The horrendous acts that transpired in a principally Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Night Club in Orlando Florida and the raising of the Rainbow Flag at the US Embassy in Kingston plus the “interesting” response of Jamaica’s Attorney General have all combined to reignite the never ending “debate” on the morality, acceptability and rights afforded to the LGBT community in Jamaica.

Rather than some expansive prose, below is a list of my  main sentiments on the LGBT discourse in Jamaica in general and the above-mentioned incidents in particular.

  1. I am a Christian. My views on the morality of homosexuality are largely influenced by that. So if I am honest with myself I am not 100% comfortable with it.
  2. Christianity or no, the notions of Universal Human Rights are also a part of my personal morals.
  3. The right to life, the right to freedom of conscience (which enables free speech/free expression freedom of and from religion), and the right to freedom from discrimination based on being the member of some target group are all things that I value.
  4. With the above in mind especially freedom of conscience, privacy and non-discrimination I do not believe it is my place to impose my chosen way of life and perspective on another free adult.
  5. No matter how queasy certain things make me feel personally, what consenting adults do in their life, that is not significantly affecting me or the rights of others is their business.
  6. Tolerance is the standard that both sides of this divide should be striving towards. But tolerance can have a negative connotation so probably we can shift the standard to “mutual respect for difference.”
  7. Persons with strong moral objections to homosexuality and those who are far more liberal perhaps will never ever truly agree.
  8. However, those who object, should accept that moral objection does not have to be twinned with hate and discrimination and those who are more liberal should accept that not every moral objection is one of hate or means that the homophobia label must be attached.
  9. However, objectors especially self-professed Christians/religious people definitely need to realise, that the nature of their objection, particularly the inconsistency in the amount of effort spent on this sin versus others, helps to sow the seeds of hate and intolerance in a space where constructive conversation from a position of respectful disagreement may be more useful. It is this hate and aggression that when unchecked or continuously stoked that can lead to heinous hate crimes
  10. With respect to the night club in particular, if in any way you rejoiced in what has happened then you may need to look into your humanity. No matter what you feel about a man, that man has blood running through his veins. A life is a life and we should mourn any loss of life. Suggesting that this was somehow God inspired retribution would logically imply t hat the poor little children who died in Sandy Hook a couple years back were also somehow being punished. Careful with that line of thinking.
  11. I understand the persons who say but why is international outrage always more, when the lives lost are from “The West” I really do and I agree wholeheartedly. Evil acts occur daily but popular sentiment is skewed towards the west and/or groups with a strong international voice. But still a life is a life. So don’t position this as an either/or choice. And what irks me is that the same crowd that is quick to say “so what about what happened in X” often have nothing to say on these issues until something else happens and they bring it up as the reason they are not going to participate in the newer outcry. Let us, mourn and where possible do what we can to prevent tragedies no matter where they are. Also understanding the biases of the global media, don’t assume everybody knows of every tragedy that you do. Spread the word, help others understand issues that you understand better or know of before them. People who are willingly ignorant on the other hand…light them up for sure.
  12. With respect to the flag at the embassy, again, personally not my favourite thing, but my personal view shouldn’t and legally cannot stop others from utilizing their fundamental right of free expression, also as pseudo sovereign space of the US Government the larger message I feel was support for one set of citizens that were collectively mourning. I can’t see the big fuss with that in and of itself.
  13. I do however also think that a subtle or even not so subtle chess move/power play was also opportunistically taken by the embassy to remind us of their advocacy for a shift in popular opinion on the matter at hand. This utilization of soft hegemonic aka gently flexing that “world boss” power in this case is more offensive and noteworthy to me than what the flag itself represents.
  14. Late night tweets are not always the wisest decisions.
  15. Finally, pretty sure that the fire and brimstone and liberal coalitions will both take issue with aspects of this, but on this day I feel comfortable in where I stand. Just hope if you disagree we can do so respectfully and have a reasoned discussion if not…Oh well!

