Sunday Brew — November 28, 2021
Mark Golding

Mark Golding's skin, and a horrible man

THERE is good reason for Milholland Barker's two losses in local government elections — he clearly lacks a brain.

For how else can you explain what would have driven the Jamaica Labour Party official in St Catherine North Western to be harping on the pigmentation of Leader of the Opposition and President of the People's National Party, Mark Golding?

The latest utterances by an obvious racist raises the question again about why skin colour matters when it comes to governance. Granted, we should all know the history of slavery, and in particular what black people, especially those in South Africa, have experienced as a result of white oppressors. But improvements continue to be made, and Golding should not be used as a target to satisfy cheap racial low blows.

Milholland Barker is someone I have known for several years. He, I suggest, is from Annotto Bay in St Mary, and was for some years an outstanding sportsman. In fact, had stars like Orville Edwards, Vester Constantine, Bruce Black, and Lloyd “Respic” Morgan not been around, Barker could easily have emerged as a national goalkeeper. In cricket he was equally brilliant, and after he left St Mary he went on to play Senior Cup cricket for St Catherine Parish, among other teams.

But his latest gaffe has transformed him into a real idiot, not someone who should be considered for any political office in the future.

Why single out Golding when those before him… Sir Alexander Bustamante, Sir Donald Sangster, Michael Manley, Eddie Seaga, Bruce Golding, and even Andrew Holness were, or are, of similar pigmentation or close to it?

Happily, chairman of the JLP's St Catherine North Western set-up, Newton Amos has distanced himself from the idle and careless talk. For now, I am willing to accept that Amos's comments are genuine.

The country is too divided already. Rastas don't trust 'bald heads'; Maroons feel they are invincible and superior to others; and taxi men believe that they are the rightful owners of the roads. We must stay away from anything else that divides us.

Dwelling on Mark Golding's skin will take us nowhere. What I want to hear is whether or not there are compelling reasons why he, or the prime minister — both 'brown men' — should not lead this country because they are involved in irregular conduct that breaches our constitutional provisions.

Until then, people should refrain from pointing fingers at others who are not responsible for bringing themselves into this life.

When justice trimmed a Rasta woman

WHAT the devil has happened to the investigation into the alleged trimming of the locks of a 19-year-old woman, which was said to have occurred in July of this year?

Nzinga King spent five days in lock-up at Four Paths Police Station in Clarendon and she and her mother claimed that her locks were trimmed, against her will and in contravention of her Rastafarian faith.

So many promises and pledges have been made by the police commissioner and the Independent Commission of Investigations that the nation would know, but why is it that we still cannot hear from officialdom about what has happened?

Here it seems there may be a plan to cover up a wrong that was committed. That's all that can be said, for it should not take that long to get to the truth and tell the country about it. This is not the West Kingston Commission of Inquiry.

It is a shame, a national disgrace that this matter has taken so long to be addressed by the police or INDECOM.

How much longer do we have to wait to find out if the woman corporal accused of slicing the locks will face the music?

As a real bald head, my few words to the victim and the Rastafarian community is to not be hopeful that anything tangible will emerge from the so-called investigations. I am convinced that this is yet another example of a glaring attempt being made at sweeping something so important right under the carpet.

Montague has his value

THE minister of transport and mining is someone whom I am deeply fond of.

It matters little that he and I are from the parish of St Mary. What is important to me is Robert Montague's courage and energy to get things done. His style is unique. He is not crass like his Jamaica Labour Party colleague Everald Warmington, who will virtually tell you anything that comes to his mouth, without thinking or blinking.

But Montague is straightforward, oftentimes frank, even blunt. In all of this, he is usually honest with his pronouncements. I rather like someone who speaks 'straight', though with respect, unlike Warmington, and that is why I can tolerate Montague's modus operandi.

At this time Montague is under pressure, from within the upper echelons of the party that he supports and from the outside. The transfer of policy control of Clarendon Alumina Production from his ministry to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is a negative for him, and not something that any man would feel good about.

Montague, however, has positive intentions, and I still believe, is good for this country. One of the things he must learn though is that not every individual who operates as his friend should be drafted to represent his interests in the running of State boards and agencies. It thus leads me to one of them – Dennis Wright.

Wright, a consistent loser when he tried to represent the JLP in parliamentary elections in Portland and St Thomas, has found himself on too many boards that Montague has a hand in naming.

From the Firearm Licensing Authority, which turned into a mess; the matter of the used vehicles for the police force while Montague was at the Ministry of National Security; and now the matter of CAP, Wright's name has been an unwelcome one.

It is obvious that Montague believes in him, but Wright (wonder if he is related to George Wright?) has shown from his involvement at these ministries that he lacks certain competencies and should not be a part of the State apparatus.

