom, dining area, etc. The styling of one’s culture may explain the abundance of bleaching cream being bought in the region for acceptance by many, as the colonial mentality still lingers.

Bob Marley: From R.D. Library

It is like a recent report surrounding a British insignia, a medal worn by the heads of state, the governor-general of Jamaica that depicted an individual on the neck of a black person. Though dehumanizing, how can you achieve a balance if laws bear similar weight on their people?

The Order of St. Michael and St. George

And if the region conveniently overlooks this pivotal moment for upward mobility despite other systematic socioeconomic disparities, and without the right leadership, I am genuinely terrified they all are naturally wearing the official insignia, and me-too and any other push for economic prosperity represent just a thought.

Could COVID-19 trigger a bigger ‘Brain Drain’ of Caribbean nurses?

BY. R.D. Miller

A delicate balance for economic security

This new potential wave of “Brain Drain” from COVID-19 is due to values medical experts contend are critical in keeping them on their local sand, not a lack of political gratitude, photo-ops, or alliance with one party.

Photo by cottonbro

What will the job satisfaction rate of these facilities, healthcare systems, and nurses’ scorecards be after this unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis in the Caribbean and other impoverished and developing countries?

According to experts, it is an intrinsic value that protects one’s opportunity to grow within an organization, and an extrinsic value; pay and job security.

It appears that a few of these islands, as well as other regions, could benefit from updated Occupation Health and Safety laws. I believe that the lack of such regulation jeopardizes protection, ethics in medicine, and the integration of their relationships with their patients.

Despite the fact that healthcare is where most possibilities to migrate are, the brain drain along many of these beaches, especially where there is dysfunctional governance and many complaints of corruption and bad management, crosses several industries, not just healthcare.

COVID-19 discovered how unprepared even wealthy industrialized nations with world-class medical facilities were, let alone economically struggling islands. The stories echo from a lack of supplies, long hours, burnout, the emotional labor of witnessing people die, and feeling helpless when all of their professional training taught them how to keep people alive.

Photo by Laura James

Sure, government policies provided some monetary relief, and supplies, aided financial markets, and stimulated economic activity as a result of business closures and unemployment, but experts cautioned that it may be too late to keep many of their professionals on the ground seeking a better workplace environment, better-paying jobs, and a better working environment, and security.

However, keeping nurses prepared is more important than a trillion-dollar stimulus package passed by governments around the world. Unfortunately, it will be unable to replace these professionals or the thousands of lives lost on the front lines; of frustration by these dedicated workers some of who also were infected with COVID-19 and become victims of inadequate medical systems. 

The decision to stay, or return

Every year, hundreds of young people in the Caribbean obtain nursing degrees and critical medical assistant training. According to healthcare studies, between 21 and 33 percent of medical systems employ foreign-educated nurses, and this number is increasing year after year.

The role of a nurse is just as important as that of a good doctor, a police officer, a teacher, or a safe community. Their presence frequently enables families to return to work or take time off from spending the night on a hard chair waiting for a doctor’s response.

These first responders are not there to put politics to the test; they are the doctors’ eyes and ears, the ventilator power source, from preparing a clean bed to escorting a sick person, including those with mental health issues, while also providing comfort to families in times of need.

The workforce of a country is a critical factor in its ability to innovate and compete in a global economy. Maintaining a country’s long-term health and socioeconomic stability demonstrates its ability to produce leaders and action-oriented people with valuable skills. You can only do so if you provide incentives to keep your people on the ground.

According to studies, demand from countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as other nations affected by COVID-19, has increased. Highly sought-after working visas, which can lead to permanent residency, have become a one-way ticket out for many. If another pandemic occurs, these nurses will act as a stockpile of gowns, masks, and ventilators.

Many studies have shown that, despite some limits on immigration, lately due to politics, discrimination, and other ideology towards some immigrants,  recruiters are aware that imported nurses have had a significant impact on many of these industrialized nations; health care systems, economic development, and social development are all waiting for the next group of new applicants.

Photo by Ono Kosuki

Many organizations and support groups stand to benefit from assisting many of these young students in migrating from their home country with these critical skills.

Today, a new study of caregiving in hospitals is being conducted; the difficulties in balancing work and family responsibilities, as well as emotions during this pandemic.

After graduation flight back?

You may not realize how many students and professionals are studying abroad until there is a crisis, such as geopolitical turmoil or a pandemic, and then there are frequent reports of residents wanting to return home.

However, other vital areas to a nation’s economic stability and prosperity, such as urban planning, social workers, corrections, counselors, particularly substance abuse and mental health, technology, and sports medicine, are also important to have a robust healthy local economy.

