THE EDITOR, Sir:
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!" The infamous line from the Shakespeare play Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, often incorrectly attributed to the title character, aptly describes Jamaica, currently.
Uttered by 'minor character' Marcellus, in conversation with the similarly 'unimportant' Horatio, as they discuss the state of Elsinore politics and society, it speaks to an all-encompassing sense of
A few weeks ago, Jamaicans self-righteously condemned Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe for publicly rebuking the country's men and its (popular) culture, which, for the African leader, symbolised irresponsibility and underperformance. Sadly, most of the news has since threatened to negatively outdo Mr Mugabe's unfortunate assessment.
The absolutely horrendous report of one family's grave misfortune in St James evoked the horror of many. Five women, including three children, were raped by two monsters.
Days earlier, the community of Zion, in the neighbouring parish of Trelawny, made the gruesome discovery of the bodies of two missing boys in the Martha Brae River.
As if in a twisted sense of irony, they, too, were also presumed molested. What is more, community members turned on the father of the man suspected of committing these acts of savagery and mercilessly chopped him to death, while injuring his daughter.
Again, in that same week, another equally traumatising report was splashed across the headlines. A bus driver mowed down five people, killing one, in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, reportedly caused by his careless driving. The driver fled the scene.
These incidents clearly attest that something is definitely rotten in the state of Jamaica. There is no want of despair to go the rounds, as the country continues to sink deeper into the deadly quagmire of fear and violence. This extremely unfortunate drama is threatening to spiral out of control.
All sectors of society, including civic groups, church leaders, voluntary organisations, as well as the governing political leaders and their often stridently vocal opponents, must urgently unite in order to find real solutions to this crisis. None of us is either 'minor' or 'unimportant' in this effort. All hands are needed on deck to bring closure to this unfortunate chapter in our nation's history.
The gloss of the 50th anniversary celebrations and the heroics of Usain Bolt and his compatriots in London is rapidly being eroded. Until we fix this dilemma, no amount of public-relations effort or international branding will change Jamaica's image as one of the bloodiest nations in the world in 2012.