Rank classism behind dancehall’s rejection
THE EDITOR, Sir: ANCEHALL IS not going anywhere. It has a fixed and relevant place within the Jamaican society, economy and culture. It presents an opportunity for advancement, entertainment and community development in many spaces within the Jamaican society.
I am tired of those at the helm of decisionmaking within our society who turn up their noses at dancehall. I am turned off by the fact that the who’s who of government offices, private corporations, our Parliament and our courts fail to recognise the inherent value of dancehall.
Dancehall is an internationally recognised, Jamaican-bred genre of music which, for many, illustrates the truth of their lived realities. That there are some persons, specifically the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, who are offended by a beautiful representation of Jamaican realities being on the cover of a Jamaican telephone book seriously concerns me.
I have seen enough covers with high-rise buildings and random faces of employable Jamaicans, and so I was pleased to see that finally dancehall and its culture were being represented in that form.
This is undoubtedly an issue of class. I am not greatly surprised by the attitudes of what the Twitter community calls ‘Alien Jamaicans’. These are the Jamaicans who
Ddon’t believe Patois should be a recognised language, who perhaps live in a gated community and who would willingly give up their rights to the police because the police have never kicked in their doors and shot their relatives without just cause.
Alien Jamaicans are those with privilege who, even though they employ ‘ghetto people’ – the persons largely represented in and associated with dancehall music – in their boutiques, convenience stores, offices and homes as domestic workers, frown upon the culture of the people who facilitate their enrichment.
GHETTO PEOPLE’S CONTRIBUTION