Mismanagement, machinations and more at the National Gallery of Jamaica…

 

Charles Campbell, chairing session at the National Gallery with artists from Anything with Nothing.

Charles Campbell, chairing session at the National Gallery with artists from Anything with Nothing.

 

Yesterday morning I put up a post documenting some of the experiences of the former Chief Curator of the National Gallery, Charles Campbell, during his short stint at the Gallery (January to July 2014). I didn’t realize then that Campbell was in the middle of exit interviews with the Institute of Jamaica and that therefore the timing of the post was inconvenient for him. He asked if I would take down the post and I duly did so as I explained on my blog, out of concern for his well being and our continued friendship. This is the sole reason I made the original post unavailable and am now providing an updated version below which doesn’t focus as much on Campbell’s brief and unhappy tenure at the institution but still highlights the inefficient, autocratic and extremely problematic management style of the Executive Director.

I have since learnt that the Executive Director of the National Gallery, Veerle Poupeye, has been informing people that her lawyers made me take down my post. This is patently untrue and further underscores the problems I am trying to bring to the public’s attention. To the list of problematic behavior described below I now add a clear and blatant disregard for the truth.

No lawyer has contacted either me or my lawyers since or before my post went up yesterday. Let me repeat–no lawyer has been in touch with me about this or any other matter. This is simply one of the intimidatory tactics routinely and infamously used by the Executive Director of the National Gallery. It may have been an effective tool in the past, serving to silence others but it has only made me more determined to highlight the untenable situation at the National Gallery of Jamaica. This is a public institution and I am using this medium to raise questions that need to be asked about the management and credibility of its current directorate. I believe that it is in the public interest that I do so.

There is a deep malaise at the National Gallery of Jamaica, an institution I’ve taken an interest in since the mid-90s when my critiques of the Jamaican art scene were first published. In more recent times I’ve been closely involved with the Gallery, serving on its Exhibitions Committee for the last few years and before that its PR Committee. In these capacities I’ve been privy to some of the internal workings of the institution and have experienced at first hand some of the problems I will be detailing in this post.

The National Gallery of Jamaica was established in 1974 and celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Veerle Poupeye has been Executive Director (hereafter referred to as ED) of the Gallery since 2009, having worked there as a curator for many years under its previous head, David Boxer.  Credited with raising the Gallery to international standards, an achievement she certainly deserves some credit for, Poupeye is a talented art historian and curator. Where programming is concerned, choice of themes, raising the frequency of exhibitions, and maintaining a web presence the Executive Director (ED) deserves high marks. The Gallery has certainly become a more active player in the Jamaican and international cultural scene under her leadership.

I know of no international best practice, however, that recommends that Museum directors manage their human resources by intimidation, fear, bullying and general terror tactics: inappropriately berating members of staff for instance, imperiously ordering that they not meet with each other or have conversations without her permission, demanding that she be consulted before they post personal updates on their Facebook pages, and generally paralyzing them by constant micro-management. Things are so bad staff members at the Gallery have taken to walking down to the waterfront to have routine conversations for fear of rousing the ire of the ED.

 

Nicole Smythe-Johnson at recent KOTE event

Nicole Smythe-Johnson at recent KOTE event

This kind of abusive behaviour caused the resignation of the former Senior Curator, Nicole Smythe-Johnson in 2013 (recently in the news for her very successful curation of the show Trajectories for the law firm Myers, Fletcher and Gordon, less than a year into her appointment. Earlier this month the newly appointed Chief Curator, Charles Campbell, walked, citing systemic management and leadership issues and a hostile working environment, a mere six months into his contract period of two years. In both cases the individuals concerned had been the ED’s preferred choice for the positions, sometimes against concerns raised by board members and members of the interview committee.

Urged by me and others to put his reasons for resigning in writing for the benefit of members of the board Campbell summarized the situation as follows:

“At issue is not a few small disagreements, it is about a fundamental breakdown in accountability, broken communication systems, unclear, random and constantly changing lines of authority, and what became for me — and is for many staff — a hostile work environment.

 

“…Many staff also suffer from the larger leadership issues that plague the Gallery, including: a disregard for reporting structures and lack of clear direction, authority and accountability; the inappropriate disciplining of staff; and the inability of the Executive Director to accept criticism or any responsibility when her actions contribute to delays or difficulties at the Gallery.”

Less than a year before this, as I mentioned earlier, the talented young curator and writer Nicole Smythe-Johnson, then Senior Curator, also abruptly resigned. During her curatorial stint she produced solid shows such as Natural Histories and New Roots, the latter co-curated with O’Neil Lawrence. The Gallery’s website benefited from a series of stellar essays authored by Smythe-Johnson, who has continued to write and curate shows since leaving the Gallery. As mentioned earlier, her most recent curatorial intervention at Myers, Fletcher and Gordon, which took place this last weekend has been hailed as a huge success. The opening was flocked by dozens of Kingston’s stylish young professionals, tomorrow’s art buyers thirsty for their taste buds to be tickled. This is a demographic the National Gallery should be cultivating, a missed opportunity they may have benefited from had they managed to retain Smythe-Johnson.

 

Smythe-Johnson being interviewed by Tanya Batson-Savage at the opening of Trajectories, Myers, Fletcher and Gordon.

Smythe-Johnson being interviewed by Tanya Batson-Savage at the opening of Trajectories, Myers, Fletcher and Gordon.

For me the first inkling there was something wrong with the ED’s management style was when Smythe-Johnson, a close associate of mine, started talking about the problems she was having at the Gallery. The former Senior Curator finally resigned because she got tired of the constant, unjustified surveillance, the quasi-hysterical accusations of holding secret meetings, claims that she wasn’t doing her job, interference in what she posted on her Facebook page and a host of complaints eerily similar to those Campbell would face less than a year later. Feeling that she really wasn’t being ALLOWED to do her job Smythe-Johnson tendered her resignation after explaining her reasons to the Chairman of the Board. Despite this, board members I spoke with represented her departure as being caused by her leaving to take up a better job with the magazine ARC, something I know to be patently untrue. The assistant editor job with ARC was a part-time one, would have taken 8 hours a week and only paid US$400 a month. Smythe-Johnson had applied for it as an additional job to gain experience and didn’t actually get the assignment until after she had resigned. Yet board members seem to have been told that this was the reason she left the gallery.

As mentioned earlier I serve on the Exhibitions Committee of the National Gallery and have witnessed at first hand the high-handed tactics of the Executive Director on more than one occasion. In fact the previous chair of the committee, Tina Spiro, resigned from that position complaining that she wasn’t interested in chairing a “rubber-stamp committee”. The lack of agency of the committee was manifested again at a recent emergency meeting of the Exhibitions Committee ostensibly to discuss the postponement of In Retrospect, an exhibition in celebration of the Gallery’s 40th anniversary.

Citing a list of problems topped by the unpreparedness of the catalogue for publication in time for the show the ED basically threw the Chief Curator whose responsibility it was to curate this show, under the bus. She completely neglected to mention her own failure to deliver her catalogue essay by the deadline required in order to meet the publication date. In refuting the allegations made against his competence to deliver a “compelling exhibition” Campbell pointed out that his exhibition proposal had originally been presented to the ED and the committee on Feb 11. Despite ongoing meetings to update the ED and obtain her feedback which was provided over the next few months, without warning on May 28th the ED did an abrupt about turn and rejected the plans provided by the CC, now at a very advanced stage.

The plans were pulled apart and the CC ordered to go back to the drawing board, completely disempowering him as a curator and giving him less than two months to re-conceptualize and deliver the 40th anniversary show. Keep in mind that this was not the only show the CC was responsible for. He had successfully mounted the Japan: Kingdom of Characters show which opened on May 11 with its accompanying, highly successful Cosplay party and was in the process of curating the urban street art show Anything with Nothing which subsequently opened at the end of June. The CC was also working on selection of artists and plans for the upcoming Biennial scheduled for December. In the midst of all this he was now expected to produce a completely new proposal for a major 40th anniversary show, all of this in his first 6 months at the Gallery.

Was this a realistic expectation on the part of the ED I asked at the meeting. Surely sbe had miscalculated the amount of time needed to put on the kind of revamped 40th anniversary show she was now demanding from the CC? Surely she needed to acknowledge and take some of the blame for the delays rather than shoving it all onto the shoulders of the CC? My interrogation of the flimsy excuses provided by the ED was met with hostility by her supporters on the committee who rushed to her defense insisting that the CC was solely to blame for the postponement.

This is merely one example of the kind of tactics used by the ED to convince the board and committee members of the incompetence of the CC. Switching the goalpost on upcoming exhibitions, placing obstacles in the CC’s path by rejecting a proposal more than 3 months after it was submitted rather than in a timely manner, neglecting her own failure to deliver her essay by deadline, and the final nail in the coffin– the imperious announcement “I am not satisfied that we have a compelling exhibition.”

The emergency meeting itself was simply a rubber stamp gesture for a decision the ED had already taken, a familiar modus operandi that had forced the previous chair of the committee to resign in protest. The example I have presented above and the numerous resignations of staff suggest that where staff management and executive direction is concerned the ED is completely out of her depth–not surprising considering that her skill sets are in curating and art history.

In closing I would like to say that I have never been afraid to proffer trenchant criticism under my own name as and when it becomes apparent to me that I should do so. In this instance the fastidious refusal of the Jamaican media to investigate the quagmire at the National Gallery, a public institution funded by taxpayers money, has forced me to speak for I believe that it is in the public interest that such matters be brought to its attention.

I am forced to speak also because it has come to my attention that my name is being bandied about as the author of the anonymous letter to the editor that appeared in the Gleaner on July 19, titled Crisis at National Gallery of Jamaica. As my close friends know and my record shows I don’t do anonymous. That letter first brought many of these matters to light, highlighting, among other things, the fact of Veerle Poupeye’s Belgian birth and her current status as a Jamaican national. To me these are non-issues. If competent local talent can’t be found for a job, whether it be police chief or executive director or Chief Curator of the National Gallery, by all means hire a competent foreigner or naturalized non-native. But institute a proper search committee to identify qualified individuals instead of relying solely on advertising to fill such positions. Such a search committee should include top flight Jamaican art professionals in the diaspora like art consultant Rachael Barrett, curator and former director of Deitch Projects and Pace Gallery Nicola Vassal, Karen Harris of the Rhode Island School of Design and many other internationally connected and high level professionals of Caribbean or Jamaican origin out there.

The field of candidates should never be restricted to locally available talent and it’s a myth that the salary offered isn’t capable of attracting top talent from outside. Such individuals aren’t always drawn only by the money offered. The National Gallery of Jamaica is an institution with a rich history that many exciting talents looking for something off the beaten track would be attracted to.

Certainly in Jamaican visual art with the tragic, untimely death of Petrine Archer-Straw in 2012 the field of competent individuals locally available for such a job has been vastly reduced, making Poupeye a prime candidate for the post of Chief Curator. The position she occupies however, is a different one, that of Executive Director. To my mind the issue is not Poupeye’s nationality or race, but her incompetence at heading a national institution as evidenced by the resignations of the Senior Curator and Chief Curator in quick succession and the numerous other problems that have plagued the institution under her leadership. Due diligence will show that Poupeye also ran into serious problems when she taught at the Edna Manley School in the 90s.  Her students actually took out a petition demanding her resignation because of numerous problematic interactions they had with her in her capacity as their instructor.

It seems then that questions can and should be raised about Veerle Poupeye’s ability to optimally discharge her functions as Executive Director. Should the public demand accountability from those it puts in positions of such enormous responsibility? Should Boards be held accountable for not performing the oversight function that is their mandate? Doesn’t the long-suffering staff of the National Gallery also deserve better management? Should the media continue to fastidiously avert its gaze from these issues? These are merely a few of the troubling questions raised by the recent management problems at the National Gallery of Jamaica.

 

 

“I don’t swim like a shark”: Why I’ve taken down my National Gallery post

A short while ago I received a call from Charles Campbell, former Curator of the National Gallery of Jamaica, asking me if I would take down my post about his resignation. He is in the middle of exit interviews and even though I informed him on Friday that I would be posting something this weekend he hadn’t realized how much it would focus on him, and feels that this isn’t the best time for this information to come out. Out of respect for our friendship and concern for his well-being I have done so but the substantive issues still stand and I will rewrite my post to focus on those.

