'Massa Mark' passa passa
Labourites, Comrades clash on social media over Clarke’s comments
GOLDING... labelled JLP supporters as "damn fool"

A major war of words has broken out on social media over Finance Minister Nigel Clarke’s labelling of Opposition Leader Mark Golding as “Massa Mark” during the closing of the 2023/24 Budget Debate on Tuesday.

The embers of the fire were sparked in the House of Representatives minutes after Clarke referred to Golding’s labelling of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters as “damn fool” at a People’s National Party (PNP) function last Thursday, and charged that “never sound like Markie G, it sound like Massa Mark”.

Angered by that comment, PNP chairman and Member of Parliament for St Andrew South Western Angela Brown Burke rose on a point of order which quickly degenerated into a walkout of the House by the Opposition members.

On Wednesday the controversy worsened as the PNP issued a media release, over the signature of Brown Burke, in which it said that it was outraged and repulsed by the racial inference used by Clarke to characterise Golding.

CLARKE... that never sound like Markie G, it sound like Massa Mark

“In a premeditated act of prejudice and racial discrimination Minister Clarke read from a prepared text, thrice referring to Mr Golding as ‘Massa Mark’, inferring that the leader of the Opposition is a racist oppressor.

“This shocking attempt by Minister Clarke to malign the character of Mr Golding is reverse racism and could not have come on a worse day, as the world yesterday [Tuesday] observed International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To use the hallowed chamber of Parliament to hurl racial invectives was appalling behaviour by the minister of finance and should be roundly condemned by well-thinking Jamaicans,” Brown Burke said as she added that Clarke should “withdraw the comments and apologise to Mr Golding and all Jamaicans, including those of a different hue from his”.

With that, social media was flooded with responses, mainly tinted by orange and green lens indicating the supporters of the two parties.

BROWN BURKE... accuses Clarke of engaging in reverse racism

“Truth is that Sir John Golding [father of the Opposition leader] did too much for this country for us to be calling his son Massa Mark. That’s distasteful and disrespectful. Mark Golding comes from a phenomenal family and he is a good person. I have criticised his aesthetic but never his work ethic. Leave him be,” one person posted. “Out of many, one people but that’s the remarks made in Parliament??? Look at the people cheering it on. He was dead... wrong for this,” another person posted.

“Man, I wish Nigel just stick to the numbers and not stoop tothe level of other politicians. We liked him because [he’s] a breath of fresh air,” was the comment from one social media user.

“The whole thing was despicable and Warmington in the back screaming like … about baccra master and slave descendant was sickening. They have turned the Parliament into a pantomime,” said another poster in reference to the sotto voce comment from St Catherine South Western MP Everald Warmington who quipped: “He is a descendant of a slave master,” during the sitting of the House.

But Clarke was not without his backers who included a post on the social media page of Member of Parliament for St Andrew West Rural Juliet Cuthbert- Flynn which said: “Were they outraged when their leader of PNPYO called the prime minister ‘HITLER’. Dr Clarke said their leader wasn’t acting like Markie G when he called Labourities damn fools, instead he was acting like Massa Mark. I see nothing wrong here.”

Another social media user added, “When Mark Golding apologise [for] calling us damn fool and likkle boy and black side of the JLP, maybe we will entertain that. Until then, Massa Mark should take a seat or walk out of the kitchen.”

“I’m tired of the PNP doing everything wrong then playing victim. They never apologise or own up to their low behaviour. Massa Mark it is,” declared another person in their post. Added another: “Mark Golding is a rich white man. For most of my life, if not all, the PNP has used colour and class as part of their political messaging and propaganda. They are now very sensitive to colour and class cuz of the political culture that they fostered.”

Others drew reference to PNP General Secretary Dr Dayton Campbell referring to JLP Chairman Robert Montague as “the leader of the black section of the Labour Party” at a news conference in January 2022, while some suggested that the PNP was now experiencing karma for its racial attacks on JLP leader and late Prime Minister Edward Seaga.

Up to press time on Wednesday there was no word from either Clarke or Golding on the latest spat which has sparked the most recent firefight among Comrades and Labourities.

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