Democracy and freedom of speech are two things that Jamaicans take for granted and see as being God given. The truth be told, democratic institutions such as the Legislative Assembly existed in Jamaica, long before similar institutions existed in the United States and many European countries, such as Germany or Italy. Yet it behooves us as Jamaicans to value our democratic traditions and to take actions to ensure that this legacy of freedom and democracy is passed down to future generations. 

The settlement of Eastern and Central Europeans and Koreans in Jamaica, serves not only to strengthen democracy, by bringing new ideas, concepts and values along with new and different forms of  community organizations,  but also serves to widen the existing genetic pool. Already, there are signs of problems stemming from the small and relatively insular nature of the country, hereditary diseases are increasing at an alarming rate, thanks to inbreeding. Along with it one is also finding increases in social deviancy, a phenomena associated in part with the genetic lineage of individuals.

Economically, a properly settled European and Korean population would be tantamount to the addition of a new piston into the Jamaican economic engine. As the experience of the United States, England and Western Europe has shown, immigration leads to the creation of new economic activities, the upgrading of existing economic institutions, create an environment where innovation thrives and contribute to accelerated economic growth. 

The challenge facing the Peoples National Party on this issue is its origin and who it represents. The Peoples National Party is the political expression of the black intelligentsia and the black middle class. As such, despite its own concerns about the future health of the population and their standard of living; the question of the Peoples National Party leading the process of organizing the settlement of thousands of white Europeans and non-black Koreans on Jamaica soil is a significant ideological and identity challenge.

This however, is not to say, that the Jamaica Labour Party, the political manifestation of the non-black economic elite of the country would be a more suitable vehicle. To the extent that what is being sought is not a ?buffer population? separating the black masses from the non-black economic elite , to the extent that what is being sought is not the type of ?plural society? as exist in Guyana or Trinidad, the Jamaica Labour Party would have problems of a conceptual nature.

The absence of a suitable political vehicle however does not render the question of settling demographically significant numbers of Europeans and Koreans on Jamaican soil a non- issue. The increasing numbers of mentally challenged individuals and physically challenged individuals on the streets, the inability of the existing population stock to find ways of attaining acceptable levels of economic growth and development within the foreseeable future, and the increasing political and social instability at both the regional and international levels, will force both political parties and the Peoples National Party in Particular to address this question.

Categories: Letters

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