• COVID-19: The long-term socio-economic gap facing poor and developing countries.

    COVID-19:  The long-term socio-economic gap facing poor and developing countries.

    BY R.D.

    The humanity of education:

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the transmission of disease and attempts at quarantine or social distance. Thousands of people have been made unemployed, companies have gone out of business, or sales have decreased dramatically.

    coronavirus under the microscope.

    The unknown consequences of more than a million people dying and an estimated 50 million others becoming ill, with the number of infected people continuing to rise.

    Unfortunately, many low-income families in impoverished communities in poor and developing countries lack access to the global distance learning space, preventing them from catching up to the wealthier towns, counties, states, in these school districts.

    Many are already overcrowded, low-performing, run-down structures that are deemed unsafe for both students and teachers due to a high student-to-teacher ratio. Students in several of these educational systems were required to attend classes in the morning and afternoon shifts.

    Though it is not an easy task, the pandemic has revealed how fragile economies were prior to the pandemic, as well as the lack of focus on the educational system.

    According to experts, these students will miss out on the critical face-to-face socializing process for a child’s development until the global health pandemic has passed.

    Several schools that followed the guidelines of social distancing and masking had to close due to new infections, according to reports. Furthermore, these schools have the necessary resources, such as adequate classroom size and proper ventilation.

    While communities debate the best course of action to mitigate the effects of science, politics, vaccination, and equitable distribution of resources.

    The reality is that for many impoverished countries, this is still a complex issue, and some students may not be able to return to school due to a lack of critical resources.

    Photo by Pixabay

    Aside from that, many people will object to vaccinations for cultural and religious reasons, as well as a history of mistrust, fearing that they will be used in their development.

    Hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, on the other hand, are killing millions, and this disaster appears to have taken a back seat or been eclipsed by many communities, hidden behind clinical trials, vaccination, reservations, rising death tolls, and infections.

    This pandemic has taught us that education is about teaching all people, regardless of race, gender, creed, culture, or socioeconomic status, and about building a nation and humanity that will bring our society closer together.

    Beyond the vaccine, science, and politics.

    COVID-19 exists in two worlds: behind a camera, on a computer screen hidden behind a kitchen counter, in a cafe, or in a corner office, and beyond the articles, opinions, and though it may not be related to a teacher’s engagement.

    Photo by Julia M Cameron

    This new normal distance learning, hybrid, behind a camera, computer screen tucked away on a kitchen counter, at a cafe, or in a corner office, it’s a fight between the haves and have-nots once more.

    While there have been political debates and promises about the COVID-19 stimulus package or money distributed, there has been no accountability or mismanagement of funds, as has been reported.

    Many areas have seen distribution along political lines, with the fun lasting only as long as a trip to the local grocery store for those who needed it the most.

    As a result, many future local elections will be won or lost based on the amount of money distributed, with overall pandemic management becoming lost in these debates.

    Unfortunately, many politicians excel at winning elections before they understand the difference between campaigning and governing. Government is about getting things done, which is far more difficult than being a politician.

    We give some people more work than they can handle because they have limited skills.

    Several political leaders have issued tablets in many of these impoverished and developing regions, which is a step in the right direction, but it is not the end of the story. There is no internet access, nor are there any resources to pay for it.

    Photo by Roberto Nickson

    Many of these leaders failed to recognize the technological and educational gap, which is especially important for many poor and developing countries, which can no longer wait for recycled or older computers to become competitive. The wisdom of these students goes beyond the dial-up mentality that has held several communities back.

    Experts in the field of technology say that while these devices can be used to access education from a distance, they lack a keyboard and mouse, have a slow processor, and have limited research capabilities. Increasing numbers of young people are abandoning the classroom in search of a better life on the streets.

    The economic reality that cannot be masked

    When it comes to uploading and downloading life’s journey, poverty is like dial-up internet, and it has held many students back.

    According to experts, COVID-19 has already begun to have an impact on academic achievement. Students have been failing at an alarming rate since COVID-19, according to reports. A recent test resulted in lower math, reading, and science scores.

    Prior to COVID-19, many poor and developing countries were struggling and risking high tides across the perilous ocean as refugees looked for economic anchorage in any empty classroom.

    Photo by Ahmed akacha

    These systemic disparities necessitate a new fiber-optic connection to combine hunger, education, and the pandemic into a single long-term social contract, similar to what your local cable company provides with broadband internet, television, and telephone.

    According to the World Bank, the middle class has been equally affected, and the dreadful long-term reality of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty is appalling, as they anticipated an increase in poverty.

    According to the report, between 70 and 80 million people will be pushed into deeper poverty. There were significant disparities in many areas prior to the pandemic, including education, employment, and access to good, affordable health care.

    Is it a matter of budget whether you study on campus or not?

    Rich school districts, on the other hand, have implemented an excellent strategy that includes resources, new technology platforms, increased speed, computers, and continuous access, whether virtual, in-classroom, or hybrid.

    Parents in these affluent districts are frequently more engaged, have more flexibility, and have connections that can influence the next learning platforms that work with their schedules.

    And, while there are legitimate concerns about student and teacher safety, as evidenced by the teachers and their union’s picket lines, these are usually resolved through the school’s budget.

    Even with access, this pandemic has devastated many families on the other side of the city, particularly minorities and people of color who have lost many families as a result of this disease.

    Healthcare disparities have resulted in more deaths in these communities, and any new classroom format, whether online or in person, will not fill the emotional sadness and gaps.

    Who will be there to console a student who has lost a parent or another family member to the disease? In reality, COVID-19 has already widened the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

    As experts pointed out, students unquestionably missed their senior proms, hanging out with friends, homecoming, and sports, all of which are critical to a student’s social and emotional needs.

    However, the impact of this pandemic will be measured not by these factors alone, nor by political polls, but by the gaps, it will leave in our society.

    Furthermore, they will face further setbacks in their educational, social, and economic development; many may not even be vaccinated due to location, and access will remain a barrier.

    The only people who could win are well-connected politicians, where questions about the accounting of COVID-19 donated funds have been raised, according to reports.

    In addition, the investors as shares of pharmaceutical companies skyrocketed, but one still must give credit to the scientist who has been working and got society to this point.

    Today’s teachers wear many hats, including counselors, technical support, financial resource, and attendance advocate.

    Teachers have a lifelong effect on schoolchildren, helping them believe in themselves, according to studies, but parents will continue to be the most influential individuals in a child’s education and development.

    Photo by Mikhail Nilov

    COVID-19 has thrown many teachers into this unknown glass room, where everyone is watching, hoping to get to know these kids through their often foggy gadgets while keeping 20-35 students alert.

    The online environment does not provide an ideal platform for recognizing all students’ unique strengths, weaknesses, and motivation levels, which is essential for keeping them all engaged virtually. However, there is a trade-off given the risk of new infections because no one knows how the vaccine will react to new variants.

    We can argue that these students do not have the responsibility to go to work; their only commitment is to wake up, log in, and participate, but I can see how many students’ grades may suffer, even if they had a high GPA prior to the Pandemic.

    For a few days, the personal check-in was disguised.

    I’ve been observing a few classes over the last three months and have come to realize just how difficult it is for teachers to adapt to this new normal.

    COVID-19 exposure provides some parents who can afford to stay home with immediate access to their children, which is undeniably beneficial for the parents involved.

    Photo by Bich Tran

    You get that “I’ll be right back” a lot when you’re wearing two hats, but I understand.

    Even though I work in an environment where I am protecting the public and using cutting-edge technology, my somewhat unlimited budget platform has its bad days. However, as the week progressed, it became less painful, and now and then someone appears in this visual space, possibly a school counselor or based on parental feedback.

    Students’ opinions, which may be formed for a lifetime, may not have any outside discussion of one’s political beliefs, socioeconomic status, culture, race, national origin, and how few view other groups.

    Often, there is a sense of a misguided history from some of these selective lectures, where it appears key decades in our/their history have been painstakingly painted in a much rosier light.

    There is no need to be alarmed here, but it may point to broader intersectionality in our community and why there is a continued socioeconomic and racial divide, but given the diversity, I remain optimistic.

    Some teachers are extremely helpful and understanding, whereas others, once the slide is completed, please check the folder to respond. What about those who may not have access to a closed online slide from that day’s class to refresh because their connection is at a McDonald’s, far from home?

    Let us hope that COVID-19 does not further divide us once we are all vaccinated and can return to normalcy.

    Many questionable sections of these PowerPoints will be critical to their development outside of the classroom, such as at lunch, on the field, or while walking to their locker.

    Where is Mum when the internet connection is down?

    Because of the pandemic, many people are unemployed, searching for a child, caring for their parents, becoming the breadwinner, looking for work, having no support when the WIFI goes down, and the list goes on.

    These parents are entitled to additional assistance and resources, such as community groups. Even to help with a homework assignment Recognizing and respecting the fact that each family and child has unique needs is critical.

    Many parents have taken on the role of substitute night teachers due to the abundance of assignments and emails. How will they help their child with homework if they can’t explain what’s being taught?

    Mental health problems in children, adolescents, and college students are on the rise, according to experts.

    More reclusive than usual
    Excessive or insufficient eating or sleeping;
    Most days, I’m in an irritable mood.
    They are uninterested in the activities they normally enjoy.

    Parents should be aware of several pop-up learning platforms that offer free computers and dedicated support as an alternative.

    They must investigate, as with any sequence-based surveillance, laboratory studies, and epidemiological findings, to ensure that it does not place an enormous financial burden on them and does not fail to prepare the child for the future.

    Furthermore, the increase in fishing to lure students away from the virtual classroom to inappropriate websites and even the best internet security can’t keep track of these sites.

    I’m logging out for the day with reservations, but I’m still optimistic.

    As society rebalances, I hope this pandemic provides a second chance for everyone to close these systematic gaps. Times are tough right now, but I am optimistic if we prepare with a new balanced approach because education belongs to humanity, not a country.

    Photo Credit: Forbes

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  • In Jamaica, a 14-year-old girl went missing, murdered, and her body burned, indicating a disturbing new normal in crime.’

    In Jamaica, a 14-year-old girl went missing, murdered, and her body burned, indicating a disturbing new normal in crime.’

    By R.D.

    Her Story/Their Stories

    Photo Credit: Latoya Riley, the mother of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis

    She’s gone way too soon, and who is going to be the next victim?

    How do you comfort the mother of Yetanya Francis, a young woman who was murdered and maybe raped, molested, and her lifeless body discovered on August 24, 2018, while out on an errand?

    She was cherished and adored by her classmates, community, and friends, and she possessed an infinite number of possibilities.

    Regrettably, her future was ruined by an act of violence that many on this coast have witnessed far too frequently, and it is not an accident. Others will have their lives cut short before they had a chance to succeed, which is a tragedy.

    Numerous missing and unresolved cases continue to involve young people whose hopes, dreams, and aspirations have been broken by violence.