 

Peace/Salaam/Shalom

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Three days ago I sat satisfying my regular need for social media and saw what I thought would be an article par excellence pop up on my newsfeed from one of the regular social commentators in Jamaica that I respect, even if I don’t always agree with the views he espouses. The article I refer to was published in the Jamaica Gleaner on Sunday June 5, 2016 and is entitled “Why Campion is So Loved and Hated” by Gordon Robinson.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/focus/20160605/gordon-robinson-why-campion-so-loved-and-hated

The topic is very near and dear to me due to my being the proud if sometimes reluctant sibling of a Campion alumna and *whispers* a one-time Campion College aspiring student (prior to divine intervention). This experience has made it more obvious to me than the average joe that Campion College may be the most opinion splitting, controversy stirring and divisive institution in Jamaican society and a lot of the reason for this actually is no fault of the institution itself.

So recognizing the above reality and acknowledging the literary prowess and infinitely sharp mind of Sir Robinson I eagerly awaited the well nuanced and balanced discussion of this lightning rod that is Campion. Unfortunately, but not altogether surprisingly, Mr. Robinson took the default position that many more contemporary Campionites take when the rest of society leans in on them with  the mostly unwarranted negative sentiments – he presented us with the combination of the litany of reasons Campion is great, blended with the subtle condescension that “you all really wish you were us.” And to top it off for me on a personal level, for no apparent reason Mr. Robinson sought to juxtapose the virtue of Campion by pejoratively comparing the strong Jesuit ethos of Campion to, what for him is the seemingly useless braggadocio of the motto “The Brave May Fall But Never Yield.”

Don’t get me wrong either, I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Robinson’s quite brilliant depiction of why Campion is a truly great institution that all Jamaicans should be proud of. And indeed we all should really be proud and I go on further to state that the Jesuit principles that have guided the school’s development and that are so ably described by Mr. Robinson should really form a template for the development of truly rounded citizens for the benefit of the Jamaican society.

But what Mr. Robinson has robbed us of is balance. Though mostly unjustified, there are perfectly reasonable explanations as to why Campion is not everybody’s cup of tea, not least of which is the subtle and not so subtle reminders that Campionites give us that we wish we were them. Though the catch 22 there is that sometimes that is the response of an attacked animal backed into a corner. But still what the article I eagerly awaited did not do was adequately account for what Campion has become a symbol of. Though Mr. Robinson merely mentioned it in an almost throw away fashion, Campion for all the developmental strengths it possesses does get the nation’s best students in large measure thus possessing a strong leg up on everyone else. Also a large swath of the school’s modern day population and I may venture to posit its “back in the day” population as well consisted of societies well to do. Simply put, in a gravely inequitable education system which foreshadows a probably more inequitable society on a whole, Campion has unwittingly become to many a symbol of this social stratification.

So I agree with Mr. Robinson that some of the persons who were dying for Campion to lose this years’ School’s Challenge Quiz Final need to grapple with some internal insecurities and perhaps even inferiority complexes. (Although this year people had many legitimate grouses not with Campion but how the Organizers handled Campion’s matches, but that is for another day.) Notwithstanding this agreement, what I expected from Mr. Robinson, and was left disappointed, was an honest acknowledgement that a lot of the anti-Campion sentiment also emerges from it being a symbol, right or wrong, for the social divides that mar our Jamaican existence.

SELAH!!!

PS –  To Sir Robinson, though you may disparage it, beyond the bar talk and the obnoxious bravado, the words “The Brave May Fall But Never Yield” have been a rallying cry that has steered many otherwise rudderless young men from lives of obscurity and strife to the upper echelons of success in their chosen fields of endeavor. And for those who may have not reached such lofty heights, the spirit of the Rt.Reverend PW Gibson, which those words channel gives us a reminder that though we face challenges we can overcome. I am sure you can acknowledge that beyond the Old Boys who won’t grow up, the Fortis ethos is of great value as is that of the strong Jesuit philosophy.

Fortis, Fortes…Respect.

If you have read my blog before or even perused the archive you will realise that by a country mile my primary focus is usually on the most topical happenings in the social economic and political realms. However there is a category in said archive called “Random Me Stuff.” This episode of Reasoning is definitely a “Random Me Stuff” edition.

Sitting at my desk assisting the work day in becoming palatable by listening to the discography of the legendary Hip Hop/ Neo Soul band “The Roots” the melodies and superb wordplay had my mind drifting to “the good ol days” of my vintage. Overcome with nostalgia my mind couldn’t escape the need to jot down a list of some of the many things from my childhood and youth that I miss greatly.

90’s & Early 2000s Hip Hop/ R&B Music

With the inspiration for this mood outlined above it is only right that this list starts here. Whether it is the playful ABC rhyming of the Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff on songs like “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, the Bipolar, thoughtful and belligerent Tupac Shakur that would “Hit ‘em up” one day and teach us to “Keep ya head up” the next.  Maybe it is the crooning of real singing groups like Boyz II Men and Jodeci. Bringing it forward thoughts move to the undeniable word play of Jay-Z. Tracking back, the more conscious, soulful Hip Hop of Mos Def, Common, The Roots and Talib Kweli. I could ramble on this forever but rather than playing the grumpy grandpa that I have become and bash contemporary music, I’ll just rework the thought from Summertime by the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff and instead of being shocked that “the smell from a (bbq) grill could spark up nostalgia” I’ll blame this feeling on a YouTube suggestion.

Innocent TV Shows About Teenage Years/Puberty

I don’t know about you but there are some TV shows that have a direct connection in my mind with my transition from “likkle pickney” to pubescence. Shows that just got it. Shows that understood the moment the first girl you ever liked looked at you. Shows that knew that friends at school were the first source of information (usually full of crap but still) about relationships and sex. Of Course that is followed by the eternal peer pressure. Shows that depicted family life for all its pros and cons, good days and bad days with siblings good days and bad days with parents. Some that come to mind for me are “Boy Meets world”, “Wonder Years”, to a lesser extent Soul Food: The Series and last but definitely not least The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. This classic show transcended just thoughts of growing up but spanned the gamut of family life and lessons mixed with straight up laughs. TV today is cool and all can’t deny that but… I miss those days.

McDonald’s

Let’s keep this one short as the nutritionist, the doctor, the blood pressure machine and BK loving Jamaicans aren’t going to be happy with me. But for me, and at least three other people I know who will remain nameless, the day that the Golden Arches disappeared from the Jamaican landscape was a true tragedy and a sad day in the annals of Jamaican history. Just typing this right now I can feel the oranegish/yellowish box that held my beloved Quarter Pounder with Cheese on my fingertips. Burger in one half of the box fries in the other. Sad I tell you sad. I have to move on though the depression is steadily growing. Ronald we miss you dawg.

Youth Itself

Rather than continue this list of random memories what is becoming clearer and clearer as I type is that the truth is, sparked by a handful of YouTube videos, I am just really appreciative of the childhood and adolescence that I was blessed with. On the other side of Mother’s Day I must unequivocally declare that I have a pair of parents that I would never ever ever trade for anything and they created an enabling environment that allowed me to just be a child and grow up at my pace. As an adult each day gives me reasons to realise how great they were and how much they did for us without much fanfare.

Pausing the mushy part for a bit, ADULTHOOD IS THE BIGGEST SCAM IN LIFE. As a youth you spend your whole childhood yearning for the day when you get big. “I won’t have to listen to anybody, I do what I want when I want.” The sad part is when it hits you that the thing you want the most now that you have reached this hallowed adulthood, is to reverse the clock and fully spend the time enjoying every single blessed moment of that youth.

And that is the advice I just recently had to leave a young friend with who was cursing her youth. Not even being too far removed from my youth I can honestly look back at it and say those days were legendary and a treasure that I will never forget, and with the exception of a few “perks” of the now, would readily trade for and go back.

But alas, Benjamin Button is but fiction. Life, we must endeavor to move forward and grow and not just in waist size but in mind and relationships and emotional maturity. But lucky for us, although life is a forward trod, it never hurts when we get a chance to look back.

 

SELAH.

 

Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016

Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016

Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016

Every time I open my social media accounts and see the internet Molotov cocktails being chucked from the north western end of the Caribbean down to the south eastern end and vice versa I think to myself… Baccra did a really good job with this divide and rule thing and no matter how hard and often we proclaim emancipation and independence it is clear that we need regular doses of the words of Redemption song that Tuff Gong borrowed from the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

“Jamaican’s does be the reason the crime going up in T&T and allyuh does know it” vs “Who do these Trinis think they are, them think dem s!@# can mek patty, not even know why Jamaicans still want go there.” Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016.

