Letter of the Day | Conferring Jamaica’s honour on Medina ill-advised
THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is an open letter to the people of Jamaica
I was recently appalled to learn that the Government of Jamaica, led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has conferred Jamaica's Order of Excellence on President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic.
Any Jamaican government that is so lacking in racial pride and respect for humanity and civilised values that it would confer a national honour on President Medina, a political leader who is currently presiding over a racist genocidal mass deportation of hundreds of thousands of Black Dominicans of Haitian ancestry, has done Jamaica and Jamaicans a grave disservice.
Prime Minister Holness and his administration are guilty of an act of infamy and have seriously undermined the historic and sacred mission of the Jamaican and Caribbean people to be champions of Black dignity and human rights.
Surely, Mr Holness knows that the Government of the Dominican Republic has effectively stripped some 300,000 Black Dominicans of Haitian ancestry of their citizenship rights and has presided over the deportation of some 200,000 such persons to Haiti over the past two years.
Surely, he is aware that many of these people know nothing about Haiti, have no family connections there, don't speak French or Haitian Creole, and have ended up in cholera-stricken refugee camps in Haiti.
Surely, he is aware that the widespread anti-Black, racist sentiment that the policies of the Dominican Republic Government have given rise to has led to several Black Dominicans being lynched in the Dominican Republic and to a wave of unlawful racist violence against Black Dominicans?
And yet he still goes ahead and disgraces the land of the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe, Nanny, George William Gordon, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh , Rex Nettleford, and Norman Girvan in this manner?
I humbly and sincerely believe that it is now incumbent on the people of Jamaica to reassert the honour of their nation by protesting this outrage and letting the world know of their disapproval and disavowal.
President of the Clement Payne