    In light of the atrocities’ unfavorable coverage, many students feel frightened. For some people, the loss of a classmate or a friend can cause long-term psychological damage. Unfortunately, several students will not receive the counseling and other assistance they require to cope.

    Data from experts show that when these crimes occur, young girls or boys are frequently sexually abused, or exploited. These atrocities are not the result of the perpetrators having a bad day that turned out badly.

    While this young lady’s death was tragic, it is not unique to Jamaica or any of the Caribbean’s other difficult countries. Many parents are still looking for answers to these types of unsolved cases.

    No matter how quickly society moves on to the next hot topic, stories like hers must not be forgotten and solutions must be sought out fiercely by the public and law enforcement officials alike.

    I’m hoping it doesn’t dissipate quickly in the aftermath of selective fury.

    As long as a sexual predator isn’t caught by law enforcement, or one has been released from an institution, or diagnosed with a mental illness so they can receive the proper treatment, or if someone recognizes someone but chooses to remain silent about a thug terrorizing the streets, who knows who will be the next victim.

    Previously, these stories would have been a few paragraphs in the local newspaper’s crime section or a quick headline on an evening news outlet. Because of social media, these victim testimonies and public officials’ responses have now spread all over the world.

    Few people, especially those in positions of authority, will admit that these cherished moments of freedom, innocence, and limitless possibilities have been ruined.

    After the outrage and protests have subsided, her story will become just another one while these parents deal with their grief and continue to be afraid to send their children to school, local stores, or on future educational school trips.

    The data: You’ve got to wonder if this is the norm.

    In the first place, violence is all around us, and yet it appears that the most typical technique for dealing with violent acts is to place blame, be pessimistic, and divert attention by referring to other countries that have had similar experiences disguised as minimization.

    Each year, the Center for the Exploited and Missing Children reports over 800,000 children missing, or nearly 2,000 children per day. This estimate is based on both foreign and domestic data.

    Experts point out that, while this is just a snapshot, this information is not widely available in many countries. As a result, you should start your investigation by focusing on your local missing students, or other people, and crimes that occurred, as well as the stories of the victims, particularly one who died as a result of the crime.

    Every year, almost 20,000 Australian kids go missing.
    Every year, 45,288 children go missing in Canada.
    Every year, almost 100,000 children are kidnapped in Germany.
    The disease affects 96,000 persons in India.
    In 2015, Jamaican authorities reported 1,984 children missing.
    In 2015, almost 45,000 children went missing in Russia.
    Every year, almost 20,000 children go missing in Spain.
    Every year, around 112,853 children go missing in the UK.
    Every year, an estimated 460,000 children go missing in America.
    This mindset of minimizing and comparison causes tension and worry in the victim’s family and the larger public because of the absence of hope.

    Who is next, and a few others who have gone before while you deflect?

    There has been a slew of crimes committed both before and after the year 2014. The murder of Aliesha Brown, a 13-year-old girl who had gone missing and was later discovered dead on October 2, 2014,  and perhaps still being investigated 

    What would their professional path have been if they hadn’t been snatched from us?

    Photo Credit: Jamaica Observer, (Associated Pres/J-Flag

    The only thing Yetanya cared about was getting to and from school and home without getting hurt or losing her sense of wonder and naiveté.

    According to reports, Dwayne Jones, a 16-year-old transgender adolescent, was also brutally murdered by a mob after showing up to a street party dressed as a woman. How many other Dwayne’s live in fear of their true selves?

    Individuals who feel gays and lesbians are morally disgusting as a result of their lack of tolerance or harsh views creates a chasm in these disadvantaged and developing communities, resulting in insufficient medical treatment and even violence.

    Because of the stigma and hostility that many parents face as a result of their children’s sexual orientation or gender identity, they are more concerned with the present than with the future.

    Many people not only on these shores, live in fear for their safety and feel guilty as a result of the antagonism, which can result in isolation, homelessness, abuse, a lack of resources, and a lack of access to non-political support groups.

    It’s tough to fathom how awful it would be for these parents to discover their child’s lifeless body in the middle of the night on a mountainside, on a side street in a valley, in front of a stream, or at a mortuary.

    The delicate selective empathy for justice- while victims’ tears continue

    Regrettably, these headlines fade quickly, which is why so many individuals create reform petitions on social media. While something must change, these victims are frequently forgotten in the arguments.

    As previously stated, there is a high level of violence in a number of locations.

    The killings, kidnappings, assaults rapes, and robberies of many people are all too common.

    These criminals (thugs) kidnap students and leave their families waiting for days, months, or even years for their return.

    Photo by Dellon Thomas

    Mentally sick individuals or possible serial killers usually delay, or even join, the crown, and wait out the frequent three to four days of media euphoria aimed at cultivating an erroneous sense of empathy.

    A visit by the Prime Minister or other prominent figures to the home of a victim in response to these heinous atrocities does little to soothe the sorrow of the victims if there are insufficient follow-up resources and no justice for the victims.

    A firm embrace or passionate words from a number of community leaders will not be enough to halt the cycle of criminality and family pain, even if there is no community safety and justice for these violent perpetrators.”

    While they may have good intentions, if the same challenges arise with the same talking points and few resources, it is often just a photo opportunity for them.

    There are many victims who have gone undiscovered because of their sexual orientation or because they lack a voice as a result of poverty, and they are not members of a certain social class, but they are also deserving of a hug or an update on their case status

    Long-term socioeconomic consequences

    By taking the innocent lives of these students, discord is created in these close-knit communities. Crime, in general, is not only a public health issue on many of these shores, but it also undermines the hope and security of students, as well as the nation’s upward mobility.

    Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

    For instance, a future scholar, sports star, counselor, or advocate who could have contributed to, or has already contributed to, the upward mobility of society as a result of these barbaric doctrines of violence.

    No one benefits from a community that remains mute in the face of fresh realities.
    As a result, police jobs become more challenging, and the rate of re-victimization and public safety in the neighborhood continues to decline.

    Additionally, it breeds distrust and depression, while complicating crime-fighting efforts, increasing victimization, and eroding one’s sense of security.

    At the sight of this, people are shaken with fear and paranoia. In the absence of action, many hardworking and law-abiding persons may become victims as well.

    Vigilante justice has been increasingly popular in recent years because of their dissatisfaction, lack of faith in the system, and utter disregard for the rule of law.

    Furthermore, it has the ability to put innocent individuals at risk while failing to address the root causes of the problem.

    There are numerous such victim stories that exist and will exist in the future; thus, when will the next round of photo ops be completed and the process of building an action campaign begin?

    What has changed since the last time these problems were debated in the political arena?

    Many political leaders suffering from selective amnesia merely prepare themselves for the revolving election door in which they failed while in power, rather than genuinely serving the demands of their constituents on a variety of fronts during their time in office.

    Even if new policies and strategies have been developed are implemented, will they be sufficient to deal with the underlying systemic issue that has existed for years?

    The leadership race appears to be held in a vacuum, with the purpose of identifying who controls reality.

    As I have stated, the terrible reality is that these fears and outrages tend to fade away after a few news cycles, which is unfortunate.

    Countless times have we heard the statement “we’ll find a solution” uttered by authorities, while the cries of local inhabitants are drowned out by the commotion of the crowds.

    The fact that some local officials may be afraid and prefer to remain silent in the face of ongoing bloodshed suggests that the deafening silence has contributed to a feeling of normalcy.

    Is it feasible for them to approach the church for assistance? I’m not sure what will happen if religious institutions, activists, counselors, and educators are unable to inspire and alleviate sorrow while also giving hope and tranquillity during these challenging times.

    Many preachers are forced to turn a blind eye to crime in order to maintain their positions. Now, it appears as though the person with the best weapon is the one who resolves all disputes.

    Who is making the decisions?

    Organized crime appears to be gaining strength and will soon be able to outgun law enforcement officers, who may already be stretched too thin and lacking in various resources to cope with these new criminal threats properly, according to an increasing number of reports.

    Photo by kat Wilcox

    Despite the right to hope for better days, there is a quiet sense that the problem is worsening.

    As it stands, these atrocities, like political solutions, are the result of a systemic problem that is constantly ignored, and the people who should be working tirelessly to ensure that there is hope, safety, and tangible results to help these cherished wonderful, cultural communities return to the bean of light are not being held accountable for the consequences.

    People in many neighborhoods appear to have become numb and indifferent to the steady stream of news reports about violence.

    The distrust of police stretches back to colonial times, making it difficult for people to speak up in closing these cases because they regard a few industrious policemen as the enemy.

    Trust is further damaged if, as stated, some of those sworn to serve and protect are allocated case numbers as a result of their illicit conduct.

    How can the next generation expect a better future if they see their peers’ lives cut short with little or no positive impact??

    Is it possible that Jamaica, as well as a few other unstable countries, ended up in this situation?

    Crime control measures have, of course, been put in place by the country in order to confront this malignancy of criminality, but many people believe that they have done nothing to restrict the easy availability of high-capacity firearms, to curtail organized crime, to get to the source of these issues.

    No one seems to be ready to speak out about a crime because they are afraid they will be the next victim of a lack of support or protection, hence many homicides go unsolved. This could be because the police force is too tiny to adequately cover these congested areas.

    An incentive in the form of money is nice, but community policing’s usefulness in building relationships with residents and persuading them that they are not the enemy is invaluable. Officers need your help, but it’s not just about the officers in this case.

    Another wave that is rarely told.

    Yetanya’s and other young people’s stories have kept me up at night because their single ambition was to be left alone to pursue their dreams.

    Some of this societal deterioration can be attributed to economic stagnation, documented corruption, a widening gap between the rich and poor, and high unemployment rates.

    Photo by KALZud8

    A lack of treatment for this criminal disease will only make the problem worse and lead to much more social and economic degradation if it isn’t addressed.

    A far cry from the laid-back and trouble-free atmosphere of Jamaica and a few other troubled islands that frequently welcomed visitors and returning residents.

    More than 1,600 people perished as a result of violence in 2017, according to the Jamaica Observer.

    Even in areas with a higher level of safety, one would think that law enforcement would have a better handle on these types of crimes. Gunned down while waiting for his son to come home from school, Carlis Blatch worked as an assistant to the Bahamas’ governor-general.

    Sadly, even some returning residents who have worked their whole lives and returned to enjoy their retirement or make a difference have similar stories.

    I’ve decided to highlight a few that are especially dear to me. (For other related Opinions, click here.)

    Delroy Walker’s death in May 2018 serves as another reminder of the danger that few individuals are aware of and/or are willing to confess to others in the community.

    He was attacked and murdered after he returned to Jamaica after spending time in the United Kingdom and giving back to the young of the island.

    Photo credit: Steve Walker, whose brother Delroy Walker was murdered in Jamaica

    He has been an advocate for youths by giving back and making use of his abilities and resources through his nonprofit organization, which he established.

    He was popular with everyone he met, and spending merely a few minutes with him reveals why: his humanity, love for the community, and upward mobility for the less fortunate, as well as his persistent desire to aid people. He was a gentle soul who impacted the lives of many.

