Former National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, is facing fire from several sources this afternoon for likening Dr. Nigel Clarke to imitators of Black Royalty under British colonial rule.
Dr. Clarke is the governing Jamaica Labour Party’s candidate for North West St. Andrew– challenging the PNP’s Keisha Hayle in a by-election today.
Jamaican Assistant Professor of Political Science at Elon University in the US, Damion Blake, says Mr Bunting is being intellectually dishonest.
And Socio-Cultural Analyst at UWI Mona, Professor Donna Hope says the statement is hypocritical, especially coming from a Peter Bunting.
Dr. Nigel Clarke is a Rhodes Scholar, who started his education at St. Richards Primary School on Red Hills Road in St. Andrew. From there he went to Munro College in St. Elizabeth and then to the UWI Mona. He completed his education at the prestigious Oxford University in Britain.
In his ‘Probe’ series on Facebook, Mr. Bunting says Dr. Clarke’s achievements reminded him of what he calls ‘black royalty’ of colonial times.
But Professor Blake is dismissing Bunting’s observation.
He says Mr. Bunting’s comments are misleading.
Meanwhile, Professor Hope says Mr. Bunting’s comment is hypocritical.
She notes that Mr. Bunting is also seen as an educated and powerful Jamaican, much as Dr. Clarke.
Professor Hope says Dr. Nigel Clarke appears to have a humble persona.
And on social media Mr. Bunting is also being heavily criticized.
On Twitter Ann Marie Vaz posted: Can you imagine Peter Bunting the only minister of National Security to be robbed, trying to shame a man for being “young gifted and black”? Hashtag BlackRoyalty wi seh!
And someone who uses the handle Just-tag-today posted: It’s fair to say Peter Bunting either watched Black Panther and didn’t like it or he didn’t watch it. Either way is a sad case.
In the meantime, the Jamaica Labour party is calling on Mr. Bunting to retract the statement.
JLP General Secretary Dr. Horace Chang, says the statement is unbecoming.
In a statement to the media this afternoon, Dr.Chang says the comments are classist and insinuate that hardworking Jamaicans who educate themselves are to be frowned upon. He says Mr. Bunting is far from the Jamaican realities and believes that politicians should not be chosen from what Dr. Chang calls the ‘best of us’.
Dr. Chang says everyone should aim to be regal in their own country and must not face reproach when they seek prosperity.