Monique Roffey’s Discovery of Caribbean Literature

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Annie Paul:

The following essay by Vladimir Lucien from St. Lucia is causing some waves among Caribbean literati. When is a writer a Caribbean writer was a debate that raged on Facebook for a while in May and seems to have spun off this searing critical response. Lucien takes the discussion into territory we don’t examine enough. His comments below amplify my own initial introductory remarks.  The question “Who has the right to call themselves a Caribbean writer?” appeared in the original discussion on Facebook and remains a cogent one. Do Caribbean writers have the responsibility to represent the corpus of writing from the region with a depth born of serious engagement and research are additional questions he’s asking. And of course much much more. What do YOU think?

Originally posted on caribbeanlitlime:

Monique Roffey’s recent article on the Waterstones blog created quite a stir when it was posted and shared over various social media. The article was an echo of an essay Roffey had published in Wasafiri, Vol. 28 No. 2, in June 2013, entitled ‘New Writing from the Island of Trinidad’. This contentious one however was supposedly wider in scope, entitled ‘The New Wave of Caribbean Writers.’ In both articles, Roffey seems to be attempting to inform persons about not just who is writing or worth reading, but also on the trajectory that Trinidadian and Caribbean literature has taken to bring them both to what she thinks is a particularly auspicious and mature period.  Via e mail threads, facebook threads, private messages, there has been a lot of talk going around about the article on the blog. Many persons were displeased with it for a number of reasons, many of which…

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The Banning of the Drums; or ‘How to be a Good Nigger in Jamaica’

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Annie Paul:

Kei Miller firing on all cylinders in this one…a must read.

Originally posted on Under the Saltire Flag:

To fully understand the present moment, some people say we must understand the past that gave birth to it. So this week, I pause my regular commentary on topical matters in Jamaica, to look briefly at history.

drums1

In about 1740, across the Caribbean, the drums were banned. Of course this wasn’t so much a banning of drumming as it was a banning of blackness. People had been taken out of Africa. Now it was time to take Africa out of them. Drums not only represented a continent and a vibrant culture; it was a living language loud enough to speak across plantations and in whose syncopated vocabulary, revolts could be plotted. Importantly, the white planters did not understand the language of drums and so these drums had to be banned.

The logic was as we might expect it to be from that period of time, so steeped in racism. Black…

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The Great Brazilian Nightmare…#BRAvsGER

What is left to say…the Brazilian team proved to be a pushover for the Germans in a semi-final no one could have predicted.

