Thursday, January 17, 2013

Victims of Entitlement

Remember that University of the West Indies (Mona) examinations fiasco where those who were barred from sitting exams proceeded to disrupt those legitimately entitled to sit from doing so. That was a matter of funding (or lack thereof in the case of those who disrupted the exams). I do not agree with the behaviour of those unfortunate victims of circumstances (whatever those may be) to maliciously disrupt those who are able to fund their tuition by whatever means they have from sitting exams. Now, there was a long-winded debate as a result of that, many individuals, the likes of Carolyn Cooper and others who went on to say those who were unable to pay their tuition and proceeded to prevent those who could from sitting exams were all victims of entitlement. While I may agree whole-heartedly with such claims, the hypocrisy that tends to belie such claims is what I find very distasteful.

Now, I tend to read the local Newspapers a lot and in the Gleaner a story was entitled: "I deserve Government Funding - Atkinson." Now, many parallels may be drawn with the aforementioned issue and this. If these students can be labelled as such then there is no real reason Alia Atkinson cannot be so called.

Now, glory or whatnot, I believe those students are more entitled than an athlete. What real benefit, potential or real does Jamaica stand to gain from her winning gold in all the events she will participate (best case scenario an highly unlikely)? I believe students at the University are in a better position to benefit the country than an athlete. Yes, we get fame and recognition and a brand new track and all, but what REAL benefit does every Jamaican gain from setting records and winning gold, yes we feel good for our athlete but can we put that in a pot and cook it? Can we take that to the tax office or to our children's school to pay fees or can that be used to fend of the relentless attacks of the JPS? NO!!!

My advice Ms. Atkinson, grow stronger, do better than fourth, win a few gold medals in world record time and then you will have the sponsors clamouring to have your derrière plastered with their logos, that helps. Usain Bolt, Shelly-ann, VCB, even Asafa Powell all have lucrative contracts from tonnes of sponsors home and abroad, why - because "dem tun dem han an meck fashan," they worked with the little they HAD! It is unfair and selfish to think the Government and by extension the overburdened taxpayers must foot the bill of your ultimately selfish quest for personal glory! Which at the end of the day is what it really is!!! Jamaica is only a secondary abstract beneficiary from such exploits. So, quit whining and get a gold and make a statement and then private sponsors will see the benefit of funding your exploits and taxpayers wouldn't have to fund something that won't benefit them directly.

I am sickened by what gets negative and positive media spotlight in Jamaica, Alia Atkinson's claims are no different than those of the students who are unable to pay their tuitions being barred from sitting exams. They have a more real benefit to our Country than an athlete who undoubtedly is past her best. Jamaica tends to celebrate mediocrity far too often.