But what really is going on here? What is the real root of all this? Why is it that every other year or month we have some reignition of these “wars” between Caribbean nations, with particular emphasis on the two largest English speaking ones? Is it resentment for one Jamaican National Hero saying Jamaica is walking while the rest of the region is crawling? Is it because one PM was tired of being the region’s ATM? All this while Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016.

But what of the current melee, it is clear to me that CARICOM and the CSME are valuable or at least potentially valuable but at present and perhaps from ever, they have been beset with regional, structural and national level issues that have hamstrung its potential. Most people do not even know what CARICOM/CSME is or is supposed to be. Here is the Cliff Notes version – CARICOM is a political and economic cooperation organization forged between mainly English speaking, former British colonies designed to face the” big bad” world in a vein of pooled capabilities. CARICOM is based largely on three pillars:

  • Functional Cooperation –  shared institutions like  CXC and UWI
  • Coordinated foreign policy – CARICOM joint positions in International Organizations and negotiating Trade Agreements as a unit
  • ECONOMIC INTEGRATION – common external tariff and the free movement of goods, capital and labour i.e. PEOPLE.

We do pretty well in the first two pillars if people are honest but the third pillar is really why we are here cussing each other on Facebook while…Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016.

What is required now is an honest introspection on the part of the entire CARICOM family, but particular the governments and citizenry of Jamaica and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Rather than get touted by the modern day dividers such as skewed media, influential civil society players that stand to benefit from the disharmony and government officials acting in the name of political expediency versus the greater good. My brothers and sisters from Jamaica must realize that as a sovereign state the Twin Island Republic has the right to protect its borders and seek to avert abuse of immigration laws in any way fit, especially in the face of illegal immigration from Jamaica that is at a fairly significant level by all accounts. Concurrently, my brothers and sisters from the Twin Island Republic must realise that not every Jamaican is coming to be a “leach” and that legitimate efforts at border protection are subject to the rule of law, fairness and humanity. It cannot be done in a pseudo-arbitrary fashion, where even persons who are above board are made to feel like criminals, all this while under CARICOM arrangements we are all “guaranteed” hassle free travel.

WE ALL HAVE BEEN GUILTY OF WRONGS IN THIS SITUATION BUT WE CANNOT ALLOW THE POTENTIAL GOOD OF OUR UNION TO BE KILLED OVER MISGUIDED EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO REAL ISSUES THAT REQUIRE MATURE DEBATE.

For example, and controversially, if one ascribes to the “free trade” school of thinking then the purpose of a free trade movement like CARICOM is the “efficient allocation of resources” therefore if T&T has an oversupply of manufactured goods and an undersupply of low skilled labour and Jamaica has an oversupply of low skilled labour and an undersupply of manufactured goods, then the concurrent influxes of goods into Jamaica and people into Trinidad and Tobago is something that should be perhaps promoted but in a streamlined fashion. But this paragraph is for another day and for more rigorous economic scrutiny, but the general point is that we might actually need each other more than we think but never ending pride, misguided nationalism and self-serving public voices are pushing us apart all while…Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016.

So here we are with powerful private sector voices and voices in the streets of Jamaica calling for a boycott of all Trinbagonian goods and these cries being met with social media and radio retorts of “round up all these Jamaicans in T&T illegally, they are the reason there is crime, crime was virtually nil before their infiltration.” But are these voices speaking for the majority? I hope not, too often in public discourse the voice of the misguided, lowest common denominator dominates the discussion and derails constructive reasoning.

Or am I wrong? Is it that this impasse between Jamaica and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is insoluble? Is it that the majority of us would rather just sever all ties with each other forever?

Whatever the case, I am tired of this whole debacle and I am also angry, angry because

Baccra Massa Still Smiling in 2016.

SELAH

 

 

 

The song that is mentioned in the title of this blog post has been playing in my mind over and over as one of the many pieces of Jamaican creative art that has aptly served as social commentary basically covering my lifetime. In Jamaica POLITICS is a bad bad bad word, probably the worst word ever. In fact it has spawned many offshoots that highlight just how we as a people in large measure feel about the political process so we have “Follytics” which is my personal favourite of “politricks” which is perhaps the most popular.

