Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Inequality entrenched

Published:Tuesday | November 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities depicted the plight and suffering of the pitiful French masses living under the crushing rule of the French autocracy, which culminated in the French Revolution and the death of the monarchy.

Since Independence, our history has been a tale of two Jamaicas: one rich, one poor; one educated and one semi-literate; one with opportunities for the few and one with hopelessness for the many.

No other borderline Third World country with poverty affecting 30 per cent of the population can boast of the multimillion-dollar mansions dotting our elegant hills and exclusive coastline occupied by the elite few, where imported whiskey and champagne are the beverages of choice, and BMWs and top-of-the line SUVs are required means of transportation.

While this small, indifferent minority lives in cocooned splendour far above and away from the din of the rabble, poverty stalks too many of our citizens living in squalor, where education of our children is confined to schools with inferior facilities and teachers who must endure the antisocial behaviour of the young victims of poverty and parental neglect.

Likewise, we have a justice system controlled by those reluctant to bring white-collar criminals and their political cronies to justice but readily unleash the power of the police and courts on the mentally ill, who steal a few mangoes and the unlucky 'sufferer', who gets caught with a few ounces of ganja.

History teaches us that the downtrodden will not endure injustice indefinitely. There can be no peace without equal rights and justice as Peter Tosh once declared.

R. OSCAR LOFTERS

lofters1@aol.com

Kingston 8