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Fighting moral decay

Published:Saturday | March 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Laura Redpath, Senior Reporter

Mark Kerr-Jarrett started a letter with, "It is amazing how immune we have become to the gradual moral decay of society [...] "

He was rewarded with The Gleaner's Silver Pen Award for showing anything but the immunity he wrote of in his Letter of the Day entitled, 'Yet we wondered what happened to our children'.

"[...] and the depths to which we are willing to descend in order to make sales and corner market share," he finished.

An issue within our society that Kerr-Jarrett feels strongly about is "the lack of restraint we have as a people and the lack of respect to others".

He spoke of music and described the dancehall culture as "selfish and unrestrained noise".

Music today, according to Kerr-Jarrett, doesn't promote the same peaceful message that the tunes of former reggae singers and other oldies did.

"Today's music can't be compared to Bob Marley," he said. "We need to take responsibility for what we expose our population to."


The Montego Bay businessman said dancehall music was one of the catalysts for the breakdown of Jamaican culture. He said "vulgar generalisation" of women is just one thing encouraging Jamaicans to find equality among themselves, on the "lowest rung of the ladder".

"I would expect leaders in the private sector would work towards improving the social capital of society," Kerr-Jarrett said, speaking out against the decrease in advertising quality.

In his December 2009 letter, Kerr-Jarrett described advertise-ments in the Second City, such as one for 'Wet dreams in Montego Bay with graphics to match', and a billboard letting the public know they could 'see stars' with a certain vibrating ring.

However, he said the island's Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, has a book that Jamaicans "should take a leaf out of".

According to Kerr-Jarrett, Bartlett has done much for tourism without adding to the decay that pervades the society.