Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Jamaica: 50 Years After Independence, Is Her People Truly Independent?

Like many around the world, I celebrate with Jamaica as it celebrates gaining independence to self-rule from Britain these many 50 years now. Although I can sense and imagine the meaning and significance of that simple but very important act of freedom to the people of Jamaica, but sincerely, I do not feel it important.

And before I reflect on the real question of concern, to explain the above, it is not usually about the system of government, but the people at the heart of government that makes the different. As I have always argued, any form [or system] of government is 'actually' good; so long as a selfless, humble and FAIR sect of people are at the heart of it. It doesnt matter whether it is military rule or democracy, theocratic or oligarchy, what matters is that the people in charge has a sense of fairness, justice and respect for the collective co-habitation of all as well as their civil liberty.

But the above is not true of Jamaica, just as it is not of so many other countries. But for this piece, lets focus on Jamaica. So what is the concern?

Well, as Jamaicans celebrate and its government and the people at the heart of it encourage and instigate parties everywhere, the real questions to ask are;
  • How independent and free are the people of Jamaica? 
  • Is fairness at the heart of government? 
  • Are institutions in Jamaica built on equity, accountability, justice, FAIRNESS and respect of individual citizens? 
  • If not, why not?
  • While Jamaican ruling class is happy to run the country at their whims and caprice, how happy are the 'ordinary' member of their society in living their lives without fear or intimidation? 
  • As the ruling class are free to run the country the way they please, how free are the minority groups, like gay and lesbian people, to live their non-intimidating lives? 
For those who celebrate independence and the freedom to govern their own country, it beggars belief to see that they deny others the same freedom they celebrate. It is heart-rending to see that they snuff out the lives in others by imposing the same laws of oppression that they hated and refuted. It is indeed, disturbing.

Those who have experience suffering should not be the ones imposing sufferings on others. Those who hated oppression, should not oppress others.

As Jamaica celebrates 50 long years of self-rule, it is time for the ruling class to 'emancipate' the society towards tolerance, respect of each other and a protection for the weaker groups in the[ir] society.

Jamaica should use this opportunity to remove the remaining relics of colonialism which includes the buggery laws that criminalize gay and lesbian citizens of its country. This is an opportunity to bring and uphold full freedom and independence for every Jamaican regardless of natural differences including sex, sexuality, race or otherwise.

The above is necessary for a more progressive Jamaica. But above all, it is even imperative for a more successful black community across the world. Because by observation, all the top, successful and developed countries of the world is underpinned by one characteristic; an ever-growing implementation of freedom, respect of civil liberty and uninhibited diversity.

Jamaica is an icon and a leader in the world's black community and should take to positive attitude. It should seize the opportunity to take that lead amongst the black community. Because regardless of where we come or originate from as black people, we all know and feel an affiliation to Jamaica and thus, look up to it to do the right thing.

We hope that towards the celebration of the 51st anniversary in next year and the move for full republic from the United Kindgom, this vibrant Island will offer freedom and equality to all its people unconditionally and without prejudice. This singular act can fire Jamaica into a pride of place as a beacon of hope, progress and a new land of hope for all black people across the world wherever they are but most especially, for the oppressed one.

May peace reign in you.

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