Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Jamaica: Former Minister responds to death threats

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Jamaica Observer:-DECLARING that she is without fear of reprisal when it comes to women’s and children’s rights, former Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna yesterday lashed her critics, some of whom had sent death threats, for attacking her comments on convicted murderer Vybz Kartel producing music from behind prison bars.

Hanna reiterated her views that violent and sexually explicit lyrics had negatively influenced many Jamaican youth’s thought processes, resulting in increased feelings of hostility and aggression which she described as the “new normal”.

“The disgusting comments on my social media pages exposed the dark and vitriolic underbelly of this new normal and justified the point I was making,” the former Miss World said in an article published elsewhere in this newspaper.

“The undisguised violence and vulgarity of the disagreements posted and the sheer volume of antisocial attitudes were like megaphones screaming at Jamaicans to wake up and smell the decay into which Jamaica’s proud history of decency and mutual respect has plummeted,” said Hanna.

She suggested that those negative influences were exacerbated when “we turn a blind eye to radio airplay of new productions by persons we know are incarcerated (and) so may have been abetted by corruption in our prison system.We should be prepared to have a national discussion about messages glorifying criminality being conveyed to our children that’ll ultimately bring deleterious consequences”.

Last week, Hanna, in comments on radio and in an article in the Jamaica Observer, disagreed with the production of music by convicted persons, including dancehall artiste Kartel who was in the spotlight for receiving five awards in this year’s renewal of the Youth View Awards.

Her remarks triggered a torrent of violent responses in defence of Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer. Much of the feedback cannot be published in a family newspaper.

“When it comes to women’s, and especially children’s rights, I speak out without fear of any reprisal,” Hanna struck back, adding: “I pray that all Jamaicans who value common decency will find the courage to push back against this new normal and defend Jamaica’s true culture. If we lose this battle, however unpopular the battle or its choosing may be, we will have lost Jamaica.”

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