Monthly Archives: June 2012

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This post is based on an email that was sent and in no way reflects the views and opinions of ''Met'' or Jamaicangroupiemet.com. To send in a story send your email to [email protected]

JAMAICA, INNOCENT

JAMAICA INNOCENT!

Jamaica Land of Beauty

Words by A.L. Hendricks/Music by Lloyd Hall

Jamaica land of beauty,
We promise faithfully
To serve thee with our talents
And bring our gifts to thee.
Jamaica we will always
In honour of thy name,
Work steadfastly and wisely
And never bring thee shame.

From riverside to mountain
From cane field to the sea,
Our hearts salute Jamaica,
Triumphant, proud and free.

Together in our country,
In love and brotherhood.
We’ll work and play in freedom,
As all God’s children should,
With hearts and hands united
In thanks for everything,
That God has given unto us,
Together let us sing,

From riverside to mountain
From cane field to the sea,
Our hearts salute Jamaica,
Triumphant, proud and free.

In the early eighties while America was grappling with the Aids epidemic, Jamaica was put on the alert for this debilitating disease. Before, we were on the lookout for the ‘’Blackheart man’’. The Blackheart man was the name given to a serial rapist who would pounce on women and children at any given time. A faceless man who made families who had to use outside bathrooms, equip each room they were living in with what we now call a bedpan , but was called chimmey back then. It is now after being much older that I have realized what a blackheart man was, the word rape was never mentioned but then again the word sex was never part of our audible vocabulary.

When the Aids epidemic first took flight it was said in America that it was a gay disease, in Jamaica we heard the same.  These men were called queers. People who wanted to know about this killer disease also wanted to know who these men were. They were told that these were men who had sex with other men in their buttocks (bottom).  The name ‘’Battyman’’ made its name into our vocabulary. This was around the middle of the 1980ties, when we had more than two aids cases on record . Many Jamaicans did not know how to recognize these men as culturally we were ignorant to their existence ,  Aids was what it took to bring awareness to this type of sexuality. The very few individuals with knowledge of batteymen, were plagued with questions as to how they were readily recognized. They were told that these men wore earrings in their right ear.

 

Many pastors began preaching about these men and that Aids was a curse sent from God because it was forbidden for men to have sex with men as per the bible the bible.

New International Version (©1984)

“‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

New Living Translation (©2007)

“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.

 

English Standard Version (©2001)

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

 

New American Standard Bible (©1995)

‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

 

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)

Never have sexual intercourse with a man as with a woman. It is disgusting.

 

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)

You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is abomination.

 

American King James Version

You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 

American Standard Version

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 

Douay-Rheims Bible

Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination.

 

Darby Bible Translation

And thou shalt not lie with mankind as one lieth with a woman: it is an abomination.

 

English Revised Version

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 

Webster’s Bible Translation

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 

World English Bible

“‘You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is detestable.

 

Young’s Literal Translation

And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it is.

LEVITICUS 20:13

 

New International Version (©1984)

“‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

New Living Translation (©2007)

“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

 

English Standard Version (©2001)

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

 

New American Standard Bible (©1995)

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

 

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)

When a man has sexual intercourse with another man as with a woman, both men are doing something disgusting and must be put to death. They deserve to die.

 

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)

If a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 

American King James Version

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be on them.

 

American Standard Version

And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 

Douay-Rheims Bible

If any one lie with a man se with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them.

 

Darby Bible Translation

And if a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall certainly be put to death; their blood is upon them.

 

English Revised Version

And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 

Webster’s Bible Translation

If a man also shall lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 

World English Bible

“‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 

Young’s Literal Translation

And a man who lieth with a male as one lieth with a woman; abomination both of them have done; they are certainly put to death; their blood is on them.

These verses were the ones we heard the most.

Aids was scary, people who hardly drank from straws were using them earnestly. We were also told not to touch or hug someone with Aids. It took quite a bit of education and years of public campaigning  for people to have more knowledge of Aids and that it took more than a hug to cause infection, and what you could do to prevent it. Even in hospitals, Aids victims were scorned and abhorred. It is still year 2012 and the stigma of Aids still exists in Jamaica.

