Letters to the Editor: JA visa restrictions ‘tragic’

Jamaica was once the protector of the Cayman Islands, which if we are to
use a familiar metaphor, would suggest this collection of Islands
is our child or ward.

Britain,
our former colonial master, if we are to use a similar analogy, would have been
our parent or guardian.

Sadly, Jamaicans can enter neither
country without a visa. It is akin to the unenviable position of not being able
to visit our children or parents without having to demonstrate exceptional reasons.

This is a tragic image of how far
we have sunk and if current trends persist other relatives will soon be closing
their doors on us. Yet this is not time for despair. We must heed the advice of
current White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, that we should never waste a
good crisis.

The influence of our musical output
is once again being placed under the microscope.

This has been prompted by the
shootings of two prominent Jamaican artistes within 48 hours. We wish both
Cobra and Oneil a speedy recovery and condemn these wanton acts of criminality.
Sadly, if the pronouncements flowing from various quarters on this issue are
indicative of the kinds of solutions which we should expect I have very little
reason to be optimistic.

Much of what has passed as
discourse in the wake of these unfortunate incidents has been platitudinous,
self-serving and hypocritical. What is frightening to me is that victims of
crimes are now being blamed for criminal acts committed against them. The
feminists would rightly point out that a scantily clad woman does not provide a
lecher with justification to violate her. There seems however to be the
suggestion in some quarters that doing harm to entertainers is a form of poetic
justice since our artistes are purveyors of violent lyrical content.

Retribution, revenge and superstition
loom large in our fundamentalist psyche. I would sincerely condemn the shooting
of any politician even though some of them have been alleged to distribute
guns. Yet nuanced positions are never welcomed in our jungle.

Calls are being made, even from
within the entertainment sector, for strong actions even if most of us do not
know what form this should take or who should assume responsibility for such
measures. I would only advise that the Taliban and the Nazis were able to
assume power through the desperate desires of those in the society for strong
actions to address the problems facing Afghan and German societies. Those who
do not learn the lessons from history are bound to repeat them, a wise man once
noted.

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