Minding Yendi’s Business: A How NOT To

I have seen the references to the article and ignored them. I have seen the references to the Facebook and Instagram posts and ignored them. Then I saw the tweets saying that due to the fact that Yendi Phillips was very public about her romance with Daniel “Chino” McGregor, we are now entitled to all aspects of her private life including knowing what happens with regards to her minor child. Now let me stand firmly in my view that I do not support this.

My friend Ricardo Brooks wrote a post title “Yendi has no right to privacy and unfortunately neither does her child”.

Now, this approach taken that has Yendi having her right snatched from her is one of the highest level of entitlement. Apparently, because Yendi is famous and decided to share the story of her relationship that led to the making of a child, we are now entitled to know everything regarding Yendi and said baby henceforth. Excuse (every single one of) you?!

If I decide to tell you about everything in my life but the way I like orange juice, you are NOT entitled to know the way I like my orange juice. If I tell you about the way I like all forms of fruit juices up to November 2014 and I decide to stop telling you about the way I like fruit juices after November 2014, you are not entitled to know about the way I like fruit juices after November 2014.

I use very simple examples to show you that you are not entitled to know anything about me and my personal life, even the simplest or most trivial, regardless of what I have shared with you in the past. This is applicable to everyone.

Everyone is entitled to say “stop”.

Everyone is entitled to say “no more”

Everyone is entitled to say “I wish to share only this and no more of myself”

If you feel like someone somehow lured you into caring about their life and now you are hooked and crave more, that is absolutely Read More

Lisa Hanna gets rated poorly as a politician

Imagine my surprise when I was scrolling through the interwebs and I happen upon a piece about Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, stating that she ranks 4th on a list of the world’s Top Ten Worst Politicians. -_-

I have many questions before I will seek to find validity in this list

1) Who came up with this list?

2) What are their credentials/ qualifications?

3) What is this “research” that was done to come up with such a list? I figure there was a name generator of politicians who made the news in whatever week this entity felt like “researching”.

4) How is this the list of the worst politicians in the world for 2013 and the year isn’t over as yet?

5) How exactly did Lisa upset this entity to have her rank so high?

6) Did she get any credit for looking more beautiful today than she did when she was crowned Miss World 1993 (a fact they saw fit to mention, of course)? I mean, have you seen her face?! Have you stopped for a moment to bask in how perfect her eyebrows always are? And her hair! Ahmagah! I could look at pictures of her all day!

Lisa Hanna 1
Photo Credit

*clears throat* But back to the serious issues at hand- the questions.

7) What is Lisa’s secret to looking so gorgeous? I have theories but I do not wish to be penalized for speculation.

I will follow up on this if and when I see Miss Hanna and/or her team respond. Let me know your thoughts on this piece of what I , for now will call, epic badmindism.

Featured Image Photo Credit

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Happy Independence Day, Jamaica! Happy 51st birthday, my love

This one is dedicated to the land of my birth. My Jamaica. Sweet Jamdung.

You have made me who I am today and a vital part of me and you is how awesome we are. I could not write the words to capture the love I have for you and your people. We are flawed, yes but we are still young as an independent nation and I know we will get there. The fact that you have produced someone like me and that there are amazing, forward-thinking, compassionate people like the ones I am blessed to call friends and family makes me unable to give up on you even in our hardest times. Maybe it has to get worse before it gets better but I know it will get better.

Jamaica, I love you. I love you. Your culture, your food, your people, your language. I am proud to say I am your daughter even though many may say I shouldn’t be. There’s a magic that comes with being Jamaican that some can’t see or understand. Some of your own have yet to tap into that magic and some even try to deny it. Still you rise. Your greatness will shine through one day. I hope I am here to see it but if I am not, I hope descendants of mine will grasp how deserving you are of your moment. Stay strong. Be patient. Get wise. Get ready to work.

Big up yuhself, goodie! 51 n still a step trang! Yuh likkle but yuh tallawah an’ all who doan like it can bite it! Wi naa penny di badmind people. Dem heart dirty and a dat a get di bes’ o dem! Wi jus a gwaan cut and go chru caa love ina wi heart!

🙂 That was for my Jamaican readers. It’s not patois as would be written by our linguists but it’s patois until we iron out the details (read: get standardized and mainstream) and that’s what counts.

I’m off to Grand Gala now, lovelies. Jamaicans know how to put on a show if nothing else and we know how to enjoy our damn selves. Let me get to that.

One Love. 🙂

End of post pic JA
Photo Credit

 

Until next post!

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Coffee and Tea. Some Like It Hot. Some Like It Cold

I am using a prompt from BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for this one. The prompt for August 1 asking if I like hot drinks specifically coffee or tea. Remember their theme this month is HOT.

I have a couple things to say on these but I am mostly doing this post because I have discovered a serious love for pictures of coffee on Tumblr and it has caused a change in habits that I am not certain I like but I kinda sorta love it. It makes sense if you think about it. Seeing the pictures (which will be in this post) day after day helped desensitize my mind and persuade me that  certain drink that I abhorred before, was now a possibly good (maybe even necessary) companion. More on that later.