For all persons who know me and know me well they know that ever since about the 9th grade I have stoutly held the position that until I see great changes in the way politics is practiced  I would never ever ever dip my finger in any ink. To this day I still feel very strongly about defending person’s right not to vote as being equal to a persons right to vote. I think this notion that “you must vote” whether you philosophically agree with the candidates put before you is one of the most popular yet flawed arguments that exists in Jamaica.

As I saw one comment on twitter yesterday “Voting for me is almost spiritual based on the sacrifice that went into me getting that right, I almost feel as though my soul will be damned if I just vote without conscience.” (slight paraphrase). That is deep almost deep beyond words. I think it is folly to say to someone your vote is valuable but give it to someone “just because” it’s the right thing to do. Persons who seek to bully and guilt trip persons into voting really need to spend the time and try to understand the stance of principled non-voters before reaching for the millions of tired clichés. Let me not even get into today the myriad of constitutional reform issues that legitimately turn people off from voting. That can be a blogpost for itself.

However, speaking of principled non-voters, I have recently developed a strong urge to reach out to my fellow disillusioned Jamaicans. We must not let our disillusionment turn into total apathy and separation from the process. whilst it is true that political participation goes well beyond casting a ballot and therefore voting is not the be all and end all of participation, we must also acknowledge that NOT VOTING AND NOT HAVING A VOTE ARE TWO CONSIDERABLY DIFFERENT THINGS. If you are not enumerated you don’t have a vote so your displeasure is not registered in any way that can even theoretically force those who you are displeased with to react. The sad truth is that these persons we make reference to are largely driven by electoral stimuli. So what we need to do is give them some different stimulus. If everybody who is not pleased with the status quo twinned their public expressions of disapproval with the REAL potential to be a “swing” set of votes THEY WOULD HAVE TO AT LEAST PAY SOME MORE ATTENTION.

SO DON’T VOTE IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE THERE IS ANYTHING TO VOTE FOR. I fully agree with that stance and it is your right and NEVER LET ANYONE MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT CASTING YOUR VOTE FOR A MISGUIDED PERCEPTION OF CIVIC PRIDE. But political participation is more than just voting. What are you doing to contribute to the change that you want to see? Have you ever written to your representative? When parliament asks the public for written submissions have you ever sent one in? Are you a part of a civil society group fighting for a cause? NOT VOTING IS ONE THING BUT NOT CONTRIBUTING IN ANY WAY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF JAMAICA AND THE “…THE WELFARE OF THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE” IS PROBABLY EQUAL OR WORSE FOLLY THAN THE FOLLYTICS WE COMPLAIN ABOUT.

The year of our Lord Two Thousand and Sixteen is upon us and well underway. A Happy New Year To all. Before we dive into another year of “Reasoning” it is only right that we look back at what has been an eventful year that has departed from our company. Rather than looking back at 2015 from a personal point of view, I feel the need to present a compilation of what to my mind were the years’ biggest stories in news and sports.

With that in mind what will follow will is a list of the:

  • Top 10 news stories Jamaica
  • Top 10 news stories in Internationally
  • Top 5 sports stories Jamaica
  • Top 5 sports stories in Internationally

Disclaimer – these stories are what came to my mind most readily and it is hoped that once read persons can suggest additions and subtractions as we all collaborate to remember the year that was 2015…

Top 10 News Stories of 2015 in Jamaica

  1. The “Dead Babies Scandal” – http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20151023/timeline-deadbabiesscandal-how-hospitals-responded
  2. Election False Start – http://nationwideradiojm.com/pm-waiting-for-the-masters-touch/
  3. Unsigned Senate Letter Saga – http://nationwideradiojm.com/court-rule-against-holness-in-removing-williams-from-senate-details/
  4. Obama Visit – https://cunning1jm.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/barack-on-the-rock-a-few-lessons-learned-from-the-visit-of-president-obama/
  5. David Cameron Visit – https://cunning1jm.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/cameroninja-removing-the-scab-from-eternal-wounds/
  6. Another Riverton fire – http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20150319/march-2015-riverton-fire-%E2%80%93-disaster-historic-proportions
  7. Severe Drought – http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20150702/outlook-grim-no-relief-sweltering-heat-and-drought-any-time-soon
  8. Crawford/Pryce Out –http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20151024/editorial-might-party-delegates
  9. Ganja decriminalization – http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20150422/pros-and-cons-weed-decriminalisation
  10. CCJ Debate – https://www.panmedia.com.jm/news/201510/marlene-malahoo-forte-vs-aj-nicholson

