Black on black discrimination, can we say genocide? I say clean up your own house, while at the same time seeking reparation for Slavery. To deny that the Rastafarians have been marginalised, segregated, propaganda indoctrinated into the minds of Jamaicans that still today, there are many that are of the belief that they are an uneducated bunch of squatters who live like animals.
Now is the time for the Government of Jamaica to find the resources as they surely can find funds when they choose. They must out of shear honesty and credibility accept that they have helped to cause injustice to a group of people whose religious beliefs are different from our own and by extension their grooming and attire. They are largely black people and while it is hard for many to digest that black people are also racist against their own, it is so.
Believe or not to believe is of your own volition. However, there is no denying that when you sell Brand Jamaica, there are those world-wide who think of Rastas as being part of the brand. Many come to Jamaica not only for the sun, beach and the laid back atmosphere but also for the ‘Rasta man and Weed’. Bob Marley took reggae music on an international plain like no other artist and it was well known that for the vast majority of his life, Rastafarianism was his belief.
If the Government of Jamaica does not take care of its own people who they discriminated against, I hardly expect the ‘white man’ to do the same hundreds of years later. Apologise and compensate them, they are entitled to this. By our very own motto, we have accepted and embraced the other cultures on the Roc, the Rastafarians culture deserve no less.
Reparation for Rastas?
Justice minister wants apology, compensation for brutalised victims of Coral Gardens, Back ‘o’ Wall, Pinnacle
(Jamaica Observer) Monday, December 14, 2015 28 Comments
SENATOR Mark Golding, the minister of justice, believes that Rastafarian victims of the infamous Coral Gardens, Pinnacle and Back ‘o’ Wall incidents deserve both an apology and reparation from the Jamaican State which he said had brutalised and oppressed them.
Golding made it clear in an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday that he was stating his personal views at this time, but would raise the matter in Cabinet next month, possibly through the just-released report by the public defender on the bloody Coral Gardens incident that claimed several lives in 1963 in St James.
“The treatment of the Rastafarians is a matter of social justice. There were decades of fairly brutal and oppressive conduct by the State towards them. After the Coral Gardens incident there was a sort of witch-hunt. All of this was quite improper,” said Golding.
The justice minister also listed the controversial destruction by police of the Leonard Howell-led Rastafarian community at Pinnacle, St Catherine, and the demolition of Back ‘o’ Wall in Western Kingston, among actions for which he believed the State should pay compensation and apologise to their victims.
In that report, the public defender recommended, among others things, that the State establishes a trust fund of no less than $10 million “for the benefit of properly identifiable surviving victims of the Coral Gardens incident”, and that a co-operative society be set up exclusively for the benefit of Rastafarians and be granted a licence to cultivate ganja.
It further recommended that: “The State uses appropriate language to apologise to those persons who were directly affected by the events of Coral Gardens, 1963, but who were not involved in the unlawful events or activities which led to the tragedy.”
In what could be a controversial recommendation, the report also called for “urgent conisideration” to be given to the acquisition of the Outameni property owned by the National Housing Trust in Trelawny “with a view to allocating a portion thereof to the Rastafarian community” for the establishment of a cultural centre it says should be set up by the culture and tourism ministries for the preservation of Rastafari culture.
Golding earlier signalled that he would be taking an interest in the matter when he was the featured speaker last Thursday at celebrations marking the 91st anniversary of the birth of late prime minister and People’s National Party (PNP) leader, Michael Manley, at PNP headquarters in Kingston.
Speaking on “Michael Manley and social justice”, Golding outlined the famous social legislation of the 1970s Manley Administration, such as equal pay for women; maternity leave with pay; Status of Children Act; National Minimum Wage; and introduction of the Family Court, among others.
He then listed some issues still not yet dealt with, including: “Apology/reparation for past abuses inflicted upon the Rastafari community (Pinnacle in the early 1950s, Coral Gardens atrocities, and the Back o’ Wall demoliton in the 1960s.”
He also mentioned recognition of the Jamaican language and modification of methods of teaching children for whom ‘Jamaican’ is their first language; more effective responses to domestic violence and violence against children in the home; and tolerance for the LGBT community and the elimination of stigma and discrimination.