Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
AS THE country anticipates the grand celebrations of 50 years of Independence, Miguel Lorne, head of the Marcus Garvey People's National Party, says there is nothing much to celebrate as the absence of black consciousness and Garvey's teachings have led to the many social ills that continue to plague the country. Marcus Mosiah Garvey is one of Jamaica's national heroes.
"I can't celebrate a country with over 1,000 murders per year. I can't celebrate a country where abortion is so rampant and where a person's crave for knowledge is decreasing and persons are not able to even spell their names after a certain time," Lorne told The Gleaner yesterday. "There is an increase in the number of persons owning cars and houses and seeking after the luxury of life, with which nothing is wrong, but we lack the quality (of life)."
He added that young people have lost their sense of pride, which has led to the deterioration of the society.
"There is hardly anything being done to address black consciousness. Young people coming up have no tangible evidence of who we are as a black nation, which is evident in the songs that are being played. It is evident in the number of persons having a desire to bleach their skin; our youths have no hope and we have to bring about ways to change the mindset of our people. That's what Garvey's teachings seek to do, to change the mindset of people," Lorne said.
He commended the education ministry for initiating steps to implement Garvey's teaching in schools. However, he emphasised that it needs to be done urgently.
"I appreciate our minister of education wanting to implement the teachings of Garvey, but I want to know why it took so long for so many other education ministers to see the light. Can you imagine if the teachings of Garvey were implemented 50 years before?" he asked.
"This implementation is long overdue and we don't want the minister to be only touting that Garvey's teachings need to be incorporated in the school system, but this is something that needs to be done now. "The whole mindset of our people needs to be changed and this should be a change of royalty, dignity and pride."