The Gleaner NA July Special Edition

7 one of the best in terms of being a vehicle for mobility from poor to a lower middle-class kind of existence. “One of the things I hope for Jamaica is a more diversified economy with a lot more potential sources of income for people to be employed. The murder rate and so on has always been an issue for me. That’s probably one of the biggest drawbacks in terms of even thinking of going back to Jamaica to live. That would be a major consideration. “Jamaica has always punched above its weight globally and I think it’s still a country of great inspiration and great capabilities. Jamaicans, tome, as a people, as a concept, are still hard-working, innovative, and can take pride in being a leader in the world. I think the one thing which would help is a little more unity and a lot less politicking. But I think [when] you look at the world overall and politics has become even more tribal, and I think that’s one of the things which is holding back Jamaica. PAUL JUNOR, TEACHER “I think Jamaica is a success story on many levels and not just athletic accomplishments. Big up to those girls – Shericka, oh man like wow – in music, in entertainment. But I think what we oftentimes don’t really see is the fact that Jamaica is also successful in the economic sphere and in the cultural arts as a product. It’s a meeting place where people have their conferences and expos. “Jamaica, for me, symbolises a lot of positive stuff and accomplishments on the one hand. But on the other hand, there is this perpetual struggle to try to battle the issue of crime and the criminality of certain elements within the society. “I would like Jamaica to spend more on developing basic infrastructure in the rural areas and making sure that schools are adequately funded in terms of resources so that parents do not have to carry the heavy weight of much of this stuff.” EUNICINTH SMITH, FINANCIAL ADVISOR “What I’m most impressed with is how brilliant the Jamaican people are; we have one of the most educated nations. Culturally, Jamaica has a strong name recognition across the world. We have a very strong culture and a very proud people. What is holding us back is the crime. I am concerned about that because you would have a lot more people want to return to Jamaica or invest in Jamaica but the concern of crime is a big thing that every government seem to struggle with putting under control. I’m hoping more emphasis will be placed on people in power to come together, left and right, to find solutions to deal with the crime situation.” Smith would like to see more development in the inner-city communities“because you have the upper middle-class and you have the very poor people. There is hardly any in-between, you either rich or you’re poor in Jamaica, and how can we find more equality for all our people, especially those who are in the inner city – a lot of them are just looking for opportunity to get out of it”. JERMAINE COWIE, EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT “In my 32 years, I think Jamaica has come a far way in its development, in its culture, and in the way it grapples with the world. Jamaica is a brand name. I don’t think the brand, Jamaica, is being packaged well because we have so many things that people want from us but we focus on one or two specific things. So, there’s a lot of things that people don’t know about Jamaica that if we brand that and package it like Jamaica we would be further than where we are now. I think a lot has to do with who is in charge and who has the say when it comes on to certain things, for example, Jamaica’s culture is everywhere over the world. Do we really package that culture? I have seen that Jamaica has come a far way but we have further to go. With our potential, with us being in that geographical location in the Caribbean, we need to focus our attention more on other things of Jamaica, instead of just dancehall and food. There is more to Jamaica than just those. “Jamaica is so nice but the crime is holding back Jamaica; crime is just eating the fabric of Jamaican society. So, I would like to see crime away with and that takes the whole Jamaica. It can’t be a one man but we have to silence this ‘informah fi dead’ culture. We have to stop that but then there’s no trust in the system. There’s a long way for Jamaica to go but we have a lot to give thanks for and I’m proud to be Jamaican Canadian and Canadian Jamaican. I want a paradigm shift when it comes on to crime.” PETER SLOLY, FORMER CHIEF OF OTTAWA POLICE SERVICE “From a distance, it seems like Jamaica has weathered as good or better than any other place. There is still significant investment, new investment in parts of the island. There are good signals that money is still coming towards the country, that members of the diaspora are still invested in leading – directly or indirectly there – but there are still very troubling signs. The crime and corruption piece is still unresolved largely. There seems to be political stability but underneath CRIME CONTINUED FROM 6 PLEASE SEE CORRUPTION, 25 Sloly Smith Junor CONTRIBUTED THE MONTHLY GLEANER | JULY 31 - OCTOBER 21, 2022 | | FEATURE