Jamaica and South Africa are twins of economic apartheid.

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Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Michael Manley of Jamaica

Apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994 and Jamaica was never an apartheid country, however, while today neither country is under an official apartheid system, they are both caught up in economical apartheid.

It is a fact that Blacks are not under political apartheid anywhere in the world, but it is equally true that Blacks face financial apartheid everywhere they reside including countries where they are the majority.

Economical apartheid takes different shape and form in different countries but nowhere is it more similar than in South Africa and Jamaica. In fact, when it comes to economic apartheid, Jamaica is like a mini South Africa. If you disregard the population size where South Africa has 57 million people while Jamaica has just fewer than 3 million, you would be looking at countries that could be considered identical twins.

Like South Africa, over 90 percent of Jamaica’s population is Black but they enjoy just a little over 10 percent of the respective country’s wealth.

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Johannesburg, South Africa is Kingston, Jamaica. Uptown is lush and beautiful with expensive houses that look like mansions while downtown is cramped and crime-infested with shacks hidden behind rotted zinc fences.

Jamaica and South Africa are countries of haves and have-nots where the have-nots are armed by the haves but well-trained to only use these weapons on other have-nots. Both countries have unemployment rates above 25 percent and the unemployed are Blacks. And for more than 50% of Blacks who do have jobs, their jobs are to serve whites whether in the hotel industry or working as house maids and lawn trimmers.

Almost every week there are tire burning protests by frustrated youths in the downtown areas of both countries but these black protestors know better than to take their protests uptown where armed Blacks are paid to keep other Blacks out of these areas.

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While both Jamaica and South Africa boast Black leadership, one has to wonder if these Black leaders really care about Black people. While the uptown areas of Kingston and Johannesburg are fresh like a spring morning in the countryside, downtown smell reeks of foulness as overflow sewers and scattered garbage is the norm.

Both Jamaica and South Africa need a revolution in order for Blacks to truly realize and economic revolution. The greatest obstacles in their way are that there are many Blacks who are well trained to quell any such revolution.

So while neither Jamaica nor South Africa has a legal that discriminates against Blacks, there is an economical system in place making sure that these Blacks will forever bear the burden of apartheid, financial apartheid, unless there is a revolution.



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