Dancehall music is a by-product of Reggae which is product of Ska which evolved from rhythm and blues. Reggae, was poor people’s music, our everyday lamentations put into song.  With the first Aids death in America, around 1981, 1982 brought Jamaica its own reality, as we were introduced to Aids. And although the number of Aids cases were pretty low, word of the ‘’battyman disease’’ spread like wild fire.  1988 brought the wicked and wild hurricane Gilbert along with STING, a now annual Reggae and Dancehall showcase. Jamaican artists began to sing about gay men, who were first thought to be  the cause of the deadly disease that had the nation paranoid. The more HIV grew, the more they sang about these men. To date, almost 33 out of every 100 Jamaican homosexuals are infected with HIV. In my opinion this is where the disdain and scorn of gay men started from.

Where we had ‘’Blackheart men’’ we did not have ‘’Blackheart women’’, women were always the ‘’safer sex’’ as many played the role of mother and father. Rape was only thought to be carried out by men and in many communities this was punishable by death. Many young women were not given the psychological counseling and treatment that many rape victims would need . To date the facilities are still inadequate. With the rapid growth of dancehall, and the exposure of the music, sex became a staple  of its lyrics. Jamaicans who were once very private about sex, felt the freedom to speak about it and show sexual moves in dances. (Very early 90ties)

Source    Christopher Coke’s transcript Page 40 Line 6, Page 47 Line 13, Page 103 Line 13, Page 124 Line 16.

Before this period, we were in what I would like to call ‘’The period of our innocence’’. Television was on only for a few hours in the day and more than 80% of Jamaicans had no telephones. Letters were written in order to keep in touch. Kingstonians with family abroad flocked to Jamin-tel in order to telephone their relatives abroad. Jamaicans had no choice but to spend their times cleaning their homes , socialize with their neighbors and if you had to travel out of your area, it was advised to be home before the street lights came on, if there were any on your street. Children were afforded one or two pieces of small toys per year , which  were played with every day. Wear and tear were hardly shown on clothes, toys furniture etc., the little that was acquired , were kept in sparkling condition. Because of this, many Jamaicans were unaware of lesbians who thrived in their communities.

Looking back there were many women who lived together as couples unbeknownst to members of their communities. ‘’Butch’’ lesbians thrived because many of them were looked upon as just women who loved to wear their hair bald. The word sodomites was popular but it was a word used to curse out your enemy , people were innocent to its meaning and existence. Today, Jamaicans are more accepting of lesbians, because many already regarded them as normal people, because they were always around and they were not at fault for the deadly epidemic.

Sex in the lyrics , brought sex to the table . Jamaicans were introduced to what was called back then a VCR.  Sex was interesting to talk about, many wanted to see more of it. They started off with what they called ‘’lemon popsicles’’ and eventually graduated to ‘’blue movies’’. These movies are what gradually opened the eyes of many a Jamaican as to what oral sex was, anal sex and even bestiality was. Oral sex which was done by both male and female in these movies was abhorred. The reason is that many Jamaican males proved their masculinity (to themselves) by being somewhat emotionally disconnected from a woman’s vagina.  To touch or even wash a woman’s panty back then was taboo. Men who did it would not admit it to their friends or allowed themselves to be seen, removing it from the line after being washed.

Oral sex looked pleasurable on tape, many tried it but would not admit it. More importantly, many now knew what ‘’sodomites’’ did. It was then the disdain made it into the music. It emasculated the self-proclaimed , Jamaican alpha-male and became a part of society’s lamentation. The tendency to speak negatively of homosexuality and oral sex became the latest fad. Lesbians were essentially left alone because they were always there and did not pose a threat to emasculating the Jamaican alpha-male.

Demeaning or feminine actions by males were abhorred , maybe because the Jamaican female held herself more responsible for the wrongs committed by males and idolized them. It was and is acceptable for a man to father more than one child without taking responsibility. The ability to impregnate proved he was a ‘’real man’’. The Jamaican male juggling females made him ‘’king of his harem’’, the more women a man would have, the more women would want to be with that man. He was the ultimate alpha-male and anything less than that made him a sissy, but after the realization of Aids. It made him a batteyman.

PART II TOMORROW :)

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF A MANIC DEPRESSIVE

CULTURE OF FEAR

http://youtu.be/lpWGA0tpdY8

WE THE TINY HOUSE PEOPLE

ECOMOG 3

The Liberian Conflict and the birth of ECOMOG (3)

By Emmanuel K. Bensah Jr.


