streetboysIt is said the poorest people are those that due to their economic reality will have the highest statistics of child abuse, broken homes, lack of good health care, limited education, lack of financial resources and  affected by crime and violence. When you see this video this data is proven once again that the poor plays Russian roulette as a daily activity. Their lives are measured in days, and if at the end of 24 hours you survive, it is a good day.

The street boys in Jamaica are not unusual to this island. They are everywhere in the world. It is a societal scrounge that is often great  political talk but never seems to  gather strength to find a  solution.  There are certain problems society face that are solvable. This is one of them.  We wonder why we have the problems we do? Well this is one reason. Where justice is denied, poverty enforced, ignorance prevails and where one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them , neither persons, property, life or society is safe. It takes a mind of exceptional courage and fortitude to avert the danger.

Can this be a problem solved? Watch and share your views.



chronixx0020Take a surf over to www.chronixxmusic.com and  have a look at the work of Chronixx. I decided to surf over to his site to satisfy my curiosity on this new chart topping reggae artiste  and see what was all this kerfuffle about. The banner on his site stood out like a hand raised in the air in defiance of racial oppression . The banner said “The Dread and Terrible Project” celebrates a year!

Dread and Terrible. I thought that was Interesting. The banner had a scroll explaining what  the phrase meant and it stated it was a year ago that Chronixx released independently his first music.  His first musical effort was done unconventionally and managed to earn over 14, 000 sold units and over 2 million streams worldwide. Chronixx, from the very start seemed to be anti-status quo. His music and lyrics is testament to that. Chronixx was never one to speak the language of the status quo either. He was not the usual mouthpiece, neither was he the messenger of words that many wanted to hear.

Whilst everyone and their ma was fawning over the visit of the POTUS Chronixx made a subtle statement:

….”City too busy. Everybody is distracted…somebody have to watch the gates….” ( Chronixx Twitter account)

Distracted they were, some calling the visit historic while  the average Jamaican excited to see their favourite country  flex their political power  and Presidential trappings all over the corporate area. It was exciting times but Chronixx was having none of it.

Two days into the visit it was alleged that Chronixx posted the following on his social media page:

 “This man…Still have a criminal record in The United States and we glorifying some waste man!”

This seemed to have angered a lot of his “readers” and there was social disruption. Calling his words “disrespectful” and “out of line”, his naysayers, headed by the lovely Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, was seen in her video response asking her ‘friend’ Chronixx to quote ‘call me, you hear Chronixx..” hand gesticulating to make it look light hearted.

At the outset I asked the question what did Chronixx do wrong? Why is the Minister quick to respond to a Chronixx statement and not to other pressing issues that  relate to Jamaican youths? Was this old grapes coming to the fore again?  Is this the new distraction for our people to hide the obvious anti-climatic visit of a sitting President ? Chronixx it seems was the sacrificial lamb. how dare he speaks ill of our hallowed visitor , especially one from foreign?

Chronixx spoke his mind. He was exercising something called ‘Freedom of Speech”. The POTUS has been called and referred to in worse terms by his own politicians, members of his own party , fellow black men and members of the opposite side in the US Congress and Senate.  He can handle any criticism, and he has done quite well  and frankly he does not  need  Lisa Hanna  to come to his defense or anyone for that matter.

The Freedom of Speech that we are alluding to , and no one in this part of the world really understand, is a borrowed American term. Chronixx is a young man  who speaks, like his generation in straight, non decorative , to the point language. His  message was heard by those who understands him and shares his views on the futility of the visit.  Those who disagree can go ahead and make all the references they want. But what everyone seems to miss is that Chronixx was never one to feign affection by sweetening his lips. The secret to Chronixx life and for those that listen to him is his honesty, something you cannot fake.

Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.  As he sees it , he sings it. The Chronixx disciples would understand that. The Lisa Hanna quorum doesn’t.  How many of us when given the chance  has ever spoken against the status quo?  How many of us are unable  to say what they really want to say for fear of repercussions? How many of us are suckers for pretty talk and are so called “gracious hosts’ that you cannot even speak your mind on something that hurts you financially or otherwise? How many of us really exercise their freedom of speech? How many of us actually exercise their freedom of conscience because with freedom of speech is freedom of conscience.

Jamaica , let me tell you a little secret. Listen carefully. The world has changed. Despite our refusal to think so the world has changed drastically.  We may not like what we hear all the time, but language reflect “Freedom of Thought’ .  Change your thoughts and you will change the world.

Those that do not agree with me or even Chronixx for that matter can say so and I encourage the freedom to comment exercising our freedom of speech. But i also hasten to remind you that Freedom of Speech is like oxygen to the American  – it is an American ideal that a lot of us Caribbean people are trying to exercise and understand . Some of us are still afraid and ignorant and use Facebook and other social media  as a cloak and dagger to hide and speak your  mind. Great. But all big changes of the world come from words,  the spoken word , backed by a clear  conscience and the power of the soul standing in defense of the words.

How silly we all are. Caribbean people never use the liberties they have. They demand freedom of speech and never use their freedom of thought. Chronixx is showing us what happens when thought collides with speech. Its powerful. Its gets attention. If we could only exercise this right when we are voting or when we see our ‘waste politicians’ wasting our time and resources, what a different place Jamaica would be?


