Update Your Friends

Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, has returned to social media after an eight day hiatus to address the backlash and multiple death threats she received following her suggestion for incarcerated Dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel to be banned for local airwaves.

“From my life’s experiences I’ve learned courage has no limits,” Hanna said in a lengthly release on Monday morning around 3am which comes hours after Prime Minister Andrew Holness responded to her suggestion.

“Courage can be perceived as stubborn or unreasonable. Courage can force you to stand alone on principle. Courage can create the perception you’re choosing battles unwisely that could adversely affect personal ambition. But courage has a responsibility to future generations to take a stand, and act in a manner that’s in our children’s best long term interest. Courage forces you to recognize that this coincides with Jamaica’s best interests

For example, when Norman Manley stood up against the world at the United Nations and declared Jamaica would ban trade and travel with the apartheid Government of South Africa, he stood alone. He stood for what was right. He chose a most unpopular battle – one that appeared unwinnable at the time. Jamaica was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to take such drastic action. Norman Manley had the vision and courage to believe he would be vindicated by history,” She added.

Hanna continued by saying, “Over 50 years later, Jamaica finds itself at another historical crossroads. Every day, every Jamaican is faced with choosing between what’s right versus the new normal. But our courage is being held hostage by a culture of aggressive abuse and violent threat that passes for disagreement.

I’m an unapologetic lover of music including dancehall. But there’s no necessity for some artists to use music as a medium for promoting violence and abuse of women. The Data confirms that violent and sexually explicit lyrics have negatively influenced many Jamaican youth’s thought processes through increased feelings of hostility and aggression.

These negative influences are exacerbated when we turn a blind eye to radio airplay of new productions by persons we know are incarcerated so may have been abetted by corruption in our prison system. This reality necessitates us being urgently honest with ourselves. We should be prepared to have a national discussion about messages glorifying criminality being conveyed to our children that’ll ultimately bring deleterious consequences. These messages have been pushing us towards a different society from the one in which we all say we want to live. I commented publicly on this recently and the media house chose to give my comments a particular headline which encouraged others who choose to conflate the issues and completely overlook my central message.

Update Your Friends