Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Letter of the day: Make example of inexcusable Vybz Vaz

Published:Monday | December 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM


The reference that was made to the Vybz Kartel song, Wah Dem Feel Like, by Central Westmoreland Member of Parliament Dwayne Vaz at the People's National Party (PNP) rally in Mount Salem, St James, last Thursday was unfortunate.

I have reviewed the lyrics of the song and found where there was not one section that did not make an explicit reference to the glorification of the gun and the incitement of violence. The song was patently offensive in nature and inappropriate for the function at which he, an elected government official, spoke.

Surprisingly, Vaz was reported as saying that he was not suggesting a violent reaction to an incident where a suspected arson took place on the PNP's office in Montego Bay when he cited the lyrics from the song. It is difficult to accept his response as the case when, in fact, the song speaks to violence. It was inexcusable.

Vaz is familiar with the song. He is also very much aware of the senseless bloodletting and the havoc that criminals continue to wreak upon the society. He should also know that retaliation is a feature of murders committed, which contribute to the high crime rate. Despite knowing that raving lunatics make the lives of law-abiding citizens a living hell, it was his considered view that a tasteless song like this could support his cause.

What struck me was when he suggested that he was not about violence, yet he caused a song to be aired egregiously that "happens to, unfortunately, contain lyrics that appear to speak to gang behaviour".




He should have known, as common sense would dictate, that there could never be any appropriate time or place for a reference to be made to a song like Wah Dem Feel Like, which incites and promotes violence, to be used in the context of "... loading our supporters into vehicles to go to mass meetings". That was a foolish response and he made ill-conceived gestures.

Politicians must conduct themselves ethically and set a good example for the people they lead. Their actions and utterances should never shock an audience.

The political ombudsman must make an example of Vaz and discipline him for his error in judgement in relation to this matter. We must hold all politicians accountable for their misconduct. The importance of strict adherence to the Political Code of Conduct in promoting a civil society must be emphasised.