First, let me say that being Jamaican, I have no choice but to love tea. Read More

76 + 4 (JA Blog Day: Police and Security Force Abuses)

JA Blog Day 2

1 “Good morning, affisa”, I always said

2 Whether they wore khaki or black with the blue seam or red

3 Even when they ignored me time and again

4 I felt all police officers were my friends

5 I mean, their job was to protect and  to serve people like me

6 So I understood in the moments that they may have been a little grumpy

7 And then I grew up and something changed

8 My friends became rivals, their roles rearranged

9 Their job was to hunt

10 to bag and tag or to cage

11 With eagerness and bloodlust

12 With arrogance and with rage

13 God forbid we utter a word

14 The wolves drove by in jeeps ready to dwindle the herd

15 And the nearby bushes through which we always escaped

16 Opened up on the other side to a hole that gaped

17 An orifice filled with the sinking sand that was

18 The criminal system skewed in favour of “the fuzz”

19 Your only crime most times was being born in a forsaken place

20 Or being viewed as the worst of the most vicious race

21 No one on your side so we turn to weapons instead

22 Steel, metal, copper, lead

23 Powder so explosive, it made ears bleed

24 Its grains so fatal, it made hearts bleed

25 If we were going to be dubbed criminals

26 We were going to act like it

27 But these were real life performances

28 Not a play nor a skit

29 If God be for us—

30 What God do you mean?

31 The God that let the bullets rip through Crabby’s spleen?

32 The God that let Vanessa’s young soul be taken  at sixteen?

33 The God that let Kay-Ann and her unborn lose their light?

34 The same God that sent the police to Kavorn’s house that night?

35 Or did you mean Dudus- the god we knew and could touch?

36 The one who gave us miracles while not asking for much

37 Who gave us food, shelter and clothing everyday

38 Who looked out for the poor by making the rich pay

39 That was our saviour and we would have fought to protect him

40  We would have stood up firm against my former friends even when things looked grim

41 “Jesus died for us, we will die for Dudus!”

42 And so we did

43 It goes without saying that as bleak as things seemed

44 This wasn’t the future I envisioned when I was a kid

45 But neither did Shanell when we used to be close

46 Of all my friends with potential, she had the most

47 Then she developed a penchant for men in uniforms

48 She was so focused on the roses, she could not see the thorns

49 So she was cut and she bled out

50 The first slice ensuring she could not shout

51 You see, many focus on the abuse they dish out on the streets

52 The blood spilled and bruises caused before open eyes and closed mouths

53 But they fail to also see the destruction they cause behind closed doors

54 With the ones who have to take the licks they couldn’t get to give out

55 The ones who bear the burden of the sanction applied

56 for the violation suffered to the innocent until tried

57 But no one felt it for my friend- “Shi can tan!”

58 “Nuhbady neva tell har fi tek up soldier man”

59 And this is true, no one did

60 But that didn’t explain why people were not livid

61 We had become so complacent in our lives that we acquiesced to our deaths

62 Passively waiting to be forced to walk the plank

63 So used to this ill-treatment and indignation

64 That when we were asked to draw justice, our minds became blank

65 The emptiness the perfect canvas to be painted on by those at the top

66 Those who had money in their pockets as well as the top cop

67 We were seduced with promises of a better life for our families and loved ones

68 Of chicken back and oxtail and all our favourite cuisine

69 In exchange, we just had to use our weapons as spears and our bodies as shields

70 To serve and protect our yellow king and Mama queen

71 So we made this small sacrifice daily, to our loss

72 But we kept getting more promises- “Mi soon sort yuh out, boss”

73 Until one day, we were sorted in our final positions

74 It all happened so fast, we couldn’t make actual decisions

75 We were pawns in a game we didn’t sign up to play

76 May 23, 2010- never forget that day

PLUS

1 Three years since our cries were last heard

2 Our souls still don’t know peace

3 And my last thought as my blood made the earth run red?

4 The fact that “Good morning, affisa”, I always said

The first annual Jamaica Blog Day is today and its date commemorates three years after the date of the Tivoli Massacre. Bloggers from Jamaica or with Jamaican heritage are seeking to collectively bring awareness to issues of significance. None is more important that that of Police and Security Force abuse. To date, allegedly 76 fatalities were suffered by civilians with 4 of these being presumed deaths of missing people. These numbers are the reason for the title of the poem and the amount of lines used.

I looked at domestic violence involving a security force officer because this doe not immediately come to mind when we hear the term “police and security force abuse” and it needs to be acknowledged because this group is especially prone to aggressive manners of resolving problems and the victims of these resolutions are generally unable to speak out. The pathology of a person given a great deal of power (read: access and weapons) to protect and as much freedom as those in the Jamaica Defense Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force is of paramount importance. It is time for an upheaval.

However, let it be observed that the change in psyche is not only due for the officers but citizens as well who have been abused into silence.

This is a very heavy topic and it has not been easy creating a post around it. But, thankfully, this train was not being driven by me alone. I must thank @cucumberjuice and @anniepaul for creating Jamaica Blog Day and I hope it was more successful than either of you imagined.

P.S. I read the intro paragraph of @Petchary’s post for JA Blog Day and it gave me the numbers that inspired the title.

 

All names used are actual victims of police or security force abuse in Jamaica.

Until next post!

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