Honourable Mention

The emerging “Bad Gas Scandal” –

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Tell-us-who-s-selling-bad-gas-_47383

Top 10 Stories in International News for 2015

  1. Middle East – EU Migrant crisis – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911
  2. #BlackLivesMatter/Police brutality in the US – http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/28/us/tamir-rice-shooting/index.html
  3. US – Cuba re-establishment of diplomatic ties – http://www.euronews.com/2015/07/20/us-cuba-diplomatic-relations-formally-restored/
  4. Iran Nuclear Deal – http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/18/snap-poll-is-the-iran-deal-good-for-your-countrys-national-security/
  5. The Presidential Candidacy of Donald Tr(ch)ump – http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/donald-trumps-most-surprising-outrageous-and-newsworthy-moments-2015
  6. US Federal Gay Marriage Ruling / Ireland Gay Marriage Referendum – http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20150628-same-sex-marriage-ruling-resonates-globally.ece
  7. Syrian Airstrikes/ Russian involvement/ Turkey shooting down jet – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34882503
  8. Boko Haram becoming #1 terror org in the world – http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/19/world/africa/boko-haram-ranked-ahead-of-isis-for-deadliest-terror-group.html?_r=0
  9. “Grexit” from the EU averted – http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eurozone-bonds-spain-italy-idUKKCN0PQ0Y520150716
  10. Al shabab attack on Kenyan university – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32169080

Honourable Mention

  • Nepal Earthquake – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32701385
  • Bill Cosby Scandal – http://www.etonline.com/news/154160_timeline_of_bill_cosby_sexual_assault_allegations/

Top 5 Sports Stories of 2015 in Jamaica

  1. Danielle Williams’ 100m Hurdles Gold medal at the Beijing World Athletics Championships – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a65YrzyTdSw
  2. Usain Bolt defends his Gold medals X 3 at the Beijing World Athletics Championships – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-WBKfnqBHM
  3. Women’s 4x4oom relay triumph at the Beijing World Athletics Championships – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbsmA7tG4hE
  4. Reggae Boyz defeating the USA in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Semi- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtVQdKiYFTUfinals
  5. Simon Dawkins Campaign saving late strike vs Nicaragua – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImaLuBAocaQ

Honourable Mention

  • Schoolboy Football season 2015 – https://www.schoolboyfootball.com/index.php/component/joomsport/venue/3?Itemid=101
  • MVP exodus – http://www.trackalerts.com/Articles/day-morrison-out-of-mvp/14579/?fb_comment_id=761097617333591_761197697323583#f4f4ac6d

Top 5 Sports Stories of 2015 Internationally

  1. FIFA corruption – bans for Blatter and Platini – http://www.espnfc.com/blog/fifa/243/post/2765839/sepp-blatter-and-michel-platini-given-eight-year-fifa-bans
  2. Russian  Track & Field Doping Scandal/Ban – http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/26/russia-full-indefinite-ban-world-athletics-doping-scandal
  3. IAAF corruption –the fall of Lamine Diack – http://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/34782521
  4. Usain Bolt vs Gatlin: good vs evil – http://www.the42.ie/bbc-bolt-gatlin-discussion-2296462-Aug2015/
  5. Mayweather vs Pacquiao Disappointing Dud – http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/05/03/floyd_mayweather_wins_tame_fight_of_the_century_highilghts_from_his_boring.html

Honourable Mention

  • New England Patriots Deflategate saga -http://espn.go.com/blog/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4782561/timeline-of-events-for-deflategate-tom-brady
  • Golden State Warriors and the Rise of Steph Curry – http://hoopshabit.com/2015/06/18/golden-state-warriors-title-caps-historically-great-season/

As previously stated these were the stories for the year 2015 that jumped out at me. What have I left out? Feel free to share.

