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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why Jamaican's diss the police but respect the Gun Man: Under the Mango Tree Philosophies


These trees have stories to is one more...

We were sitting underneath the mango tree discussing the recent upheavals within our community when a very intellectual member of our community made a stalwart remark. He said " Ghetto people nuh easy eenuh because danna dead, and people are afraid to talk yet if a did police murder danna, then we woulda have big demonstrations, vandalism of public property and riot" Yet when people within our own communities murder our neighbours we are afraid to publicly denounced what is happening with illegal firearm".

He posed his question to me...

It is something that had troubled me since I was a child and moreso recently and it is a question of why most Jamaicans will publicly crucify the police when innocent people are murdered but turn a blind eye when citizens kill civilians.

I remarked that it has a lot to do with accountability and the culture of hatred that has been recycled over generations for the police force. This abhorrence of the police force stems from slavery when the militia was often called upon to repress the slaves, suppress uprisings and revolts. We have a socio-anthropological detestation of the police force that is inherently cultural and socially programmed.
It is reinforced during the years of colonialism when we fought for our independence and many died by the hands of the police in civil unrest. Our garrison communities are often plagued by extra judicial killings and police brutality therefore children are socialised to respect the Gun man as a protector and justice executor and to loathe the police man as a corrupt, distrustful and abusive representation of the system of oppression.

The police enforces the ideologies and policies of the state which is often spearheaded by members of the ruling or upper class in society. Police officers are regarded as traitors, they have betrayed their community to work for the oppressive system.

There are many rumoured instances within society where "informers are killed because they gave information to the police. This has compounded the distrust that citizens often feel for the police who for many lower socio-economical individuals have failed to protect the majority of its people. Gun men often fire shots to ward off intruders from other areas signalling that the district is protected, offering the citizens a sense of security that the police officers have failed to engender over the years. Popular notion is that if you are friend with police officers, you are labelled an informer and informers within the Jamaican society are assured a swift demise.

Why are Bad Men reverred?

Every body wants to be a badman but no man wants to be a police officer. Bad man culture is revered and the bad man respected by members of the community mostly out of fear than anything else. It is only natural that we will develop a fixation and admiration for the man who deals in what we fear most..death. Not that we do not respect police men, we very much tremble in the presence of the "bad man"police officers that acts more like a rogue cop. The bad men fear the rogue cop because they know the rogue police man will if necessary break the law in his carrying out of justice.

He exudes a level of fearlessness akin to the that of the Bad man. It is this level of unaccountability that makes the bad man feared and the police man disregarded. Ordinary citizens do not fear the bad man police because they know that he serves the purpose of being as ruthless as the neighbourhood gun man. And the average civilians understands that the Gun Man only fears the "bad man' police.

When last has someone been convicted of murder in Jamaica? Most Bad Men roam free until they "rake up the wrong ants nest" and are killed by their own people or the police. All bad men have a bad end. The police is accountable to the states, the government, the judiciary and legislative institutions and most of all to the people that they swore to defend, serve and protect. The gun man has no loyalty to anyone. He fears no one and is not answerable to any governing body. He is loyal to his gun as his bread maker, security and emblem of power. A community knows this albeit not in so many words but this is the central reason why people within an area will know of a crime and are afraid to talk about it because unlike the police the Bad man rarely takes prisoners.

Cable TV has without a doubt contributed to the fascination that we have with men who perpetuate and flirt with death. We are enthralled by how someone could bring about what most of us cannot even envision ourselves thinking. Some people say that young men become assassins because of needs and wants. Killing someone is just a job to them. It gives them an increase level of confidence,control and leverage to know that people fear their ability to take a fellow man's life. The more savagery that they exhibit with their murderers, the higher the respect that they get up the bar.

What turns an innocent baby boy into Murder?

Some experts claim that Childhood Abuse, Mental Incapacity and a criminal culture are the central factors that turn little boys into murderers, rapist and psychopaths.

Many experts attest that most killers are mad in the sense of the word and gain thrill from seeing the life expend from another. Some murderers simply do what they are good at, and if killing gives them a sense of social importance in society. People might not like them but no one will ever disrespect them, people will fear them.

The cost does not outweigh the benefits of the being a contract killer because in a country like Jamaica, a contract killer will never get caught. He will most likely be murdered by members of his organised crime culture, or a young aspirant seeking to stamped his name in the crime culture.

"A big attraction of violence is that the criminal likes to feel that he is acting like God; the thrill of possessing God's power to kill someone is a big attraction"


We feel contempt, anger, and disgust for the maniacal madman who hysterically kills humans out of sadism, perversion, or just lunacy, and we feel equal contempt for the person who kills in anger or by accident. Yet, perversely, our society stands in awe of those who have the ability to kill while coolly in control of themselves.

" why we romanticize bad men and hit men: they are men who control death. No one is the equal of the man who knows death, uses it, and does not flinch. Look at Patton, James Bond, Bugsy Siegel, Vito Corleone

I often wonder if Gun men do not think about the fragility of their own humanity when they are taking another life. I beg to envision that with each death there comes a certainty that his/hers individual demise is imminent. Everything goes up in Jamaica except the price of life.

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