Incredible to remember that Ghana’s Black Stars actually  held this same German team at bay with a 2-2 score when the two met on the 21st of June, Algeria too…how could mighty Brazil have crumbled so easily then? The tweets below reflect a good cross-section of reactions to this peak or trough (depending on your affliations) to one of the most intensely (social) mediated global pop cultural events ever–World Cup 2014.
#BRA v #GER becomes most tweeted about sports match ever – which adds up to a lot of mockery: http://t.co/IYnE0jZqNk http://t.co/oglKlUdrEV
#BRA v #GER becomes most tweeted about sports match ever – which adds up to a lot of mockery:  http://gu.com/p/3qnpn/tw  pic.twitter.com/oglKlUdrEV
Nooooooooooooo. What is this. No. Let them start again. This isn’t right. 4-0? 25minutes.
Can we just press restart?
Brazil has been my team since 1966 but this lot really are a useless shower and they’ve had this coming. Neymar or no Neymar.
This is schoolboy stuff. Brazil have completely capitulated. Never seen anything like it in my entire life.
Seriously, I’m not joking, I do hope FIFA investigates this for fixing. I know what would happen in cricket in similar circumstances.
I think that the referee ought to stop this now, just out of respect to Brazil teams past.
Total, total psychological collapse. I’ve never seen anything like it. Have you? At a World Cup? In a semi-final?
checking to see which Parliamentarians look distracted #WorldCup2014
Wake up Brazil! Your goalie is playing like a Dad who is letting his kids score. #FifaWorldCup
This won’t be the first time that thousands of Germans will have to lie low in Brazil for a while for their own safety.
Double digits mi seh! Let’s really see history.
This match is looking like GerMany vs BraNil
Stephanie Nolen is the Latin America Correspondent for Canada’s @GlobeandMail, tweeting live from Brazil…
@PialiRoy it’s almost unbearable to be here
Is this legal? 5-0 in 30 minutes at a semi final game? Fifa needs to make rules about this.
This isn’t because Neymar is missing. This is because Thiago Silva is missing.
Scholari with that Rolf Harris in court look, wondering “how the fuck do I get out off this stadium…”
Possibly the saddest Brazilian fan at this world cup game: #BRA #GER http://t.co/EuJynbLZJc
Possibly the saddest Brazilian fan at this world cup game: #BRA #GER pic.twitter.com/EuJynbLZJc
It turns out Facebook engineered this whole match to study #BRA‘s emotions.
How do you explain to your wife that you missed the birth of your child to see Brazil beaten like this? #YoureSleepingOnTheCouch
This is really sad :/ "@BuzzFeedSports: Brazil fans spotted burning flag in São Paulo:<br /><br /><br /><br />
(via @VejaSP) <a href=http://t.co/xH5PZJKPbZ"&#8221; />
This is really sad :/@BuzzFeedSports: Brazil fans spotted burning flag in São Paulo: (via @VejaSP) pic.twitter.com/xH5PZJKPbZ
These guys would have not let this happen... http://t.co/lDbBiKrCw5
These guys would have not let this happen… pic.twitter.com/lDbBiKrCw5
For whatever it tells you about Brazilians (or humans?) there are still a few people around me muttering “seis a cinco”
This whole #BRAvsGER match, summed up in less than six seconds. https://vine.co/v/MPXtK7qw5Ya 
It’s officially the end of the world. Square full of Brazilians cheering German goal number 6
Report that people breaking up Copacabana :-(
It's all got too much for one little Brazil fan #bra #ger http://t.co/JPPpQGOEVK
It’s all got too much for one little Brazil fan #bra #ger pic.twitter.com/JPPpQGOEVK
Was it a fix? Did #Brazil throw it for the betting? Odds on 6-0 must have been 1000-1. Someone somewhere is very happy
To be fair, you wouldn’t be able to see a ball coming at you if you were crying either.
Final score: Germany 7, Brazil 1.  http://t.co/sdPnZ3L5Xs (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP-Getty) http://t.co/TQ5qbIqfR7
Final score: Germany 7, Brazil 1.  http://nyti.ms/1oFjWEd  (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP-Getty) pic.twitter.com/TQ5qbIqfR7
Is cause dem run the people outa the favela fi kip werl cup. Judgement tek dem.
World. This is just sad. #BRAvsGER
@Pornhub: Please stop uploading the game highlights to Pornhub… Our public humiliation category is full. #BrazilvsGermany
My mother heads off to bed with, “Tomorrow, I have to pay the people who backed Germany” #allaboutgambling
“It’s a measure of how downright German the Germans are they were absolutely furious with each other for allowing Brazil to score.”
Oscar being consoled by Thiago SILVA after 7 - 1 defeat by Germany in 2014 World Cup semi-final #BrazilvsGermany http://t.co/gJYHPfqJNJ
Oscar being consoled by Thiago SILVA after 7 – 1 defeat by Germany in 2014 World Cup semi-final #BrazilvsGermany pic.twitter.com/gJYHPfqJNJ
Feel lucky that you have witnessed that people. You won’t see a game like that until Liverpool v Arsenal next season.
Maradona rubbing it in just a bit http://t.co/Wh5dBDR5hF
Maradona rubbing it in just a bit pic.twitter.com/Wh5dBDR5hF
Germany came for the kill. Didn’t reach final last #WC. So sure they’d reach the final this yr they constructed a village in #BRA #epic
Don’t worry, Brazil. There are still bigger opponents to beat, like malnutrition and global warming!
I bet Clarice Lispector wouldn’t have given a toss who won tonight.
Thanks to @tejucole we have a remarkable archive of what turned out to be unforgettable #thetimeofthegame.  https://twitter.com/hashtag/thetimeofthegame?src=hash 
Is it tough for German fans that they CAN’T chant Deutschland uber Alles??? :P
Wins Twitter. Dies. “@afrolicious: In my version of events, someone’s grandma living in the favelas orchestrated this as vengeance.”
CONFIRMED: Reggae Boyz tied up Brazil team and stole their gears.
Only team Germany haven’t beaten this World Cup? Ghana! #blackstars
No humiliation. All of us have bad days at the office. Even sportspeople.
An amazing shot of the stadium where the #BRA vs #GER World Cup match was played earlier. - AP photo #glnrWorldcup http://t.co/5BcZqBae9f
An amazing shot of the stadium where the #BRA vs #GER World Cup match was played earlier. – AP photo #glnrWorldcup pic.twitter.com/5BcZqBae9f
Wondering if Argentina are considering tanking their semi-final just so they can smash Brazil in the playoff and add insult to injury.
Brasilian friends saying it would have been worse to lose in the final. To Argentina. At home. #agreed
Whenever I begin to feel sorry for Brazil, I remember Fernandinho kicking James Rodriguez for 90 minutes and not getting a yellow. #BRA #GER
Mass robbers create panic among hundreds of fans watching #WorldCup2014 semi-final on Copacabana beach  http://bbc.in/1mGqSm6 
Riot police move in amid violent scenes on Copacabana beach as Brazil humiliated 7-1 by Germany  http://bit.ly/1k3wRMh 
How are the Brazil supporters coping? Crying every time I see a caipirinha. #Brazil
Brazilian friend: “Who’d think at the World Cup we’d find out our football is crap & our cops are great?” re this  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/soccer/world-cup/small-time-rio-cops-unravel-world-cups-web-of-ticket-scalping-intrigue/article19508795/ 
This video of Brazil fans in Haiti watching the team collapse is a must see…
Brazil fans crazy at loss to Germany
Fights between fans reportedly forced hundreds to flee Copacabana beach.  http://thesco.re/1vYGHUU   http://youtu.be/J1LHc9v6tjg 
Riot police move in amid violent scenes on Copacabana beach as Brazil humiliated 7-1 –  http://flip.it/eN5Fi  #World http://flip.it/LrdNv 
For real?? RT @InigoGilmore: RT @Lance_News Just escaped hectic gunfire on copacabana beach #copacabana #rio gun men opened fire on fanfest
BBC News – World Cup 2014: Panic as fans flee Copacabana beach  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-28222612 
Meanwhile the mighty Associated Press which objected to Shepherd Fairey using one of their photographs of Obama for his famous poster has blithely lifted part of a story by Indian writer and IP activist Achal Prabhala, Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey, published on the blog Africa is a Country, without attribution. Prabhala’s brilliantly researched article which was reposted again and again during the world cup looked at the subject of race in Brazil, examining the transformation of Neymar in particular in terms of his appearance.
#Plagiarism RT @AfricasaCountry: Thank You To The @AP. We Feel Like LIke Neymar Right Now.  http://fb.me/6xDLormyK

Neymar Interrupted…#BRAvsCOL, #World Cup 2014

What a day! Feeling it for Brazil’s Neymar whose vertebra was fractured in a rough and dirty tackle by one of his opponents. What’s interesting in the following selection of tweets is how skeptical people were initially of Neymar and what was perceived as his calculated antics–all the sympathy resting with Colombia’s James Rodriguez, one of the top scorers and stars in this tournament–until–it was known that Neymar wasn’t doing the usual fake dive and award-winning performance some players are known so well for. His vertebra was actually fractured in the unnecessarily rough tackle that took him down and he is out of the rest of the tournament. Here’s hoping that Neymar’s injuries aren’t permanently disabling and that he will soon return to football. In retrospect the amount of snark unleashed at Neymar seems shameworthy. Judge for yourselves…oh plus there’s plenty on James, rapidly becoming the most beloved player of this World Cup, his distress at Colombia’s failure to advance (with the famous last words “Men cry too.”)…and last but not least the ‘giant grasshopper’ that landed on his arm just as he struck his goal.

