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Public Defense of Twisted Priorities

Public Defender, Earl Witter, according to Jamaica Gleaner front page story for Friday, November 16, 2012, has charged that "the JUTC management has raised constitutional questions" regarding the transport company's decision to ban persons from preaching on the public passenger vehicles owned and operated by the company. Witter says, "decide whether to seek declarations in the Supreme Court when he gets legal opinion on the matter." Many feel strongly about this issue. This ban is perhaps an anomaly, in a country so decidedly Christian. It matters not that with a burgeoning murder rate, culture of violence against women, high corruption levels in high and low places and all the evidence pointing to the contrary, Jamaica and (majority)Jamaicans are insistent upon holding to the delusion that Jamaica is a Christian country. And, that is why the banning of the Jesus preachers from buses has received so much media coverage. The media milked this for all it was worth and almost nine days later, the Gleaner was still able to manage a cover story thanks to Public Defender, Earl Witter.
Months ago, this same public defender promised that in a matter of approximately two weeks, Jamaica would have received the complete report into the incursion into Tivoli. I am referring to the May 24, 2010 incursion into Tivoli, where a reported 74+ civilians were murdered by armed security forces and other stories of mortars being used (that was first denied by our local authorities but was later admitted to after "The New Yorker" broke the story). Surely, it was easy to believe that "dem damn Tivoli people a tell lie fi protek criminal." Others claim that sons, baby fathers, relatives were taken by officers and were never seen after... those stories have been the 'New Yorker' but up to today, Earl Witter has neither completed a report nor filed any case on behalf of the people of Tivoli. He sits on the chimmey with this one. Judicial constipation??? However, this same defender, in the media, is moving with apparent alacrity to pursue justice for those who must defend their offering on the buses after they have preached a spittle-loaded, eardrum bursting sermon about God's wrath upon all infidels. Certainly, Christian privilege is a much more urgent and important case to busy himself with.
Since Earl Witter can move with such alacrity on bus preacher ban, we know he has time on his hands. What about Tivoli? What about justice for them? Is it because Christian, majoritarian privilege is challenged why Witter is so moved to act? Have I got it twisted? Perhaps I do not understand the grave implications for a nation without bus preachers as much as Earl Witter does but I do understand that the rights of any minority cannot simply be trampled upon to placate the majority or a certain privileged class. It is injustice and no Public Defender worth his/her salt should countenance it!


  1. I am so glad you brought this topic up. I plan to mention it again in my Sunday blog. It absolutely baffles me. Over 70 residents shot in the head in Tivoli Gardens - two and a half years ago now - appears to be of less significance than Bible-bashing preachers on buses. But as you say, it is an indication of who has power and who doesn't on our little island...

    1. Thank you, Emma for bringing the Gleaner article to my attention. I look forward to reading your blog on Sunday (You always write poignant yet balanced articles on issues such as this). We perhaps are missing something that Earl might have deeper insights into...

    2. Yes. Thank you for the compliment - I try to be as balanced as I possibly can. I must admit though guys, I am really struggling with this one...

  2. What Tivoli incursion do you speak of?

    Sad state of affairs in Ja?

    1. Good question, Corve. Perhaps the rest of the citizenry who imagined the Tivoli incursion, smoked the same weed.

      This damn weed has us falsely accusing Mr. Witter

  3. Honestly....this article just reminded me of what happened in time passed I forgot...and it just doesn't seem like it is so serious anymore....I think the whole island has forgotten Tivoli's plight back in 2010 as time passed....nicely written....this article raises questions long forgotten.

    1. Unfortunately (for us), Nico, our nation is one that is given into the NINE_DAY_WONDER phenomenon whenever something appalling happens. Thereafter, we go back to our business. It is call apathy. We do not care until something that matters to us is challenged or until someone who matters to us is murdered and we require justice. Hopefully, before long, we will develop a sense of collective social responsibility and hold people accountable!

  4. This whole bus preaching thing is a breach of the constitutional rights of the passengers on the bus. I should not have to listen to preaching on the bus just because it promotes Christianity. What if I'm not Christian? It is unfair and disgusting. There is a place for such things and preaching should remain at church or in a place where ppl have volunteered to participate.

    1. I share your sentiments Khaeos... Unfortunately, there are some who believe that Christian privilege must trump the rights of others. Let us hope that equal rights prevails. Thanks for sharing.


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