Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Letter of the day | Heroes' records testify of their sacrifice

Published:Wednesday | November 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The ill-conceived idea that the records of national heroes Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, and Marcus Garvey, as well as Chief Tacky, need to be expunged of any criminal wrongdoing is short-sighted and fraught with delusion.

Before getting into other details, let me first of all say that under the 1988 act to expunge any criminal record, none of them will legally qualify for such an action. It would take the passing of another law to ensure that this is a legally done precedent.

However, my main reason for opposing any such move is that we have comprehensively repudiated the actions of the colonial empire by elevating them to the status of national hero or icon.

To seek to expunge their records would be to try to rewrite history. It is a fool's errand to embark on such a quest. It is the study of the actions and the price they paid at the hands of the colonial empire that leaves me in awe of their willingness to stand and be counted, even in the face of trial, conviction, even certain death, knowing that their actions would bring change for those of us who would come after them.

The exercise to expunge our heroes' records, or seek pardons, would invariably have to include all the heroes and heroines that fell with them and fine-comb through the judicial records of colonial Jamaica to do likewise to all deserving of such treatment.

Our national heroes and icons took the fall so we could rise up as a nation! Leave their legacy in place.