Letters to the Editor

Let's not 'scandal out' another 56 years

Monday, August 06, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Emancipation and Independence in Jamaica are celebrated on the 1st and 6th of August, respectively, every year for quite a while now, but let us do some serious introspection.

Being independent, which means to be free from outside control, and emancipated, which implies being free from legal, social and political restriction, are all a part of Jamaica's proclamation to the world. But in reality, is this so?

Jamaica's first National hero Marcus Garvey, in 1938, then reggae legend Bob Marley made the valid point in his 38-year-old proclamation, Redemption Song, charging the people to emancipate themselves from the slavery of the mind. We have been charged to use the experience of history to motivate and propel the people of today to and to use the achieved freedom to become a great nation.

Are we truly free or are we stuck under a political system which encourages the concept of divide and rule, instead of united strength?

We have often been working twice as hard as other countries, but the result of our freedom is divided into an uptown vs downtown, crab in a barrel life of the haves and the have-nots.

We keep the slave trade active sucking up to a political 'bakra masa', exchanging our X for a slum life of dependency.

We have been struggling immensely to stand on our 'free' feet, plunging deeper when called to stand beside foreign currencies, chief of which is the green back — the measure of our worth, it seems.

Now, looking across at the achievements of the little over five million people of Singapore who gained Independence on August 7, 1965, would cause us to hang our heads in 56 years of 'free' shame. To think that the former prime minister of Singapore, the late Lee Kuan Yew, used Jamaica's model of 'self-rule' to put Singapore at second in the world on the 'index of economic freedom' and to be among the wealthiest countries in the world is not a good look for Jamaica.

Have we used the freedom that was fought for with sweat and lives to crash the ship; selling from a pin to an anchor removing the 'in' from August 6 and hoping that Britain would give us reparation money?

Let us snap out of the trance we're in and not scandal out another 56 years.

Hezekan Bolton


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