In life,what is permanent is change.
By: Deejay da talk man
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Three weeks ago, former Liberian president Charles Taylor was convicted of providing moral support, weapons and operational help to Liberian-backed, drug-crazed rebels in Sierra Leone from 1996 to 2002, in exchange for blood diamonds. The following piece, by no means an exhaustive analysis, is a commentary I wrote back in 2000. Written then as a reminder of “African Solutions to African problems”, it serves not only as a timely reminder of the Liberian Conflict, but also of ECOWAS’ baptism of fire in pursuit of sub-regional peace and justice. This is the final part of a three-parter.

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With respect to the proponents, however, according to a former Field Commander of ECOMOG, Brigadier-General Adetunyi Idowu Olurin (rtd.) for example, “the Liberian situation and ECOMOG deployment was a test case in regional peacekeeping effort {in that} it proved that nations within a region are often familiar with the political situation of the neighbouring states and when conflict ensues, …know key personalities involved.” He goes on to argue that it “proved successful lending credence to the statement that the regional peacekeeping process can be effective and can be replicated in any other region.”

Also, Lund and Solinas argue that at the regional level, “ECOWAS in particular, holds promising approaches to West Africa’s immediate and potential conflicts {to such an extent that} in 1995, one analyst was led to compare West Africa with other regions such as South America, in order to consider whether this region could be regarded as an emergency ‘security community’ and ‘zone of peace'” .

Comfort Ero, conversely, does not advance a similar argument, preferring to remain neutral when she writes that “the decision taken by ECOWAS to intervene can be seen as a novel move.” . She then goes on to ask “why then should a multilateral organisation established for economic integration assume the responsibility and the management of conflicts in the sub-region.”

In my opinion, detractors would primarily argue that in the organisation, at least one member, most probably possessed an agenda, which it could only effectively execute through this intervention. In fact this is what throughout the conflict, Nigeria appeared to be doing especially since 70 % of the ECOMOG force was Nigerian-led.

Conversely, proponents would defend the functionalist view that such regional organisations are equally instrumental in the maintenance of peace, and that ECOWAS merely wanted closure to a potentially problematic conflict. In fact, Comfort Ero proposes three principal reasons why ECOWAS went into conflict.

First of all, ECOWAS believed that “regional instability was inevitable due to the overflow and displacement of refugees in neighbouring countries.” Consequently, there was a fear that the conflict would trigger lateral pressure to such an extent that refugees would feel compelled to spillover into neighbouring countries, such as Sierra-Leone, Ghana, the Gambia, Guinea, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.

Secondly, ECOWAS went in purely for humanitarian reasons. According to Ero, “in its Final Communiqué, the Standing Committee gave a strongly humanitarian rationale for its decisions, {to that effect} adding that presently, there is a government in Liberia which cannot govern contending factions which are holding the entire population as hostages depriving them of food, health facilities and other basic necessities of life.” Moreover, an ECOWAS statement in August 1990 was more “explicit in emphasizing a humanitarian objective.”. In it, it stated that there needed to be a “stopping {of} the senseless killing of innocent civilians, nationals and foreigners, and to help the Liberian people to restore their democratic institutions.”

Finally, justification for intervention was predicated on the 1981 ECOWAS Protocol relating to Mutual Assistance in Defence . According to Article 16 of the Protocol, “the Head of State of a member country under attack may request action or assistance from the community.”

Nevertheless, it is not hard to see why the detractors of ECOMOG have a case, which Comfort Ero further outlines. The most prominent is the idea that two individual Member States — Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire — had their own reasons for wanting to intervene. Apparently, at the beginning of the conflict, supporters of Doe claimed that Taylor forces had been trained in Burkina (and Libya) and had entered the country from Côte d’Ivoire — a claim which was denied by the States concerned.”

Furthermore, there may have been a personal reason, which directs our attention to the “Burkinabe leader and President Houphouet-Boigny of Côte d’Ivoire.” Apparently, Doe had killed President Tolbert and arrested his eldest son, Adolphus Tolbert, the son-in-law of Houphouet-Boigny, who was subsequently killed in jail. . Ero maintains that it is against this background that the Ivorian leader was believed to have encouraged another of his sons-in-law, Blaise Compaore to support the rebel cause. . It is believed Compaore, in turn, introduced Taylor to the Libyan leader Colonel Ghadaffi, whose involvement in the conflict, despite falling beyond the scope of this paper, in my opinion, remains apocryphal.

