Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Letter of the Day | Is gay pride only source of protest?

Published:Tuesday | August 9, 2016 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It is commendable that Jamaicans from all walks of life own their voice, and their freedom, to exercise peaceful protests and proclaim boldly that which they believe and hold dear. Protesters were deeply hurt, painfully wounded, and grossly offended by the US Embassy's frightening use of the colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and the dreaded violet to bathe its building in recognition of Jamaican LGBTQ Pride celebrations.

Who else realises that we are in trouble big time when Christians (or any Jamaican, for that matter) are feeling threatened by a non-existent threat? Should Independence pride be versus gay pride? Should Independence pride be mutually exclusive to women's pride? Should Independence pride mean no other pride?

Who among the protesters understands that Jamaican youth such as Mario Deane have been failed by our independent Jamaican State? Two years ago, during the week of Jamaica's Emancipendence celebrations, he was beaten to death while in police custody.

On Independence Day, while some Jamaicans were exercising their right to peacefully protest in front of the US Embassy after taking offence at the colours of the rainbow (a symbol of gay pride), the mourning Marcia Frazer, mother of Mario Deane, was in Half-Way Tree doing her own sad, silent, lonely, peaceful protest in a country where dying in custody is not new to modern and independent Jamaica.

It is worthy of note that many who take offence at the US Embassy or LGBTQ Pride celebrations are often blind, silent, if not clueless, about serious issues affecting basic human rights throughout Jamaica.

 

SPEAK TO THE ISSUES

 

How many Jamaicans care about the likelihood of a coal-fired power plant in Nain, St Elizabeth? How many Jamaicans care to be aware of the child molestation and rape across the island? Tell me how many Christians are advocating for an end to scandal bags and Styrofoam containers in Jamaica?

Too many well-intentioned Christian citizens have not been afforded the opportunity for a more comprehensive understanding of what it really means to be self-governing with a strong sense of inclusiveness when it comes to social justice and human rights. Many continue to hold a false sense of accomplishment when they speak to the US Embassy on God's behalf.

Never mind the daily attendant consequences of homelessness, landlessness, hunger, crime, violence, spousal and child abuse, and an overburdened public health sector! Let us give the US Embassy a piece of our minds.

That we fail to speak to the issues which we as a people ought to face is sad and embarrassing. However, as a proud people of Emancipendence, we celebrate the freedom of those who speak, protest, and address the perceived threat of cultural imperialism.

SEAN MAJOR-CAMPBELL

Anglican Priest