Thu | Apr 26, 2018

No sympathy for Africa?

Published:Thursday | March 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Johnson Smith


I found it strange that Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith was on the news reporting that she had sent her condolences to the staff at the Belgian embassy on behalf of Jamaicans following the horrific terrorist attack in Brussels. This is a most natural thing for a minister of foreign affairs to do in the wake of such an event, but I can't recall any similar gestures being reported after events such as the terror attack that killed 58 civilians in Borno, Nigeria; or the suicide bombing in Somalia that killed more than 20 civilians in a restaurant; or even the bombing of a mosque, again in Nigeria, that killed 22 civilians.

All these attacks, by the way, happened since this year, with mere weeks separating them. You would think that our Government would want to make public gestures of support on our behalf for peoples with whom we perhaps have stronger kinship. Then again, I suppose we can no more blame our state officials than we would the media's privileging of Western news. But for a country that has had such violent relations, both ethnically and politically, with Europe, we sure have hung on to our relationship with Europe like a battered wife to an abusive husband.

Sharlene Hendricks