Emancipation requires more dignfied memorial

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

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Dear Editor,

We, as a people, must always display power and pride in our national symbolism. And, as a nation and people of Jamaica, we have a choice.

Why the big member man statue instead of the “freedom statue” in Emancipation Park? There is absolutely no connection between emancipation and being naked. If slaves were kept naked it is more symbolic of degradation than empowerment which Emancipation symbolises.

We will always continue to choose evil over good if we don't know who we are as a people and are proud of it.

The freedom statue on Goree Island, The House of Slaves and its Door of No Return, is a memorial to the Atlantic slave trade on Gorée Island, three km off the coast of the city of Dakar, Senegal. Visitors from Africa, Europe, and the Americas continue to make it an important place to remember the human toll of African slavery. Honour our ancestors; if we do not, who will?

In the totality of monuments erected to celebrate black power and its rise above enslavement, the current statue in Jamaica's Emancipation Park is the most despicable. It is for this reason it is an affront to common decency when we, as a society, are struggling with sexual abuse especially of young men and girls — some of the most vulnerable in society.

The ultimate goal of our political leaders seems to be to deconstruct our history and culture by inserting themselves as the only reference to civic pride and culture. They are becoming our gods if we don't stop them.

Every decent God-fearing Jamaican should let it be known to the Government that this symbolism as a people coming out of slavery is tainted with promiscuity and infidelity to the cause Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Nanny, Cudjoe, and Marcus Garvey stood for. It is time we replace it with decency and the courage and love of the black men and women who triumphed with good over evil. This must be honoured with clear and unambiguous morality.

 

Silbert Barrett

net_sbarrett@hotmail.com

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