LETTER OF THE DAY - Stand up for justice
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Harriet Tubman, the American slave, is credited with leading 300 slaves to freedom. In the twilight of her life, she was asked if she had any regrets about her work. A veil of sadness shrouded the face of Ms Tubman - whose exploits earned her the sobriquet 'Moses' - then she spoke: "I could have saved many more slaves if only I could convince them that they were slaves."
On Tuesday morning, I watched the demonstrators voicing their concern about police excesses. At the height of things, the number of demonstrators was 100. Why, I asked myself, wasn't the number closer to 100,000? It seems as if that section of the population most likely to suffer from police abuse is the section least willing to work to eliminate it. It is unlikely that Carolyn Gomes or Betty Ann Blaine will find themselves in these situations. Yet, it is persons such as these who are working out their 'soul case' to better the conditions of these people.
When someone is killed by a member of our security forces, the usual procedure is for the residents to block the road, the TV cameras come and record a loved one wailing for a few seconds, the police clear the roadblock and promise an investigation. For reasons better known to themselves, the residents believe and disperse. And that's more or less that.
Americans will not budge
At 3:30 yesterday morning, the American TV stations had as their main topic the same story they were carrying for some time. A black teenager was killed by a neighbourhood watch volunteer under questionable circumstances and he was not charged. There was a petition with two million signatures. Hundreds of thousands of persons were attending rallies all over the United States. This boy was killed one month ago and the demonstrations are increasing - not decreasing. The people will not budge until some action is taken. Do you see the difference?
Not all the slaves were joyful on Emancipation Day. Some could not face life without a massa. Harriet Tubman took her two brothers with her when she escaped. But they gave up and returned. She persevered.
Our refusal to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery will continue to produce the same natural result - political and social slavery.