Stop the CREAPs

It is clear that we are jaded. We are so far removed from reality that we are able to continue existing unencumbered even with the increasing number of children who are killed in Jamaica on a weekly basis. Perhaps it is as a result of hearing the tragic details night after night on the evening news but we have clearly lost our sense of compassion and the kind of outrage that drives constructive action.

Ghetto People Publishing was created to be an outlet for the those who had no other way; we charged ourselves with the task of being a voice to the voiceless. It is precisely for this reason that we find it impossible to stand back quietly while so many of our nation’s children continue to be killed and abused. We understand that change is a process and that it takes time but we believe there has to be a beginning for anything to change. We will be giving our voice to the hundreds and thousands of young girls and boys who are abused daily, some of them with the knowledge of their caregivers and guardians, some of them BY their caregivers and guardians. Our Stop the CREAPs (Child Rapists, Campaign Logo - Version 1Enablers, Abusers and Pedophiles) campaign being launched this month in commemoration of Child’s Month will do just that. But not only will we be giving a voice to the many boys and girls who cannot speak for themselves. We will also be encouraging communities to get on board and speak up for these children who cannot possibly speak for themselves. For too long the culture of “informa fi dead!” has stifled the cries of many and led to the deaths and abuse of too many of our children. We want to make the message loud and clear that this notion of an “informa” has no place in a discussion about the welfare of children. Speaking up is what will save and protect lives.

This initiative, though it is being spearheaded by Ghetto People Publishing, cannot survive without support from the masses. These are our children and so it is our collective responsibility to make sure they are protected and cared for. For this reason, we are asking for your support in spreading awareness of the issue. It may be as simple as changing your Social Media display photo or cover photo to the logo to raise awareness, starting a discussion on your Twitter feed or Facebook timeline about these kinds of issues, or raising questions in your own community. Whatever contribution you are able to make you can be sure it will make a difference. We must be willing to have meaningful open discussions about these issues in order to arrive at solutions and this movement is simply the beginning.

To learn more or participate, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and look out for information in the mainstream media. We here at Ghetto People Publishing are confident that this is a problem that can be fixed and we are willing to do the work that’s necessary. Join us as we strive to be the change we want to see in the world.

Campaign Logo - Version 2

Some Answers to Mysteries in the Kartel Case

For months I have fielded questions from International journalists from Rolling Stone, MTV Iggy and many others about the mysteries surrounding the Vybz Kartel case. Why the delays? Why so much missing evidence? How come the DNA is negative and there is no body, yet there was a conviction? Why were the tampered phones allowed into evidence? How come people are willing to believe that Kartel, already limping from a dog bite, could have jumped over a 8 foot wall chasing a would-be victim (a “would-be” victim who was running for his life from the deejay), yet Kartel caught up to him whilst limping. The would-be victim then flagged down a taxi for himself and Kartel (who he was supposed to be running from for fear of his life), then followed the deejay (again, who he was running from) and sat there with him. To be fair, the prosecution never tried to convince the jury that the dish ran away with the spoon, or that the cow jumped over the moon although I feel they would have believed any scenario where Kartel was made out to be the aggressor; but they did get them to disregard modern technology, especially the easily accessible software that can be used to piece together any celebrity’s voice or/and text messages, arrange them in a certain sequence and create the illusion of a coherent conversation just by splicing and mixing. Consider the popular YouTube video (see the video at the end of this article) in which a Jimmy Fallon engineer took bits and pieces of Brian Williams’ and his colleagues’ news reporting and pieced those fragments together to make a video on them rapping “Rapper’s Delight.” So the bewilderment lasted a year.

However, this week, the evidence being revealed from the Kartel “juror” case is answering a lot of questions. Whilst not naming names here or giving any specific details, let’s just say all the questions as to why a unanimous conviction was attained despite such questionable evidence are now being answered for some who were perplexed before. Those who live in Jamaica know that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for anyone married to a senior member of the security forces or anyone who worked for the security forces in any capacity to not have a conflict of interest in vindicating the person whom their boss, the Minister of National Security, publicly labelled as a major contributor to crime in the country. How could one go home to a police spouse or return to a job with the security forces knowing you just set free the man who accused the security forces of framing him? It made no sense to have these people on the jury if we wanted the appearance of impartiality. One has a greater chance of being struck by lightning than having multiple persons with such affiliations serving on juries multiple times (we now know that the Kartel case was not the first for more than one juror). The fact that these persons intimately affiliated with the security forces were called to sit on a jury where the defense claimed there was a conspiracy by the said security forces is mind boggling. It’s like having doctors and spouses of doctors sit on the jury in a medical malpractice case. Furthermore, we now know that they were planning a party among themselves in Port Royal which excluded the individual who voted Not Guilty. We now know they discussed personal issues in the jury room which got at least one juror upset as she felt they should have been discussing the case instead – yet, they returned a verdict quicker than the law allowed and had to be sent back by the judge with instructions to not return a verdict until the minimum lawful time had passed. All this may seem crazy to the rest of the world but to poor people in Jamaica, we know that when the defendant is a ghetto youth and is constantly blamed for singing slack songs, any card can play but – a jury with a direct conflict of interest – all I can say is; finally, some answers, wow!

Mind en Blanc (Part 1)

The following is a statement from Michael Dawson, head of Ghetto People Publishing.

I’d like to immediately disclose my bias. I am the principal of Ghetto People Publishing Limited, publishers of Vybz Kartel’s book Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto and Twins of Twins’ Patrick Curly Lox Gaynor’s Road to Zion; so I advocate for the people labeled as ‘Ghetto Youth’ every day of my life WITHOUT APOLOGY. From school days, at my beloved Campion College, I got into trouble for daring to challenge the head of a religion by dismissing his theory that Saint Peter Claver did more for black people than Marcus Garvey. I maintained that Pan-African stance throughout my collegiate years leading boycotts and protests when I felt our rights as Jamaicans or black people were being violated on a campus where the student body was 93% white and equally wealthy. Since then, I have started the Teach Garvey Always foundation, created the Annual Marcus Garvey march, petitioned to turn Knutsford Boulevard into Garvey Boulevard as all our self-made industries are largely due to his influence, held symposiums bringing light to the Coral Gardens massacre, commemorated the Morant Bay Rebellion and advocated for the spirit of Paul Bogle to inspire our people to hold modern day peaceful rebellions against foreign ownership in Jamaica. Under what may have been the influence of herbs, I ran an ad on TVJ featuring a Rastafarian elder criticizing the government of Jamaica for not doing anything to help people in Darfur. So in sum, I have been an agitator and trouble maker for a long time, and not blindly or for any reward or ratings. In fact, I am well aware of the risks that are associated with speaking out against the system of class prejudice and foreign ownership in Jamaica. As learned Professor and Bogle scholar Louis Moyston stated on July 7 2012, “Anyone who speaks out against the system in Jamaica gets harassed or arrested by the police; that is not my opinion, that is a historical fact.”

Mario Deane

Mario Deane. On the left – in hospital after being beaten.

Therefore I do understand first-hand the painful price one pays in Jamaica for being a staunch opponent against the system and criticizing the actions of the rich and powerful in Jamaica. Even if you do not end up like Peter Tosh, Garnet Silk, Jacob Miller or Bob Marley, who all died very young and under very strange circumstances (murder in an upscale community, gas cylinder explosion, car accident due to a piece of cane and cancer from a toe injury), one may end up in a situation like my dear friend Brother Ras Miguel Lorne. Brother Lorne is another one of those “trouble makers”. He actually sued the Queen for Reparations while others talked about it, decided to re-energize and sit at the Presidency of the Marcus Garvey Party, joined Vybz Kartel’s legal team, and represented the Office of the Public Defender advocating for the people of Tivoli at the Commission of Enquiry. However, he created a greater sin in the country of Jamaica, in the case of Mario Deane. When Deane who was arrested and denied bail for possession of a single stick of weed in Jamaica and died from a beating in a cell in St. James (a beating delivered moments after he declared that he did not the like police), Brother Lorne supported the family of Mario Deane. He advocated for Justice and finally saw to the rare occurrence of the police being charged for Mario’s death. To accomplish this Brother Lorne felt international pressure and expertise was needed and sought my help. I reached out to the Trayvon Martin legal team who were busy with the Michael Brown issue in Ferguson at the time and got them to join forces as the three deaths of these poor, by-no-means wealthy black youths seemed related in cause. Brother Lorne took the cause even further, by not only having me fly renowned pathologist Dr. Baden into Jamaica but tended to other human rights matters like suing the government on behalf of the young man who had his hand shattered in prison by a staff member who used one of those metallic locks to injure another Jamaican youth. So I was not surprised when I read the news that Brother Lorne was going to be charged for fraud involving a family squabble over a real estate matter. I’m not privy to real estate law but as one who has been fighting for Black causes since high school, I am sure the system can figure something out to silence me – after all, Brother Lorne resigned from the Tivoli Inquiry disarming the legal team of its strongest most vocal advocate. Well done Babylon. But while Brother Lorne and many others in our country fight for the rights of the poor, Rastafarians, our ancestors, and for reparations from our former European slave masters; there are others intent on glorifying them and their culture.

Continue to Mind en Blanc Part 2

Photo taken from the Jamaica Observer website.

Mind en Blanc (Part 2)

The following is Part 2 of a statement from Michael Dawson, head of Ghetto People Publishing. Read Part 1 here.

dinner en blanc

An overhead view of pre-dinner activities at the Emancipation Park.

To those of us who consider Marcus Garvey a prophet, identify with Rastafarian beliefs or believe that we as Jamaicans are still mentally enslaved, the Dinner en Blanc ‘picnic’ that was held at Emancipation Park on March 7, 2015 was a pivotal moment in what we perceive as a struggle for us as a people to rid ourselves of the near Eurocentric worship that has been etched in our minds. This Eurocentric worship is one of the most damaging legacies of slavery. Ironic it is, that when the lower strata of society does an equally damaging thing, like skin bleaching and wearing weaves we chalk it up to a lack of education, self-hate and even stupidity; yet when the upper echelon of society does it, it is considered elegant, classy and in some cases, “an event that puts Jamaica on the map.” All this time, I thought Bob Marley, Sunsplash, Rebel Salute, Red Stripe, our natural herb, Blue Mountain Coffee, the last two Olympics and our beauty contest winners did that. I just learnt this week that a bunch of people in a 95% black country dressing in full white for an exclusive Eurocentric event held on the grounds that was supposed to signify our resistance to forced Eurocentrism actually put our little island on the map. I guess it’s time to thank our former slave masters again for showing us what class and elegance is. The non-reaction or lack of outrage by the populous is further evidence of how far we are from emancipation from mental slavery. If someone had kept a German Beer fest at the Holocaust Museum there would be equal outrage as for keeping a Cowboy Expo on an American Indian Reservation; but nothing is wrong, in some eyes, with keeping a Eurocentric event at the Emancipation Park with the full white garb to really show the insensitivity. What’s next? A pork festival at Bob Marley Museum or a swim suit party in the church Baptism pool? Where does it stop?

Just of note, we in the “dark” (people who often reject Eurocentric or Anglo American culture and folkways in favor of African traditions are often considered dark) know that there are a number of Pan-African events that happen all over Jamaica yearly that my black self considers very elegant and classy because they represent who we are and our triumph over European slavery. Empress Menen “Earthstrong” banquets have been held at the African themed complex of Ras Imo on Deanery Road, the UNIA annual dinner was first held at the Jamaica Pegasus now at Devon Road, and Livity Ital Restaurant has hosted several events with African celebrities and commemorated our own stalwarts like Peter Tosh – the grandson of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie was hosted with a dinner there at least once. Oh, and the dreaded Café Africa where authentic African cuisine can be had has been open for quite some time along with many other similar establishments. Of course, such Pan-African events will not get any coverage on Page 2 or any commendations because our Eurocentric minds cannot equate anything that is black, African or even Jamaican as elegant and classy.


Fire out of control at Riverton City dump in Kingston

Within days of all of this happening, smoke engulfed the corporate area and literally stifled the citizens, more reports surfaced of girls as young as eleven being raped and impregnated, another young man is killed after being held by police for having a stick of weed, the government introduced new taxes on an already burdened citizenry and the mass murders in all parts of the country continue. It is my belief that the politicians are all Mind En Blanc (blank) for failing to provide citizens with something as basic as clear air to breathe; parents and neighbors are also Mind En Blanc (blank) if they do nothing to protect their daughters because we know the government won’t; the police are Mind En Blanc for still incarcerating young men in Jamaica for weed whilst our Kingston Mayor tours ganja factories in Colorado. The politicians are Mind En Blanc if they can’t introduce weed production, casino gambling and alternative sources of industry and stop relying on increasing the tax burden on the citizens for revenues. The people who support keeping a Eurocentric event in all-white garb on a ground dedicated to the suffering of black people and their triumph over said attempted dominance of European culture are – dare I say – Mind en most Blanc-est. I actually feared for my people as I worried that they would have bit their tongues in a poor attempt at a French accent in their many videos of the event, but I guess at the end of the day some people feel mental bleaching is less of an evil than physical bleaching. Regardless the kind of bleaching you prefer – mental or physical – we saw this weekend that Jah Jah nuh partial when fire a burn, all men may not have been created equal but all men are cremated equal. Let this be a wake-up call to Jamaica (even though we really don’t need another one) that our minds cannot continue to be en Blanc forever. We need to get some matter in our brains and protect our environment, our children, our economy and our country, but most of all we must protect the memory of the suffering of those before us and resist the temptation to throw Eurocentrism in their faces on their ground with the all-white symbolism to match. We don’t care what they do in France; this is Jamaica – fi wi country.

 Photos taken from the Jamaica Observer website.