Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | April 29, 2009
Home : Letters
Kingston's decline
The Editor, Sir:

What a fascinating article you carried in The Gleaner on Monday, April 27, about 'The beginning of Kingston's decline'. This is an article by Paul H. Williams based on the views of Enrico Stennett, presumably a resident of Kingston.

Now Stennett's conclusion is a serious indictment against American culture which Stennett says " ... was [is] bred on guns and violence [which] was the beginning of the downfall of Jamaica ... .'

As someone who lives in America, and has seen the mayhem created in America and elsewhere by the use of guns by gangsters and other angry people; plus, with what Spike Lee, the movie producer, says about American movies - that they have influenced the world - one can indeed sympathise with Stennett when he links Kingston's decline with the imitating of American culture.

Missing piece

However, there is one big missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle in Kingston's decline, and by extension, of Jamaica's decline. This is when one forgets to cite that the political malfunction and dysfunction of Jamaica and, specifically, the coupling of guns with the political process, have more than anything else contributed to Jamaica's decline.

This fact, "the bullet at the ballot", and later, the linking of guns with the hard drug culture have got us to this point of: "Daily bloodletting, mass murders, widespread domestic violence, fire-bombings, chaotic community demonstrations and social upheavals," according to the article. Fix these problems and then we will begin to fix Kingston's and Jamaica's problems.

I am, etc.,

George S. Garwood


Birmingham University

Birmingham, England

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