Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Jamaica hooked on hero worship

Published:Saturday | September 5, 2015 | 9:00 AM
Some fans of Usain Bolt have recommended that he be given national-hero status.

The Editor, Sir:

Jamaica has an insatiable appetite for national heroes. We seem to believe that every politician with some fame is qualified to be a national hero.

We also seek to expand the national hero net to include superstar musicians and charismatic athletes.

The Free Dictionary defines a national hero as a person noted for feats of courage, especially those who have risked or sacrificed their lives for their country.

Very few of our national heroes meet these criteria. Too many of our leaders and prominent citizens have been bestowed with this honour for doing what they were expected to do. Very few put their lives at risk or showed courage in the face of adversity. They were interested in achieving political power and the accumulation of wealth while basking in the adoration of their supplicants.

We encountered no danger in begging for so-called Independence and risked nothing in our pursuit. Unlike the citizens of France, the United States, and Cuba, England was anxious to grant us Independence because we were an economic burden. We have so diminished the concept of national hero that anyone carrying a rod, ringing a bell, racing around a track or singing a world-renowned song is a candidate for sainthood.

R. OSCAR LOFTERS

lofters1@aol.com

Kingston 8