I see Small Dead Animals and its mouth-breathing commenters are race bating again. This time, it's Jamaicans they're on about.
Jamaicans, they imply, are inherently violent people who used their idle time to commit murder.
Of course, and as usual, the truth is much more complex.
As you can see in this article, Jamaica and Jamaicans have a crime problem.
There are many reasons for it: the lack of mandatory schooling and post-elementary educational opportunities; a local recession; lousy and corrupt government; a steady flow of guns and drugs into the country; and an inept judiciary.
The biggest problem, however, is buried way down: Jamaica was divided into two armed camps in the 1970s by Edward Siega's rightists Jamaica National Party (which is now in power) and Michael Manley's Marxist Jamaica Labour Party. Both sides armed their followers, who fought running gun battles in the street as Siega pried Manley out of power.
That was quite an opportunity for Jamaica's gangsters. Both sides needed money to finance this little civil war. Fortunately, Jamaica not only produced drugs, but was also along the main cocaine trafficking route.
This fight gave a real hand-up to anyone who wanted to be a paramilitary thug. When the election was over, the politicians publicly washed their hands of involvement but the gang structures survived for the past two generations, as did the domestic and foreign drug and arms connections.
These gangs were recreated in the Jamaican enclaves that have arisen in London, New York and Toronto. They have sometimes been grafted onto American gang structures. Why? Because they give young men the best chance they'll get to acquire money and personal power. Gang activity is hell on the nuclear family, and Jamaican women have been left to raise kids who are likely to continue the pattern.
To hear fascists tell it, there's something wrong with black people. But in islands where there is a decent tax base, education opportunities and jobs, this gang activity is not a problem.
In Jamaica, there's no expectation of real change, so nothing will happen. Staying out of a gang is difficult for the great mass of poor young men. Meanwhile, those with government connections continue to pull in most of the country's wealth.
But not every Jamaican is a gangster. Jamaican gang activity has been a convenient took for racists to paint all Jamaicans as bad people. And what do people do when they are marginalized? What would any of us do if we were dirt poor and were the focus of hatred and suspicion? Maybe find some sympathetic friends, especially if they could provide jobs, protection and a chance for a better life.
The gangs may not be able to deliver on thses things, but right now they're about the only game in town.
So, why do Jamaicans run so fast? Because it beats joining a gang.