Freedom of speech is very vital in society, which is why I want to congratulate The Gleaner for giving Dr Donna Hope Marquis, senior lecturer in cultural studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, space for articulating her perspective on dancehall in Sunday's issue of The Gleaner.
I also want to praise Dr Hope Marquis for taking her space in society by publicly defending dancehall.
Now, while it is true that I have praised her, I must also say that I am very disappointed with her defending a kind of music that has 'helped' to turn our beautiful island into a lawless land in which people kill each other without batting an eyelid. She seems to think it is OK because dancehall artistes' lives are discussed and debated and new slang and styles are made.
She also wants to us to believe that because rich companies are sponsoring dancehall concerts and artistes again, we must jump on the bandwagon too.
What Dr Marquis seemed not to understand is that it is wrong for an underage boy/girl to work even if he/she is taking home well-needed money to a poverty-stricken family. Do you think we should say 'yippee' because an underage child is taking home money and rich companies are hugging up dancehall again, Dr Marquis?
The truth is, many of these dancehall artistes are talented but they chose to utter lyrics which are catchy but not educative. Catchy lyrics will help them make fast monies but people are starting to realise that the lyrics are very offensive and degrading towards women and sometimes encourage murder and antisocial behaviour among impressionable youths.
Nowadays, when one goes to a reggae concert in Europe, one can hardly find a Jamaican artiste in the line up and the reason for that is because Europeans are singing reggae in their own languages in a more positive vibes. The dancehall artistes need to wise up and come clean for the betterment of the genre.
I am, etc.,