Golding’s brain, heart transcend colour, says Campbell
More fire on Warmington as race debate heats up
People’s National Party (PNP) General Secretary Dr Dayton Campbell has slammed Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Area Council Two Chairman Everald Warmington for controversial racial comments, arguing that Opposition Leader Mark Golding’s electability transcends the colour of his skin.
Campbell insisted Sunday that the content of Golding’s character was what was important.
Golding, who is white, came under blistering attack from Warmington, member of parliament for St Catherine South West, in a racially laden speech to partisans at a St Catherine North Eastern constituency conference on November 6.
Warmington questioned the authenticity of Golding’s Jamaican credentials, citing his race as a disqualifying factor. Golding was born in Jamaica to white parents, including a father who was an Englishman.
“If he wants to be prime minister, go back a England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, but him nah beat Michael Andrew Holness. I don’t talk about colour and race, but they started it, so let me finish it,” said Warmington, a member of Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ Cabinet.
He also used the term ‘backra master’ in his speech - viewed as a dog whistle harking back to white slave masters.
Campbell was among several PNP members who expressed disgust over Warmington’s remarks during the Clarendon Northern constituency conference held at the Claude McKay High School in James Hill in the parish Sunday.
“We are saying to Jamaica, ‘Here is a man who has the brain, the intellectual capacity to figure out complex problems that are facing Jamaica, ... sacrificed for the building of this country,’’ said Campbell, in reference to Mark Golding’s late father, Sir John Golding, a medical doctor renowned for his interventions for the disabled community.
Campbell described Warmington’s comments as foolish and a distraction from the JLP’s poor governance.
“Because the prime minister go lick down people house when him under pressure, because the minister of health is [incompetent] in carrying out his duties, because garbage pile up everywhere, them come fi talk ‘bout the colour of Mark Golding, and the wife of the prime minister come talk ‘bout, wherever you see a garbage dump, Comrades live there. Bright and out of order! But I am not going to bite the bait and get into no cussing match with them,” Campbell said fuming.
Councillor Carlton Bailey, who heads the Milk River division in Clarendon South Eastern, however, was quick to interject: “Our leader born yah!”
Golding seemed to have side-stepped the much-talked-about racial controversy surrounding him, but accused the Government of propaganda. Golding, however, was direct in highlighting what he asserts as poor governance by the JLP.
“The crime situation has been allowed to get out of control under the Jamaica Labour Party Government ... it is a disgrace. Not only do we have murders, we have multiple murders happening week in, week out. The Jamaican people are living in fear, and their Government has nothing to offer them as a solution,” he said.
Golding said further that the murder rate was 25 per cent lower during the PNP’s last term in government.
“We’re not satisfied with that. It was still way too high, but we were able to not only break down the murder rate substantially, but the police fatal shootings were cut in half because we don’t use breaches of human rights to bring safety and security to the people. We don’t believe in that,” posited Golding.
According to the opposition leader, youth have resorted to scamming and guns “because the system fails too many of our youth from birth through early childhood education, through to primary school”.
He added: “We find far too many of our young people are not getting the kind of education that they need.”
Scores of orange-clad residents packed the venue, all shouting in agreement that incumbent caretaker Horace Dalley will be reinstated as member of parliament of Clarendon Northern in the next general election.
“Here is a man with a heart to work with the lower class in this country, to lift them up so they can be somebody in this country. Here is a man who is a champion for social justice. We were never asking Jamaica to vote for him because of the colour of his skin. He has way more than that to offer to this country,” said Campbell of Golding.
“When you have your parents and your parents served well, and them dead and gone and can’t defend themselves, and a vulgar individual like that just get up on stage and start disrespecting them, then somebody have to stand up to defend the legacy of Sir John Golding. In his wildest dreams, Everald Warmington will not live to make the contribution to Jamaica that has been made by Sir John Golding,” he said.