I doubt many local government officials would report the number of students who returned after graduation to contribute in some of the poorer-run countries where there is still a significant gap between the haves and have-nots and high crime rates.

Many nurses will stay along these warm and beautiful shores to avoid the hard winters, but the region must also develop incentives for those who have left to study medicine in Germany, Cuba, the United States, and elsewhere to return.

Looking for a better deal to keep them home:

COVID-19’s initial landing on the Caribbean shores, as well as many parts of Africa and Latin America, most leaders have held off the potential high tide through awareness, keeping their death rate and infection numbers low to date, based on what has been reported but this remains an open question.

As experts have noted, the Caribbean Single Market and Economy’s promise of collaboration remains emblematic as the global hunt for talent continues. It appears to be a competition for equipment, and Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) with participants fighting like modern-day pirates as supply and demand became a political sport.

The Caribbean Cooperation in Healthcare will be critical in ensuring that not only CARICOM members, but particularly poor areas, receive adequate treatment beyond vaccination. Furthermore, the current medical system, which has outgrown its aging population, as well as the rising cost of healthcare, must be addressed.

Traveling to some islands, particularly rural areas, can take a long time to reach a medical facility, unlike better-managed islands with more access, but payment at the time of service will become more difficult for poor patients.

Haiti

Protecting important medical professionals will no longer be about how robust or ineffective their systems are, how much bed space is available, or how many press conferences are held, but rather about ensuring that the medical system is held to a higher standard in order to reduce potential turnover and ensure the safety of these dedicated workers from infectious diseases.

Additionally, creating a structure that connects job enjoyment and organizational dedication to all parties involved, rather than just for profit.

The reality is driving more flights out:

Concerns about improved technology, supplies, and other equipment to save lives, including newborns, reverberated through these wards prior to COVID-19. Some facilities, according to the claim, endanger both nurses’ and patients’ lives by increasing their chance of contracting an infectious disease.

COVID-19 loopholes and facilities running like an experimental drug with little accountability, according to several healthcare professionals, while pundits praise leaders for their interest in making reforms despite systemic failings on multiple fronts.

Individuals who spoke out about COVID-19’s experience working under difficult and inhumane conditions appeared to be silenced shortly after. This reduces responsibility, makes people more prone to errors, reduces best practices, and increases risks.

Photo by RF._.studio on

These nurses’ future departure is not due to poor leadership, gender equality, or nationality desertion. Few will admit the lack of a good education and there little few investments in research and development. Furthermore, several manufacturing companies have left town.

Unfortunately, the few success stories now face enormous student loans, safety concerns due to high crime, and claims of underpaying with an inadequate support structure to alleviate emotional scarring.

Today, some argued that veteran nurses are skipping vacations out of fear of losing their jobs, which could result in the current wage being reset after years of hard work.

Brain drain is not always about money, but also a better work-life balance (spouses, parents, children’s future), with the hopes of a well-prepared system and organizational management, job protection, and consistency.

They discussed how, while missing their own country, sometimes being in isolated locations, and having some difficulty adjusting to the culture, the benefits outweighed the negative aspects. Most of these packages now include their families, and they have the option to change their status from skilled worker visa to permanent residence after a specific period of time in these nations.

The complexity of care

According to healthcare professionals and academics, the aging population will raise the demand for both hospital and home-based care in the next decades, and nurses will become more important to meet those demands.

Photo by RF._.studio

These countries will have to cover these vacancies, and the migrating talent will hinder the upward mobility of their medical systems. Many nurses, according to business research, make decent money. Furthermore, this is not a vocation that pays well, such as math, finance, science, or a career in petroleum.

They may need to build a system similar to Cuba’s, and while international travel is prohibited, Cuban doctors and nurses have helped with a variety of diseases and pandemics. Caregivers are becoming increasingly important around the world, regardless of their political system or who paid them for their services.

Poor and emerging countries, as well as several dominant Caribbean islands like Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana, Belize, Haiti, and other Latin American and African countries, whose long-term economic illnesses have debilitated major public medical institutions for decades, stand to lose a lot from the ongoing brain drain.

Although there are great doctors in private institutions in the region, there have been rumors that numerous practices have closed due to a lack of resources.

There are reports of little modernization throughout the region, but one cannot have faith in the system if some leaders appear to have a “pre-existing condition” that is a defensive and basic question asked about the number of people tested for COVID-19 muted, but stimulus checks are handed out are published, and dissenting views are seen as antagonistic.

