Christopher 'Dudus' Coke is in U.S. custody and Jamaicans at home and abroad are hoping that his detention will prove cathartic for the island. Fingers are crossed that he will sing a song in his defense that will reverberate through Jamaica's House of Parliament, shaking loose the old guards of corruption. I'm not feeling hopeful.
Corruption, crime and human degradation are rife in Jamaica. They are not confined to politicians. Police officers assume drivers will be willing to pay a bribe to avoid a ticket. A visit to a government office comes with an expectation of long lines, rude and inept workers and lots of inefficient processes. Drivers are required to keep constant watch for red light runners and those who create and speed through shoulder lanes. Barbarians with guns terrorize communities, while their violence and disrespect of women is lauded in the music blaring at dance hall sessions. How will the attitudes that have been tolerating these behaviors be culled out to reveal a new way of thinking and living for Jamaicans?
Let's say Dudus' song does ensnare a long list of politicians, and vacancies abound in parliament. Then what? Is there an educated populace ready and able to take the reins and move the country forward? More importantly, will those who step into the void have the support of Jamaicans to cut the new path. Are Jamaicans ready to do things differently?
As the saying goes, "if wishes were horses..." We can all hope for the best in Jamaica, but I have not been hearing/seeing on the discussion boards, Facebook pages, or in editorials any realization that the hard work will have to start with Joe Average. Change the constitution, change the instruments of policy, but if residents are not cognizant of their role in the process it will go nowhere.
I want to be hopeful, but taking one criminal off the streets doesn't yet throw up rainbows for me.