JAMAICAN Diaspora leaders in the United States have condemned the January 6 invasion of the US Capitol by riotous mobs attempting to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.
“This grave act was an assault on the democratic principles on which this nation was established and has functioned,” four leaders – Dr Karren Dunkley, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council Northeast Representative; Dr Claire Nelson, founder and president, Institute of Caribbean Studies, Washington, DC; Jazz Clayton-Hunt, president, Jamaica Organization of New Jersey, JON-J; and Andrew Sharpe, chairman, Authentic Caribe said in a joint statement. They were supported by Jamaican-born mayor of New Carrollton, Maryland, Phelicia Nembhard.
“The insurrectionists desecrated a structure that is a symbol of American democracy. They endangered the lives of elected officials, and they showed a blatant disregard for the sanctity of the electoral process and the building that is home to those who defend our constitutional rights daily.
“This episode is a stark reminder that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Securing a plural American democracy demands that we confront, unmask and uproot deep-seated hate, racist rhetoric and actions, as we continue the valiant fight for equal rights and justice,” the statement said.
“We join our voices with others across this nation to say no to intolerance, injustice, discrimination, persecution, and disenfranchisement. We call on every honest and just person in America to spotlight social and economic inequality wherever it exists. Dr Martin Luther King Jr, whose birthday we will celebrate on January 18 [today], understood all too clearly that America would never really be strong while the weak and vulnerable were ignored or persecuted. He realised how contagious hatred could be, and he understood the healing power of compassion and kindness. Apathy and indifference can be just as deadly as acts of aggression,” added the statement.
The Jamaica Diaspora Northeast USA, in the meantime, said it must in the coming days and years, strive to provide a salient response to the challenge.
“Our response must demonstrate our courage, mental fortitude and resolve in restoring community well-being, which includes an unapologetic rededication to the self-love principles prescribed and practised by the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey. This requires uncompromised leadership through strategic thinking and transformational actions,” said Dr Dunkley.
“Our partnerships, our organisations, our networks, our knowledge ecosystems, and our faith-based institutions must contribute to a better informed, more intelligent, and empowered community and, by extension, a better America for everyone, she said.
The Jamaica Diaspora Northeast USA has invited Jamaicans to participate in the MLK Day of Service and Reflection at 6:00 pm today @JANED or @drkarren on Facebook. This event is endorsed by the Biden-Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee.