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Gov't only has respect for 'kings'

Published:Thursday | July 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM


It's startling how innate it seems for Jamaicans to push aside and negate the basic rights of their fellow Jamaicans on the basis of every imaginable division and difference that exists today: gender, colour, political persuasion, address, and most certainly, socio-economic class.

How prepared could one be for a foreign minister like A.J. Nicholson to respond to a Jamaica Observer journalist, ranting, "Who is this man by the way? Is he a king?" and "What is the interest? So what [if the Government is unaware]?"

This was said in reference to Paul Stephens, who, according to latest reports, is still in custody in Qatar having been imprisoned for three years and held without evidence.


no priority


I contemplated the truth that Stephens, like so many other Jamaicans, are low on the totem pole of Jamaican society, and therefore, is of no priority.

It's quite clear that the "kings" of Jamaica, and those belonging to the royal court of the private sector, academia and politics are in agreement as to the pecking order. Our plantation heritage is alive and well.

The dream of upward social mobility is the motivation for too many inner-city and rural youth for them to accept that the system has always been against wide-scale ladder climbing, thus swallowing the weak in a cycle of poverty.

It would be wise for the minister and his colleagues in the Upper and Lower House to reconnect with the commoners who elected them. I ask A.J. Nicholson to apologise to Mr Stephens, his family and those who have been working on his release, for his careless statements that suggest that his life doesn't matter.