PNP chides Nigel Clarke over ‘Massa Mark’ comment
The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) says it is outraged and repulsed by what it calls the racial inference used by Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke to characterise its president Mark Golding in Parliament yesterday.
While closing the Budget Debate, Clarke referred to Golding, who is also Leader of the Opposition, as “Massa Mark”.
READ: 'Massa Mark' comment triggers Opposition walkout of Parliament
The PNP says it takes issue with Golding being characterised as a racist oppressor and accused Clarke of engaging in an act of prejudice and racial discrimination.
“This shocking attempt by Minister Clarke to malign the character of Mr Golding is reverse racism and could not have come on a worse day as the world yesterday observed International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To use the hallowed chamber of Parliament to hurl racial invectives was appalling behaviour by the Minister of Finance and should be roundly condemned by well-thinking Jamaicans,” charged the PNP in a statement today.
“The Budget Debate is a serious matter. Tabling a trillion dollar budget that will be financed on the backs of Jamaicans through high inflation and taxation is not a laughing matter, and ought not to be polluted with political gimmicks and insults. Our history of slavery and colonialism is also not a laughing matter and our politics should be used to contend with and correct the injustices emerging from that history,” it continued.
The PNP says Golding's political career shows him to be on the side of the descendants of Africans enslaved in Jamaica.
“The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) would do well to contend with its own history of actions against those descendants. Such actions by their first leader Alexander Bustamante against rastafarians and other black nationalists are well documented. So too are the actions of their first black leader, Hugh Shearer, against black power advocate Walter Rodney.”
The party says this is not the first time that the JLP has made racial jabs at Golding.
“Mr Golding is a born Jamaican, whose family has contributed distinguished service and sacrifice for the most disadvantaged Jamaicans. Like any other Jamaican, he is deserving of respect and regard and should not be made the brunt of cheap political PR jabs by anyone, much less a Jamaican holding the high office of Minister of Finance.
“Mr Clarke ought to withdraw the comments and apologise to Mr Golding and all Jamaicans, including those of a different hue from his. Minister Clarke's words are signalling to Jamaicans that it is acceptable to once again divide Jamaicans based on colour.”
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