Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Murder Mamis Up in Belize"

I remember once driving home from school one evening listening to Jadakiss' "Knock Yourself Out". In a display of sheer lyrical mastery, infused by a sense of international awareness, Jadakiss raps, " Keep dancin, 'cause I like how that ass shake in the capris/ I'm like BIG wit the murder mamis up in Belize." (Pardon my obvious classy taste in music). When I first heard his reference to "Belize," I felt an influx of 'did-I-just-hear-that' disbelief and the sense of pride most Belizeans feel when our jewel receives any international recognition, a la Marion Jones' lap around the Olympic track with our coat of arms nestled on her back. I admit that I have realized the significance of those lyrics only after becoming a witness to the social disintegration caused by rampant crime in Belize; while it is still nice to hear references about Belize on the international scene, I am a little more cautious in allotting my sense of pride.

Like the blog below (written by my lovely colleague, the Unsilent) I must attach this disclaimer: I have never been a victim of crime, nor have any of my family members been victims of major crimes. When I see victims' families on the news, begging to know why their children were ruthlessly gunned down, I sympathize, but cannot empathize. The problems are abundant, the solutions few. But whatever suggestions are indeed put forward, it is absolutely necessary that it reflects a "Belizean-specific" solution, as opposed to adopted mechanisms imported elsewhere that are ineffective. This requires an examination of the root causes of crime, which sounds as ambiguous as asking "What is the meaning of life?" It is no secret that a poor economy contributes to the problem, and this is probably the biggest source of our problem; less jobs leads to desperate (and violent) attempts for relief from the burden of poverty. In an ideal world, the government can play an instrumental role by instituting employment and training programs for those who cannot secure jobs. The problem, as many claim, is that few would work for a low-salary. Hence, it takes more than the implementation of programs; it requires a collaborative effort to reinforce the benefits of employment as opposed to idleness - an idleness that transforms into violent activity because of "beef," drug conflict, and the litany of other causes.

This blog, like our solutions, are incomplete without other opinions. Let thy voice be heard and send a comment along.

No comments: