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News and Views by Dionne Jackson Miller

pointed commentary on current affairs in Jamaica and the Caribbean

You’re Fired! (or Not) – Williams v Holness Part 1

Image by master isolated images www.freedigitalphotos.net
Image by master isolated images http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

According to the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Arthur Williams v Andrew Holness, political leaders have no power to revoke the appointment of Senators. The question we are left with is whether they should have that power.

The case has left Jamaicans asking about its immediate impact on the composition of the Senate, with lawyers for Mr. Williams maintaining that he and Mr. Tufton are still Senators while lawyers for Mr. Holness disagree. Read more in my post at www.rjrnewsonline.com.

What Miss Jamaica Missed

great writing as always……

Under the Saltire Flag

KaciFen2

And so it happened, the extraordinarily beautiful and humble Kaci Fennell, Jamaica’s contestant in Donald Trump’s intergalactic pageant, was not, in the end, crowned Miss Universe. She came fifth. The crowd in Miami booed. To tell the truth, they went ape-shit! ‘Ms Jamaica’ trended across America’s twittosphere for hours – and at #1 at that – oh the irony! At home, Jamaicans cried ‘racism’; they cried ‘block de road!’; they cried, ‘give me one of those Bain placards we not using anymore, cross out de name ‘Bain’, and put ‘Kaci’ instead! We want Justice!’  It was high drama. Even the other contestants flocked around the Caribbean beauty, commiserating her 5th place, instead of flocking around the unpopular winner, Ms Colombia, to offer due congratulations.

KaciFen1

My own misgivings about beauty pageants have been made public before. They remain the same. Pageants help to establish very dangerous standards of beauty for…

View original post 1,481 more words

The Free Speech Debate & Charlie Hebdo

I’m blogging today at http://www.rjrnewsonline.com. Check out my latest post!

Photo by David Monniaux on Wikipedia
2006 protest march in Paris against Charlie Hebdo Photo by David Monniaux on Wikipedia

 

One of the cartoons published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo portrayed France’s black Justice Minister Christiane Taubira as a monkey. Would you regard that as racist?

Was it their right to publish that and other cartoons denounced by some Muslims as blasphemous of the prophet Mohammed? Should freedom of expression protect offensive speech? To a great extent, I believe the answer is yes. And yet, the debate over freedom of expression is a difficult, complicated and nuanced one. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should. And what if what appears to be an offensive statement is simply being misunderstood? Read more here.

Shocking Attack on Press Freedom in France

Image by Simon Howden at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Image by Simon Howden at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Today’s attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in which gunmen murdered 12 people, including eight journalists, four of them cartoonists, has led to outrage all across the world. Reports are now coming in of vigils being held in several cities including London, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie is trending worldwide, and messages of condemnation continue to pour in from journalists, world leaders and the public.

Among the most poignant memorials have been those crafted by cartoonists, including one cartoon depicting a gunman standing over his murdered victim saying “He drew first.”

There is little to add, except to salute our brave colleagues, led by editor and cartoonist Stephene Charbonnier (Charb) who is quoted as saying “I would rather die standing than live on my knees.”

The courage of the Charlie Hebdo journalists cannot be overstated, and we condemn their murderers and this despicable attack by those who would seek to silent independent and critical voices.

Below is a statement made by the Press Association of Jamaica.

January 7, 2015

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 The Press Association of Jamaica wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the people and government of France, on the occasion of today’s shocking attack on the staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

 The reports at this time indicate that 12 people have been killed including members of the press and two policemen, and several others wounded by gunmen who invaded the offices at the magazine earlier today. We deeply deplore the loss of life and the injuries suffered by all the victims.

 The PAJ regards this as an attack upon democracy and freedom of the press, which must be of concern to all who support these important values anywhere in the world.

 We stand with our colleagues in France as we condemn this violent attack and reiterate the importance of guarding democracy and protecting the press from intimidation.

                                                                    -30-

 Disclosure: I am the President of the PAJ. 

Lisa Hanna & the “Swimsuit Scandal”

Minister-Lisa-Hanna-Official-Web-471x600Lisa Hanna is Minister of Youth and Culture and a Member of Parliament. She’s also a former Miss World. She’s a beautiful, stylish woman whom the photographers love, and people love to talk about her. So when a gorgeous photo of the Minister at the beach in a swimsuit (come on, it was) hit social media, via her Instagram page, we came close to having to call in the Office of Disaster Management and Emergency Management to coordinate the resulting crisis. Read more at http://www.rjrnewsonline.com right here. 

Is the West Kingston Enquiry a Waste of Time?

Image by master isolated images www.freedigitalphotos.net
Image by master isolated images www.freedigitalphotos.net

Please read my post on this issue at http://www.rjrnewsonline.com – I’d love to know what you think!

The answer to the question as to whether the West Kingston enquiry, just started at the Jamaica Conference Centre, is a waste of time probably depends on your expectations. If you want to see someone pronounced guilty and sent to prison, then you may well find it a waste of time since the enquiry is not a criminal trial.

Read more here. 

The Jamaican on The Voice

Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net

LOTS of discussion about Anita Antoinette, the Jamaican appearing on the current edition of the US talent show The Voice.  Check out my post on http://www.rjrnewsonline.com on why she’s not getting the love that Tessanne did!

Are we ignoring the Jamaican contestant on the current edition of The Voice because she’s black, with dreadlocks? Anita Antoinette auditioned two years ago on Season 3 but didn’t impress the judges enough to get a chair to turn. This time she’s made it into the Top 12 after a four-chair turn-around in the blind auditions, and some are asking “Where’s the excitement from Jamaica this time?” Read more here.

 

Is The Age of Innocence the Age of Consent?

Image by Simon Howden at www.freedigitalphotos.com
Image by Simon Howden at www.freedigitalphotos.com

Should the age at which people can legally consent to sexual intercourse be 16? Or should it be raised to 18? I explore this and related issues in two posts on http://www.rjrnewsonline.com on this issue, Part 1 which you can read here and Part 2 which you can read here. Check them out. Let me start you off….

“Children shouldn’t be having sex!”

“You can’t vote at 16, so why should a 16-year-old be allowed to have sex?”

“Our laws need to send the message that we don’t believe that it is ok to have sex at 16!”

This is just a sampling of the types of responses that have been generated in the wake of the review of the Sexual Offences Act, and in particular the status of children under the Act. Remember, anyone under the age of 18 is a child, according to the Child Care and Protection Act.

The problem is that the discussion, as it generally unfolds, ignores the wider context of the various age limits applicable to childhood and the reasons for the disparities. Read more here.

Marital Rape Still an Issue in Jamaica in 2014

Photo by Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Photo by Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Hi there, I am blogging at http://www.rjrnewsonline.com on this issue of marital rape – do check it out!

What should we make of the (renewed) protests against the proposal to criminalise rape in all circumstances, including those within a marriage? The protests, or perhaps worse, the snickering, trivialize what is one of the most important issues facing women all across the world, that of domestic violence. Read more here.

 

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