Saturday, November 19, 2016

Calm your nerves – Mr Trump won’t bite

Admittedly, this column was written before some controversial individuals started arriving at the Tower of Trump, regarding appointments to high office.  Still, we watch and pray!

Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column for MON 14 November 2016
by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Those of us who had high hopes for Hillary Clinton were in a state of shock as we watched the results of last Tuesday’s US Presidential Elections roll in on our television screens.  Donald Trump has been declared President-Elect.

Knowing that if the US sneezes, Jamaica gets pneumonia, some expressed fear that development projects sponsored by the US in Jamaica would be affected.  However, we should remember the excellent programmes initiated by two excellent US Ambassadors to Jamaica who served under the Republican administration, Ambassador Sue Cobb and Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson. 

Ambassador Cobb, a brilliant attorney-at-law, launched a raft of significant projects in Jamaica, including the founding of the ever-growing Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). After her tour of duty in Jamaica ended, she and her husband Ambassador Charles Cobb, have continued to sponsor scholarship programmes for Jamaican students and the annual Cobb Family Lecture Series at the UWI.  Ambassador Cobb’s successor, Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson also focused on education projects.

You may counter that Donald Trump known for his fiery utterances against immigrants, may have a different perspective on engagements with such countries as Jamaica. But think about it, various USAID projects in Jamaica have supported sustainable enterprise, resulting in job creation.  What better way to stem immigration to the US, by assisting developing countries to become more self-reliant?

We will not easily forget the racist attitude to some of Mr. Trump’s supporters and this may cause some amount of unease among the members of our families in the diaspora. However, President Barack Obama has given us a great example of how one projects a spirit of dignity and cordiality, as he did at Mr. Trump’s first meeting with him at the White House last Thursday.  The White House staff appeared grim as they awaited the arrival of Mr. Trump, but there was no negativity in the demeanour of President Obama. 

Many may be wondering if the world will become a more dangerous place because of this election result.  Surely, that should be motivation for us to make our little island of Jamaica less dangerous and more self-reliant.

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