Where did the Toronto Mayor learn his Jamaican Vernacular and Bad Words?

Toronto’s embattled mayor was in the news again last week, for yet another embarrassing behavior that indicates a man who has personal problems. Mayor Rob Ford appeared on video talking Jamaican patois and using some hardcore Jamaican curse words (or bad words as Jamaicans call them). Although the mayor was obviously inebriated, it was clear that he was well schooled in the Jamaican vernacular and curse words.

In case anyone is wondering where Mayor Ford was schooled in the use of Jamaican patois and curse words, it’s doubtful it was from the Steven Segal movie Marked for Death (a 1990 action film in which Seagal plays  John Hatcher, a former DEA troubleshooter. In this movie, John Hatcher moves back to his hometown, and finds it taken over by a gang of violent Jamaican drug dealers, called the Shower Posse – named for the gang’s reputation for “showering” its enemies with gunfire.

In the Marked for Death movie, the Jamaican drug characters use the same curse words that Mayor Ford used in his video. The manner in which the mayor used them with the nuances  of the Jamaican patois words like “cho mon” it is not possible he could have learned those from the movie. He would definitely have to interact several times with Jamaicans who use those words – especially when they are high on ganja (Jamaican word for marijuana) or cocaine.

Toronto like many of the North American metropolitan cities has a large Jamaican population. In the 50s and 60s, Canada lured many Jamaicans to work as domestic servants. Later, other Jamaican professionals would immigrate to Canada to seek better opportunities. One reason for the large Jamaican population in Toronto is that compared to the US, it is easier to get resident status there and Canada has more ties to Jamaica – both countries are members of the British Commonwealth, Canada has large companies operating in Jamaica, and both were colonies of Britain.

Currently, the Jamaican population in Toronto is one of the largest in any North American city. With the drug problem escalating in the large North American cities such as New York and Toronto in the 80s and 90s, law enforcement linked the Shower Posse to drug-related murders. The Shower Posse gangs committed barbaric murders and other violent crimes that rivaled those of the Mafia. This may have motivated the Steven Seagal movie, Marked for Death.

Like most big cities, Toronto has its share of drug crimes. However, it took the extradition of the Jamaican drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke to the US to reveal the extent of Shower Posse organization in Toronto. The US built their case against Dudus by conducting wiretaps on his phone and obtaining evidence from the Canadian government of his Shower Posse operations in Toronto. Following the extradition of Dudus  to face drug trafficking charges, the US court convicted him and sentenced him to 23 years.

It is no secret that there is a sub-culture of Jamaicans in Toronto that are linked to drug trafficking or dealing. They might be remnants of the Shower Posse or just Jamaicans drawn to the attraction of making money from drugs. Since Toronto police showed video evidence that Mayor Ford smoked crack cocaine, the answer to where he learned the Jamaican vernacular and curse words is more likely from this sub-culture of his Jamaican suppliers. The curse words the mayor used were hardcore curse words commonly used by Jamaican drug gangs or Jamaicans who want to convey their tough persona.

Mayor Rob Ford should do the right thing and spare the city of Toronto and his family any further embarrassment. He should resign and check himself into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Clearly, any politician who is involved in a criminal lifestyle is unfit to hold public or political office because they lack moral standards and character. Drug use is a serious problem that has resulted in destroying the lives of many people.  Mayors have the public trust to protect the health and safety of the public they serve. Mayor Forde has clearly violated that trust and this makes him unfit to be hold such office.