Commentary with Winston Barnes: Dreadlocks Ban at School in Jamaica

Commentary with Winston Barnes: Dreadlocks Ban at School in Jamaica

Dale and Sherine Virgo with their two children, including 7-year-old ZV.

SOUTH FLORIDA – The furor across the Jamaican diaspora, especially on social media, shows how far the people who call themselves Jamaicans have not come, despite more than a half a century of supposed independence.

Simply put, the justices made a ruling late last week about whether a child should be allowed to wear dreadlocks to school or not.

An attorney found it necessary to interpret the ruling and claimed the justices had banned the wearing of dreadlocks at schools.

To many this seemed backward and a sign of self-hate. It was not however an accurate reading of the judgement. Technicalities have been used by some to explain a way the accurate court decision, with still a certain amount light yet to be shed on the situation.

I am among those who probably read the court decision wrong, imitating those who found it necessary to create hype out of the case.

As the country prepares to celebrate independence, days after observing Emancipation Day, there are a number of dangers to be avoided at all costs.

One is the need to avoid a new colonialism, that of cultural imitation.

While many use the word hype without a full understanding of it, here is an example to put us on guard:

 Like the U.S. and elsewhere, so-called journalists practice what I call ambush journalism. We, the public facilitate them by adding to the hype by not only believing what we are told but also willy nilly repeating said hype as if it was true, all the while copying the cultural imperialists and new colonizers.


Commentary with Winston Barnes

Winston Barnes Host – “Open Line” WAVS 1170AM
Photo Credit: Leroy “Dreamy” Riley


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