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D. Anthony | Why Buju got a hero's welcome

Published:Friday | December 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM

I write in response to Anthony Pantlitz's letter, 'Dumbfounded at hero's welcome for Buju Banton', published on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Though the "great American soldiers" are given a hero's welcome after duty in the Middle East, there are also people who are "dumbstruck" by the welcome some of them receive back home. Such people include those who are tortured and exploited sexually by some of these said soldiers (both male and female), as evident in the numerous videos circulated on social media.

There are also those who do not conform to the American political ideology/system that usually informs the motive behind American troops entering certain countries. Others who may also be "dumbstruck" about the welcome you receive are those who are aware of the fact that American soldiers enter countries under the guise of helping, when the true objective is to exploit natural resources. We, therefore, do not always see the same persons as being heroes.

I would also like to remind Mr Pantlitz that Jamaica's first national hero, a man who received the highest national honour, is a convicted felon of the great USA and has a criminal record there (Yet there is a park named after him in New York City as well, isn't that ironic).

Also, what about the numerous Americans who enter countries under the guise of being students, humanitarians, journalists and lecturers, who are imprisoned and, when released, given a hero's welcome by Americans and/or the US government. Where were they coming from? Didn't they, too, break the laws of another country? Or is it that the only law worth recognising is that of the great USA?

Buju Banton was convicted for his involvement in drugs. Are there any icons in the USA who were (or still are) involved in drugs and gang violence, went to prison, are released, and continue to live like great American heroes and are idolised by millions of Americans?

Are there any great American singers who were involved in drugs, died, and were given a hero's funeral with national media coverage?




Finally, let me explain why SOME Jamaicans are only too ecstatic about the release of Buju Banton. Some share his views about sexuality and sexual orientation and believe this is the reason he was targeted, and not because he was a drug kingpin. Many Jamaicans were worried about him being placed in the US prison system, having expressed strong views against homosexuality.

Many believe that there still exists racial injustice in the USA, and so the justice system is not viewed by some of us as being fair or, worse, superior.

Mr Pantlitz, I am sure that you are one of the good soldiers who deserved a hero's welcome by your American countrymen. Please remember, however, that heroes are chosen based on your belief. You were seen as a hero by those who BELIEVE in the American system. Not everyone does.

I do hope that you will continue to be seen as a hero, and that while you are there (in the capacity as hero), you will do what you can to stem some of the racial injustice that exists there.

After all, blacks in America are only heroes as long as they are useful to the state's objectives.

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