My father always said ‘Always bet on the person you want to lose. That way you end up either happy or richer.’
Foul. Foul. Foul. Then foul. Foul. Then dive. Then foul some more. Fake injury. Jogo bonito my foot. Vamos Colombia,
How cute is this!! RT @Footballltrolls: Childhood Friends Scored Today ! http://t.co/jfQ9dviZKX
How cute is this!! RT @Footballltrolls: Childhood Friends Scored Today ! pic.twitter.com/jfQ9dviZKX
Jogo dramaaaaaaaático, the Brazilian announcer says. Indeed
Holy hell! #neymar people are sobbing his name here #BRACOL
That thing about crying wolf?
At the end of the game Neymar gets to take Oscar home to keep him in his trophy cabinet #AwardWinningActingSkills
#WorldCup2014 #BRA #COL Ah now the other Brazilians – Luiz excepted of course — will actually have to play as poor Neymar has gone off
It’s jogo bonito one minute, jogo feo the next.
Brazil marching towards the title with the confidence of a litigant who’s bribed every judge all the way up to the Supreme Court. #BRAvsCOL
Nobody can stop Rodriguez from scoring, not even giant Brazilian insects. http://t.co/xk1opP9DO8
Nobody can stop Rodriguez from scoring, not even giant Brazilian insects. pic.twitter.com/xk1opP9DO8
Brazil playing like minnows. The uninitiated can be excused for thinking they’re plucky underdogs.
Brazil panicking because referee contract only extends to regulation time.
GERMANY VS BRAZIL WILL BE MY VENGEANCE!! #GER http://t.co/5viCF17Ime
GERMANY VS BRAZIL WILL BE MY VENGEANCE!! #GER pic.twitter.com/5viCF17Ime
FULL TIME: #COL crowned unofficial World Champions by the people of the world. #BRA to play #GER in so-called “semi-final”.
Don’t think I’ve ever disliked a Brazilian team more…
#BRA ain’t here to make friends. On to the final four. GOLAÇO by Luiz. Thank you Colombia, you were wonderful. #thefootball
Neymar leaves the pitch in tears after he gets a knee in the back. #BRA 2-1 #COL #WorldCup2014 http://t.co/OQEaJctSfn
Neymar leaves the pitch in tears after he gets a knee in the back. #BRA 2-1 #COL #WorldCup2014 pic.twitter.com/OQEaJctSfn
Nice that the WC now has a clear-cut villain for the uninvolved to root against.
HUGE RESPECT goes to Colombia, one of the best teams in the 2014 World Cup, very unlucky to be knocked out. #COL http://t.co/BxBYumyfo7
HUGE RESPECT goes to Colombia, one of the best teams in the 2014 World Cup, very unlucky to be knocked out. #COL pic.twitter.com/BxBYumyfo7
Brazil lives to fight another day
Well, Germany better brush up on their faking-an-injury skills.
James weeping in David Luiz’s arms is killing me. And again: I don’t care about football
Unbelievable that #FIFA managed to first turn so many Brazilians against football, and now turning so many against #BRA team. #fuckFIFA
Well done Brazil, but if they win it on this form World Cup has gone from hero to zero. Tough luck on Colombia, the best. #VamosColombia
And top scorer for now. RT @KEmpress22: Look at the Brazillian players consoling Rodriguez. He deserves it all. Great player. So young.
cried my first tears of this tournament watching james cry. damn.
James Rodriguez is so good nobody is talking about Neymar, who probably died.
David Luiz consuela a James http://vine.co/v/MUjJOOEtgr2 
Full time. #BRA beat #COL 2-1 and so will play #GER in the semi-finals on Tuesday! #BRAGER http://t.co/Pt5D3hdxf1
Full time. #BRA beat #COL 2-1 and so will play #GER in the semi-finals on Tuesday! #BRAGER pic.twitter.com/Pt5D3hdxf1
The entire internet would also like to give James Rodriguez a hug.
the only team that hasn’t looked trash is now out of the comp… classic.
Anyone not supporting Germany next week is a travesty of a human being. And probably getting a call from FIFA, asking him to be referee.
Ok James Rodriguez. Enough now. We want our wives’ and girlfriends’ attention back.
#COL James celebrates scoring his side's only goal in the #BRA matchup & his 6TH World Cup 2014 goal. #glnrWorldCup http://t.co/jfMDpEv2il
#COL James celebrates scoring his side’s only goal in the #BRA matchup & his 6TH World Cup 2014 goal. #glnrWorldCup pic.twitter.com/jfMDpEv2il
Huge line outside the stadium and on twitter to comfort James Rodriguez.
@Fernando_Duarte No reason to be quiet, Fernando. This was a pathetic display from Brazil. Godawful, cynical, and cowardly.
Dani Alves and David Luiz console a teary-eyed James Rodriguez after the match. #Respect http://t.co/NCVdBG6nhC
Dani Alves and David Luiz console a teary-eyed James Rodriguez after the match. #Respect pic.twitter.com/NCVdBG6nhC
“U can DO this!” Whispered Andres Escobar, reincarnated as a locust, on the anniversary of his death, into the ear of Jamés. “Believe…”
Germany hosts the World Cup, make the world love its football. Brazil hosts the World Cup, make the world hate its football.
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, giant green bug was to remember that distant afternoon when he went to meet James Rodriguez.
James Rodriguez: “I’m crying because we gave everything we had inside of us. The referee didn’t help us. Men cry too.”
Fucking hell, that picture of a bug on James Rodríguez was real?!! </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>That is honestly terrifying. <a href=http://t.co/gybzdfcwum&#8221; />
Fucking hell, that picture of a bug on James Rodríguez was real?!! That is honestly terrifying. pic.twitter.com/gybzdfcwum
Neymar has been taken to hospital with his back injury. Very much hope it’s nothing serious.
A large grasshopper "attacked" James #Rodriguez after scoring penalty during #BrazilvsColombia quarter-final match http://t.co/6L12QirTec
A large grasshopper “attacked” James #Rodriguez after scoring penalty during #BrazilvsColombia quarter-final match pic.twitter.com/6L12QirTec
Brazil and Colombia Bring the Ugly Game  http://thebea.st/1saYvfa  via @tunkuv [My take on the quarterfinals today for @thedailybeast]
how come nobody was up in arms when ogenyi onazi was hacked down by the french player and left with a broken leg?
Neymar is out of the World Cup with a broken vertebrae. What an absolute bummer!
@NPRrussell: Brazilian superstar Neymar out of World Cup after fracturing a vertebrae. Referee did not whistle a foul on the hit.” @damani
Sad day for the World Cup as it loses two of its brightest young stars  - one to defeat, one to injury. http://t.co/0PWnWVKsSZ
Sad day for the World Cup as it loses two of its brightest young stars – one to defeat, one to injury. pic.twitter.com/0PWnWVKsSZ
Excellent question “@simoncrosskill: Hey FIFA isnt a deliberate knee in the back worse that a bite on the shoulder.”
Sad hearing the news @neymarjr ..Have a speedy recovery
News of Neymar’s broken vertebrae has just hit the party I am at and it has ground to a stony-faced halt #worldcup14
Brazil and Colombia Bring the Ugly Game  http://thebea.st/1saYvfa  My piece for @thedailybeast (with an added Neymar post script)