    Criminal groups that are gradually destroying these once-safe communities pose a significant threat to daily life, despite the fact that his assassins may have been apprehended as of this writing.

    Delroy’s death slowed down many charitable barrels of goods that were supposed to be sent to the island to help other people. They are now being reconsidered or sold on eBay and Amazon, and they are being kept in a basement or storage center because of safety concerns.

    44-year-old Karen Cleary was last seen on Sunday, November 25th while working on her dream home in her birth nation of Canada. Her body was found in a shallow grave on her farm in Boscobel, St Mary’s Parish, according to local news reports.

    Yes! To be sure, I recognize that crime is all too common, as are poverty, inequality, and socioeconomic issues.

    Criminal activity becomes more appealing to young people when they lack hope, social support, or the financial means to pursue their dreams.

    Many people are losing their sense of normalcy.

    Many people, including myself, can afford to stay in a private villa and eat some of the best food available. I prefer to see the real thing, pick my own fruits, and nothing brings me more joy than supporting a local street vendor.

    Those with a strong heritage also visit their grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and other relatives. But how long will these visits be common if these types of news stories continue?

    When I first fell in love with Ras’s business and other local famous spots off the beaten route, I would stop by to gather apples and mangos from Grandma’s fruit trees and wait for Ras’s steam fish supper to arrive in his handcrafted dish.

    Yes, you can still find that, but there are fewer and fewer of them each year, either because of the economic downturn in some areas or because of the threat of violence, and these iconic spots are priceless.

    However, there are pockets of danger lurking in these natural events and images, like snake poison, which might strike at any time. These natural occurrences and images are not necessarily healthy.

    Sadly, it is important to keep an eye out for potential threats.

    Many iconic and cultural hangout shops, restaurants, and bars are now only open in the morning and closed at night unless they are located in one of those tourist-protected zones.

    The reality is that crime is causing the lovely breeze that caresses your cheek, the beam of sunshine, and the smile that greets you with a sense of peace to cause some potential visitors to reconsider their visit.

    I’m not saying that the country as a whole is now isolated and rife with violence. Many people keep coming to weddings and fun vacations and having a good time, and they keep having fun.

    However, leaders must understand that this magnificent country has been dealing with major crimes for decades and cannot be kicked down the road to see who comes next in order to get to the root of these problems.

    A shift in perspective is required.

    With a chilly breeze that makes you feel like you’ve shed your skin like a snake in order to take on a new identity and forget your problems as if you were at an all-day spa, the beach’s white sand and turquoise ocean stay unchanged.

    To combat crime, some experts said that a wide variety of early detection, accountability, resources, and community involvement are required, but they must also understand that the country is plagued by major crimes.

    Individuals who suffer from a sexual mental disorder or other antisocial dangers, as well as other forms of criminality such as rapists, should have resources to help them change their criminal behavior. These concerns demand a comprehensive evaluation and psychosexual therapy.

    The education system, which is critical to preparing the next generation of leaders and rebuilding the middle class, appears to be deteriorating.

    Today, many young people have dropped out of school, are struggling with addiction and mental health issues, and those with higher education have few opportunities for advancement because they are burdened by student loans and empty promises.

    Photo by Alexandr Podvalny

    In order to prepare the next generation of leaders and re-establish the middle class, the education system appears to be failing.

    As my mother once observed, “pure talk seldom results in action.”

    There are many people out there who are unaware of the atrocities occurring in this gorgeous location, but the sun will rise again, and you must continue speaking out.

    Although tourists are still an important component of Jamaica’s economic engine,  and other places, the young people I’ve encountered don’t see that as the only source of success, fulfillment, and employment prospects in other industries is also crucially important.

    After years of photo ops and empty promises, they are ready for genuine options, leadership with a stake in their future, competitive world knowledge that will help them succeed, and not just personal rewards for themselves.

    If the correct instruments are utilized to shift course, all is not lost.

    Despite the atrocities committed against its people, this island nation has maintained its resiliency and hasn’t lost its will to fight back.

    There may be fewer community businesses featuring late-night music and street sellers, but these beats, smiles, and pockets of authenticity will endure.

    Photo by James Wheeler

    It is still possible to feel the “local smile” and “cool running vibes” in Jamaica. If you’re looking for authentic Jamaican cuisine or a flat tire fix, you can still find them at restaurants and shops that are open to everyone.

    However, if they wish to reclaim their economic stability and confidence, they must demonstrate their passion, even if it is loud because only an individual can define what is normal or alter and rectify what is not.

    Coming to terms with the world around you

    There were lovely weddings and beaches, but I couldn’t stop thinking about their family and other heartaches despite all that I could have eaten and danced and forgotten that this wasn’t really the beautiful scenery.

    For me, writing this blog post was therapeutic because I always wonder what 14-year-old Yetanya Francis and Aliesha Brown, as well as many other young people who died too soon, would be like today.

    My heart and mind are filled with the thought of a victim crying for help.

    I often wish I could go back in time and give them a chance to live because I went to college, lived a good life, achieved the goals I set for myself, and lived my life the way I wanted.

    Society cannot abandon hope and must nurture it. These communities, regardless of distance, must be present for others in order to bring this madness to a stop.

    If only they’d been given a chance!

    (Stay Safe)


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  • ‘Balancing Public Safety and Economic Inequality: An Ongoing Battle on a Few Troubled Caribbean Islands’

    ‘Balancing Public Safety and Economic Inequality: An Ongoing Battle on a Few Troubled Caribbean Islands’

    BY R.D.

    Whose fault is the ricochet?

    Locals, visitors, and expatriates are all concerned about the continued deterioration of many portions of the Caribbean landscape as a result of violence and economic uncertainty.

    Ongoing reported violent crime against humanity does not discriminate against clergy, women, famous artists children, counselors, law enforcement officers, teachers, sports icons, business people, students, elders, the average faithful worker, or anyone else in its path.

    This is not a new paradigm shift, and it appears that every time a new favorite person is gunned down, a child kidnapped, raped, or murdered, and the community faces another year-ending reality of the tremendous number of people murdered, abused, robbed, or subjected to any other criminal act, the trumpet sounds once more.

    Even so, everything seems to fade away until another harsh headline arises again.

    Being a victim of violence, whether through heritage, culture, family, a friend, or love, can have long-term psychological consequences regardless of location, race, gender, or economic status.

    It requires more than a statement.

    The world appears to be spinning on an irrational axis right now, and only those with a well-thought-out socioeconomic strategy can keep up.

    These issues necessitate a significant paradigm shift through education, resources, and long-term management strategy, rather than a quick fix via a Twitter post or filling a talking point until the next election cycle, without a coherent strategy.

    Photo by Markus Spiske

    I’m not even going to get into the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Furthermore, geopolitical turmoil seen in many places has resulted in people fleeing for safety and a better life, providing some temporary cover for a few nations.

    The Caribbean islands, particularly the dominant ones, and a few Latin and African countries cannot assert unilaterally that an increase in crime and economic deterioration is the result of an erosion of democracy, an influx of migrants, cultural modifications, or weaponry, as stated.

    However, in reality, many of those who arrived on these other shores fled or migrated from similar violent and economic issues in search of a more effective way of life, and they are forever bound to the slave ship that once anchored nearby.

    The evidence is no longer housed in the backroom’s closed files.

    Few will admit that crime and violence cost these shores billions of dollars in investments and other tourist dollars, according to experts, where tourism is the major economic engine, accounting for up to 40% of GDP (GDP).

    For decades, the death toll on some of these Caribbean islands has consistently exceeded the number of calendar days and has been extremely high in comparison to the population.

    Photo by kat wilcox

    Murders, robberies, assaults, rape, and kidnappings have plagued several communities known for their laid-back vibes and brilliant sunsets reflecting off the green mountains and the blue ocean.

    It appears that impoverished neighborhoods are being hit with both criminal and political blows, much like an ocean without a levee to keep the water from overflowing.

    Many treasured intimate community associations have eroded, retirement plans have been uprooted, or people have become more isolated, even scattered for safety reasons.

    Despite reports that few new policies are being introduced to address these issues, it is frequently viewed through a political lens.

    For some leaders, particularly those who govern on popularity, it remains a delicate balance; whether managing high inflation, community political alliances, high unemployment, public safety, inequality, and other social services critical to moving these shores forward.

    Maintaining a delicate balance

    Managing these criminal elements is difficult, and the Prime Minister alone cannot serve as the sole spokesperson, followed by the head of the law enforcement community, which the vast majority of these criminals continue to regard as a foe.

    For more than just delivering a good speech and campaigning for the next election, they elect legislators who will also speak out loudly and together regardless of the political party on these socioeconomic decays

    Tackling these issues will need similar steps to those taken elsewhere, such as removing adverse social conditions, reducing the likelihood of crime, and increasing the criminal justice system’s capacity to detect, apprehend, mediate disputes, and rehabilitate criminals.

    Minimization or a tendency to correlate with other societies do not resolve these issues, nor do sound bites and selective empathy when victims are in need of support and resources, whether to address ongoing public safety and other socioeconomic issues.

    These victims, particularly women and other vulnerable groups, cannot be relieved of their fear and anxiety through the use of pepper spray, condensed social activities, and abnormal living conditions with more steel bars in their homes.

    Fortunately, social media today captures their loss of trust and confidence in their leaders, frustration, and neighborhood deterioration, including fatalities, in real-time.

    The surviving victims are also telling their stories in order to provide a different picture of reality that avoids inconsistency, divergence, or minimization.

    A gunshot or knife wound to the torso eliminates any doubt about the cause of death.

    Where other deaths leave questions unanswered: Is it cancer, COVID-19, surgeon negligence, lack of oxygen, diabetes, or a long wait for critical medical care?

    The numbers and the well-being of the people in the town.

    Few people possessed a licensed firearm along these shores a few decades ago. It was a well-known local business owner and law enforcement, officer.

    Taxi, bus, and truck drivers, as well as grocery store baggers and street vendors, are now armed.

    I’ve reported these numbers from experts elsewhere, but I’ll repeat them here to hammer home the point, and hopefully, it will change course:

    Despite the fact that crime is pervasive, decoupling the data is terrifying. Most of these English-speaking Caribbean countries have crime rates of 30 or higher per 100,000 people.

    According to experts, these rates are six times higher in the United States and 15-30 times higher in most European countries.

    According to several crime analysis reports, the death rate in these high crime areas is also on the rise and could exceed 39.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

    Countries like Venezuela (45.6%), Honduras (37.5%), Mexico (37.2%), Columbia (24.3%), Belize (24.3%) and Belize (1.9%) would have the highest homicide rates in 2020, according to data collected by the Global Insight on Crime and Homicide.

    Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and Panama have homicide rates that range between 14.6 and 18.6 per 100,000 people 

    In 2019, Trinidad and Tobago recorded 539 murders, the second-highest number in the country’s history for a single year.

