The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many One People’, based on the population’s multi-racial roots. The motto is represented on the Coat of Arms, showing a male and female member of the Taino tribe standing on either side of a shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples. The crest shows a Jamaican crocodile mounted on the Royal Helmet of the British Monarchy and mantling.
The aspirational tone of this motto may have given us the false sense that we have arrived at the kum ba ya era of heaven-bound maturity. However, recent criticisms from a chorus of global voices have given me pause to reconsider how well we have practiced the call of this motto in an evolving and demanding 21 st. century global community.
We have initially pushed back calling the criticism unfair, and un-warranted. However, is this a teachable moment that we are missing that could propel us into a future that gets us into fuller alignment with our motto?
Let me raise some discussion regarding the two most prevalent concerns that I have heard. These are regarding:
- Second class service of African-American clients
We can deal with these perceptions in several ways.
- We could vehemently deny them.
- We can bury our heads in the sand, and install the code of silence.
- We can muster the needed courage and address the issues square on.
I am choosing the later, and invite you to do likewise. The timely addressing of the tarnishing of our brand will have implication on our moral development and economic future whether we like it or not.
Our brand value is what others perceive you possess. It is also something you can develop, shape, and control. Branding is what makes you unique — and better than all your competition in the marketplace.
So, who are the shapers of our brand that would create such a growing negative perception?
- How do they get employed for such an important function?
- Who preserves and defend the wealth of the culture ?
- How do we create tools and mechanisms to transmit the best and discourage the worst in the culture within the constraints of the constitution?
Dance hall musicians have been tagged the leading cultural pied pipers and they are clearly holding a heavy sway over the hearts and minds of our youngsters.
This is a lot to consider, but we must!
Give this some deep pondering, as I will be returning to consider how we can deal with this issue without the mounting pressure of external forces.
Consider the message of this graph.