“Bad mind” is a Jamaican expression that means resentful, or jealous of someone. This definition might seem straight forward, but there is a bit more of a Jamaican nuance, which may not be obvious and very much depends on the context in which it is used. The phrase suggests a kind of deliberate malice existing in the “bad mind” person. The Prime Minister himself suggested this back in November, 2020, when he was defending his administration’s decision to allow mining in Puerto Bueno (Dry Harbour) Mountain. He suggested that environmental advocates had this kind of attitude – and an “agenda” (these comments have since been edited from the video of his speech, I notice). Ascribing these kinds of motivations to citizens who are expressing genuine concern for the environment – for the natural heritage of their country that they regard as in grave peril – is really rather sad. These people are not your enemies, plotting against you, dear Prime Minister. Do not allow them to speak, because this is democracy (and we all hold to that dear and precious ideal) – and then turn around and slap them with the “bad mind” label. Professor Carolyn Cooper addresses this problem in this blog post about the continued destruction of our traditional (sub)urban environment (it is also her regular Sunday Gleaner column). None of the environmentalists, residents, neighbours, villa owners in Discovery Bay, workers, youth advocates, students, and the many and various stakeholders in such matters harbour personal grudges and “agendas” against Government or the Prime Minister himself. That is simply not true. As you assert frequently that you listen to citizens’ concerns, please simply listen and respond sensibly, Mr. Holness. Do not brush aside those who raise concerns and ask questions (and who may have voted your administration into office). Your die-hard party supporters might love these assertions, but they are quite unfair and unwarranted, in my view. This is “not a good look,” and makes me uncomfortable for all kinds of reasons. Ah well… Here is Lady Carolyn!
Last Thursday, one of my mischievous friends sent me the link to a Gleanerarticle with this headline: ‘Holness urges developers not to be thwarted by bad mind’.’ The subject of the email was, “Is all like you Anju throwing word on.” I had a good laugh. ‘Anju’ could not possibly be throwing his ‘bad-mind’ words in my direction. I’m all for development. But, like so many other concerned citizens, I’ve been speaking out against the disorderly transformation of Kingston and St Andrew. The headline of my column published on May 7 was ‘KSAMC an di developer dem a mash up Kingston.’
Over the last several weeks, there’s been increased public debate on managing development. Honor Ford-Smith’s column, “Control the developers,” was published in The Gleaner on April 25. It was a plea for “community and green space in our city.” Ford-Smith is an associate professor in the Faculty…
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