More World Cup Underdogs…#ALGvsGER and #USAvsBEL

  1. If you run out of World Cup Budweiser keep old bottles and boil up some rice. Chuck away rice but put water into bottles in fridge. Chill.
  2. Drink cold, but go easy, it’ll be a higher alcohol content than you are used to. #fudweiser
  3. The world upside down: Algeria teaching Germany how to play soccer. It might be just a brief dream.
  4. You can hear the Algeria fans singing pro-Palestine songs in the Stadium ️
  5. Never, ever thought I’d say this, but Germany look tactically inept.
  6. In today’s #WorldCup recap, Jonathan Wilson on the political fear of soccer and how to shame a pathological diver:  http://tpr.ly/1sSkMSZ 
  7. @FutbolsaCountry May the team that holds the more legitimate historical grudge against #FRA prevail.
  8. Don’t know if Algeria is fasting. But Germany is definitely slowing.
  9. Germany is struggling against guys who haven’t eaten all day.
  10. The Muslim world could use a lift ya now… New caliphate and all#ALG
  11. Wait, Algeria holding Germany to a tie? What a World Cup.
  12. Great game Algeria. You made us proud. Well done Germany.
  13. Nooooooo. Germany plays France next. Here come all the WW2 tweets. Gah!
  14. “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win.”—Gary Lineker Or 120 minutes, Gary.
  15. Unnuh see dat goal???? Slimani … Algeria …. OMGawd
  16. Is there extra extra time in extra time?
  17. Yow, big up Algeria.
  18. Fucking beauty! Never saw that coming. Bet they wish they’d bothered to properly defend Ouzil’s goal now.
  19. GOAL! #ALG will not lay down and its that man Djabou. Its now#GER 2 – 1 #ALG but is it too late?
  20. This one hurt the worst. Bravo, #ALG, a courageous, honorable display. Those first half missed chances…
  21. Algeria is this World Cup’s PT Usha.
  22. Well played Algeria. Organize a triangular series with Chile and Mexico please.
  23. Thank you thank you goal gods!!! Algeria scored!!#neighbourshateme #screaminginpublic
  24. Disappointing start to the new Caliphate.
  25. Corporate America takes World Cup breaks, and we have the data to prove it  http://qz.com/228183  via @qz
  26. Put it in your diaries. #GER are in the quarterfinals and will face #FRA on Friday. #onyourside http://t.co/ILWO22c1Qg
    Put it in your diaries. #GER are in the quarterfinals and will face #FRA on Friday.#onyourside pic.twitter.com/ILWO22c1Qg
  27. "When things are a bit tough we concentrate on the ball and forget"| Read the #AlJazeeraMag: http://t.co/T9WRm16E8E http://t.co/3XeaB0DdoC
    “When things are a bit tough we concentrate on the ball and forget”| Read the#AlJazeeraMag http://aje.me/magazine  pic.twitter.com/3XeaB0DdoC
  28. Why, in multi-racial Brazil, are the World Cup crowds so white?@AfricasaCountry finds the answer:  https://medium.com/matter/why-are-the-world-cup-crowds-so-white-755f3755e839 …
  29. And so it is that I find myself cheering for USA because, for a change, they’re the underdogs. #WorldCup2014
  30. Argentina's Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring the goal to propel #ARG into the last 8. - AP photo #glnrWorldCup http://t.co/CiHzmEGhsT
    Argentina’s Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring the goal to propel #ARG into the last 8. – AP photo #glnrWorldCup pic.twitter.com/CiHzmEGhsT
  31. I have the most creative fans… #WorldCup fan-generated video for#Champion. Nice work! Go USA!  http://vimeo.com/99636396 
  32. Basically, the Belgian players have been trained like little soccer automatons since they were embryos. http://grantland.com/features/world-cup-2014-belgian-national-team-vincent-kompany-eden-hazard-marouane-fellaini/ …
  33. World Cup: Brazil Uses Sex, Patriotism, Cocktails to Promote Condoms & Tests  http://ht.ly/yDSSg   http://ow.ly/i/65f0R  RT @FrontiersMag
  34. Would love Divock Origi to score — check this Kenya Citizen TV interview w his dad, who played for Harambee Stars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBmw05xB4sE …
  35. Now we know real football has arrived in the US RT @dhume Watching #BELUSA @AEI. [Don't tell Ann Coulter.] http://t.co/DYRIfz04Wo
    Now we know real football has arrived in the US RT @dhume Watching#BELUSA @AEI. [Don't tell Ann Coulter.] pic.twitter.com/DYRIfz04Wo
  36. I have a sudden desire to see Belgium win today.
  37. Lackluster show by Amreeka so far. Someone should announce Brazil has oil to motivate them.
  38. USA and Belgium never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
  39. THE BEARDS ARE COMING! #CreepingSharia
  40. When I am one day taken hostage, disregard whatever law enforcement wants to do. Just please, please send Tim Howard in after me.
  41. Just tried to follow Tim Howard on Twitter. Got blocked.
  42. Tim Howard could’ve saved my parents’ marriage.
  43. Tim Howard playing so well he might be the fourth (maybe even third) best goalkeeper in the tournament so far.
  44. Can I do a #creepingSharia tweet for Tim Howard??
  45. Belgium 0, Tim Howard 0.
  46. FT: #BEL 0-0 #USA. Tim Howard with a man-of-the-match performance takes #USA to ET. http://t.co/Xmy0zAENRC  #USAvsBEL http://t.co/QCOdiN9jPt
    FT: #BEL 0-0 #USA. Tim Howard with a man-of-the-match performance takes#USA to ET.  http://bbc.in/1iVO6Ul  #USAvsBEL pic.twitter.com/QCOdiN9jPt
  47. Pic of the day: @Pontifex et Swiss Guard following ARG-SUI at #Brasil2014 http://t.co/mGs5kGanhr
    Pic of the day: @Pontifex et Swiss Guard following ARG-SUI at #Brasil2014pic.twitter.com/mGs5kGanhr
  48. FIFA has banned goals?
  49. An estimated 28,000 people are at Soldier Field to watch #USAvsBEL | Alex Wroblewki/Sun-Times Media http://t.co/4DR07FmnxP
    An estimated 28,000 people are at Soldier Field to watch #USAvsBEL | Alex Wroblewki/Sun-Times Media pic.twitter.com/4DR07FmnxP
  50. Wafflery. Oh mon Dieu. RT @Raheelk: Feel bad for brother@TimHowardGK Another 30 mins of Belgian wafflery to defend.
  51. 15 saves – the most saves in a world cup in half a century says this ESPN commentator about Tim Howard.
  52. De Bruyne is doing very well for an English kid that got left behind after a field trip to Ypres.
  53. My co-workers keep calling Bruyne prince Harry
  54. Free Stella Artois in Brussels tonight—
  55. Daddy, why do we burn waffles in the town square every July 1?
  56. Tim Howard has now made 16 saves today – the most by a goalkeeper in a single match in World Cup history.
  57. I am dying agahhahhahhahhhahhahhahahhaha http://t.co/F3s5SOCrPB
    I am dying agahhahhahhahhhahhahhahahhaha pic.twitter.com/F3s5SOCrPB
  58. My buddy just turned to me and said “fuck it, nobody plays this shit anyway, right? It ain’t like its fuckin baseball.”
  59. BOOOOOM! And the prayer was instantly answered! #HailMary#USA
  60. Every home needs this white foam. Put it on the Christmas list. #Brazil2014 http://t.co/AIb3mKBfkx
    Every home needs this white foam. Put it on the Christmas list. #Brazil2014pic.twitter.com/AIb3mKBfkx
  61. Fact! >RT @themacheteman: USA just start play some football.. soccer dem did a play all along
  62. Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer is now red-and-white in honour of Canada Day http://t.co/BCLnXED3JV
    Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer is now red-and-white in honour of Canada Daypic.twitter.com/BCLnXED3JV
  63. Great match. Tough luck USA. But one can’t win on a goalkeeper and a late sub.
  64. If Tim Howard is not on a box of Wheaties … something is wrong America.
  65. Best World Cup Ever.
  66. Congratulations USA. Now that you know what it’s like to have your soul ripped out by a game of football, you’re in the gang.
  67. New lesson for #USA: steal more Germans for your national team. You need more Germans.
  68. Bravo, #USA. It felt super weird to start supporting you.
  69. The next American that dips a French fry in mayo is exiled.
  70. Come on USA. Do lap of honour like it is hollywood film.
  71. England, next time you lose, lose like USA.
  72. And dear Americans. It’s football. Not soccer. Just hold that thought.
  73. HISTORY: Tim Howard made 16 saves tonight, most by any keeper in a World Cup game ever. http://t.co/zYdtk3I7R4
    HISTORY: Tim Howard made 16 saves tonight, most by any keeper in a World Cup game ever. pic.twitter.com/zYdtk3I7R4
  74. All the round of 16 top seeds through to the quarters. But every match was close. This tournament is bananas.
  75. This World Cup has been thrilling and exhausting to watch. I’m relieved to get a couple of days off. Can’t imagine how the players feel.
  76. New American fans: this is what soccer is like. It kills you, and you die, and sometimes it’s beautiful, and then you do it again next week.
  77. Tim Howard has achieved true cult status. I hear he is going to run for 2016. Hillary has endorsed him. The GOP will have no candidate 1/2
  78. Twitter make dem ting yah better… Man dem seh Jesus and Howard both save… But Jesus had 11 niggas he could trust
  79. BREAKING: The whole of the USA goes back to not caring about ‘soccer’ at all.
  80. Oh shut up Pentagon you lost RT @guardian: Pentagon says growing US forces in Iraq need ‘flexibility’ for mission:  http://gu.com/p/3qtg9 
  81. Will be supporting Colombia now. They are more Brazil than the team that calls itself Brazil
  82. It is incredibly satisfying to see the rest of the world’s pity and condescension cascade toward the US
  83. As a numbers guy, I’m just hitting refresh and watching the followers on Tim Howard’s account go up crazily.
  84. Murray out at Wimbledon, TWO WHOLE FUCKING DAYS to go before more World Cup…are they trying to kill me?#armchairanarachy

