We have come a far way

Letters to the Editor

We have come a far way

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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Dear Editor,

The peaceful nature of the September 3, 2020 General Election must not be overshadowed by the results and the novel coronavirus.

While there is no doubt that the novel coronavirus is a real and present danger to us all, and affected aspects of the election and political culture, it is very clear that this election was set to be very peaceful.

As a child who grew up in a tough St Andrew community, which still has struggles with gun violence, in the 1970s and during the most dreaded, painful, and shameful general election of 1980, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride and wonderment at the calm 2020 election. I still remember the evil years.

I had a difficulty explaining to my teenage son that in our past the political rivalry was so intense that it often led to violence, destruction, and even death. He asked me directly if people would die or experienced violence simply because of their political affiliations. When I responded in the affirmative, he was shocked. He called it stupid.

I am happy my son and Jamaica's children do not have to live with the political violence which was the (stupid) reality of older generations.

To be fair, our general elections have been growing peacefully over the years, especially since the mid-1990s. Many factors have accounted for this steady decline of political violence, including the end of the cold war; the commitment of our religious, civic, and political leaders to peaceful elections; alternative sources of funding for criminality; among many others.

Even so, the new peaceful nature of our elections signifies a positive indicator of the maturing nature of our society and politics. This is a culmination of years of hard work and prayers. This is progress. It must be noted, celebrated, and cherished. It must be preserved and built on for our children and their children.

Duane Harris


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