Where is Jas­mine Deen?

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION -

THE EDI­TOR, Madam:

ANANDA DEAN, Ye­tanya Fran­cis, Kha­jeel Mais, Na­dine Wil­liamson, Jas­mine Deen – these names are some in the long list of the lost and for­got­ten young­sters, but it shows the ex­tent as to where our so­ci­ety is cur­rently. My ques­tion is, When will it re­ally ever stop? Will it when re­al­ity hits close to home?

Jas­mine Deen, par­tic­u­larly, like my mother used to say, “Bam­boo stick – easy to start a fire but quick to out the flame”. Deen was re­ported miss­ing on Fe­bru­ary 20, and within a mat­ter of weeks, she has be­come yes­ter­day’s news.

She is yet to be re­ported dead or alive, but we just head back to our “nor­mal lives” with no true sense of re­morse. Ev­ery time I re­mem­ber her name, I can’t help but think that this could have been my sis­ter, or cousin, or even a close friend. This re­al­ity, how­ever, just doesn’t hit ev­ery­one, I sup­pose.

This is an is­sue that has plagued Ja­maica for years – young girls be­ing kid­napped, raped, mo­lested, and tar­geted time af­ter time. If we don’t sys­tem­at­i­cally ad­dress this is­sue at its root, then we will con­tinue to see more and more cases like these.

If it was a child of a high­rank­ing of­fi­cial, or a per­son­al­ity, would the coun­try just be con­tent with mov­ing on with busi­ness as usual?

I urge Ja­maicans, and es­pe­cially our lead­ers, not to put these is­sues on the back burner. If we con­tinue to ig­nore the lives of the com­mon folks, then we risk rob­bing our­selves of a fu­ture. As a re­sult, con­tinue to build on an ever-ex­pan­sive ‘Dean’s’ list, which, trust me, is not one worth prais­ing or mak­ing, I may add.

QUINCY LESTER

‘I urge Ja­maicans, and es­pe­cially our lead­ers, not to put these is­sues on the back burner.’

FILE

Jas­mine Deen, the vis­ually im­paired UWI stu­dent who has been miss­ing since Fe­bru­ary.

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