    Between January and November of 2021, nearly 1300 killings were reported in Jamaica alone.

    These figures are appalling, and no civilized country should dismiss them as one of the highest murder rates per 100,000 people in the world.

    As I previously stated, social media and this new generation are watching, and it will have an impact on upward mobility on all socioeconomic levels, whether global or local.

    According to one victim, “they are hoping that gangs are annihilating each other, whether over drug turf or vulnerable victims to scam.”

    Unfortunately, this isn’t a good way to deal with these gangs. It’s more of a fear-based way to deal with them. Is vigilante justice the best way to get people to feel safe again, even if innocent people are killed?

    According to studies, approximately 40% of the Caribbean population considers crime and security issues to be more serious than poverty or inequality in their countries.

    As politicians debate, the emotional and physical ramifications of the incident continue to linger, and, unfortunately, more victims will befall.

    The question of how long barricades and soldiers may remain on specific streets is an open one until you create an image of a police state till they are willing to declare an emergency, but on time and the economic front, and have tangle result to show from decades of promises.

    When history collides with contemporary accountability and authority.

    In many parts of the region, the ongoing conflict between law enforcement, legislators, and civilians dates back to the colonial period, when alliances often meant more than policies and power were more about balancing image and reality.

    Many residents argue that their rage is not an impediment to the proposed crime-fighting strategy. Some have even proposed reintroducing hanging as a form of punishment, despite opposition from human rights organizations.

    According to scholars, public safety has maintained close ties with politicians since the concept of policing was first introduced in the early 1800s in Metropolitan London-England.

    Despite a later decentralized system, improved training, and recruits, scholars noted that the Caribbean region’s community safety system has never left the Political Era.

    The system requires a comprehensive overhaul, and most of these viewpoints have some validity.

    There are both healthy and unhealthy apples in some apple bags. However, it allows criminal enterprises to thrive in the absence of resources and local support.

    Despite historical distrust and toxic relationships, some of which are self-inflicted today, the community’s assistance is critical in producing additional intelligence to investigate and solve a significant number of unsolved cases, as reported.

    Experts argue that the concept of policing was implemented in the western hemisphere to keep slaves from fleeing their masters, but today some scholars now attribute crime reductions to increased police presence.

    Regardless of your point of view, and often or maybe sometimes valid reasons for demanding an answer, many public servants have families to whom they want to return home at the end of their shifts.

    Only you know what it will take to break some of the mental anguish noted in historic rusty chains.

    This onion is being peeled in preparation for a decent economical meal.

    Repeatedly implementing an analogous approach and expecting a remarkable result will continue to fail. It’s as if many impoverished people are betting on the lottery as their only hope of getting out of poverty.

    Today, it appears that an economic blueprint to lift families out of poverty, improve the quality of life, or invite companies to locate or expand their operations in order to attract a skilled labor force is critical.

    However, it cannot be solved by blaming the previous administration from decades ago on all political parties.

    Leaders are elected to move forward regardless of a political party, and they consistently blame previous leaders or managers for the nation’s future.

    According to economic experts, inequality is on the rise and has been a cancer in the region, as well as other places, for decades.

    The harsh reality is not only the social divide it has created, which breeds additional violence due to a lack of opportunities but also the failure to recognize and address it head-on.

    Photo by Andreea Diana Sintean

    It has made it more difficult for many locals to strike a balance between personal autonomy and getting to the root of the more pressing problem on a daily basis, regardless of which administration is in power.

    According to reports, the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots has made it difficult to address the well-being of individuals, the elderly, or families in order to provide adequate care.

    Additionally, assistance in areas such as counseling, fighting discrimination, job training, or limited financial assistance to create stability or upward mobility.

    With each passing day, the downtrodden struggle to stay afloat in the face of the relentless rough tides.

    It appears that with each new leadership, they gain more authority from the chaos and mayhem that divides people along party lines and social class, which has been woven into decades of stratification.

    Sadly, another failed year of systemic violent crime and economic problems appears to re-emerge for many impoverished nations, much like any other business that must evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.

    When these systematic failures continue, the locals who are affected must watch a different news narrative.

    Legislators’ own wealth often looks to be the only thing that prospers. In order to amass wealth and influence, criminals appear to follow a pattern.

    Prominent fight for safety and economic balance

    The fact that indications of some positive growth in crucial areas have emerged must benefit all residents, not just the wealthy, who frequently wield considerable power in shaping the public discourse.

    Since the British, Dutch, French, and Spanish once controlled most of these shores, the question “What if they were still in control?” has long plagued many in the region.

    Even though several of those countries have since gained independence, their imprints on the sand remain visible.

    Many individuals are beginning to lose faith in established institutions of higher learning and banking.

    Several of these unstable islands have academics and citizens debating whether or not the British Pound and now the Eurodollar should remain the official currencies.

    Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

    What would become of these nations’ educational system, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and crime rate if they were to exist today?

    This is a hotly debated topic, from reparation to taking a step back and analyzing some of these nations’ current adherence to the old colonial rule.

    However, this is not an argument to cut ties with a country or region; rather, I am examining the impact of economic and criminal factors.

    There are a growing number of young individuals graduating from college or university with high student loan debts.

    In addition, students who drop out of school without completing their education or believing in their own abilities will only contribute to an increase in violence and a decrease in the number of people who are able to rise in the ranks of society.

    How do social disadvantages, economic constraints, developmental structures, juvenile delinquency, mental health difficulties, conflict resolution, substance addiction, and a lack of work all play a role in these communities?

    What is more appealing to the majority of young people: gang membership or total disregard for the rule of law?

    This is a first step toward identifying the source of the problem, not just a single blanket statement or a few nights of curfew, even if the intentions are good.

    Several people appear to be roaming the streets asking for handouts, looking for a way to prosper, while others wait for the next soft target to commit a crime.

    Through a narrow lens, the complexity of governance

    Numerous leaders appear to excel at campaigning but lack the necessary knowledge and abilities to deal with these complex issues.

    With each newly appointed public safety official, top security personnel, and pledges to reduce crime, improve safety, and promote economic growth in order to lift people out of poverty, the communities that elected them remain perplexed as to what has changed.

    Furthermore, if no one accepts responsibility, those in charge of enforcing regulations and providing resources are seen as part of the problem.

    For example, in comparison to other nations, as experts argued, your corruption index remains in the top 4-5, such as crime?

    Where do you begin if you truly want to set an example?

    The intricacies of personal liberty, safety, new and reinvigorated crime-fighting techniques and an economic foundation to move these nations forward appear to be inextricably linked in an image in which the blame game trumps strategy.s.

    As I previously noted, many elections in these towns appear to have been won or lost simply on the basis of blaming the previous administration for decades.

    Despite the tranquil nature of the power transition, it is a contact sport with continual trades.

    Each new blueprint is frequently met with opposition, and the question of which party is better qualified to address these public health or economic issues remains unresolved.

    What is the purpose of the revolving, and what problem does it solve?

    The grip on power in these concentric communities, particularly in some impoverished and developing countries, is a revolving door with no exit.

    Players who fail to win a game appear to be benched after the final political whistle has blown, although they are often still on the field.

    Photo by RODNAE Productions

    Many of these socially wounded leaders resurfaced under various titles and from well-connected networks.

    The argument goes that “you are more likely to be penalized for dissenting opinions” even though poor performance, corruption, inept management, and requests to change course have been documented.

    Several dissatisfied residents claim that critical socioeconomic concerns are being pushed or redirected down the road for the next generation as a result of territorial wars.

    As far as I can see, there are continual problems in creating a more sustainable community where everyone can live a successful life. Who should enforce regulations and provide resources, and who should be held accountable for their actions?

    What comes next in policymaking?

    Achieving prosperity for all should be the primary goal of social and economic policies. In order to break out of the bureaucratic and dysfunctional power struggles between political positions, collaboration is required.

    Former British Prime Minister David Cameron made a comment on the Centenary of World War I in 2014. He emphasized the willingness and value of combining local ideas with national initiatives and government actions.

    Social workers, school teachers, youth leaders, civic leaders, law enforcement officials, offenders, and counselors must all be present at the table, much as a surgeon plans a necessary surgery with other professionals inside the operating room.

    Rebuilding the middle class includes tackling concerns such as health care affordability, job security, and even the formation of a medical bill of rights. These steps promote confidence in the system among all stakeholders, not just local residents.

    Additionally, among those who may prefer to return to the country during their retirement years in order to enjoy life while sharing their knowledge and skills obtained while living abroad—as ex-pats—with a sense of protection and security.

    For both economic growth and environmental preservation, it is imperative that funds be allocated to improving the educational system, protecting victims and teachers, rehabilitating offenders, and expanding locally produced goods and services.

    Make your voice heard in the name of a better tomorrow.

    If there was a term limit on power in the area, it would lead to new ideas and long-term success for the next generation of people.

    Leadership should act the same way as someone who needs help getting better. It is very important for a person to admit that they have a problem with drugs in order to be successful in drug rehab,

    Fortunately, the majority of these communities still have pride and tenacity, and even some of those looking in, as advisors, though they may not admit it, are still optimistic that the economic sun will rise, and the crime wave will set even on the few remaining non-fee beaches in the area.

    The late pop star Michael Jackson’s song “The Man in the Mirror” serves as the starting point for upward mobility.

  • Beyond October, more menshould recognize the significance of pink.

    Beyond October, more menshould recognize the significance of pink.

    BY RD Miller

    This silent killer affects dudes too

    Throughout the month of October, countless women of all races, cultures, and economic backgrounds gathered in pink across the globe in a variety of awareness platforms.

    As one friend put it, it’s not about girls gaining power. Simply put, it is to eradicate a silent killer known as “Breast Cancer,” which affects both men and women.

    Our health is more than just a walk, run, and wearing pink once a year in October. It is assisting families who have lost a loved one, are still fighting, or have survived, as well as raising funds for research to find a cure.

    Every year on November 19, which is recognized as International Men’s Day, more than a few tweets are sent.

    Though it focuses on men’s health, enlightens gender relations, emphasizes the importance of male role models, and promotes positive masculinity languages, it must also address the barriers and taboos that some males face when it comes to their health.

    Cancer is still a personal issue, not a water cooler topic, and I believe more men need to form bonds in order to learn about their medical issues.

    This issue does not need to be postponed until a prominent individual comes forward to inspect our bodies- (man’s parts).

    Because men do not wear bras or have breasts like women, they are not immune to breast cancer, and we must dispel this myth.

    Awareness is essential for changing patterns, but a willingness to change is even more important.

    When the “Me-Too” movement against sexual harassment and assault gained traction, many powerful men resigned. Some became deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafening.

    Photo by Tara Winstead

    Despite the fact that some denied and minimized their actions, this topic has brought more attention to this once-hidden subject.

    However, regardless of the opinions expressed, “consciousness” is essential in any society in order to develop new road maps for a more suitable quality standard of living, which includes physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, freedom, tolerance, the environment, and safety.

    Awareness is essential regardless of where you live, but you must also make changes to improve your lifestyle. It could be as simple as working together to develop a shared understanding of what you put into your body.

    Furthermore, ensure that you have access to a valuable-healthy grocery store as well as a good healthcare system.

    Despite the fact that male breast cancer is extremely rare, medical reports show that 350 males are diagnosed each year, and it affects adolescents as well as men between the ages of 60 and 70. Early detection remains critical, and vital examinations may save lives.

    According to medical experts, it is a malignant tumor that develops from breast cells. “A malignant tumor is a collection of cancer cells that can invade surrounding tissues and spread to other parts of the body.”

    If you are reading this, I am not a celebrity who was diagnosed with the disease in order to persuade you to see a doctor within the next 24 hours. I do, however, have family members and a friend of a friend who has died as a result of this disease.

    Photo by RODNAE Productions

    People of color, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have a higher risk of contracting this illness, as well as other cancers.

    Know the signs and ask questions, and follow the science

    Males have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than women, according to the International Journal of Caring Science and other leading oncology studies. However, it remains high, particularly among men with a history of testicular pain, as well as those with a genetic predisposition, radiation, excessive alcohol consumption, liver disease, and obesity.”

    Unfortunately, if you have less access to a decent and affordable health care system, you may be one of several families who are still looking for answers as to the exact cause of death for a loved one.

    Medical professionals classify breast cancer symptoms such as nipple swelling, discharge, and rashes around the boob. It also houses millions of cells and hormones in both boys and girls during puberty, as well as swelling of the chest and lymph nodes under the arms.

    Often, by the time some patients realize they have this disease, it has already progressed to its terminal stage. Not everyone has the financial means to travel outside of their communities to receive excellent care.

    Simply changing the word “Women Issues” to “Men Issues,”, particularly for black men, will result in a plethora of other socioeconomic topics dominating, such as criminal justice, higher unemployment, poverty, violence, and less access to healthcare.


    Cancer was associated with and regarded as a “lady” disease that affected their woman’s parts, the breast, and womb, according to medical experts. And that belief is still a dangerous weapon in the fight against one’s health problems.

    Underneath that tough-guy persona, he frequently requires your assistance. Yielding our vulnerability makes us appear weak in the face of societal pressures and the way culture and modernization have led us to believe.

    Many men, for example, would openly admit that they relied on Viagra for sexual dysfunction because their self-esteem was as important as their influence.

    This attitude sometimes prevents some people from visiting even female doctors or from participating in pink or a walk to raise awareness.

    Addressing men’s breast cancer and other medical issues quietly remains a taboo entwined with social stratification, illiteracy, and medical disparities.

    Many leading Cancer Societies recommend the following basic questions for your doctor to ask:

    Do you have breast pain?

    Do you have a lump?

    Nipple retraction, or skin changes?

    How equipped is your doctor?

    How informed is your physician?

    Where does he or she receive their training?

    The success percentage of treating this disorder or any other?

    Collaboration with other practitioners?

    Do you have an external evaluation of your labs?

    Access to high-quality, low-cost health care saves lives.

    The lack of social responsibility by several elected leaders whose economic agendas in all political parties failed to confer inadequacies, and where under-funding of critical facilities only added to the burden.

    Access to proper healthcare remains a barrier in many communities today, separating the haves and have-nots.

    Distance to adequate facilities, like the high rate of unsolved crimes in closed files, is a source of distrust in many impoverished and developing countries. Alternative medicine is frequently used by these patients, not only for breast cancer but also for other diseases.

    The ongoing debates about the cost and quality of care, as well as how many patients’ life savings have been depleted by years of medical office visits with no clear answer?

    The lack of accountability, resources, and the sheer number of people under one doctor’s care, as well as the high cost of treatment and accurate referrals, can all discourage others from seeking medical attention.

    Furthermore, given the lengthy wait to be seen or admitted for treatment, “why bother showing up?” one person argues.

    Failing to recognize professional limitations can result in other barriers, such as the need for appropriate medical equipment to diagnose these symptoms to well-trained staff. And, before they can admit one, they must address the issue of upfront payments.

    Equally important, an assurance that decent treatment is being provided should take precedence over profit, as personal ethics should not conflict with care and accountability. When someone dies as a result of a misdiagnosis or delayed treatment, it only raises more questions.

    Accurate analysis is required to ensure that these medical systems provide precise answers in order to build trust in many of these medical systems, particularly in impoverished communities.

    Many bereaved families are frequently often left with unanswered questions or are abandoned as a result of these tragic events.

    Today are unsure whether it was cancer, a heart attack, malpractice, diabetes, high blood pressure, or the prescribed medication that caused their loved one’s death.

    Photo by cottonbro o

    The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) has developed standards that many countries have adopted, and some of these rural facilities may implement more stringent oversights in the delivery of competence services along these shores.

    Creating a brotherhood to aid in early detection.

    Today, I believe that more men should take a moment to reflect on their health, form a brotherhood to fight breast cancer and other diseases, and provide a platform for engagement rather than isolation due to fear.

    Furthermore, design similar approaches, such as political campaigns commonly used to advance the agendas of local political leaders to elected offices, which frequently fail to address community healthcare issues that are critical to the quality of life.

    This month and beyond, I encourage more men to take a stand for good health, including colon cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental health, heart disease, substance abuse, and other illnesses.

    Despite the fact that uninsured people are less likely to receive medical care and are more likely to have poor health status, studies show that there are a few excellent physicians tucked away in many small communities.

    Accept even if today’s medical check will be performed by a female doctor. Local home-grown and self-medication may alleviate symptoms, but it will not cure this disease, which will affect many more men in our lifetime.

    Male Breast Cancerawareness and beyond the nipples

    Men’s health will continue to face challenges as they navigate the socioeconomic divide, taboos, disparities, distrust, and access, and breast cancer isn’t the only potential medical check that should be on your list this year:

    Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

    They may be limited in terms of resources, but they play an important role in situations where early detection is critical in saving lives and avoiding unnecessary financial burdens when it is too late to change course.

    Making an appointment with a knowledgeable physician is the first step toward a healthier tomorrow.

    The next Father’s Day gift could be to accompany a loved one to the doctor.

    We are all connected, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, culture, religious belief, gender, or location, and cancer does not discriminate.

    Photo by fauxels

    Finally, allow the doctor to acknowledge your concerns, even if it is only for the purpose of providing a psychological intervention until the next exam.

  • COVID-19: Vaccine, Politics, and Socio-Economics: Are some Caribbean islands pricing themselves out of future visits?

    COVID-19: Vaccine, Politics, and Socio-Economics: Are some Caribbean islands pricing themselves out of future visits?

    The hidden economic engines that left town

    Tourism has historically been the Caribbean region’s economic motor in former colonial rulers left more of the region.

    It is the world’s most tourism-dependent country region, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

    Photo by Asad Photo Maldives

    According to analysts, this business contributes to as much as 40% of the Gross Domestic Product on some islands (GDP). Since COVID-19, travel expenditures have decreased by an astonishing 42% (about $500 billion).

    International travel and business travel had the biggest losses, with analysts estimating that international travel spending decreased by 76% and business travel spending decreased by 70%, respectively.

    As unemployment rose and the domino effect continued to be witnessed around the world, local businesses that had benefited from tourists were forced to close their doors even further.

    It appears that every small business operation has dried up, and only a few of the fittest have a chance to maintain a normal standard of living.

    Photo by Nathan Cowley

    The levy that was previously in place has been relocated.

    A few decades ago, some of these countries had robust economies. Sugar, banana, coffee, poultry, and bauxite companies, as well as a variety of other businesses, were critical to the area’s economic existence.

    These jobs served as an economic engine, providing a safety net for what would have been the middle-class today, which no longer exists, as well as others from a local mom and pop store strategically tucked on a tight road.

    Photo by Skitterphoto

    In the wake of globalization and technical improvement, a large number of businesses were sold to foreign investors, and jobs were relocated.

    However, as several reports have demonstrated and as has been observed by the worldwide shift, there were some that were self-inflicted, as a few in leadership would concede.

    Lower labor costs, greater tax advantages, the facility no longer has enough room to satisfy their requirements, unforeseen business issues, staff safety concerns, and discovering better talents, according to experts, all contributed to the disinvestment. Millennials, for example, are young, creative talents.

    Many of the businesses which had survived for a decade at the expense of these communities, products were either no longer competitively priced or had collapsed due to massive imports, poor management, reduced production, and corruption.

    These industrial closures have impacted neighborhoods that rely on small enterprises such as retail establishments, restaurants, taverns, and street vendors.

    It has expanded the wealth divide and increased unemployment, particularly in the Caribbean’s dominating islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Haiti, Dominica, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, as well as in other parts of Latin America that were already in desperate need of economic stimulus.

    Additionally, regardless of which political party is in power, a significant social divide has grown with each subsequent generation, as has poverty and inequality.

    Today, it looks like a lot of charitable organizations are asking for money rather than giving the next generation a place to come up with new ideas, which is important for the long-term survival of these shores.

    Taking from Peter to Pay Paul: A fine line to walk in terms of their own economic servitude:

    COVID-19, according to economists, has caused a threefold economic shock when compared to the 2008 financial crisis.

    According to the IOM UN Migration, visiting and spending outside protected tourist zones is comparable to direct remittance, with nations such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Jamaica accounting for almost (USD 10 Billion) annually. However, as a result of the worldwide shock, that number has been lowered as well.

    Since the pandemic, commodity prices have risen globally, as have the prices of building materials and even school supplies.

    Furthermore, as evidenced by a slew of leading economic data, supply chains exacerbated volatility in import, export, and producer prices.

    Photo by Karolina Grabowska

    Nations that were unprepared, on the other hand, continued to suffer the most. Many people blame lockdown for their ongoing financial difficulties, but it is not the only issue.

    There have been reports of massive fare increases when taking a local taxi from an airport to a hotel since the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Many local food banks have been unable to meet needs in a system where unemployment and the service industry have been severely impacted since the pandemic.

    I’m not here to report on who should have done more to help where it was needed, but rather on what this reality has resulted in and how it has affected people.

    The cost of excursion trips has nearly doubled, according to reports. Some of these businesses were already struggling financially prior to the outbreak.

    It’s as if you’re simply covering the expenses of those who are afraid to travel.

    A simple COVID-19 test, which few argue is required for travel, usually costs between $20 and $35 USD.

    According to recent visitors who visited Jamaica, returning on a flight can cost around US$80.00, though this varies depending on location.

    Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

    Many travelers have expressed concern that local customs officials appear to be using luggage fines to generate extra revenue while targeting citizens strategically.

    A few ex-pats expressed concerns about shipping items ahead of time, citing increased hassle and the extremely high cost of customs clearance.

    Several fines appear to have been imposed to make up for lost revenue from other activities as a result of the pandemic.

    Furthermore, after inspecting luggage, report any missing items to clear check out.

