|The author, Mr. O. Dave Allen, is a freelance writer and community development advocate as well as a political commentator.|
He like so many other budding black entrepreneurs that emerged in the 1970s, when hope was high and life was worth living, suffered the cruel fate of a systemic racist economic architecture designed to keep the black masses in their place.
In the main, Walton was an optimist, a struggler and a symbol of resilience.
The innovative Walton Crooks of Disco Inferno fame was amongst the pantheon of the entertainment business during the 70s and the 80s along with Roy Crichton, who produced Heritage and Jazz, Tony Johnson, Don Green, Ronnie Burke and John Wakeling, Directors of Reggae Sunsplash; who watched their creation pirated, and their dreams turned to shame.
The black man’s barriers in business are carried out with the complicity of a banking system, co-conspirators with the traditional ruling class to maintain status quo.
A burdensome and insensitive bureaucracy with their exacting demands for tax compliance - GCT, TCC, NCC, business registration and a strident eagle-eyed collectorate that suffocates small and medium-sized businesses with their extortionist penalties that drive the cynic to wonder if foreigners are held to a different standard.
A lesson learnt from the death of this dreamer is that we as black people must unite and take charge of the Jamaican economy through thrift, increased production and productivity buttressed by a new economic architecture that put the people at the centre of its development.
The old order has left us with a deformed and dysfunctional society that is on the verge of collapse under the heavy burden of corruption and inequity which manifests itself through wonton crime and violence. And an overt dependence on foreign direct investment for our prosperity, which is a prescription for modern day slavery.
We as black people cannot be detained by the millennia nihilistic belief in nothingness and obsession with superficialities nor the tinsel world of plastic and disposables; the niceties of bourgeoisie societies nor the remnants and discarded relic of decadence of metropolitan societies that are breathing their last breath on their preoccupation with the preservation of “European Civilization”.
There is a demographic war that is sweeping the western world. This war is against the onward and upward movement of black people according to Counsel to the President of the United States Kelly- Ann Conway who made the point that “demography is war”, and to the breeders go the spoils.
Daily we witness the push-back against black people’s advance in United States of American and their pro white Nationalist obsession in building a wall as a barrier against black and brown people. All over Europe there is the resurgence of right-wing and fascist movements.
The Zionist State of Israel is deporting black people while our neighbouring Dominican Republic is rendering thousands of black people stateless. These fascist threats are evident too in the recently won election by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.
In this global village let it not be that our position is that of some minstrels and modern-day gladiators providing entertainment in the stadia of the rich and powerful. Neither can we be getting high living out our lives in dreams and fantasies like Makak in Derrick Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain.
We must resolve to settle the score with the remnants of the colonial elite that has a stranglehold on the economy and the forward movement of the Jamaican people.
We must recoil from our disdain for people who make things and grow things instead of meaningless university degrees as status symbol that cannot produce wealth nor alter in any significant way the status or standing of black people other than becoming some glorified lap dog carrying out the bidding of the powerful.
We must celebrate our farmers, artisans and manufactures and incentivise the study of the sciences including chemistry, physics and in particular research and development.
“With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim
This song shall be our parting hymn”
Sleep well Walt, for redemption is near.
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