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COMMENTARY 2.0: Church Group Urges Resolution for Unnamed Politicians Accused of Illicit Enrichment

Friend, I appreciate the concerns raised by Dr. Elaine McCarthy, Sister Elaine, of the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches (JUGGCC) regarding the allegations made by the Integrity Commission against six Jamaican politicians and the potential impact on Jamaica's international reputation. It is, of course, a significant thing to maintain transparency and integrity within our government. However, in the face of the ongoing humanitarian crisis involving the 37+ 36 Haitian refugees who arrived on Jamaica's Portland beaches since summer 2023, we MUST at all times prioritize the immediate needs of these desperate individuals and families.

It is a matter of great moral urgency to address the plight of these refugees who have fled their homeland in search of safety and a better life.

We cannot afford to turn a blind eye by merely winking "knowingly" among ourselves at the suffering of these vulnerable people while we are concerned with the reputational damage that allegations against a few politicians might cause. Both issues are occurring simultaneously, but the gravity of wrongly oppressing refugees, especially when they are in dire need, should weigh most heavily on our collective conscience.

Haitians are not children of an inferior god.

God's own pikney dem are not misbehaving children at boisterous play next-door who so often interrupt the conversations of "nice-nice" neighboring Jamaicans who, under lights, feign concern; while out of sight, our ministers have been "pushin' out di lip" in fake sympathy at bruised knees, busted lips, and sprained thumbs. How I boiled at our recent UN General Assembly presentation. I wonder whether the comely minister was secretly enjoying the duplicity of Jamaica's sad-faced presentation before that august seat of world power.

How noble! Yet transactionally cynical, to pitch for US Dollar hazard pay to our armed forces---taxable in Jamaica---, to be part of a historic expeditionary force authorized by the UNSC---no less---to pacify that place in wretched turmoil: while betraying these desperate refugees who are only seeking help from their kith and kin concentrated in Portland, St Thomas, and the rest of Eastern Jamaica.

Oh how we croon soft lullabies of tender care, at dusk before UN, OAS CARICOM, and the world's cameras, while we hastily cast out their few desperate and weakened but brave women with babies and men seeking refuge....back to harm, to dem yaahd with 'Best Wishes and sanitary napkins', under defense force darkness.

The JUGGCC, as a body representing the moral values of our community, should not appear to care less about the prettied-up barbarity being inflicted upon the Haitian refugees to Jamaica. It is essential that we advocate for justice, compassion, and humanity in our response to this crisis. Our actions in helping those in need speak volumes about the character of our nation and its people. Let us not forget the fundamental principles of empathy and solidarity as we navigate these challenging times."

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