The World Cup and its Others…

Presenting a Storified tweetshot of reactions from those of us in the Global South as our representatives at the World Cup in Brazil surged ahead on the day that the Black Stars (Ghana) and the Super Eagles (NIG) made their presence felt–race, religion, colour, ethnicity, nationality–all came in for comment. For example, the following tweet from Jean Lowrie-Chin in Jamaica: @chinhubert saw a tweet during #GHAvsUSA: “Not sure who to back – Ancestors from Ghana but remittances from USA” ☺ #Brasil2014. Check it out…

So Germany is the only European team that has a white guy who scores
Ok, who am I supporting here? #HONvsECU (@tejucole, any advice?)
@kamilashamsie Um, definitely the small poor country with brown people.
Helpful. “@tejucole: @kamilashamsie Um, definitely the small poor country with brown people.”
karachiahab
@kamilashamsie @tejucole But they are both small poor countries with brown people. No? Very helpful indeed :) #HONvsECU
Costly error by #ECU leads to Costly goal for #HON. Nice.
There can no longer be any doubt: the U.S. is one of the top nine American teams in this tournament.
So basically postcolonial nations have spent every minute since independnce dedicating themselves to proving every colonial stereotype right
It is delightful that the national honor of so very Catholic France continues to be in the hands of its predominantly Muslim football team
MESSI TIME!!! C’MON THE ARGIES, A STRIKE ON I-RAN!! @CIA
germany/netherlands ain’t winning no world cup in south america…so save unnuh breath…
I am Ghanaian. I am Ghanaian. I am Ghanaian.
GOAL! Has someone accounted for the Obeah Man?? http://t.co/1WxgwV622Q
GOAL! Has someone accounted for the Obeah Man?? pic.twitter.com/1WxgwV622Q
Oh my God, this is happening. Come on you Black Stars!
Black Stars broke my heart in 2010, not going to celebrate until the end. *watching with one eye*
You have nowhere to hurry, Ghana.
where is ogun in particular today? where is ogun?
C’mon Global South!!! you can do it! #GhanavsGermany
There are no atheists in the 85th minute.
It is immense that #GHA believes that they can and actually do go toe to toe with Europe’s deadliest team
What a thoroughly entertaining game.
This German niggas bleeding ALL over the field. Soccer so violent. #WorldCup2014
Great fight Ghana a so we do it! #AfricanStandUp
Can we play extra time on this one? A perfect half of football and fantastic entertainment from both sides.
these commentators “Germany did not bring their A game”. enough!
OK Ghana I was just kidding. I love you. But I can’t promise about Samuel Kuffour. Not when he says “pahnahty”.
GER vs. GHA was pretty much an episode of Game of Thrones. Valar Morghulis.
One of the best games of #WorldCup2014 so far on the longest day of the yr. Great display esp by #Ghana.
Watched Ger vs Gha in a bar in Fort Greene. Jokes for days. “That was an awesome head kick.”
My mum just saw her tenant that is owing her money on super sport in Brazil
It’s funny (completely unfunny) how much space Hajrovic is getting on the right flank. Acres. He could start a farm out there.
If you get an email from a Nigerian friend claiming he’s lost all his cash in Rio, don’t delete it as spam. It might just be true
#NIG clearly looking for a specific target area in #BIH defence. http://t.co/ko5SVGGY78
#NIG clearly looking for a specific target area in #BIH defence. pic.twitter.com/ko5SVGGY78
So, so harsh for Bosnia
Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike fires in a shot on goal during the match between #NGR and #BIH. - AP #glnrWorldCup http://t.co/m87zaTnAzv
Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike fires in a shot on goal during the match between #NGR and #BIH. – AP #glnrWorldCup pic.twitter.com/m87zaTnAzv
Yow Nigeria nuh concede no goals yet!!!
Naija! Naija! Naija! Naija! Naija!
Wake up call. It will not be strange if Goodluck Jonathan wins in a free and fair election 2015. Twitter is not = Nigeria.

