Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...


Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Commentary: Roper's pitiful attempt at political scapegoating
Published on April 26, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Juleus Ghunta

If Mr Garnett Roper is to be believed, the conviction of Vybz Kartel is a sign that the Christian God has positively sanctioned the prayers of the limping security minister. This unsound assertion, made in his article: ‘Dancehall dulls the senses, poisons minds’ (The Gleaner, March 26, 2014), fades against the backdrop of his other claims.

Juleus Ghunta is a youth motivational speaker, dreamrighter and poet. He is the creator of the D.R.E.A.M.R.I.G.H.T concept. Ghunta has delivered moving presentations at numerous organisations in Jamaica, across the Caribbean and in Africa. In 2013 Ghunta received the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence for his work as a youth advocate. Ghunta’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bim: Arts for the 21st Century (Barbados), Bookends (Sunday Observer) and Poetry Pacific (Canada). Email feedback to
A shameless megaphone for the People’s National Party (PNP), Mr Roper attempted the unforgivable: he rendered dancehall responsible for the material and immaterial degeneration of the masses.

I too have been disappointed by dancehall and Kartel, but any such criticism as proffered by Mr Roper, a politician, must be done in view of the larger context of dancehall’s origins, and in particular, the kind of political activism which fuelled its “ethos”.

Mr Roper urged us to “hasten the demise of this sponsored music” and once this is achieved we will be able to “to dream again… sing again… laugh again and love again”. In his view, these indices of happiness have eluded the masses because we have ‘imbibed the dancehall ethos’.

That Transparency International (TI) consistently ranks Jamaica as one of the most corrupt countries in the world has very little to do with dancehall and everything to do with politics.

Mr Roper’s attempt at political scapegoating is pitiful. After the demise of ‘the dancehall culture’, Jamaica’s politics of sectarianism, clientilism and ‘garrisocratic’ dictatorship will likely remain, and similar music/art forms will likely emerge to compensate for the inadequacies of leaders like Mr Roper.

The following statements by Mr Roper are more apt descriptions of seven decades of Jamaican politics than three decades of dancehall: “(It) has no… big story, only fragments, discontinuity and nihilism. It has made the poor appear to be a people without imagination of the ideal… (It erodes) conscience and (pits) neighbour against neighbour… (It is) mercenary… It makes (the poor) gullible to buy shoddy goods… and most of all, guns. It dulls their senses. It is the …opiate of the people… It promotes paranoia and self-hate.”

Mr Roper’s view of history must not eliminate or redefine his role in it. Of all the allegations made against dancehall, none are as egregious as the role that ‘politics’ has played in bringing Jamaica to her knees. “Politicians”, according to the 1997 Report on Political Tribalism, “…are to a great extent responsible for… the factional conflicts in the country”.

Will Mr Roper inform the public of dancehall’s role in the bloody 1980 elections; the killing of Rastafarians by state agents at Coral Gardens in 1963; the erection of political garrisons in the 1960s and beyond? What of the 1990s financial crisis; the invasion of Tivoli Gardens by the military in 2010; our dismal economic and education ratings? Can you in all seriousness blame dancehall, Mr Roper?

Our politics, which often cultivates and lauds mindless submission from voters, more than any other variable dulls our senses; poisons our minds!

The radical restructuring of our socio-political systems to others more democratic, egalitarian and inclusive would contribute more to the masses’ “dreaming again” than the eradication of dancehall.

Were Mr Roper’s and Mr Bunting’s God less selective, He would have answered my prayers too. I dare not hold my breath. The great promise that Jamaica holds – the focus of my prayers -- will only be realised after we challenge, and where necessary, dismantle all regressive monuments of ideas, and construct great, new ones on the foundations true democracy.

We, Mr Roper, must not seek refuge behind the ‘consequences’ (e.g. the dancehall culture, dysfunctional communities) of political opportunism, neither should we persist in hiding behind the veils of our well-reasoned indifference.
Reads: 1690

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Enter Code

Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g.,,, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Caribbean Writer 2014

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: