Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Letter of the Day | Expunging heroes' records takes shine from sacrifice

Published:Saturday | October 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM


There has been an upsurge in the demand for the criminal records of several of Jamaica's national heroes to be expunged. Among the supporting arguments are that their convictions were unjust and that their actions were of a high moral calibre.

I do agree that some of our national heroes such as George William Gordon, were unjustly tried and hanged. However, I cannot fathom why Jamaica would, at this moment, consider the actions that are now in progress.

Persecution during a revolution has always been the way in which men of note are built. To me, removing their criminal records is equivalent to removing their struggle, purpose, and legend. It is through the revolts and rebellions that these men and women emerged as strong, independent-thinking heroes.




Without their hanging, the nation would quickly forget or think less of their fight for our freedom. In a piece published in the Jamaica Observer on October 13, 2016, Minister Olivia Grange was quoted as saying that they were "acts of liberation with abundant moral justification". It is for this reason that their records should be kept to highlight what an unjust system can do to 'moral' and lawful persons.

The stain on their record is the significant difference that makes them not just mere men, but heroes.

Keep their criminal records. Remind us who they are, what they have done, and its implications for us today. We do need martyrs and heroes for this age.