Letters to the Editor

Western Jamaica's working class deserve national honours

Thursday, October 11, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

We should be very proud of the many patriotic Jamaicans from the different social classes who are expected to receive awards for their courage and commitment to nation building on National Heroes Day.

However, there are some very hard-working people, well known throughout Jamaica as the working class or proletariat, who render Herculean service in various communities and whose contributions continue to go unrecognised by the relevant authorities.

At the same time, many of these working-class people in the rest of Jamaica are contributing significantly to nation building, selling their labour power for small wages and so should also join those who will receive respect and recognition by the National Awards Committee.

Believe me, these working-class people continue to administer humanitarian service to the extent that they can be regarded as emulating the characteristics of our national heroes, who previously took action to change unjust situations which eventually contributed to the improvement of the lives of the Jamaican people.

To be frank, many of them deserve merits for the Order of Distinction over in Western Jamaica, especially those who have climbed the ladder of success and have experienced upward mobility into the middle-class group.

Clearly, it must be understood that the class struggle whereby each social group is protecting their own interests is evident across the society. Anyway, it is full time that these humble grass-roots people from the womb of the working class, such as our service workers, factory workers, domestic workers, agricultural workers and craftsmen performing yeoman tasks be recognised along with the middle class in western Jamaica who form the backbone of the future development of the country.

Over the years, one gets the impression that the Corporate Area is Jamaica on a whole, because the majority of the working, middle and capitalist classes in Kingston are the ones given national honours when there are many from these same social classes in Montego Bay and western Jamaica, for that matter, who continue to contribute significantly to the development of the nation and yet they are not recognised.

Meanwhile, I am calling on the powers that be to do more to empower the working class, especially to motivate wealth creation in order to enhance upward mobility so that they can help to create a radical change and transformation in the wider society.

I think the National Honorary Awards Committee should nominate more of the cream of the crop, especially from the working class in Montego Bay and the rest of Western Jamaica for awards next year.

Valentine Pearson






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