Social Protests vs Moral Panics

Clovis, Jamaica Observer editorial cartoon, June 19, 2010

Clovis, Jamaica Observer editorial cartoon, June 19, 2014. A depiction of the so-called ‘hijacking’ of morality by Jamaicans for Justice and their sex education curriculum for institutionalized children. See my previous post Sly Perfidy for more information on this.

The following was first published on my blog at Economic and Political Weekly, an Indian magazine of ‘independent scholarship and critical inquiry’.

The question of what arouses outrage or ‘moral panics’ in societies is a fascinating one. In Jamaica members of a powerful Evangelical Christian fundamentalist lobby group have decided to rally their troops in a crusade against the University of the West Indies because the contract of one of their members as head of an organization named CHART, the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network, has been terminated. The head of this unit, retired Professor Brendan Bain, who happens to be a Christian fundamentalist, had given expert testimony on behalf of churches moving to retain the buggery law in Belize.

Because this action was perceived to be antithetical to the mission statement of CHART–”to continually strengthen the capacity of national healthcare personnel and systems to provide access to quality HIV & AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support services for all Caribbean people” international stakeholders crucial to funding CHART asked that Professor Bain’s contract be terminated and after lengthy consultations the University complied.  It was felt that by arguing that buggery laws be retained (when there is medical consensus internationally that such laws impede the successful treatment and management of HIV/AIDS) Professor Bain had lost the confidence of CHART’s stakeholders.

Bain’s supporters have turned the situation into a circus about freedom of speech, convening several times a week, dressed in black, with taped mouths, outside the regional headquarters of the University to protest his dismissal. Their contention? That Bain should have been free to give expert evidence based on his ‘research’ and that by rescinding his contract the University had bowed to the dictates of an internationally constituted ‘gay agenda’.

In India in the last two years much outrage has been expressed at the alarming frequency and ferocity with which women are raped. The government has reacted by strengthening the legal penalties for rape. The straw that broke the camel’s back seems to have been the gang-rape and subsequent death of young Jyoti Singh in December 2012. Since then an avalanche of rapes has been reported and dwelt on, the most recent being the callous rape-killings of two lower caste women in Budaun, UP by men of a politically powerful though marginally higher caste. Read at face value the Budaun case highlights the persistence of caste-sanctioned violence in contemporary India despite the existence of strong legislation proscribing such behaviour.

The spectacularity of the violence done to the young women–hanging their violated bodies  in a public square for all to see–suggests that a strong signal was being sent by the perpetrators. Was this a lynching? What had the girls or the communities they came from done to provoke this? Considering the extremely high incidence of reported rape cases recorded in recent years should one label the dominant culture a rape culture? Does this mean Indian culture is synonymous with rape culture? Since the caste system is an integral part of hegemonic Hindu culture and higher castes seem to be signaling their right to rape lower-caste women in instances like this, does that make Hindu culture itself complicit with rape culture?

And what exactly is rape culture for that matter? A concept developed by feminists in the 70s, rape culture refers to cultures that normalize, excuse, turn a blind eye to or even condone the rape of women. In contrast male rape, especially by other men, is not viewed as casually in such societies. Certainly the comments made by various high level politicians, policemen and priests in India regarding cases of female rape suggest that there is virtually a patriarchal consensus that the rape of women should not be a justiciable crime. Fortunately the founders of the Indian constitution thought otherwise providing legal recourse to rape victims although the enforcement of such laws has proved to be difficult in a culture inclined not to view unconsensual sex as a crime.

To me these two conjunctures illustrate the difference between social outrage and moral panics. The latter sums up the Jamaican situation while the Indian protests are symptomatic of outrage generated by a genuine problem–that of the vulnerability of women in patriarchal societies where rape culture prevails.

The quasi-hysterical protests in Jamaica show all the classic signs of a moral panic. According to Charles Krinsky, considered an authority on the phenomenon “A moral panic may be defined as an episode, often triggered by alarming media stories and reinforced by reactive laws and public policy, of exaggerated or misdirected public concern, anxiety, fear, or anger over a perceived threat to social order.”

Whereas in India the demonstrations have been about existing laws that are inadequately policed and enforced, in Jamaica the highly organized protests are indirectly about the repeal of a law–the buggery law–which if actualized would be considered a blow to the self-appointed policing of public morality by evangelical Christians and a major defeat on the part of local interests at the hands of an illusory or imaginary enemy–the so-called globally powerful gay lobby.

The problem with moral panics is that they are seldom about real or actual threats to the social order and they rarely happen in response to much more serious dangers–that of human trafficking, paedophilia or narco-trafficking for instance–all of which pose much greater threats to Jamaican society. There are probably good examples of moral panics in Indian society but the recent escalation in anti-rape protests is not one of them.