Whatever the case may be, it is hard to deny that there was serious political will on the ECOWAS Member States, and this is exemplified by ECOMOG’s controversial role as peacekeeper. It is controversial because, many believe, as N.D. White , that ECOMOG “attempted to tread the neutral tightrope of a true peacekeeping force” , but found itself “embroiled in the civil war, particularly after the death of President Doe in September 1990.” He goes on to argue that ECOMOG “…overstepped the boundary between consensual and neutral peacekeeping and military enforcement action.”

This actually begs the question of what enforcement action is, and to obtain an insight into this, we turn to Adam Roberts who proposes four dilemmas inherent in peacekeeping with force.

The first is based on the idea that using force increases the “risks to lightly armed peacekeepers in vulnerable positions” as exemplified by the case of Somalia. The second is predicated on the idea that the use of force” in complex civil wars frequently involves killing and injuring civilians as well as armed adversaries.” Roberts maintains the third dilemma – perhaps most important in the Liberian context — that most uses of force “risk undermining perceptions of the impartiality of the peacekeeping force” . The final dilemma is that “there must be a reluctance to leave the decision to others when the lives of peacekeepers and the reputation of the {organization} is at stake.”

With respect to Liberia, Ero argues that ECOMOG’s deployment has raised significant questions about its legitimacy, neutrality and effectiveness. ECOMOG was faced with Robert’s third dilemma in that “the consistent denial by NPFL of ECOMOG’s compromised neutrality undermined its authority in Liberia.” In fact, as early as October 1990, “the neutrality and peacekeeping nature of ECOMOG was in question especially when it was seen as assuming a combative role in alliance with the INPFL and ADFL.”

This was because after the ECOMOG force landed on August 27 1990, Charles Taylor promised to intensify his attack in order to undermine their advancement. What he did not know was that within a month of landing ECOMOG’s strategy would transform into a conventional offensive with the aim of driving Taylor’s troops out of Monrovia. Although ECOMOG had controlled Monrovia by November 1990, Comfort Ero maintains that its actual mission “bordered on peace-making and peace enforcement, which was a major departure from its original mandate.” Meanwhile ECOWAS had begun “a long slow search for the elusive formula that would unify the country under free and fair elections.”

The first came in the form of peace talks in Bamako, Mali on 27 November 1990 which was also the same time when the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU) under Amos Sawyer was sworn in. Two other peace talks took place at Lome, Togo in February 1991 and Monrovia, Liberia in March 1991. These later remained abortive on account of Taylor’s refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the interim government.

Most significant, however, in bringing closer attention to resolving the crisis were the meetings in the Ivorian city of Yamoussoukro. There, “the meeting attempted to reconcile Taylor and Sawyer who, indeed, ‘pledged their reconciliation… by a long and warm embrace.” Although it would take three prior meetings for some progress to be made, it can be argued that Yamoussoukro IV Accord was agreed by warring factions as a step taken together “to constitute a framework for the settlement of the crisis.”

Equally significant was the Cotonou Agreement of July 1993. It was here that for the first time since the conflict, both the OAU and UN acknowledged efforts made by ECOWAS: “the signing of the Cotonou Agreement marked a new phase for ECOWAS as it embarked on peacemaking mission in cooperation with the UN (and also the OAU). According to Ero, what was different about the Cotonou Agreement in view of the past agreements was that ECOMOG was to be expanded to include two contingents from outside the West African sub-region – Tanzania and Uganda and a UN observer mission.

Walraven lends credence to this idea too when he writes how the Cotonou accord “was the most comprehensive agreement so far and all later accords would merely supplement this key agreement.” In fact, the accord stipulated in great detail how Liberia should walk out of the quandary . He maintains that “the belligerents would observe a new cease-fire to be monitored by ECOMOG and the UNOMIL” .

The parties agreed to slowly disarm. Specifically, they came to an agreement not to “import weapons and war-like material, use the cease-fire for a military build-up or engage in other activities that would violate the cease-fire. They also recognized that the ECOWAS-UN arms embargo would stay in place.”

The accords stipulated some political arrangements, of which the most important was the Interim Government of National Unity being replaced by the Liberia National Transitional Government (LNTG). The accords’ final provision concerned “a general amnesty to be given for any acts committed by the parties or their forces while in actual combat.” Unfortunately, the Cotonou Agreement was also undermined by the snail-like pace in establishing the LNTG. After some pussy-footing over its precise composition, it was finally formed on 7 March 1994, under a five-person Council of State. Free and faie elections were equally proposed to be held in September 1994.