Politics should not polarize or abuse caregivers’ experiences, whether they are imported or local. Their roles are vital and progress beyond stopping by a local store to pave a road a week before an election, handing out some money, and then selling a fake sense of community before the next election cycle must end.

Some of these Caribbean nurses may be seen on a bus or subway traveling to their next shift as they assess and test their next step; after all, a nation’s economic strength is determined by how healthy its society is.

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The effect of students’ loan debt on the Caribbean shores

BY R.D. MILLER

The announcement

Several countries around the world sometimes introduce rules and regulations are linked to another nation. Some may not fit all backgrounds of various cultures and traditions. Many developed countries share basic principles on commonly agreed-upon approaches to similar problems. For instance, the fight against drugs, crime, and environmental issues..

Although some variation may not have worked as intended, a recent proposal on February 8, 2020, according to reports, Robert Nesta Morgan, parliamentary secretary in the office of the Jamaica prime minister, announced that an incentive plan was in place or being developed to provide students an opportunity to have their debts forgiven for public service work. It is one of the best imported policy seen in a while to arrive on these shores.

Potential impact

In a previous opinion “The Brain Drain of the Caribbean Nurses,” highlighted concerns in the medical field, surrounding lack of resources, patients’ lives, staff safety, job protection, wages, and failure by leaders.  Consequently, many experienced-well-trained nurses abandon the region once they received their nursing degree to work elsewhere, but overall student loan debt was one of the major driving forces.

A few times my telephone rang from friends I have encountered while in the region, which informed me they have migrated with their family. And when I asked, “why that side of town?” the response, “my wife is working as a nurse. It is remote, one major department store that carries everything, I miss home, but it will relief her financial burden.”

Their story is one of many across the Caribbean region of residence leaving to Canada, England, the US, and even other Caribbean islands. This student loan proposal should be implemented and be adopted by other poverty-stricken and developing countries who may not at present provide this incentive.

Maybe it is beyond politics

Regardless of the political party, student loans support many people to attend college, graduate and attain a degree for a more promising long-term future and overall the nation’s economic stability.

Though the proposal marks a step in the right direction and; it is not clear on the last details how it will be funded, and that cannot be captured in a few tweets. But like other nations who take part in this program, there are requirements and commitment for individuals to be involved.

The expectation in the long-run is that it benefits all, and not an election talking point, seen elsewhere to generate votes-based on this platform. There were prior reports of free healthcare leading up to the past elections whereas it seems many are still waiting on bed space, and the result of the free test, but this program may provide a firm ground. After the announcement, social media responded in high numbers.

Many students on these shores will benefit from loan burdens and may change an appetite waiting to leave if an opportunity presents itself to migrate. However, it requires a genuine debate, accountability, and implementation beyond likes on social media.

Student loan debt burden reality

Evidence shows that student debt jeopardizes the financial wealth of many households and the economy in the long-run not only in the Caribbean, but in other countries.

This debt burden has also contributed to the Black-White wealth gap across the wealth distribution. Other studies have shown that about two in five households now owe student debts loans and that number is increasing.

A person with about $45,000-53,000 in educational debt can lead to a lifetime wealth loss of around $215,000. This also affects one’s retirement, long-term saving, and lower home equity according to academic experts.

Student debt has surpassed $1 trillion in the US and the delinquency rate increased to over 50 percent. These studies also showed the suicide rate in the United States rose to the highest levels in more than a decade. I do not know if most of these suicides are 100 percent related, but others noted the negative impact for individuals between ages 20 and 31.

Crunching the numbers before you apply

Understanding student loans is extremely important, like financial literacy. It informs individuals to avoid the predatory lending trap, unsolicited credit cards to investment strategies. Tracking re-payments to ensure forgiven on time as other programs elsewhere have been sued for denial after eligibility. But I will leave that to the local experts to continue more awareness.

Going forward school officials should be responsible and encourage students to maximize all options from scholarships, grants, and aids before taking out loans; and career counseling suitable to gain employment after graduation.

Understanding fine prints to reduce potentail problems

Household size, marital status, income levels, and work status can influence these loans; therefore, differentiating traditional loan repayments to this income base will drive that will be important. Students should recognize how the symmetry will work between traditional banks and government loans, but for now, it is a key step forward if created for the correct reason.

Example: Minister of foreign affairs and foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, twitted think this is a great idea worth exploring! 50 percent or 100 percent, 5 years or 10 years; Police with forensic and cyber capacities, Nurses critical care, Teachers (esp STEM)–is this something that would be part of the bi-national commission to discuss? Or examined separately.”

I believe her conversation was extremely significant and does not alter the fact that they also use these loans for tuition, books and supplies, and ongoing expenses. It does not define one hope that this new loan forgiveness as to one’s degree, but an incentive to attract the best and the brightest and keep them. It is like a private corporation giving you a bonus stock option upfront or a reward for your work.

This application should not create other social stratification what jobs are more important to be considered. Attracting and keeping the right workforce will be an economic win-win for the nation. The common denominator should be civic service.

Tyrone, who makes certain that your water is clean and that trash picked up, or Susie, who processes your property tax daily; or Nadine, who attended school to study agriculture; and still paying off those loans, but became unemployed when her factory closed, but she always enjoyed cooking, and currently prepares your child in school lunch at the primary school. They are in addition government workers.

Your commitment

These loan incentives were first developed by officials to compete with the private sector to attract and retain the brightest. It is more than likely that your civil service career will not make one extremely wealthy, as these public service positions often like being a law enforcement officer that is put in a position of authority.

They must dedicate one, physical and mentally fit where pride and sense of duty dictate success or failure. It is a career that helps to maintain a quality standard of living and has a smooth retirement package (hopefully).

Finally, before you pick that academic institution to build your dream career, this is a candid conversation potential student should discuss with their families because far too often, retired parents left to carry the burden just wanting to perceive their children get a chance at being successful, and one should not eliminate a good idea even if you have an ideological difference with the messenger.

For one, there has been a massive increase in government spending globally, but looking in, I hope this one is beyond twitter and an incentive only for votes because these students will benefit tremendously.

Possibly a Chinese Community Policing Model for Protecting Caribbean Women from Domestic Violence?

By R.D. Miller

Part IHer Story/Their Story

I registered with a few Caribbean electronic news media outlets in early January 2020, and within a few days, reports about six murdered women, including others who have gone missing, appeared in my online feed.

Today, I highlighted a few names from an ever-growing list of victims and stopped counting. Jezelle Phillips, Gabriella Dunbarry, and Pollyan Chunlesingh are from Trinidad and Tobago.

Somattie Keosoram, Naiee Singh Naiee, 31, an ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, and Sharon Burnett, 56, are all from Guyana.

Neville Sinclair fled Jamaica to escape a toxic relationship, Shantel in McMaster in a supermarket shot dead by her lover, Suzanne Easy, killed by defense force Corporal Doran McKenzie, who later took his own life.

Unfortunately, there will be more victims before you finish reading this article; whether you are a teacher, student, wife, mother, aunt, or sister, the murder rates and violent crimes, particularly against women, are high.

Several males have died as a result of violence around the same time. Many of these cases are unrelated to an intimate relationship, but studies have shown that on average, less than 10% of men are killed by their female partners, while males kill approximately 70% of females.

Photo by cottonbro

Domestic violence, in particular, is a public health concern along many of these coastlines.

Every 14 hours, a victim is killed by a spouse, ex-spouse, or a dating partner. And someone is abused by an intimate partner every 20 minutes. According to experts and the Center for Domestic Violence, domestic violence accounted for nearly 19% of the total burden of healthcare for women aged 15-44..

According to studies, approximately 40% of the Caribbean population considers crime and security issues to be more serious than poverty or inequality in their nations. But also, even as leaders argue these numbers to paint a better picture, the psychological effects continue and that cannot be measured.

Systematic Failures

Shantel Whyte, 24, was in a bad domestic relationship when he shot his love inside the store he managed. Many local news outlets stated that she was well-liked, energetic, and had a promising future. Accountability is also essential for increasing community engagement. Good governance cannot be replaced solely through social media.

Shaitel Whyte-24

Authorities frequently lack resources, particularly in rural areas where technical skills to solve difficult crimes could be improved.

Weapons have largely replaced discussion as a means of resolving minor conflicts today. Disagreements can easily devolve into brutal personal aggression and killings due to a lack of resources for resolution. These perpetrators frequently overlook criminogenic risk factors such as anti-social cognitions and behavior. (Domestic Violence-Podcast)

The silence is deafening

Selective amnesia frequently sets in, rendering it ineffective as a strategy; neither minimization nor photo-ops empathy is a strategy; tweets do not elicit fundamental support, and frequent comparison to another country does not provide an action.

Often a sudden visit to a victim’s home is good, but without resources or a quick policy that focuses on getting to the root of the problem, including women’s concerns and the community, is not a long-term solution.

