When I saw the headline on yahoo.com: “In Jamaica, transgender teen murdered by mob,” I wasn’t surprised. Black societies, no matter where they are located, are infamous for their intolerance toward sexual minorities.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (AP) — Dwayne Jones was relentlessly teased in high school for being effeminate until he dropped out. His father not only kicked him out of the house at the age of 14 but also helped jeering neighbors push the youngster from the rough Jamaican slum where he grew up.
By age 16, the teenager was dead — beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a street party dressed as a woman. His mistake: confiding to a friend that he was attending a “straight” party as a girl for the first time in his life…
International advocacy groups often portray this Caribbean island as the most hostile country in the Western Hemisphere for gay and transgender people. After two prominent gay rights activists were murdered, a researcher with the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch in 2006 called the environment in Jamaica for such groups “the worst any of us has ever seen.”
I’ll venture a guess that Haiti is every bit as bad as Jamaica, but the abuse is less documented. If you’re wondering where the “evil white man” fits into all this, you needn’t wonder any longer. The article goes on to say:
Some say the hostility partly stems from the legacy of slavery when black men were sometimes sodomized as punishment or humiliation. Some historians believe that practice carried over into a general dread of homosexuality.
But of course. The “legacy of slavery”. Is the “legacy of slavery” also to blame for Jamaica’s anti-snitching culture?
Police spokesman Steve Brown said detectives working the case are struggling to overcome a chronic problem: a strong anti-informant culture that makes eyewitnesses to murders and other crimes too afraid or simply unwilling to come forward.
Even though some 300 people were at the dance party in the small riverside community of Irwin, police have yet to make a single arrest in Dwayne’s murder. Police say witnesses have said they couldn’t see the attackers’ faces.