Campbell Commentary: Voting for Reggae and Representation

By Aubrey Campbell
NEW YORK. NY Monday, November 18, 2019 – Brothers and sisters. Greetings and salutations as you settle into the Winter season. I have no doubt that like so many, you are looking forward to the days and weeks ahead and the time you will spend with family, friends, and associates, in that order, whether they or you, do the visiting.

It is, therefore, a time of great expectations and especially so for the Christian (religious) community. But allow me, if you will, to shift down a gear or two, to two areas of our community that are in expectant mood at this time.

Reggae Grammy Overload
It has to do with our culture and heritage, very important benchmarks in determining who we are, now that we are detached from our place of origin.
In a matter of hours, we will know the five (5) albums that made the cut for consideration for the top prize in music. The American Academy of Recording Arts & Science will hand out the coveted Grammy Awards in February, next year.

Just in case you are following the developments, the Weekly Star newspaper, serving the Caribbean communities in the USA and Canada, carried a front-page story, making much to do about the fact that some 100 albums were submitted for consideration, something of an anomaly!

And if you find yourself asking the question…by whose standard, you are not alone. As a matter of fact, you are in good company!

Asked his opinion during our ‘power hour’ conversation – WSNR, 620 AM – on Saturday afternoon, Richard Lue said the matter was nothing more than a storm in a teacup!

Having more albums in front of the record jury is the right the thing to do for the further development of the music, the origin of which, until recently, it was in serious question.

Not so long ago, folks could be heard questioning the legitimacy of the music and whether of not only one family knows how to make good reggae music.

It is, therefore, safe to say that with more than 120 albums submitted, those in the business have gotten the message. Unless the work of art is taken from under the bushel and presented for judging, the result will always face unfavorable questioning!

Another point that Richard made was that given the worldwide  appeal of the music (genre) if more of the real, authentic stuff from ‘yard’ is not presented, the industry will continue to suffer from substandard work due to a lack of resources.

In other words, if we don’t go out and purchase the music through the proper channels, then we should not be surprised when the top prize ends up elsewhere.

But first, let’s hear on Wednesday, which five albums make the cut for the Reggae Grammy, this year. Stay tuned!

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is using every means to discredit Jamaicans in the pivotal USA/Northeast region for demanding clarity regarding the new Global Diaspora Council (GJDC).
The ministry says those who are behind the move, myself included, are disingenuous. To that, I will say. ‘Pat a kuss kettle say it black!’

And why is that so?

From August ‘til now, the Ministry has not seen it fit to meet with key Diaspora concerns, those persons and organizations, always at the forefront, keeping the national development agenda current.

Coming out of conference, concerns are raised about the proposed construction of the Global Council to replace the current ABM set up, and before you know it, it turns into a political fight!

Jamaicans are being contacted to offer themselves for service on this council and others are being canvassed to vote. It is so bad that some persons think that they are being voted into political office!

You know what is disingenuous, the minister herself going on radio in Atlanta and Connecticut, to make her case that what the government is doing is legit and sustainable! They are out of touch, out there in the boondocks.

The seat in New York will be too hot and the questions beyond here reasoning. I guarantee you that. She will not get an open mic, here! And if that is not bad, they are even going as low as to call persons who questioned the legitimacy of the council to now change their minds.

Where is the structure to support this elaborate Global Diaspora Council and why is the government of Jamaica, staying in Kingston and organizing elections here, in these United States?

Key stakeholders are suddenly being lumped together as, ‘purveyors of negative distraction’ – if ever there is such a thing – in asking for postponement of elections until the terms of reference are better understood.

In mid-June when delegates voted to go forward with the new set up, they did so with the understanding that they could make adjustments as they go along. It’s not always that transparency and expediency mean the same thing. This is one of those cases!

And one more thing. Usually, the Consulate would step in on such matter but now it’s the Embassy. Of course, things and times do change.

We, the concerned Jamaicans in the Diaspora just have to remain vigilant!

No, to the election without representation!

You have the floor!


  1. It's puzzling when the people who have been at the forefront of the Jamaican Diaspora movement in the NE USA are been singled out as detractor, when they're only voicing the concerns of the largest concentration of Jamaicans in any Diaspora region. When taken into consideration that the representation set up ( 14 voted in and 14 appointed by the JA Government, then the government will determine the final answer to the concerns of the Diaspora, meaning they have the power to say Diaspora "no" on any concerns from any given region throught the Diaspora since they will have the appointed votes to neutralize any objections by a given region.
    When such a large if not the largest region NE USA cannot have the opportunity to have their concerns as it relates representation heard before the GJDA is fully formed, then it's obvious that the NE concerns after the GJDA will be null and void ever after.


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