Holness said the dance, which features couples grinding in a simulated sex motion, and is popular in the dancehall, could instill the acceptance of violence into the minds of children.
But some Jamaicans have lashed the Prime Minister for being, in their estimation, biased against the 'dancehall culture'. They accused Holness of being hypocritical given that dancing in carnival – which is popular among Jamaica’s social elite - involves similar movements.
“Stop carnival too! Ol' hypocrite unu! How does carnival influence positively on this nation?” said one woman, Kay Lia, on Facebook, in response to Holness’ remarks at a Jamaica Labour Party meeting in Lucea, Hanover on Sunday.
Cato Powell accused the authorities of “always looking down” at dancehall of which dancing provocatively, he said, is a big part of the culture “whether we accept it or not”.
“It’s better he said Carnival because all you see is half naked women who are at risk of getting raped by these crazy Jamaican men!” Powell said. “Like seriously, these idiots think they can dictate to people how to live in a Democracy! Dancing provocatively does not instill violence but is a part of the culture.”
Even those who agreed with Holness that ‘daggering’ was negative, blasted him for turning a ‘blind eye’ to Carnival, which they perceived as being far worse as its flagship road march event is held during broad daylight.
“Dancing in the dancehall is just like the strip club, no morals no standard, but if he's gonna talk about that he must also take a look at carnival with a bunch of naked people rebelling in the streets in broad day light!” said Oraine Alliance Dixon.
Meanwhile, others accused the PM of barking up the wrong tree, arguing that the entertainment industry should not be blamed for the country’s violence.
Shaneka Harris said: “If you think that daggering is a precursor for violence then there is definitely something wrong with you. Violence is a precursor for violence, abuse is a precursor for violence, as is poverty and hopelessness. We need to stop scapegoating and get to the root cause of violence in our society. This is utter rubbish.”
Chantel Smith shared similar sentiments to Harris.
“I love my country but this is the least of problems happening in Jamaica… there are no jobs for young people… If you don't want to agree in doing a dance, don't do it ... but don't come and talk about "dagger" is violent… fix the more important stuff,” she said.
Another social media user, Ochi Link, likened Holness to US President Donald Trump with the “blame games”.
“Him sound like Trump,” Ochi Link said. “No proof, no research just blame game.”
Holness, who made the comments against the background of increasing reports of domestic abuse, argued that the 'violent nature' of the daggering dance is reflected in some relationships.
"The guys who are doing this 'Daggering' dance, they are creative, but they need to understand that what they are projecting into the minds of our children is that violence is acceptable. And then that becomes the projection of Jamaica overseas that we are a violent people. And, then, you have a dispute and the only way to resolve the dispute is what you have been taught coming up for years. Box him down! Stab him up!" Holness warned.