Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Hailing 'Babsy' on defence of dancehall

Published:Wednesday | April 26, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Tuesday, April 25, while listening to Nationwide News Network 90FM with Mark Wignall's 'On Target' programme, I heard a disgruntled caller who was upset at Minister of Entertainment Olivia 'Babsy' Grange's decision to express concern that "arrests at reggae events could send the wrong message".

The caller gave the impression that the minister was defending wrongdoing. He went on to say that the minister ought to apologise or be ordered to resign.

If my prime minister, Andrew Holness, asks for an apology from Ms Grange, I would be disappointed in him.

Here's roots reggae promoter icon Gabre Selassie's side of the story on Nationwide News on April 24: "[Karlyle] Lee (birth name of Gabre Selassie) says he received permission to stage the event. He says he was told he didn't need a physical copy of the police permit because it was already on file." In the NNN full audio, Selassie said "the police came around 10:30 p.m. and asked for a permit. He showed them the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation permit but the cops demanded the police permit.

While I understand the side of the residents and police, what are they telling the nation? That the event celebrating Rastafari could not be held on the same day as carnival. This guy has been a promoter for years, so he must know the laws and rules already with regard to police permits.

I'm a known baldhead and Labourite, and I'm here hailing Rastas for their contribution to Jamaica. Therefore, I will defend them and anyone who defends them.

TEDDYLEE GRAY

teddylee.gray@gmail.com

Ocho Rios, St Ann