I hope that Montague will proceed from this latest episode and try to do his best to preserve his legacy as a minister who is capable of doing great things and making life much easier for the citizens of the land that he, and most of us, love.

Daley, Hanna and the SOE

(Lisa Hanna)

WATCHING the debate on the state of emergency in the House of Representatives last Tuesday, two Opposition members — Denise Daley and Lisa Hanna — had me paying keen attention to their oral submissions.

And they were on point with some of the things that need to be done in respect of taming that other pandemic.

You have to get to the root cause of the problem, said Daley, and she listed public transportation — meaning what is happening in the present system— as a contributing factor. That is a key ingredient.

Hanna read the names of 12 people who had been killed on Saturday, November 20. All of them, she said, were under 35, including a 16-year-old girl who was shot dead, allegedly, by a family member.

Now, those 12 represented the future of this country. In my days of youth clubs, you were considered a youth up to age 35. Granted, there are some among us who behave as if, and would like us to think that they are 35 and under, even though they are closer to, or more than twice that in number of years on this land. My friends Maurice Foster, Dr Patrick Dallas and Maurice Weir readily come to mind.

But the reality is that our youth, the backbone of our future, are being destabilised by crime. Up to yesterday 1,300 people had been killed in Jamaica, based on the official numbers if we believe in police statistics, which may be understated, as I have seen over the years where not every murder is recorded as such, or recorded at all.

So Hanna and Daley are right. There needs to be careful tracing of what causes crime and there also has to be a deep look at why so many of the younger members of the population are being killed, and then the ways to turn that around need to be found.

One reader of the Sunday Observer confronted me last week about my seeming criticism of the commissioner of police, and suggested that instead of being critical I should come up with solutions to the crime problem. But let's face it: If I am to come up with the remedy for reducing crime, then I should be appointed police commissioner, and not the incumbent.

In addition to the police commissioner, other people are being paid, and handsomely by the State, to restrict crime to a bearable level. They must also provide the solutions that will allow the citizens of this country to live comfortably. If they cannot deliver then they should step aside voluntarily, or be forced to.

At that same House sitting, MP for Clarendon South Western Lothan Cousins was chastised by the House Speaker and others for suggesting, among other things, that if the commissioner was not doing his job then he should be removed... which is logical, and not bringing the office of the commissioner into disrepute as some members of the JLP have suggested.

WATCHING the debate on the state of emergency in the House of Representatives last Tuesday, two Opposition members — Denise Daley and Lisa Hanna — had me paying keen attention to their oral submissions.

And they were on point with some of the things that need to be done in respect of taming that other pandemic.

You have to get to the root cause of the problem, said Daley, and she listed public transportation — meaning what is happening in the present system— as a contributing factor. That is a key ingredient.

Hanna read the names of 12 people who had been killed on Saturday, November 20. All of them, she said, were under 35, including a 16-year-old girl who was shot dead, allegedly, by a family member.

Now, those 12 represented the future of this country. In my days of youth clubs, you were considered a youth up to age 35. Granted, there are some among us who behave as if, and would like us to think that they are 35 and under, even though they are closer to, or more than twice that in number of years on this land. My friends Maurice Foster, Dr Patrick Dallas and Maurice Weir readily come to mind.

But the reality is that our youth, the backbone of our future, are being destabilised by crime. Up to yesterday 1,300 people had been killed in Jamaica, based on the official numbers if we believe in police statistics, which may be understated, as I have seen over the years where not every murder is recorded as such, or recorded at all.

So Hanna and Daley are right. There needs to be careful tracing of what causes crime and there also has to be a deep look at why so many of the younger members of the population are being killed, and then the ways to turn that around need to be found.

One reader of the Sunday Observer confronted me last week about my seeming criticism of the commissioner of police, and suggested that instead of being critical I should come up with solutions to the crime problem. But let's face it: If I am to come up with the remedy for reducing crime, then I should be appointed police commissioner, and not the incumbent.

In addition to the police commissioner, other people are being paid, and handsomely by the State, to restrict crime to a bearable level. They must also provide the solutions that will allow the citizens of this country to live comfortably. If they cannot deliver then they should step aside voluntarily, or be forced to.

At that same House sitting, MP for Clarendon South Western Lothan Cousins was chastised by the House Speaker and others for suggesting, among other things, that if the commissioner was not doing his job then he should be removed... which is logical, and not bringing the office of the commissioner into disrepute as some members of the JLP have suggested.

Nzinga King
Lisa Hanna
Robert Montague
with HG HELPS Editor-at-Large helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

HOUSE RULES

  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy