A time of differing views


Friday, January 19, 2018

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A member of my family used to visit another country where she got a regular holiday job to do some babysitting. One of the children had a reputation of being a troublemaker. He didn't care if he was reprimanded. He didn't care what others thought of him. He did what he wanted to do. Nothing and no one could stop him. He began his rounds one morning with the proclamation, “I don't know what to destroy next!”

Ever since a certain US president came into office, almost every day he upsets someone about something. Like the little boy who didn't know what to do next, he seems not to give a damn. A week ago, in a meeting discussing immigration issues, it is said “strong language” was used to express his disapproval of some countries whose citizens emigrate to the US. It is alleged that the words used by him were deemed to be of a highly questionable standard. Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries were regarded as a list of undesirables. What he wanted were more immigrants from Norway — blonds, of course!

In certain areas of the African continent the people there could hardly contain their anger at the insult. Two words especially were broadcast across the world, drawing anger and disgust. The president disclaimed use of the two offending words but did not shy away from the sentiment. He said it was all fake news, but the words refused to disappear.

In the place called the Caribbean, where they are not often drawn into argument with words such as those said to have been used, the people in the islands have spoken out in anger. So upset have been members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) that an official message was issued condemning the remarks aimed at one of the Caribbean nations — specifically the Republic of Haiti. The statement read in part: “The Caribbean Community is deeply disturbed by reports about the use of derogatory and repulsive language by the president of the United States in respect of our member state, Haiti, and other developing countries.

“Caricom condemns, in the strongest terms, the unenlightened views reportedly expressed.

“Of additional concern is this pattern of denigrating Haiti and its citizens in what seems to be a concerted attempt to perpetuate a negative narrative of the country.

“Caricom therefore views this insult to the character of the countries named and their citizens as totally unacceptable.”

So where to now?

We have heard it asked. Small protests have been taking place outside the building called Trump Tower in New York with people showing support for the island of Haiti and the other maligned countries. The president is not losing any sleep about what he is supposed to have said.

It was interesting to note those who continue to side with the president and those who have spoken out against his utterances.

Question: How many have the nerve to pick an argument with a US president? And, while we're at it, who would dare to endanger their visa? For some, that document is worth next to getting entrance to heaven!

Stop them in their tracks

Well, the cat is now belled in Montego Bay. Story come to bump! Could we really have expected that evil would continue forever? We cringe at the stories told of guns fired in the rampage of the wicked, night and day, in a town which was not bequeathed to them. Well, it cyaan go on so.

Yesterday morning word came of a state of emergency in the parish of St James. A press conference headed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, joined by the ministers of national security and justice and the heads of the Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force, as well as others ready for action, outlined the steps to be taken in the days ahead.

This is not the first time that our leaders have had to show badman and company that this nation is not theirs to mash up. This nation has known evil before. Well, the time has come to eradicate 'badman-ism'. It is time to end the suffering of decent people — the young, the old and the in-between.

Forget not that the parishes of Hanover, Westmoreland and St James have been catching “living hell” with the daily cry of murder as criminals rob and flee and tek life. Each of the western parishes was once known as an example of the best of our nation, but sadly, thieves and murderers moved in, and before the residents knew, they were living in Evil Land.

It has to stop.

Where have the perpetrators come from? Could it be true that they intended to use blood to polish the floor? Hopefully it will be no more. But how have they been getting away with wickedness? Thanks to the action of the authorities, we now look for signs of hope. It has only just begun, and we must all play our part. The activities in St James alone cannot help make the change. We should not become complacent.

Thank you, Brother Usain

News has come that the Usain Bolt Foundation will give $1 million to assist the wards of the State who were affected by this week's deadly fire at Walker's Place of Safety. The tragedy struck on Monday night, killing two of the 36 youngsters housed at the facility.

Thanks to Brother Usain for getting into action right away and setting an example to others. We also can play our part. Donations can be made to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (formerly Child Development Agency) offices across the island.

Thank you, Brother Usain, for your generosity, you are a hero indeed! To others, take example.

Barbara Gloudon is a journalist, playwright and commentator. Send comments to the Observer or




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