LETTER OF THE DAY - A plea for peace
THE EDITOR, Sir:
A VOICE is crying out loud. It's seeking peace, mercy, love and tolerance. Our children are asking, why? What have we done? Do we deserve this? The elderly question among themselves, who next? No one is exempted. Mothers and daughters alike have been the victims of a callous breed of Jamaicans walking around. Since when has life lost meaning, value or importance? For how long will this viciousness continue? The most recent display of brutal supremacy is the beheading of individuals. How many more will die like that? Does it have to reach our doorsteps first before we take a stance?
As young adults and children, we are making a plea for peace, calm and consciousness to re-enter our blessed country. While the magnitude of the attacks has left us scarred, battered, irate and traumatised, we will remain practical as to the approaches we need to take in order to correct these senseless killings of one another. First stop is dancehall music.
As a young Jamaican male, there is no doubt about the influence of dancehall music on our psyche as youths. I do not intend to lay the blame for the out-of-control crime rate at the feet of dancehall practitioners. However, in trying to find measures to stem the tide, it is important to identify the individuals, groups and organisations that have the most influence on the youths, who invariably are the vulnerable ones involved in criminal activities. Therefore, dancehall music ranks highly on that listing of socialising agents.
More conscious lyrical content
The onus is on you, then, artistes to inspire the nation with a more conscious lyrical content. Since the intervention of the Broadcasting Commission a few years ago, there has been a concerted effort to improve the quality of the music produced. Commendations are in order; however, I dare say, there is a lot left to be desired.
Songs glorifying unbecoming behaviour, inciting violence and too much sexual indulgence continue to blast through the airwaves on a daily basis. The retort from the deejay is usually, "You have to give the people what they want". Yes, I am sure that's what Tarrus Riley, Damian Marley, Jah Vinci, to name a few positive ones, are doing. I can always want mango during apple season, but does that mean I am going to get it? Come on! Our children are depending on you, do not let them down. Let us change Jamaica through collective responsibility.
Politicians, look out. The straw has now broken the camel's back. The nation's babies are crying out and it's not for joy.