As a number of obstacles continued to hamper the implementation of the Cotonoi Agreement, several meetings were convened leading to the signing of two agreements. These were the Akosombo Agreement (September 1994), which was supplementary to the Cotonou Accord, as well as the Agreement on what was to become the Accra Agreement, signed in the Ghanaian capital, in December 1994.

According to Walraven, “Ghana worked on the premise that a solution tothe Liberian crisis had to come from the warring factions themselves, especially, Taylor’s NPFL.” In hindsight, this increasingly also appears to be the case, since efforts to resolve the crisis, were consistently being stymied by these factions. He continues that the “Ghanaians argued that the factions had not disarmed as this had not been in their interest and that therefore had to be lured with a political prize to give up their guns.” Although this prize was to be remain elusive, what the Accra agreements, flawed as it may have been, showed was that “existing factions would be taken into account when deciding” on important issues with respect to settlement of civilain life, such as public agencies, corporations, agencies, etc.

One of the Agreements’ downside was that “Liberian citizens were outraged and generally interpreted Akosombo as an attempt to install a military ‘junta’.” These were not the only unsatisfied — the factions were also. Apparently, some had been left outside Akosombo and were therefore opposed to it. Nonetheless, the agreement attempted to “install a new ceasefire and introduce several safe havens and buffer zones in accordance with the Cotonou and Akosombo accords.”

Conclusion: Aspirants of Regional Peace?
For ECOWAS, Liberia will probably remain not only a milestone in their quest for peace in Africa, but as a symbolic indication that Africans can resolve their problems without Western assistance. For the international community, it will probably be seen a little less optimistically — and understandably so. If one were to go by White’s argument on how ECOMOG was trying to tread the tightrope of peacekeeping but found itself embroiled in the conflict, and consequently, maintaining what little peace there was by force, then, perhaps, the detractors have a point.

Furthermore, some will argue that peacekeeping means just that — keeping the peace that is hoped to be built. Once force comes into the picture, then it hardly qualifies as peaceful. I have no doubts that there will be some who strongly adhere to the neutral, yet toothless, peacekeepers that we are used to.

Nonetheless, how far must we go before we realize that this needs a change? Peacekeeping is problematic enough for it to continue remaining toothless. ECOMOG was admittedly flawed, but it worked. This does not mean to say that it can always work the way it did in Liberia, but perhaps, there are lessons that other regional organizations, working under Chapter VII of the UN Charter can adopt, and henceforth contribute in distributing the labour of the herculean task which peacekeeping is for the UN.

Of these lessons, the most important, in my opinion, would have to be that a relatively balanced rapid intervention force would have to be just that — balanced, not 70% led by one nation, as Nigeria clearly was. Three authors lend credence to this. The first are Solinas and Lund, when they write: “Nigeria wished to assume a leadership role in the region and to check possible Libyan designs in the area.” Comfort Ero also lends credence to this idea: “Beyond the concerns for its nationals, the Liberian conflict has provided Nigeria with the opportunity to establish itself as the most influential mediator in the sub-region.” Perhaps the most trenchant arguments, finally, come from Walraven. He argues that “Nigeria’s influence over ECOMOG goes some way to explain the latter’s lack of neutrality and the counter-productive effect of its intervention.” He argues that “politically and institutionally, it was clear that Nigeria was in command of the intervention force.” Apparently, so involved was Nigeria in the conflict that it went to the extent of replacing a Ghanaian commander with a Nigerian one once Samuel Doe was murdered on the way to ECOMOG headquarters.

The final lesson is that there should be unity. ECOWAS almost ran the risk of appearing to pay lip-service to peace when results consistently remained elusive. Funnily enough, it was the francophone countries which took the initiative of the Yamoussokro Accords in Ivory Coast, which eventually created an atmosphere conducive to collaboration. This had been the result of a latent friction felt by the francophone countries that the anglophones were leading the way too much for a small organization like ECOWAS’. Their initiative proved praiseworthy — as did ECOMOG’s role to an extent. If ECOWAS is to become the putative tool of conflict resolution in West Africa, and perhaps one that can be emulated in the rest of Africa, it must be willing to subordinate political and personal interests to that of peace

WAR BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

FLORRYDUR- MNL

Mi do mi Likkle research and the big head maga boy weh Marsha a gi her car fi drive out and a war over, see him here a wear cawsie pants. Mi look through him picture dem and all a him pants dem tight so why this one weh caswie wear already so baggy ? Tell mi seh dem nah share clothes. Him seh gal a run him down, now met tell mi a what kind a worthless gal dem deh

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