As tensions continue to rise in the US following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police on May 24, dancehall artistes have been weighing in on the situation. Some, like Spice, have been showing support for the protests against black inequality.
Veteran dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel feels the same way but issued a reminder to the people of Jamaica to remember that they are also facing discrimination and injustices at home.
He posted this message on his Instagram page to drive home his point: “RIP #georgefloyd and to my Jamaicans, remember our local injustices as well. #lestweforget #justiceforjodian.”
The post was accompanied by a screen capture of a GoFundMe setup for the daughter of the young mother who is pictured in her graduation wear. Many fans said they would repost and donate to the campaign.
Jodian Fearon died on April 25th in the height of the coronavirus pandemic on the island. A time when decisions by medical institutions on the island seemed to be made in fear of the invisible threat.
The case was heart-wrenching as the 23-year-old was about to deliver her first baby but was allegedly denied care at the Andrews Memorial Hospital, the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital.
Sources indicated that at least one of the hospitals suspected that she had the coronavirus. A test would later show that she was negative.
An autopsy revealed later that Fearon suffered terribly and eventually died from heart failure which was compounded by all the pregnancy-related stress that she experienced. It was a case that Jamaican PM Andrew Holness swore he would ensure was thoroughly investigated and charges brought against any medical agency that may have discriminated against the young mother.
The issue of classism in Caribbean territories is not new and is as urgent in needing correction as racism in America.
Kartel’s point that there are issues that needed to be dealt with at home was not lost on his fans, some of whom commented on his post.
This fan remembered an unsolved case that also illustrated Kartel’s point: “You remember the guy that died in police lock-up in Montego bay couple years ago?”
Another fan hoped that the issue would not be swept under the rug and that the media would keep investigating it: “Hope the media can highlight this to..the Good whe u do to @tvjnews @tvj_er @cvm_television them nah see this.”
The protests in the US seems to have been working in terms of justice being served as earlier today it was announced by Minnesota prosecutors that a second-degree murder charge has been added to former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin case and that the other three former officers, involved in the death of George Floyd will all be charged.