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Hanna made a mistake, give her a chance

Friday, October 06, 2017

Dear Editor,

I'm often peeved at how quickly we try to pull people down, especially politicians, most of whom I believe genuinely offer their time and service to this country in the hope that we can improve as a nation and a people.

A few days ago I saw online a detailed news article that the St Lucian ambassador to the Organisation of American States in the US was one of the victims in the Las Vegas shooting, initially hospitalised in critical condition, but later succumbed to his injuries. The news report was false, and the ambassador was very much alive and well.

Lisa Hanna apparently saw the realease, too, and issued condolence. The fact that she did was an obvious error of judgement. I myself thought the detailed news report was also accurate when I read it. Hanna, the new Opposition spokesperson on foreign affairs, was just as quick to apologise, and also apologised directly to the ambassador.

We often forget that to err is human, and we learn from mistakes. I've seen news reports chastising Hanna saying she had “egg on her face” as a result of a simple error of judgement caused by a fake news article. These comments I believe are deeply rooted in misogyny. If the ambassador was able to accept the apology, why can't we? How many of us have accomplished what Hanna has done from age 18 when she was selected from an international line-up of 80 beautiful, educated and accomplished young women from around the globe? Those questioning her credentials now need to pause and reflect. Hanna has been practising foreign affairs from the tender age of 18, while most people at that age are still in high school.

And who could forget Hanna's outstanding delivery in 2015 at the UNESCO meeting in Bonn, Germany, where, along with her team, Jamaica was gained World Heritage Site status for the Blue and John Crow Mountains — a first for the Caribbean.

I wish Hanna the best in her new portfolio. I think she has a lot to offer Jamaica, if only we give the lady a chance. She could've easily chosen to take her expertise elsewhere to another country, but instead chose to remain in Jamaica, abandoning a more lucrative private sector career in order to remain in public service.

In the words of Hanna, “... regardless of who we are, and the sides we serve, our desires must be driven by the universal purpose grounded in empathy and love to build this country. It must supersede personal ridicule, rancour and bitterness”. I couldn't agree more.


P Chin