Tue | Jan 17, 2017

Cartoonists mustn't insult, ridicule

Published:Tuesday | January 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaican cartoonists of yesteryear were insightful commentators who would be guided by decorum and courtesy in describing even people they found detestable.

Leandro, The Gleaner's lead cartoonist for many decades, was a master of this art form.

The use of subtlety, concealed in double entendre, would have to be carefully examined in order to discover the real message at hand. The old calypsonians were also masters of ambiguity and would never fail to leave us guessing.

Not so anymore. The age-old standards of courtesy and respect for others have given way to satire that seeks to ridicule and have those who are disliked grovelling in the dust.

Those who have ventured into politics periodically experience the real venom of the cartoonist and have been ridiculed and, at times, caricatured as greedy, inefficient and dishonourable.

One should certainly not make a profession out of demeaning others. It is a luxury that small countries on a developmental trajectory can ill afford.

We need to join hands with mutual respect and admiration and foster a culture of togetherness, to take us from where we are to where we ought to be.

WEBSTER EDWARDS

ed@flowja.com