Sat | May 26, 2018

Commonwealth celebrations a mockery of our struggle

Published:Thursday | April 26, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This past week, there, was a massive 70th anniversary celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations in England.

At a time when Britain is parting ways, politically, with the European Union, she seeks to get closer to her long-time babies those whom she ruled and exploited with murder and violence to build her empire. Those whom she feels and knows that she has the full measure of the many who still hang on to her shirt tail in making their highest court the British Privy Council, even though their judges have described us as a burden in many ways.

We can well understand why Britain would want to celebrate. But how can countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Jamaica celebrate colonialism and the legal murders carried out against our freedom fighters? Is this not a blatant disrespect to our ancestors who shed their blood at the hands of the British, to give us some of the freedoms we have today?

Many brothers and sisters here in Jamaica were killed, shot down or jailed for daring to say that Haile I Sellassie I is our god. Rastafarians were denied entry to schools, jobs, or even as passengers on public buses. We were classified as 'South Sea Cannibals', 'deluded creatures', and programmes such as re-armament was suggested by the British governor.

So, therefore, when our prime minister, Andrew Holness, goes and celebrate with Britain, it makes his apology to Rastafarians for Coral Gardens artificial and meaningless.

The celebration of the Commonwealth is not just 70 years, but over 500 years of murder and violence that the Queen of England and her ancestors carried out against Africans, at home and abroad. To celebrate with her is counter to the call for reparations and a ringing endorsement of Britain's policies.

The crumbs from the Commonwealth table cannot appease the blood of our martyrs.The journey continues.

Ras Miguel Lorne