To conclude this first of hopefully many more posts for 2016 I leave you with a New Year’s Quote I found quite interesting for some reason:

The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months! ~Edward Payson Powell

PS – Apologies re: some of the article links not being hyperlinked

It would be remiss of me to not say something about the visit of the “Honourable” prime minister of the United Kingdom Mr David Cameron to these humble shores. How could I not speak about this former colonial power paying a visit to the former pearl of the empire, an outpost which undoubtedly represents one of the anchors of the wealth that this metropole now sits upon?

Now such a wry introduction doesn’t even begin to cover the vast gamut of emotions and deep lying issues that this innocuous official state visit has evoked. The only analogy that seems fit is that Mr Cameron’s visit and all its trappings and layers have scratched the scab of a long inflicted wound.

The word in the air from the rumour came about that Mr Cameron would be visiting these shores was REPARATIONS, with one member of parliament going as far as to declare that there should be a boycott of any visit of Mr Cameron to Gordon House if the matter of reparation (which was unanimously agreed to in principle in said Gordon House previously) was not placed squarely on the agenda.

What we received was at first a Floyd Mayweather “duck and move” in his parliamentary speech where The UK Prime Minister, with familial ties to the royal family and himself a descendant of slave owners in Jamaica, boldly declared that slavery was really really bad but as two nations that are now friends we really should be looking to the future that is to say MOVE ON!!! with the bonus that the UK was the one who spent decades ridding the world of this yucky slavery that was really bad. Commendations to you sir.

The second punch was more direct and to continue with the boxing metaphor was more like an effective Lennox Lewis jab. In his small interface with journalists after visiting our National Heroes’ Park Mr Cameron unequivocally confirmed that reparations are not the way to go, we are looking forward plus we are spending and continue to spend millions in Jamaica. Can’t believe you all aren’t happy.

But what Mr Cameron forgot is that CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING. The aid that the UK has and continues to give Jamaica and the Caribbean is commendable but none of this is given in a historical vaccum. Many, many columns and blogs and pages have been written about the sociocultural and psychological wounds that the transatlantic slave trade have left with us. BY no means do I want to get into all of that in detail, but Mr Cameron must know that the great Britain, the great empire of old and the G8 developed country of now stands on the shoulders of our perished forefathers. In fact Mr Cameron, has an almost ironic place in this contemporary history as the intergenerational wealth which allowed this man to be educated at Eton and then Oxford and the wherewithal to become Prime Minister is founded in not only the toil of slaves in this here Jamaica, but also the financial windfall which his antecedents received in the form of REPARATIONS for the loss of their property when the really really bad yucky slavery thing that we spoke of above was ended.

Again I say context is everything. So Mr Cameron thought that he would perhaps receive a cordial response if not a hero’s welcome for the raft of aid and developmental assistance he came “bearing as gifts” but instead he has affronted almost an entire nation. in fact if it were the Japanese Prime Minister Abe, that also shared some hours in our Jamaican shores with Mr Cameron, who announced the aid package that the UK Prime Minister did he would have definitely been positively received. this is even including the now infamous “Prison Gift.” I assure you that another head of state could have made the case for this Prison deal which I think is fundamentally flawed yet not the devil it has become to be seen as. BUT NOT MR CAMERON. Why? Because rather than as a Government and Nation that has committed arguably the greatest atrocity in human history, the United Kingdom through its Leader who intergenerationally has directly benefitted from the spoils of slavery refuse to say what have become some of the most difficult words to pass through lips…” I am sorry…WE ARE SORRY”

So Mr Cameron you and your fellow countrymen who seek to keep a running tab on all the money you have spent in the former empire as means to justify not considering reparations should know that at the core the academic literature on Reparations show that the simplest but perhaps most important aspect of righting wrongs and this is indeed one the greatest wrongs known to man, is the act of accepting and owning this wrong and apologising for it. Thereafter we can get into the mechanics of the finances.

It is undoubtable that post colonization the UK has spent a lot of money in these neck of the woods but subsequent to the REQUIRED apology let the actuaries from both sides of the Atlantic sit at a table with their calculators and do the math of the difference between all that was pilfered from this side and what has been sent back in the other direction.

I conclude with the words of another British politician…The newly elected Leader of Opposition in Britain and a so called friend of Jamaica. Is there better yet upon the horizon…Time will tell.