    One traveler reported being fined for leaving items with a sale tag at the airport checkout, which discouraged her and her family from returning anytime soon.

    It is not unusual for a group of locals to take a vacation to shop for new clothes.

    These visitors who have families on these shores, frequently purchased items with the intention of giving them away or returning them if they were not worn.

    Furthermore, even bringing a few extra boxes of protected masks to help aunt Jane was considered a business trip, and the imported ones at some local stores are significantly more expensive than she had paid elsewhere.

    Prices can frequently differ from those of a nearby store a few steps away, particularly for basic food supplies, with little enforcement exacerbating the economic difficulties.

    Regrettably, it appears to be a missed opportunity for previously lost revenue and will discourage future trips, particularly for budget-conscious many travelers willing to take the risk during this period of uncertainty and anxiety.

    The truth or reality behind the masks

    According to experts, as the global cost of living rises, the pandemic remains unpredictable, and vaccine skepticism persists, even among those who may have received the first dose, more families will fall further into poverty.

    Photo by Maksim Goncharenok

    The issue may not be with the number of persons still on the road who are violating established restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of this disease.

    COVID-19 survival is comparable to running a clandestine company. As a result, a sizable audience marches in time with the beat of their drums.

    Many argued that the risk is worth taking in order to feed their children and pay their bills in the face of insufficient government assistance.

    A few residents observed that only well-connected, wealthy politicians can afford self-quarantine, have access to healthcare, and living a normal life.

    Numerous impoverished individuals who were previously excluded from the local economy now face the fury of an outsider, particularly those who resist vaccination.

    Some people are frustrated because the added division is between those who have access and are almost certainly already vaccinated, and they appear to be pointing fingers at those who violate rules or demonstrate an extreme need for economic assistance, or who brought the virus to the region or spread it locally. 

    It is difficult to balance the need to open resorts and ports for economic gain with the need to avoid responsibility for the potential risk of the virus, regardless of who is carrying it.

    While adhering to the guidelines is critical for visitors and residents alike, I feel that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has other medical conditions and is aware of potential medical complications would not jeopardize their lives.

    Additionally, as previously reported, there is a lack of vital resources, ranging from enough ventilation to adequate bed space, navigating healthcare systems that have outlived their elderly population, and the unpredictable nature of healthcare expenses.

    Some local residents are concerned that healthcare systems are already overburdened in order to meet critical demands.

    Additionally, while this influx has tested many local hospitals, the pandemic has uncovered inefficiencies in other critical areas that existed before COVID-19.

    Overcrowding at a local hospital

    If families are vaccinated as recommended, these countries will be able to recover considerably sooner, scientists say.

    The difficulty in striking the right balance

    The pandemic has divided many communities, with local officials debating whether businesses should remain open or temporarily close.

    Managing pandemic danger while maintaining economic viability requires a delicate balancing act.

    Some people said the confusion was exacerbated by the lack of consistency in local guidelines, which ranged from determining which companies would be closed to enforcing curfews and closing streets.

    As I previously stated, tourism is a significant driver of many of these local economies. Managing the influx of visitors, some of whom may be unvaccinated, as well as the economic impact on the local economy if all are barred from landing, according to numerous local reports, is a difficult task.

    When it comes to decision-making, the pandemic has put authorities in a bind. Closing the local economy necessitates a delicate balancing act, as others will perish due to the lack of an economic vaccine.


    Even though many residents have observed social distance, wear masks, and have been vaccinated, frustration persists.

    According to reports, some visitors were restricted, whereas others were free to move around and party, not following safety protocols and were leaving secured areas.

    Photo by Monstera

    Furthermore, many argue that leaders are using these times of fear, anxiety, and economic uncertainty to gradually push toward despotic political power through restrictions.

    Though it may not be a call to limit democracy for public health, freedom comes only from knowledge, and reasonableness is only possible if talk leads to agreement.

    Behind the mask are the unseen victims of unvaccinated economics.

    Local communities are coughing up an economic virus that has been dormant for decades, on top of a fragile system that had a bad cold for decades.

    The pandemic has cast a spotlight on the region’s governance, exposing the region’s vulnerable labor force, mismanagement, and poverty.

    Photo by Julia Volk

    Even though the whole region can’t be blamed for today’s inflation, supply chain problems, or COVID-19, it looks like some leaders have been playing economic poker, though.

    It’s only that no one predicted the outcome of the hand dealt or how their nation’s economic problem would be resolved. On the other hand, with the same deck of cards, each election cycle delivers a more secure promised hand.

    Many politicians and other well-connected individuals in these emerging and poor countries are like casino dealers; they always win. Thus, the pandemic has less of an impact on them because they are salaried employees paid by the public.

    COVID-19 funds have been the subject of several reports detailing how they were spent, managed, and overall accountability. When there is a history of reported corruption woven into public service decisions, the reality is that this is what happens.

    It’s not uncommon to see some leaders minimize or deflect when they have to justify numbers or compare audits to other countries in order to ease accountability concerns. However, the investigation is left to the country’s own independent accounting system.

    As the cost of food, utilities, public transportation, and even government services like vehicle registration and taxes go up, many families are already having a hard time because they can’t afford to pay for these things.

    In many poor and developing countries, wages haven’t changed for years, so families have to make some sacrifices to keep up with rising costs.

    Today, more individuals are concerned about inflation, growing living costs, job shortages, and food insecurity, all of which have contributed to increased economic fever and financial issues.

    Today, not only do privately owned taxi and bus drivers require a booster shot but so does a local shop outside of the tourist protected zone.

    The dynamics of youth and how to best serve them:

    According to specialists, this is beyond the time when a vaccination will be available for that demographic, or when students will be ready to return to a sense of normalcy in the classroom, which is crucial for their education and mental health.

    Due to a shortage of resources, many students are unable to meet crucial academic standards, and some are forced to return to already overcrowded classrooms.

    According to some estimations, three out of every four young adults are unemployed.

    One of the few areas to find work is in contact centers, where many educated young people queue up to work.

    Photo by Sora Shimazaki

    Because of high unemployment and a weak currency, fewer middle-class people and more people living in poverty, crimes like robbery, murder, and assault are on the rise.

    Others are saddled with enormous student loan debt and a dearth of professional prospects.

    A small off-grid house from a low-paying job is becoming more and more difficult, and COVID-19 seems to have made it even more difficult.

    Who is speaking for you at the table?

    Nurses, doctors, and scientists have a critical role to play in educating the public about vaccination and vaccine safety. Rather than politicians, they are the ones who are on the front lines.

    In addition to informing patients and their caretakers about the advantages and safety of vaccinations, they also provide information on the dangers.

    Some people who are reluctant to get vaccinated because of religious views, distrust of their leaders, or ignorance may benefit from talking to a small support group about the vaccine.

    According to reports, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) met to discuss a global coordinated partnership on the impact of the Coronavirus on global travel and tourism, but who at the table represents impoverished nations?

    Photo by August de Richelieu

    We can only hope that this vaccine will not be sold or used as a political platform in future elections regardless of location

    If the equity in the vaccine is not obtained as most experts advised to avoid the virus’ spread, the outcome will be terrible. I agree that Heard Immunity may be the only solution to mistrust and bad leadership.

    Here comes the sun

    The sun will rise again on these lands, and price increases may not be necessary if people follow the science and recommendations.

    Many people will continue to travel to reconnect with their history, for cultural reasons,  business, vacation, or just a mental break, despite the risk of contracting COVID-19.

    Travel reports say that before COVID-19, a lot of people were going to places like the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and parts of Asia.

    Photo by Natasa Dav

    Additionally, trips to historic sites and cultural events in big cities are becoming increasingly popular as an addition to traditional beach vacations.

    There must be a balance that allows everyone to negotiate this recent big change; locals and incoming and departing visitors must work cooperatively to ensure that no one feels excluded or pressured to maintain a sense of normalcy.

    After duty, I’ll see you soon, with or without this mask! .. Keep yourself safe!


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  • Is it time for a Rastafarian to lead Jamaica and other countries as Prime Minister?

    Is it time for a Rastafarian to lead Jamaica and other countries as Prime Minister?

    BY R.D.

    The unexpected recognition

    “First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,” Mahatma Gandhi.

    On Monday, April 5, 2021, the Jamaica Observer reported that “Minister of Security Dr. Horace Chang claims that if more people replicate the respect that “true” Rastafarian men show to females, it will reduce recent reported heinous acts of violence against women.”

    Even though recognizing Rastafarians for peace, safety, self-sufficiency, or humanism was a symbolic act. However, it has the potential to open a previously closed door to a far broader discussion about this culture that is long overdue.

    Even if you’re not wearing dreadlocks and looking from the outside into this culture, it is, however, much more than just “One Love,” which has frequently eclipsed a continuing desire for absolute amalgamation.

    Furthermore, the Jamaican government acknowledgment did not imply that any Rastafarians (Rasta) would take a more active communal role in a task force dedicated to violence prevention or any other safety measures that are desperately needed in many communities.

    Many locals argued that the administration had run out of public safety options to deal with the rising crime rate. Others argued that it was long past time for their way of life to be recognized as a model.

    Even though the fact that this acknowledgment could have a domino effect and appeared welcomed news, it falls short on many fronts in terms of what needs to happen next to open the doors for upward mobility for this culture.

    What next, and who holds the key to a seat at the table.

    According to reports, Antigua and Barbuda West Indies also apologized for decades of hostility and exclusion of this culture in the Americas during a 2019 speech

    However, little has changed in terms of more Rastafarians playing a prominent and expanded role in the political system since then. As a result, like many others, I began to wonder, “What next?”

    Is it time for a Rasta to run for the highest office in Jamaica, as well as other regions of the Caribbean, potentially CARICOM, and other difficult nations plagued with violence and economic stagnation?

    Furthermore, regardless of which side of the issue you are on, they certainly can provide another road to socioeconomic growth and crime reduction for all people, particularly the disadvantaged.

    Photo by Pixabay

    Despite their predicament, it appears that it needed an increase in violent headlines to notice them and their way of existence, as well as a blueprint for change.

    I believe it is critical to include the Rastafarian culture in an economic upward mobility panel since poverty and social division are frequently accompanied by areas of violence and, as a result, community breakdown.

    However, I will attempt and present my case beyond the chatter.

    Outside of Ras’s kitchen, it’s time to take a closer look

    Poverty and inequality rage like high tides on the ocean, particularly. decades of failed economic policies, injustice, classism, social disadvantage, and corruption according to many reports had made it difficult for many looking for a safe and balanced place to land in order to survive on some of the most dominant islands.

    Photo by lyncoln Miller

    As seen in many impoverished and developing countries, each new or rotating elected leader appears to hold the previous administration accountable for the advancement of these countries, regardless of the political party.

    Unfortunately, economic uncertainties have plagued these communities for decades; including many victims of crime. It has widened the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

    As many scholars have pointed out, the only consistent gains seem to be only these leaders to emerge financially wealthy, while the oppressed future remains stagnant with each passing day.

