Mon | Nov 29, 2021

Living in a state of emergency

Published:Tuesday | May 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Within the past week,there was the unfortunate story of my cousin and uncle who were ministering in a depressed community in Kingston early at night, when their jovial singing and praise were interrupted by shouting and chaos. Several men had invaded a small shop less than five yards away with guns and shot a young man to death. In the midst of the chaos, a resident in the community shouted at my confused cousin to 'jump over the fence!' This advice was followed and thankfully both my cousin's and my uncle's life's were spared.

When I think about the state of Jamaica I cannot help but take that advice metaphorically. The moral state of the country, rampant violence and lack of integrity of our political leaders cause me to consider the realities of facing a life in Jamaica. We are living in a state of emergency. These criminals show no fear for either the law or God.

But who or what in Jamaica must murderers fear? The position of the current administration to protect an alleged drug don has moral implications. When a prime minister goes as far as to publicly intervene in issues rightfully outside his purview, doesn't this signify an 'OK' to other men of questionable character? Are our political leaders not condoning rather than condemning the associated lifestyle? This is an issue I think is more serious than the current worries over losing visas.

In relation to the events that inspired this letter, my condolences go to the family of the deceased. I pray that somehow justice will come to you in these turbulent times. To the rest of Jamaica, I know with the lack of credible leadership, a moral compass or efficient justice system, it seems like misguided and overly optimistic hope is all we have left. But please don't jump the fence yet. We owe it to the families of the 547 that have been killed thus far.

I am, etc.,

ANDREW WALCOTT

drewwalcott@gmail.com

Kingston 6