ObamaThe POTUS made a brief stop in Jamaica recently and the nation was agog. Like our track and field, nothing was more important to the country than a visit of a siting President of the USA.  It was nationally important, a sort of pat on the back to remind us that yes we are ‘important.’

It was so important to us that the government dug deep in the budget to allocate funds for cosmetic improvements. Such is the benefit of ‘unexpected’ visits of worthy guests. That expenditure was explainable that even the IMF could not object.

obama memeThe political charades before the visit was interesting at most and laughable at the very least. Everyone wanted to be in on the party and we saw ministers from both side of the isle jockeying to take up positions of excellent selfie. The social media erupted with memes that depicted the very best creativity of social and political humor. Excitement became the sweet companion of a depressed nation.

But excitement can be an ale that when taken carelessly, drunks those that taste her warm beverage  because amidst all the selfie moments a lot of people missed the real message of his visit. It was reported that the President’s only engagement , other than with regional leaders, was with ‘Youth Leaders’ in a public forum setting.

The message was clear- young emerging leaders of various background, religions, language, color and sexuality were the holders of the baton of recovery. For the astute , they would have seen the logic. For the self absorbed it would have been a wind blown over the head.

lumleyIt was surprisingly interesting that the first person he called for questions was a young leader that had, coincidentally a copy of his book ‘The Audacity of Hope”. Nothing about the Presidency is ‘coincidental’. Everything is scripted and planned, down to who to call first.

It was more than what it appeared to be. It was a political stroke of genius that has a more far reaching effect than the 12 or so questions he answered.

“I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody’s religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.”
Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
He stood steadfast in that belief. In one stroke he highlighted  Jamaica’s 2 biggest problems- the problem of social inclusiveness and acceptance and the problem of a seemingly national despair especially in our young people. Data that Jamaica’s young people would prefer to leave Jamaica and go overseas had reached him.  Obama also knows of the challenges and successes  of our government , the bitter  partisan politics that exist, police brutality and conflicts and the LGBT agenda. These two afflictions remain a pariah on our national development and the urgency to free our minds and look to the fast emerging future is still a very big challenge here.

In his hour long question and answer he told the audience  that the answers to our problems are starring us in the face. We are either going to believe that there is hope or sit back and wait on a miracle to happen. He challenged us to be audacious and to the youth leaders in the room, he was saying change begins with you.

His message was clear , …”You are the future and you make the future..”. ( President Obama Youth leadership UWI, Mona.).

It was not a blight on the present leadership, rather it was a rallying cry to the youth, including those in the present government to take up the challenge of leadership and run with it. Leadership calls that you have a clear future that is a shared vision with the people you lead. Forget but learn from what you have seen. He was saying there is no reason in believing  what your father has done was correct.  There is no need to make up for their mistakes either. The quote from his book said it clearly.

“Someone once said that every man is trying to live up to his father’s expectations or make up for their father’s mistakes….”
Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

He wrote in his book the “The Audacity of Hope” ..”a nation that cannot control its energy sources can’t control its future..” . He alluded to that when he singled out two youth leaders, one a lesbian who despite being raped turned her negative to a positive. The other  was a young man from what is popularly known as the “projects” who had two choices to make-  crime & violence or  make a change. He chose the latter and that change began with him. That change took him to an audience with the President and was singled out by him . That was powerful. A lot of people missed it.

The President was telling us Jamaicans that our energy sources was sitting in front of him and can be found within the streets, valleys and mountains of Jamaica and they are different as the days of the week. Some are poor, some are wealthy, some are religious, some are Rastafarian, some are atheist, some are white, some are Chinese, some are Indian, some are black , some are disabled, some are old, some are heterosexuals, some are gay. It was Barack’s message of Hope, an audacious hope of change and renewal.

But change is often a drink that is taken as a bitter potion. We often see change as the critics have always imagined it – a disruption of the status quo. Obama wrote..:

…”Maybe the critics are right. Maybe there’s no escaping our great political divide, an endless clash of armies, and any attempts to alter the rules of engagement are futile. Or maybe the trivialization of politics has reached a point of no return, so that most people see it as just one more diversion, a sport, with politicians our paunch-bellied gladiators..”                    Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Our paunch-bellied gladiators  are everywhere. What we have now are face painted supporters that ‘kill’  each other only for their ultimate goal to win at all cost. That is a remedy for destruction. We keep putting the same remedy of the sore and wonder why the sore is not getting any better.  Obama challenged the youth leaders telling them to be audacious and change the status quo. Jamaican have to reach a point where their politics reach a balance of idealism and reality and according to him ..‘ to admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have a point…”

The political maturity of which he speaks is not fleeting  but within our own consciousness. Youth leaders must accept this challenge and start to change the minds of our people. The paunch-bellied men have done their part, now its their turn. Change is a process.  It starts often times at the bottom of the valley but it leads most times to the top of the mountain top. But the process must begin and it must begin now!

The President challenged us to have the audacity to accept that hope is everywhere, the answers are staring us in the face, it is for us to remove the veil of politics and see reality and our reality is our destiny.  It is for us to remove ourselves from our cultural, religious and social differences and work together for change. Change must be our theme, our guiding light as it is in the darkness of our differences that our prosperity is hiding.