Place blame in the right place, PMTuesday, April 06, 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has essentially called back our entertainers to the stage in this pandemic when he claimed that our entertainers' songs and lyrics are a motivation for the crime and violence now enveloping communities across the country.
We noticed that almost immediately top entertainers hit back at the prime minister's statement to first remove the mote from his and other politicians' eyes before falsely accusing them.
While I agree that some of the lyrics put out by some of our entertainers, both locally and internationally, could do with better words and phrases, I would not cast the blame of our endemic criminality totally on their lyrics. In fact, I would say the opposite. Our entertainers are seen as upliftment for the poor ghetto, oppressed, and marginalised youth across the country. When last has a politician's speech served to uplift our people, or called them to a concerted effort to improve their values and attitudes? Their actions and words are far more divisive and and antisocial than the words of our entertainers.
Quite paradoxical is that the same songs and lyrics which the prime minister now condemns were glorified by him and his colleagues at their political rallies and conferences. I remember quite vividly Holness stood on the stage at a political rally and rendered a line from the lyrics of Gregory Issacs's monster hit song “Hop off a mi fenda, nasty naygah!” Most of these allegedly divisive lyrics, if they were not used at political rallies the speakers, would fall flat.
We, as leaders, must not glorify things when it suits us, and then turn around and offer condemnation when it doesn't. That is plain disingenuous.
If Don Anderson should poll the nation with the question, “Between politicians and entertainers, who would you blame for the rise in criminality in Jamaica,” politicians would come out ahead of entertainers by a proverbial city block.
As one of our popular entertainers wrote on social media in response to Holness's statement, he and his neighbour voted for 'Labour' and not entertainers to control the crime in the country. How pointed and instructive from the entertainer.
Sometimes our leaders light the match that causes the forest fire and then go into hibernation while the fire rages.
Stop deflecting and divesting oneself of blame while it remains so obvious at whose feet the blame lies.
Former Jamaica Labour Party councillor
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