In 1962 the Union Jack of England was lowered replaced with the gold, green and black emblem of Jamaica’s Sovereignty and a proclamation that, “Out of many one people,” as our National Motto. What a fallacy...I now realize their clever disguise, for rightly so, out of the many people only one set have continually bear the brunt and bruises, burden and ill-treatment of the British so-called Settlers and their hand picked Overseers... even to this day.
Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Reflections

Black Butterfly (Song): Deniece Williams-1984

Black Butterfly sail across the sky

Let the current lift your head and send it soaring

Write your timeless message clear across the sky

So that all of us can read it and remember it when we need it

That a dream conceived in truth can never die.

As I peer through the window of yesteryears, etched in the collective display of memories of a time not so long ago are faces drenched in suffering, poverty and grief, highlighting the distorted frightening realities of slavery and colonization, racism, discrimination and oppression.

In 1962 the Union Jack of England was lowered replaced with the gold, green and black emblem of Jamaica’s Sovereignty and a proclamation that, “Out of many one people,” as our National Motto. What a fallacy…I now realize their clever disguise, for rightly so, out of the many people only one set have continually bear the brunt and bruises, burden and ill-treatment of the British so-called Settlers and their hand picked Overseers… even to this day.

Now 2007, many remnants of that era prior to Independence still run rampant in numerous blatant and insidious ways. First, there in England sits an old woman who may have set foot on the shores of Jamaica no more time than Moses parted the Red Sea. Of course she is the Queen of England and rightfully so for that’s where she belongs. (I nuh hav no problem wid dat.) How is it the oppressor still reigns over the oppressed? Would the Jews of Poland have Hitler’s descendant as their queen or the people of Ireland the queen of Britain?

Our judicial system still leans heavily on the highest court of England’s Ruling; the hierarchies of our so called Constabulary Force is headed by them and in almost every nook and corner their descendants are, calling the shots, but “ I and I want to rule my destiny” the lyrical words of Buju Banton. We must control the politics and economics of our community, our parishes and ultimately our country. We must practice inter- dependency and not be in total reliance.

Jamaica seemingly has lost its sense of identity. We are much more than just the preferred exotic vocational destination of the very set of people who threat us Jamaicans as second class citizens all over the world. Gone are the days when we triumph our Nationalistic Pride and stood firm in solidarity on the world’s stage, rebellious against injustices and imperialism and displaying our own sense of Jamaican identity.

Today I sound the abeng for us to return to the trail Daddy Manley, Walter Rodney and others trodden and with shield on arm our mission is to restore Jamaica’s glorious past of economic independence and growth, brotherhood and love.

“Jamaica land we love” must not only be like singing” We shall overcome someday,” but magnified in our deeds. It is the most scared of duties for us to practice our culture, our heritage and our traditions. We must be unified as a shield as well as a force for self preservation, advancement and prosperity. As we celebrate our own self governance let it be as in the similar words of Marcus Garvey…”Jamaica for Jamaicans both at home and abroad.”

About the author

Kharl Daley