Wed | Jun 16, 2021

A race against time

Published:Monday | April 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The Soloist, Contributor

Just when you thought the world was getting so advanced technologically, there was no room for foolishness, the racial tensions in the United States of America rose to the surface. This is a country that prides itself on being the leader of the free world, but the people just cannot get past a simple issue as skin colour!

This time around, the issue of the neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in Trayvon Martin's death. The 17-year-old had been fatally shot recently as he sported a hoodie on his way home and while allegedly on the phone with his friend. But surprisingly, no arrest was made and supporters of Martin and his family had to fight for weeks to get the shooter arrested.

That arrest finally came last Thursday, and only after the story had occupied the airwaves, bringing out all the long-held negatives about race in America. So, in spite of how far that country seems to have progressed, the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr must be constantly turning in his grave. I say shame on them all.


Meanwhile, here in sunny and class-prejudiced Jamaica, I notice that at long last the powers that be are erecting shelter for visa applicants outside the gates of that Hope Road landmark. I am sure they have collected enough non-refundable fees to do so, from those eager to swap one set of problems for the other. I remember reading in this very newspaper an interview with a former ambassador of that country, the response to a question as to whether no such facility was in the works for people who have to stand in the burning sun for the precious stamp in their passports.

I say, it's about time. People must be treated humanely in their own country, even if they are knocking on the well-touted doors of opportunity. After all, the indignities and embarrassing treatment from the TSA agents are humiliating enough, if and when they get to the land of the free and home of the brave.