Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Do the right thing, Prime Minister

Published:Thursday | April 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM


This is an open letter to PM Simpson Miller.

Dear Madam Prime Minister,

Anyone who claims to have the blood of Nanny of the Maroons in them and the spirit of Marcus Mosiah Garvey should be a defender of human rights. We should not have to prove to them that the killing of innocent people is wrong! We should never have to tell them that creating and sustaining poverty at unimaginable levels is unjust.

Madam Prime Minister, both of these noble leaders you compare yourself to were stalwarts for justice and non-discrimination. They fought tirelessly to ensure the advancement of the black race. If you are comparing yourself to these stalwarts of justice and refuse to demand justice for people like Dwayne Jones, it is pretty hard for your claim to speak the truth everywhere you go to be seen as creditable. If every time you open your mouth, you have to remind me that you are not afraid of any boy or man, it is a pretty good chance you are afraid. If you cannot face a 26-year-old torture victim who is telling his story, pleading with you for help for his fellow LGBTQI brothers and sisters who are being abused and tortured, in a country where you are the head of government and show any sign of pity, sympathy, empathy - you are not a national hero, Sister P, you are a national disgrace.

I hope you will see this as a wake-up call to do the right thing and protect the rights of all Jamaicans. These are rumours out there that some human-rights activists want to meet with you to discuss the issue. That is a good start; however, while these discussions are going on, you must move to do something to stop the state-sponsored abuse by the police, end the homelessness of gays and lesbians and move to enact laws protecting the rights of this minority group.

Repealing the buggery laws would be a great step forward and would show leadership. If you are able to put partisanship aside, think of your legacy and the future of Jamaica, you would ensure that all Jamaicans are covered by the constitution. Create a Jamaica where peace, justice and brotherhood is the hallmark. Then and only then can we build a nation under God, that will increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, that will play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.

Jason Latty-Travis

President of Caribbean Alliance For Equality