Letters to the Editor (LTEs) especially rub me the wrong way as I know for a fact that the Jamaica Gleaner, and would hypothesize that the Jamaica Observer, do not print coherently written LTE’s by unconnected and non-privileged Jamaicans who write to them. The heavy-handed editorial control of LTE’s mean the only ones that get printed tow the editorial line or makes weak arguments against the editorial line that in the end strengthens their position. Here is my LTE which the Gleaner didn’t publish a while back. I want to publicly thank them now as that refusal was a milestone in my decision to create this blog. Overall though I find the failure to adopt comments (even comments moderated for profanity, vulgarity, and libel) is outdated. Mike Henry’s letter in particular runs the risk of making him appear thin-skinned. He used a lot of words to ‘correct a misconception’ where a few words would easily have done the trick. He also includes a veiled threat to sue – yet another reason why Jamaicans must call for the reform of our libel and defamation laws if he actually has a case.
However, the most disturbing feature of the cartoon and something which I am getting legal advice on, was the association of me, an individual who has always maintained almost reverence for the dignity of women, with the vulgar display of the cartoon, depicting a kick being administered to the heart of womanhood, something I would never do…
Source: Jamaica Observer
One last thing (and I would be interested in hearing from women on this; ) the Mike Henry LTE has a line “with the vulgar display of the cartoon, depicting a kick being administered to the heart of womanhood” because Clovis included a caricature of him kicking a woman in the rear. Is a woman’s ass really “the heart of womanhood”? Isn’t that statement offensive in and of itself? Is it a statement in keeping with the almost reverence he has for the dignity of women?
Wha dem say a yard: Cock mouth kill cock. (no pun intended.)
PS: I find it almost futile to have a conversation about an image without the availability of the actual image, but since the Jamaica Observer doesn’t make an archive available to readers and doesn’t use searchable tags so an advanced search yields results, I cannot make the image available in this case.
Update: Mike Henry’s LTE references Sunday June 15, 2008 as the date of publication, but the cartoon to which his letter refers is not the cartoon published that day.
Please see link: Sunday June 15, 2008 Cartoon