House slave behaviour
Maroons during an enstoolment ceremony

Dear Editor,

I believe that the Maroon colonels were wrong to have met the Government without Richard Currie at the table.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness was double wrong in his decision to deny Currie a seat at the table. The Prime Minister should give audience to all voices, especially those he considers dissenting.

Colonel Currie has been publicly vociferous in his advocacy for Maroon rights to the treaty territories of the Cockpit Country and Maroon sovereignty. Before this meeting I heard nothing from the other Maroon colonels.

At the heart of this debate is the contentious issue of mining in the Cockpit Country, a protected area situated in Currie's Maroon territory, and that of Maroon sovereignty. This means that Currie needed to be at the table.

The Government needed to engage with Currie to quell the tensions over land boundary breach claims, mining operations presently taking place in the region, and the issue of Maroons being a State within a State. This was a missed opportunity for Prime Minister Holness to speak directly with Currie and put an end to their public spat, which has played out in the media.

The prime minister has to learn that dessenting voices are not necessarily disloyal voices. In fact, Currie's loyalty is to his people and not to Prime Minister Holness.

What the other Maroon colonels did to Currie was disloyal. Like history repeating itself, this was a classic re-enactment of how the slave masters would coerce the house slaves to plot against their fellow slaves.

Prime Minister Holness's leadership should not be about being a strongman. This is not effective leadership.

Ralston Chamberlain

Toronto, Ontario

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