Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Malahoo Forte fans flames of ignorance

Published:Saturday | June 18, 2016 | 6:01 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Those who have taken up verbal arms against the United States over its flying of the LGBT flag are showing the worst side of Jamaica, that of ignorance, support for violence, disregard for human rights, and coldness to a nation grieving its dead.

Forty-nine individuals who had a right to life as their most sacred possession are dead. Their dreams and those of their families and friends for them have been brutally ended.

To interject or merely mention our simmering cultural resistance to the LGBT is to trivialise a sad and painful event in the history of the United States. It depicts a woeful insensitivity to human suffering and the loss people experience when their loved ones are violently taken from them.

The fact that a minister of our Government led others on to this tangent is even more distressing. Our attorney general is sworn to protect the rights of people and to shun discrimination and violence. Indeed, she should have been the first to decry the injustice against the dead and injured. Why bother to legislate against musicians who promote violence against the LGBT if leaders surreptitiously fight from their protected positions of authority?

Governments can exercise no discretion on which of their citizens they mourn. They cannot tolerate violence against any group. The LGBT flag is being flown in all US foreign missions. From where then comes this idea that the flag flown here is an attempt to promote some gay agenda.

 

ADDED DISTRESS

 

The Lawyers' Christian Fellowship and now the Rev Al Miller have only added to our distress. We hoped that misguided comments by a young attorney general and this baseless salvo against the United States would have been swiftly rebuffed, but even after stepping back from her tweet, we realise that the fuel she has added to the violent homophobic fire that rages in our country has implications beyond her idle comments.

Our cultural resistance to the LGBT has become a form of extremism. Those in leadership know of it and should tread carefully lest they inflame the fearful and ignorant.

CALVERT PARCHMENT