Despite the fact that violence is pervasive, there have been numerous reports of mentally disturbed or racist individuals with easy access to high-powered weapons killing or targeting innocent victims. However, the reported one or two killings per day on these shores add up regardless of location.

It appears that the same record is being played over and over again; we will look for solutions, and where local concerns appear to be drowned out. Furthermore, these atrocities must be solved by apprehending potential serial killers on local streets and in communities.

How many women have gone missing, been abused, or murdered before these latest victims, and their cases have gone unsolved?

Far too frequently, a consistent trend, “The police investigation is still ongoing, while the families of the vulnerable victims seek adequate answers. When is the “Where does the next button stop along these shores, and in many other places?

I wondered if the Caribbean women including other poor and developing regions with little and sometimes no resources were on the verge of extinction, not because of shark attacks or aging, but because of the actions of their domestic partners.

Photo by Anete Lusina

How many young lives have been snuffed out? Your next teacher, cop, doctor, social worker, or even prime minister could be you. It appears that these perpetrators have taken out life insurance policies, and in order to cash them in, they have resorted to violence.

The blame game

Rapidly accusing the victims is minimization, and the argument that those men kill out of mistrust and poor judgment, and that she should stop complaining about how much they spent on her should be refuted.

Even more problematic is some people’s re-victimization attitude as if they deserved it.

In our society, discussions about these cases frequently begin with an interrogation of the victim.

“She had the option of fleeing the situation.”

What was the source of her abuse? ….. Why didn’t she just leave?

She should flee, but where will she hide in a system riddled with flaws designed to protect their vulnerability? It’s always about what she should have done, not what should have happened.

But no one ever asked the perpetrator as it seems, whether in jail, school, church, or the community, why he or she chose violence

Many victims, and even those tasked with assisting them, may deflect or minimize. We recognize traditionalists, or the “silent generation,” as experts refer to people who were raised to be seen but not heard.

Changing an old ideology

The rise in violence, particularly against women, necessitates a critical examination of the cause, as well as policies to provide more protection and support.

Though laws and women’s rights movements date back to the 1950s in the region, such as in The Bahamas, led by Dr. Doris Johnson. However, several of these laws are out of date and may need to be revised to address current concerns.

Domestic and family violence cases are more than politicians showing up at a gruesome crime scene, snapping a few photos with a victim, and then posting on social media with little or no resources to back them up.

Every year, millions of women are emotionally, physically, sexually, or economically abused or killed by someone they know and love, such as a husband or partner.

Photo by RODNAE Productions

Domestic violence is still considered taboo in some cultures on many Caribbean islands, as well as in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. It has a long history of male chauvinistic (macho) status.

Many people still consider street harassment to be normal, and few will admit that it is a serious problem. This behavior frequently escalates into unwanted touching, assault, kidnapping, and death.

Unfortunately, many victims remain in the shadows after being re-victimized, humiliated, blamed, and given little support, even when the offenders are involved.

Women’s and other victims’ upward socioeconomic mobility may have become a threat to some males because she is now independent, confident, and more educated, which severely challenges traditional thinking in which gender roles were defined and she was better suited or relegated to the kitchen.

This violence appears to be following a pattern similar to other places where ethnic, cultural, and religious cleansing has occurred as a result of geopolitical conflicts. Human rights reports have revealed that women are vulnerable and that if they do not comply with orders, many are molested, brutalized, or killed.
 

The cycle, disconnect, and long-term impact

Many children who live in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused or neglected. This violence creates a psychological pattern, and overcoming this traumatic experience has long-term negative consequences, with some becoming abusers.

Every year, over three million children are exposed to domestic violence in their homes. Some children were raised with the mistaken belief that if their worried mother stayed, everything would be fine.

However, due to a lack of effective responses, resources, and often accountability on the part of local law enforcement and the judiciary, as well as insufficient training for first-line responders to handle these violent cases, the cycle continues for helpless victims.

These victims’ stories are frequently politicized, deflected, or given little condemnation by elected officials in order to prevent tourist ships from docking, keep hotels full, or simply because they are also indirect victims of the impact or are afraid to speak up.

Getting to the root of the problem

This is more than a few erroneous tweets with a distorted sense of empathy. They should mobilize more to demand change and accountability because “we are going to” does not prevent fractures, third-degree burns, lacerations, disfiguring scars, and, in many cases, death.

Leaders must invest more resources in community policing, treatment programs, victim services, and youth organizations to identify troubled individuals, as well as in job training and rehabilitation to induce a mental shift in how they resolve conflicts.

Before deploying a vaccine, these local systems must be able to identify criminal symptoms using psycho-sexual assessments.