    Is it time for Ras to pass through the leadership house in order to bring in a new way of governance, a new generation of leaders that aim for inclusion, peace, and economic prosperity for all?

    Beyond the dreadlocks, there is a reality.

    Though the public announcement is being viewed through a political lens, I see it as awareness. For example, an increase in domestic abuse awareness or public safety in general, tolerance, or equality should be applauded regardless of the messenger.

    Recognizing Rastafarianism, on the other hand, is not something that can be summed up in a tweet, advertisement, or sound bite. There must be a secondary fundamental plan for inclusion.

    For decades, the Rastafarian culture has persisted, and beneath the locks and systematic isolation for decades, they have been a force in the arts, medicine, and academia, making significant contributions to our society.

    Despite Rastafarians’ popularity, many people who wear natural hair on these islands, and even outside of Jamaica, face discrimination.

    Photo by Anna Shvets

    After a century of fighting and struggle a quick trip to Ras’s house

    I am not a philosopher, nor am I attempting to explain the origins of my opinion, but please take your R**s) hand out of their hairstyle and foot off the man’s neck

    Rastafarians in Jamaica began promoting the authority of Selassie’s teachings over King George V in the mid-1930s, shortly after the inauguration of Ras Tafari as Ethiopia’s Negus, or “King of Kings”.

    Jamaica was formerly an English colony, and the movements faced enormous resistance, according to scholars).

    In the 1940s and 1950s, many branches were established, led by Leonard Howell, a former member of Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association who was imprisoned for preaching its culture.

    Unfortunately, reports indicated that the Jamaican government viewed Rastafarian ideology as dangerous, subversive, and a threat to social norms at the time.

    Many were marginalized rather than accepted as determined, valuable citizens linked to the same slave ship.
    As a result, people became even more cut off from education, employment, land, and housing.

    Rastafarians were relegated to be seen as deviants who should be rounded up like slaves from another planet. Until now, cultural isolation has created an oppressive mentality that has created tension and mistrust in authority.

    For over a century, their opposition to imperial power and refusal to be marginalized have kept them in the shadows as social outcasts throughout the Caribbean and other parts of the world.

    According to research, Rasta made many black people’s anguish a focal point of their consciousness in order to break free from slavery and neocolonialist chains and return to Africa.

    Fortunately, they did not resort to rioting or violence, as Paul Bogle, one of Jamaica’s most beloved national heroes, fought for liberty, equality, and justice in the Morant Bay Uprising on October 11, 1865, when he fought against law enforcement under a colonial government.

    Paul Bogle (1820 – 24 October 1865

    This is by no way one should imply that this hero was a violent man. It was good trouble as John Robert Lewis, an American statesman and former civil rights activist who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until he died in 2020, is one of my heroes.

    He was such a supporter of good trouble that he dedicated his entire life to fighting segregation from the 1880s to the 1960s “Jim Crow” laws. Looking back, the Rasterfreian movements were ahead fighting for equality, such as Paul Bogle’s 1865 uprising.

    Sadly reversing these quiet decades’ mentality of social distancing will not be possible overnight, and total autonomy from colonial rule necessitates more than just scholarly papers; it necessitates a paradigm shift:

    The struggle for mental shift and the drumbeat of equality continues to this day.

    The foot on the Rastafarian culture, as I have noted is not simply an outward image, but also a  mental ideology by some as shown in a reported “British Insignia.”

    Many found it offensive, not only to the Rastafarian culture but also to the population and the dignitaries who wore it as a badge of honor.

    Some of these local leaders may not have even looked at what they were wearing since they were so concerned with their image, but it’s never too late to make a mental adjustment.

    Unfortunately, some institutions across the region still operate in the manner of a scene from George Orwell’s best-known novel, 1984: Animal Farm: “All are equal, but some are more.”

    History has given the once-colonial state of Jamaica and others in its system a pass on how they were humiliated and treated on these shores and in other places that may have been exposed to the decade of hostility.

    Unfortunately, full acceptance of the architectural class system necessitates a mental shift back to the classroom.

    Some argue that there is a rationale for keeping them as outcasts, not because of what they know and can contribute to society, but because of their outward appearance.

    The Supreme Court of Jamaica, according to sources, ruled in July 2020 that a student could not attend school unless she clipped her dreadlocks.

    Photo by Alex Green

    This rule undermines public trust and, in my opinion, contributes to the perpetuation of the class system.

    Rasta, it appears, must speak far too often to demonstrate his intelligence and is frequently seen by their dreadlocks before exploring their brains.

    According to some sources, even the education minister, Karl Samuda, refrained to comment on the verdict, which occurred on the eve of Emancipation Day, a day commemorating the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, which is honored in Jamaica and elsewhere.

    Taking a step back and feeling the Rasta vibes:

    Unfortunately, more recognition is needed, but where do they begin if the majority of these islands can’t even agree on reparation, let alone an economic package for the next generation that addresses education, jobs, and overall upward mobility for all?

    Photo by Katie Rainbow

    Rastafarians have been a pillar of social equality, peace, brotherhood, environmental preservation, liberty, resistance, independence, and universal love. They have been a critical voice for poor, black-oppressed Jamaicans, and others globally.

    Though local cultural struggles persist, it is clear that Rastafarianism is not a clearly defined area, but many people across all races can identify with their passionate vibes that have gravitated to their values and peaceful lifestyle.

    Since the 18th century, when Ethiopians emphasized an idealized Africa, Rastafarianism has come a long way. It rose to international prominence as a result of the music of devoted Rastafarian Bob Marley and others he influenced.

    No infringement on Bob Marley’s: copyrights are intended.

    “Rasta is passing through,” reggae superstar (Jah Crew) said in one of his songs.

    Morgan Heritage of the reggae band said in one of his songs, “you don’t hiffi dread to be Rasta.”

    Though some of us have invested in razors or barbershops, we do not wear dreads because we live in a world where some rules are defined for us, which we accepted with a signature for our economic stability, but we are Rastas in our approach to life, where peace, love, and humility remain.

    Any visit to one of their locations is a testament to their perseverance, tenacity, and unwavering love in situations where others would have given up.

    Rasta will greet you when you arrive at his or her home. You don’t need to look around because a sense of respect, hospitality, and calm has washed over you.

    There are numerous stories about how comfortable the accommodations they frequently provide for an extended or temporary stay on these shores are.

    The Rastafarian rules would be useful from these data:

    Although violence is common in the region, it is a public health concern.

    Reports have shown for more than a decade that some Caribbean and African nations that have embraced the culture are among the top ten most violent, with an average of more than 30 deaths per 100,000 citizens.

    Rastafarians possess a wide range of abilities, qualifications, dispositions, and competencies, ready to make a difference.

    Furthermore, their way of life by spreading peace and love can have a larger influence on areas that are plagued by socioeconomic hardship, political dogma, and violence.

    Before I conclude, I’d like to return to the utility of this culture and the positive impact it could have on some of the systemic issues that plague some of these troubled nations.

    If the government invests more in this community, their skills may be used to mentor the next politician, doctor, police officer, teacher, counselor, or investment banker.

    Like any other institution in the world, it does not require a crisis to recognize that wherever Rasta people live and work, there will always be some level of peace (One Love).

    Another method of attribution is to compare the number of Rastafarians with criminal records or who are incarcerated to their population.

    According to reports, even when some Rastas are incarcerated, their recidivism rate is lower.

    Violence, on the other hand, can only be pursued if it is reported, so RAS will continue to require community support and will have to look internally if and when it has internal issues ranging from domestic violence, robbery, murder, and even to mitigate cronyism.

    Often addressing crime and other social-economic issues is frequently entwined in the complexities of politics, law, culture, and economic status.

    Rastafarian movement culture and context are more than just growing political dreadlocks or smoking marijuana. Today, their peace-making practices may be the most effective way to calm these turbulent seas.

    Welcome Honorable Prime Minister, Ras

    Should these islands hope to soon be able to say, “Welcome First Lady Queen, someone like “Ifrica” to the Nyabinghi Mansion, which serves all communities?”?

    Photo by Junny Sema

    What might the Right Honorable Prime Minister (Ras administration) look like?

    At the very least, I plan to distinguish Rasta’s first 100 days at work.

    I don’t think The Honorable Prime Minister (Ras) will be able to rapidly resolve the remnants of colonialism, poverty, social disadvantage, and oppression, but how would you know if you don’t give them a chance?

    Photo Credit: Fenkel Production

    Many of the local jobs on these coasts have been established primarily through foreign investments and imports, according to economic data, and where self-reliance and locally manufactured items have dwindled, and replaced by processed foods.

    Many experts have expressed concern that some could result in long-term community health issues.

    What might Prime Minister RAS’ agricultural legislation look like today?

    I believe The Rasta administration will implement a bottom-up approach, encouraging local production and restoring greater self-sufficiency.

    In order to eliminate bias, and corruption, and promote diversity and public safety, a diverse board that represents everyone at the table, from the farmer to the sanitation worker, academia, and those concerns a top priority


    There may be debates about lighting marijuana in the House of Commons.
    I doubt that a black figure of God or Haile Selassie’s divinity would replace some of what is now in local churches, but there will be increased sociopolitical awareness.

    Their message of change will be consistent with their agenda, not merely what is popular in sound bites to get elected and alter direction.

    Many leaders continue to look at the “Reparation” debate through a monetary lens.

    The approach of Prime Minister Ras may not be about the size of a bank account, but about a mental shift away from hopelessness, crime, and women’s upward mobility for the next generation especially the youths.

    The ground will be made holy again, protecting not only life but also economic growth by promoting peace and prosperity, honesty, stability, calm for all, and respect for humanity.

    Yes, the movements existed and grew prior to August 20, 2012, when rapper Snoop Dog changed his name to Snoop Lion in response to his interest in Rastafarianism.

    Yes, there are reports of some things happening from the modernization of roads, technology, and infrastructures being built, but are you moving forward and who benefits?

    Maybe it’s time to call RAS.

    Photo by Tara Winstead com

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  • COVID-19 Vaccine: A Delicate Dance Decisions Especially in the Caribbean and other Poor and Developing Countries`

    COVID-19 Vaccine: A Delicate Dance  Decisions Especially in the Caribbean and other Poor and Developing Countries`


    Confronting reality for a quick shot in the arm.

    COVID-19 has had an unexpected and profound impact on everyone, despite the fact that several vaccines are being developed globally by companies such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna.

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  • Is there a time in the Caribbean for racial equality, economic fairness, and justice from slavery?”

    BY. R.D.

    The unexpected phone call, but will it create momentum?

    After the killing of George Floyd, an African American, in a police interaction in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a global social consciousness erupted, accompanied by large protests.

    Protesters gather Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Minneapolis

    Many organizations, led by Black Lives Matter use the occasion to seek a wide reversal of laws and policies that they said had damaged local communities of color socially and economically for decades.

    This global reckoning on race relations has become deeply nationalized once more, but this time much beyond one race or group, which has resulted in seismic transformations.

