Letters to the Editor

Question for an energetic minister

Monday, October 22, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Minister with responsibility for Information Senator Sandrea Falconer seems to be one of the more energetic of the government ministers. Her pronouncements and views are given promptly and accurately. Recently, she referred to the matter of systematic rape in our communities and was able to come up with solutions to deal with sex offenders in a short time.

Ms Falconer does not hesitate to tell us that as a result of the Jamaican athletes achieving so much in the eyes of the world, she estimates that we have received considerable exposure from free publicity. Every possible advantage must then be taken. We need to find out from our tourism and other foreign exchange earners if we are using this to our benefit.

In light of all this, there is a sensitive matter that I wish to be clarified by the minister. Jamaica's motto is "Out of Many, one People", but recently, I have been seeing opinions expressed that to be "Jamaican" one must necessarily be black. I have been following this line of argument and was amused when one respondent said that with the mixtures so intertwined with Caucasians, Latinos, Chinese, Indians, Jews, Syrians and others, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to ascertain what percentage of mixture is black, what is not fully black and what is fully white.

I am not disturbed by the mixture of races, for the mixture of corresponding cultures gives us an identity comparable to any other nation on the face of the earth. There is another point that needs consideration. It seems that white, brown, and mixed colours are more affluent than their peers. This might be true today, and will gradually change. But does it matter?

No person can be responsible for the circumstances surrounding his birth. When did it become a crime to be born well, and be lucky enough to enjoy a good education? I believe the question of colour's final mixture and affluence will be sorted out in time - when the development to one colour or the other stabilises. It will be only the influx of new people entering the society that may affect the rest.

I think we can then look forward with a common purpose, respecting the culture and disposition of our peers.

Ramesh Sujanani

Kingston 8






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