It is frequently a 48-hour news cycle, guilt, social media bliss, and promises made as if governance could be accomplished in a few characters. Some of your leaders should go back and read their social media promises and what will be arranged, with little or no support for victims’ follow-up.

Confronting violence against women means ensuring that their community remains a great place to live, work, and play, with the ability to provide resources to underprivileged victims, such as food and personal care items, as well as a safe place for victims to tell their stories without being revictimized.

More dialogue is needed, and not just when someone is murdered. It cannot resolve the familiarity of what happened at home staying at home with a phone call to a dear pastor or a few likes on social media while perpetrators are rarely held accountable.

The Barriers

Poverty, inequality, stigma, and polarization make it difficult to provide critical resources such as family or personal counseling. Treatment, victim services such as mediation, or shelters would be possible with intervention. Access to these services, according to experts, would change the course of many Latin American and Caribbean communities.

Unfortunately, experts have noted that some group interventions remain in the shadows, lack proper staffing, and close quickly, and convicted offenders frequently require the cooperation of law enforcement to ensure they attend treatment programs.

Victims continue to use the healthcare system more than others, and for a longer period of time.

Today, it appears that some elected leaders have selective amnesia when it comes to violence, from robberies to ongoing missing students. They are frequently entangled in the complexities of policing, politics, and community.

Vigilant justice on top does not foster vibrant communities. It only reveals a deeper, systemic problem in the community, and people must speak up to reduce violence. “If you see something wrong, report it.”


Part II- Accountability in the Chinese style may help to reduce this senseless violence.

According to published reports, China has stabilized over 60 million people in one weakened state since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. What if local law enforcement took a similar approach to deal with family violence and violent women?

China’s growing global presence has been documented in studies and publications in recent years, with new inroads into the Caribbean islands and Africa. They have seen a cultural explosion as a result of Chinese companies and other recent investments.

These private investments were reported to offer a path to improved economic growth and security.

If the Chinese takeover of high crime islands public safety operations is successful, will it save more women from domestic violence killings and other criminal issues?

Given the Chinese influence on these shores, I reluctantly began to speculate. I entertained some deep thoughts and investigated this trend after consulting with a few experts and friends. To protect their investments, they may offer a more robust public safety strategy.

I also doubt that the region will adopt a governing structure known as a “police state,” which only works in a Totalitarian system in which the government wields power through the police. This only increases citizen distrust and anger toward law enforcement. And a delicate balancing act involving these countries’ politics and constitutions.

This idea is less likely because reports have shown that China has human rights issues, such as forcing Mandarin on ethnic minorities like the Uyghurs. However, because they have already invested in and own key areas of these shores, importing another approach to addressing these public health issues may work. This intrusion may result in improved technology and training.

According to scholars, this contentious practice “who are their friends and all their enemies.” If this were to happen, violent criminals would face severe movement restrictions, which is exactly what many victims face in these toxic relationships.

These victims require your assistance.

In these many of these communities, violence against women persists in the shadows. After she gathers the courage to come forward, these victims deserve your support and an action plan.

There is a struggle, particularly on the higher crime islands, to distinguish ideology from policies to combat this malevolent that is becoming more virulent. Even if it reduces the number of children who go missing or are later found dead, it may be worth considering..

Every year, Reggae Fests, Soca, Afro Beats, Jazz, Latin Rhythms, and Carnivals took over these nations, but beneath the costumes and rhythms; one loves vibes; someone is hurting from irrational decisions by perpetrators, and perhaps these events should be paused to highlight this epidemic.

The system must improve its assessments and interventions in the areas of mental health and substance abuse. Often, social media only focuses on high-crime areas, leaving rural areas unnoticed. Build confidence for the next generation of awareness by talking about domestic violence. We can no longer blame it on culture, where the objectification of women is still acceptable.

Let us continue to talk about it.

I hope that more helpless victims will receive critical additional support from other women and organizations when they come forward without fear of financial repercussions.

Violence against women must remain a top priority not just during election seasons. This problem will not go away because many domestic partners will continue to brutally abuse and kill regardless of the calendar day.

Photo by cottonbro
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Goodbye, going once, twice, sold

By R.D. Miller

The New Coast: Recently a solemn promise was broken. A few of us halted all travel plans until we were convinced that the government had the chikungunya virus under control. However, breast cancer took a dear family officer after 30-plus years in public service.

Despite the earlier concerns, many of us went and showed our final respect for fallen hero who also made it possible for countless family members who now have a career in law enforcement. After the flight landed, it was time to both reflect, and enjoy our heritage and the ancestors land.