    The question of how long it will persist is still unanswered.

    Nevertheless, the domino effect, some corporations that benefited from discriminatory practices dating back to slave ships have embraced symbolic gestures to acknowledge their past.

    Scholars have identified many financial and insurance corporations throughout the world, and it is no secret that slavery was at the heart of capitalism.

    After 130 years, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s Rice, and Mrs. Butterworth all changed their logos, which many argued were a racial stereotype of blacks.

    Today’s global racial equity cry, on the other hand, is not the same as the recent women’s me-too campaign, in which women spoke up about inappropriate pervasive sexual approaches, harassment, and rape by prominent men, and swift action was taken.

    Storm North finally made it to the beach.

    Many parts of the Caribbean catch a cold when other large economies sneeze, but even if they are the only few droplets of sniffles or selective outrage, others argue that it is past time.

    Despite the fact that many Caribbean islanders bravely replied to the world media’s recommendations, it was a positive step forward; but, what will it take to generate momentum and maintain a sturdy anchor that can be drifted?

    The terrible colonial history of the Caribbean, which still bears its effect on many of the islands and towns today, cannot be obliterated with a rope, stones, or fire, as seen by the tearing down of historic generals or former slaves owners’ sculptures.

    Furthermore, local managers who generally oversee enterprises in the region that once benefited from these ships have been called to resign as a result of criticism, fury, and inaction.

    Unfortunately, despite educational and economic progress, many people on these beaches remain socially disadvantaged, and they cannot afford to tear down, block, burn, or vandalize, demand a meeting, or block some access to a building.

    Many people would like to participate in these activities, but these few remaining locations are the only source of survival. Some risk their lives to eliminate an attempt to project a departure from its past.

    Few will admit that the ongoing fight for equality and equity is not only against the impact of colonialism but also against class stratification, local poverty, inequality, which still exists on many of these coasts among persons of the same skin tone.

    Colonial occupation has left a legacy in which only a new path of economic reconciliation for all will establish the first step.

    Unfortunately, some leaders are unable to decide whether or not to protest, with whom to protest, or what structure to erect in order to steer this ship toward necessary reform.

    As it stands, there is still a generational divide and a battle over who will benefit the most from not only an apology but also other forms of compensation.

    However, it appears that addressing this issue will necessitate more than tweets, likes, and attempts to silence messengers based on political affiliation.

    Youths, the community, and political alliances will need to provide fundamental support, education on this troubled history, as well as accountability to ensure that elected leaders do not lose hope, remain objective.

    Furthermore, stay motivated off camera and to make the best decision for all, because change can only happen when people speak up together.

    A delicate dance for equity:

    If any of today’s buildings, contracts for imported goods and services, ports, and manufacturing are owned by foreign investors who will sit at the reparation table, me-too may not represent the oppressed.

    Though there appear to be echoes of microphones, this does not imply that a closer look at its past is not planned; however, who is willing to speak up or be invited remains an open question.

    Can they all afford to protest vehemently and how do you bite off the nervous hands that are only sustaining you?

    And, if, as reported many of these islands’ debt levels exceed their economic output, with significant inflation and unemployment, where do you begin to negotiate, do you criticize them, or do you strike a deal?

    If the Caribbean’s “me-too” response is for “reparation” or a unilateral economic package for better schools, education, acceptable healthcare, higher salaries for public workers, infrastructure, and new manufacturing businesses, it will be a great start.

    However, like the ocean, openly addressing reparations for enslaved men and women is a matter of ideological waves as to where, who, and when any economic tides would touch its beaches that needed a new course first.

    Some argued that, while eliminating several debts for many Caribbean islands would be beneficial, mental rehabilitation from slavery, regardless of independence or financial compensation, would continue to be a psychological drain.

    Another example: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the existing insufficient healthcare system, the rising gulf between the haves and the have-nots, access to competent healthcare, and massive disparities since it arrived on the beaches.

    Many lives would have been saved by a cost-effective and collaborative me-too for the opportunity to travel to other islands for correct diagnosis and necessary medical care rather than waiting weeks for urgent surgery or test results.

    This pandemic has had an impact on tourism, which is one of the Caribbean’s most important economic and cultural businesses, and if one wins in fighting these issues and is willing to help the less fortunate, everyone will win on many other issues.

    However, it demonstrates a lack of cooperation in the economy and security. It appears that who has a firmer grasp on the pandemic for the next terrorist money, or who had the most slaves, or who was the first to have a larger piece of this illusive reparation pie.

    Unfortunately, if local reports continue to show widespread corruption, mismanagement of COVID-19 funds, and a system in which no one can agree on whether it will rain or which party is less corrupt in controlling these islands, it will complicate any future settlement.

    Furthermore, with reported millions of dollars in debt owed to foreign investors, it’s almost as if you’re in a football game down 3-4 touchdowns with two minutes to go and the opponent has the ball.

    Where does the Caribbean begin in terms of social and economic justice for Afro-Caribbean and ethnic minority groups?

    In dealing with this new movement, it will come down to type leaders who tell the truth about the number of infected individuals, fatalities, and the true reason of death, rather than who delivered it there, for the benefit of all.

    Again, it is a step in the right direction, but as of now, there are more questions than blueprints to begin building collaboration to make the case, as previously stated.

    Lifting the anchor is a careful process.

    This re-independence-me-too movement, as seen elsewhere where many nations’ systematic racism and barriers to economic prosperity for many people of color, and once who have been marginalized, being scrutinized globally, may mean different things to different people.

    As a result, I warned against painting all nations seeking this reversal with the same brush, because the slave ships that carried many to this reckoning, while constructed of the same iron and chained to the same anchor, currently have different navigation systems.

    It is not just 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 combat violent crimes, and reported corruption or political alliances that only create a stalemate.

    This reconciliation will not be based on skin color alone or widespread economic needs, or gender equity. It’s possible that the people brought to the tables are only interested in how much pie one can keep in their social class in order to keep their advantage status.

    Many of the beautiful shores may be difficult to bring forward without some compensation from its once treasured soils, but it appears that many leaders are having difficulty identifying intolerance found elsewhere with the naked eye, possibly because many look like you.

    Photo by Tim Mossholder

    Unfortunately, many affluent islands and other impoverished and developing nations that have obtained an education and are now successful enough to buy their way into the upper crust have a lot of bourgeoisie-conscious colonial mentality.

    To keep their standing, some will conveniently, or subconsciously yield power to the origins of colonialism, and as many have argued sometimes for financial or political benefit.

    One diplomat commented, ” many are more foreign-minded than foreigners. As a result, any me-too moment for equality will be stymied by this mindset.”

    Many people will blame the downtrodden structural difficulties on themselves or anyone who is not a member of the social elites. This, in my opinion, is no different than putting a foot on their necks when they are trying to stay afloat financially.

    Though these islands remain a haven to temporarily forget about your outstanding debts and other problems; where the smile remains broad, and the provenance of the slave ships is never in doubt.

    There is still a deep socioeconomic disadvantage, poverty, and in some cases, inadequate education, as well as high crime, have been ignored regardless of whatever political party is in control.

    Internal political conflict continues, I believe, demonstrating some colonial doctrinal balance that despite independence, or more dependent today.

    Is it poor management, or the anchor of a never-sunk slave ship?

    A troubled History:

    Because this isn’t a history paper, and I’m not a historian, when you consider these concerns and how the region came to be, it’s not just about figuring out how to be compensated, mentally untangled, or financially made whole, but about understanding its history and the complexities that are up against today’s tide.

    Unfortunately, in order to grow their economy from Africa, many Europeans packed millions of people of color into ships without reservation.

    Today, it is the foundation for understanding where this shadow over the region’s shorelines lies and what it will take to lift this anchor for economic prosperity for all.

    Unfortunately, removing 400 years of colonial chains, regulations, and mental detritus that has been wreaking havoc on these impoverished areas like a catastrophic hurricane, creating administrative, economic, and social hurdles to upward mobility, is more challenging than good intentions.

    Yes, some will argue that black people sold their own, but I would argue that did they had a choice in the matter and that their economic viability, if not their lives, depended on it, and as previously stated, I am not a historian.

    According to history, the Caribbean islands were ruled by European nations such as the British, Dutch, and French. Previously, these lands were occupied by Denmark, Portugal, and Sweden.

    They devised rigorous norms and penal laws since innocent people of color did not have a personal reservation, which has evolved into institutionalized institutional racism today.

    Between 1788 and 1838, workhouses in Jamaica, the most important British West Indian colony, marginalized its population, which hampered the expansion of local sectors such as finance and manufacturing.

    Today, many dark-skinned people have greater mobility, which has resulted in more recent free migration elsewhere.

    The Caribbean’s hostility tone may have subsided since the cultural prohibitions of black settlement in some areas to interracial sex, which were part of the racial discrimination known as the “color bar” that severely hampered the region’s unique culture and economic growth, but it still resonates globally today.

    It may create a melting pot atmosphere, but it still separates people by status and, yes, the complexity that many people of color face as a result of their horrible past.

    Putting the pieces back together

    Slavery split the territory into many plantations, which developed a protectionist and competitive system, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

    Today’s islanders aren’t from the sugar cane and coffee fields, and they’re free to travel between them, but some still perceive other islands the same way you do, and if they could build a wall, they would.

    Even though slavery is no longer legal, how can one support the casting of a new fishing net in order to achieve a [me-too] balance dance when the justice system is riddled with gaps in basic democracy and cultural tolerance for all?

    Photo by George Becker

    After colonial domination, one must take a step back and critically test “Out of Many One People” and any other motto.

    The Jamaican Supreme Court recently declared that a student could not attend lessons until she clipped her dreadlocks and that the school did not violate the student’s constitutional rights.

    This decision shows that Rastafarianism is often regarded as a social misfit based on an antiquated colonial ideology and that this culture should be performed solely behind closed doors.

    How do you achieve a balance if laws still exist 400 years later, and people in power have similar control over their subjects?

    Without a doubt, the Caribbean is still looking for its soul, and if one’s hair was no longer allowed in the local school, what was next, a Rasta-only bathroom, dining room, and so on?

    As the colonial mentality still remains, the availability of bleaching cream being bought in the region may explain the excess of bleaching cream being bought in the region for acceptance by many.

    Bob Marley: From R.D. Library

    As the colonial mentality still remains, the availability of bleaching cream being bought in the region may explain the excess of bleaching cream being bought in the region for acceptance by many.

    The governor-general of Jamaica has recently discussed removing a British insignia, a medal representing a Caucasian person on the neck of a black person, from the neck of a black person.

    The Order of St. Michael and St. George

    Regardless of other systematic gaps, acknowledgment is the first step toward socioeconomic opportunity for upward mobility.

    However, without the proper leadership and overwhelming community support, regardless of social class, I’m afraid they’ll all be wearing the official insignia, and the newfound “mee=Too” to re-write this checkered past, or perhaps just another gathering when there’s a headline.

  • Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

    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
    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!