Traveling the coastline, with the ocean dangerously few feet from the vehicle, while staring at beautiful homes tucked in hillsides, the temptation to pullover for a quick swim, or capture the sunset, and walk barefoot from the cold left behind emerged.

However, a once simple pastime and custom for natives from a hot sunny day or a weekend with families to prime free beach areas to relax, is apparently becoming very difficult and just an idea.

The high criminal elements that are sometimes a deterrent has now been taken over by: segregation, isolation and the fight equality now seems more dangerous.

Even vacant lots that should have been designated as historic land and preserved are either leased or bought by foreign private investors. Home prices are extremely high and few older structures that could use an upgrade, owned by the less fortunate people passed on from their ancestors, and dating back to British rule, many found themselves restricted to move freely.

As the mega-building rises, green land and trees are diminishing, thus contributing to the record high temperatures, while ignoring the environmental impact.

Many of the local people I spoke with are not against investments or people who do not look them; and they should be respected and protected, but these residences would like to see a balance. They work hard and played by the rules, but finding it more difficult to get ahead and like-stability for everyone; especially ones without a voice to survive.

The gentrification in disguise is a global trend, creating social stratification sold as transformation. Sure, a few job are created by new stores, and hotels. However, some working conditions often look like a previous century, working in hazardous conditions for extremely low wages, unable to purchase a small home in the communities they are serving.

What is the trade-off, and where are the unions to balance labour and human rights? The region is now dominated with massive imports. Locally grown products have dwindled to small corners like news racks covered with international news clips while local customs and identity get lost.

Analyzing the region’s plight from the outside is difficult. Who are the investment banks in disguise, as famous faces who claim they are in love with the region while commercialization threatens native culture. Obviously an incredible lack of knowledge or accountability about who are the human piñata lining their pockets. What is troubling, it seems an iPhone, Facebook, and YouTube appear to be more important to some, while the sand is being swept from under their feet.

The New Master/Employer

This new push in the Caribbean is not an overnight success for some. China started its diplomatic engagements in the early 1970s, or what can be called their blueprint. For Jamaica, the voyage started under former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson on a high-level visit in 1998, when Jamaica opened an embassy in Beijing. Later, the Caribbean Economic Trade Cooperation was forged. In 2005, Jamaica hosted the first China-Caribbean trade fair. Other Caribbean countries have seen an explosion in key areas.

A few months ago, I wrote about China’s penetration into the Caribbean markets for anyone who has access to a red carpet. The modernization of technology and infrastructures brought to the region should not be an economic long-term sentence for some.

This new colonization with local hidden alliances has not lifted the poor from poverty. Many still depend on handouts for survival while the middle class struggles and remittance from family members. The lack of transparency, accountability and ignorance continue to slow growth.

One report noted that China uses its financial influence and CARICOM as its umpire to expand. Several projects, from medical centers to stadiums in St Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, and Jamaica, and others with cheap loans has some positive effects, but who are the real long-term beneficiaries?

McKinley & Company, a global consultant firm that operated in more than 40 countries, once noted that several companies have failed, especially in the energy industry, due to cheap imports from China over the past ten years. To the Chinese credit, education is mandatory.

(1 Dec 2015) Chinese President, Xi Jinping

They have tremendous control over the value of their currency in spite of questionable human rights issues. While the priceless seaports and other infrastructures are being sold, leaders should at least learn some of their business strategies, and even negotiate an energy efficiency deal to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel, especially in Jamaica where an average customer pays about 42 cents per kilowatt-hour. Many factories should be mandated to clean up the air, but that will hit the elite who run the country.

Li+Keqiang+Jamaican+Prime+Minister+Portia Simpson

Some agrued that investments are ok, but after that cameras aSome argued that investments are ok, but after that cameras are off, little financial accountability, but in order to positive some remain cautiously optimistic and hope these inroads- pay off in the long-run

Dominica PM Skerrit
Tian Qi (R), China’s ambassador to Jamaica, and Jamaican foreign minister Kamina Johnson (2019) Update
Trinidad-PM-meets-Chinas-President

Selling Our Souls: While many Africans sold slaves, they did not invent slavery. Today, the selling of native land is a rebirth of such dark period. The Europeans and others turn the plight of others into major businesses. Having few natives at the table today does not make it more acceptable.

In November 1927, Marcus Garvey was deported from the US. He fought for self-governance and despite push-back even from black leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, who once described Garvey as “a little, fat black man; ugly, but with intelligent eyes and a big head.” The region could use him today as an ambassador. Patriotism cannot only be in the music that comes out of the region.

Marcus Garvey

This paradigm shift along these blue waters is troubling. Sunday, November 17, 2014, opened the world to an issue kept off air when CNN aired Anthony Bourdain’s Part Unknown. To some, it was uncomfortable, but viewers saw that Jamaica is not all about reported violence, marijuana, and a relaxed attitude.

The culture is going through a silent erosion where few rich individuals and companies are building resorts that not even the locals can afford to visit. “Imagine prohibiting an American from a public park,” as one vendor’s legal struggle put it to keep one of the last free beach from development.

When Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell was not selected as the 2015 Miss Universe, many mobilized in the street, online and voiced their displeasure. The same emphasis on these issues as to the plight of their nation — access to where one can live or swim free — is needed. As many questioned Kaci’s skin colour to represent Jamaica, it only underscored the argument that a few are still stuck in an identity crisis to see even more dire issues

Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell

Where is the local tourist board?

Furthermore, few are willing to sell their souls and local government leaders appear muted. When personal financial gains ruin an entire community, conflict is inevitable. With high unemployment and poverty, and division, the criminal enterprise thrives and hopeless youths become radicalized, not necessarily from religious ideology, but stemming from polarization, isolation and the lack of opportunity.

New Charity Economy: Today, it seems the region has more charity organizations than small businesses to help the youths. However, not all charities are bad. In the US, one in six receives some type of food support and many school students go hungry each day.

Philanthropist Jeff Levitetz recently funded several schools in Jamaica’s rural outpost “In Honor of his 96 year old Grandpa Charlie”, working with Coconut Creek’s nonprofit Food for the Poor. The charity aims to build or upgrade 50 schools on the island. Jeff’s grandfather has a personal love and affection for the Jamaican culture.

eff Levitetz, president of The Levitetz Family Foundation, proudly stands… (Food for the Poor / Sun-Sentinel )

In addition, US$166 million is pledged to Jamaica to addresses climate change. The irony is that the coastlines are being ripped apart by development, causing severe climate issue. Furthermore, despite millions donated, some charities do not serve the desired purpose, and the lack proper oversight leads to actions where donations are used to further personal needs.

When politics becomes more important than higher education that only a few can afford, it only creates a new generation of ignorance. Throughout local districts, several primary and high schools still lack a good library and other educational resources to properly educate the next generation. Yes! You can continue to blame slavery, and the lack of reparations. The arguments remain valid, and add several economic downward slopes since independence to the debate.

Even 200 years ago, education was a necessity. Between 1835-1842, the region had a slave fund shortly after emancipation. While many in the region and elsewhere were denied access to education in that same period, the British government voted 30,000 pounds per annum towards the education of former slaves. The fund ended around 1845, as studies have shown for many of the British West Indies colonies. It played a pivotal part in training teachers, and building schoolhouses. It was called the Negro Educational Fund.

As 200 years ago, very little funds came from the West Indian governments. The once colonial power seemed to have more interest in educating former slaves than many leaders today to analyze global trends and make decisions.

The disappearance of good governance some could learn something from 200 years ago. It seems handouts have become the normal way for survival for some, while the communities need a sustainable long-term foundation. New charities and awards checks are not capitalism.

New Approach: Few economies have rebounded since the 2008 financial economic collapse. The Caribbean still has an economic virus. The unemployment rate, inflation currency devaluation, and crime remain a problem. Despite these issues, the people are welcoming, but they must not be fooled in a misguided perception that the few millionaires who own these shores are totally in love with the island’s relaxed vibes, food, and people.

Love does not hurt others. When Ian Fleming (and James Bond) fell in love with Jamaica in the late 1950s, conflicts were not about access to one’s own land.

The few who have the media are skilled at making noticeable linguistic shifts, while masking an urgent need to resolve the dangerous ideological faults even within their party. While it looks like capitalism on the coasts and inland; however, if it is one-sided, it defeats capitalism as a driving force to end poverty and inequality.

Today, we are left wondering how young police officers will be able to afford a home in area they will patrol to protect mega properties and address the untold stories, where hard drugs and young girls who struggle to find employment become nightclub dancers for a few dollars, controlled by pimps who force them into prostitution, sexually abused and exploited. They are not beach beauties that stroll the sand, they are victims that are often overlooked throughout the region.

Modernization is important; however, it should not take a nation back centuries, where only the rich and famous get to rewrite.

As Burning Spear once said in a song, “My island don’t sell out.”

Jamaica Reggae Superstar: Burning Spear