Jamaica has given the world some of the greatest people in history; freedom fighters like Dutty Boukman and Marcus Garvey, entertainers like Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, and athletes like Usain Bolt and Patrick Ewing. However, when it comes to actually following the teachings of her freedom fighters, Jamaica lingers behind most of her Caribbean compatriots.
This week Barbados made a bold move to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state for the island, a move that Jamaica has yet to do even though Jamaica gained Independence 4 years before Barbados. Trinidad and Tobago that gained independence in 1962, the same time as Jamaica, removed the queen of head of state from 1976.
So why has Jamaica continued to hold on to this legacy of colonization and a symbol of white supremacy? Maybe the answer lies in that fact that Jamaica has the most skin bleaching per capita in the world. Despite the Black pride thought by Marcus Garvey, many Jamaicans seem to be grappling with Black inferiority complex.
58 years after Independence and the country’s parishes are still named after white colonizers and supports of colonization such as Saint Ann, Saint Andrew, Saint Catherine, Saint Elizabeth and numerous others.
Prominent Jamaican attorney Bert Samuels said that Jamaica having queen Elizabeth as head of state is the equivalent of the Jews putting Adolph Hitler on a pedestal and worshipping him.
It is more than time for our people to experience true independence with the decolonization of our Constitution, the justice system, and also to remove those whose predecessors enslaved us from the pinnacle of our constitutional arrangement,” said Samuels.
“There is no way that a Jewish state would tolerate a descendant of Adolf Hitler being at the apex of its constitutional arrangement.”
Jamaican prime ministers, including Portia Simpson Miller, Bruce Golding, and the current holder, Andrew Holness, have all talked tough on severing the Crown as head of state but done little beyond the microphone.
Samuels said that he is pained to hear courts commencing daily with the “absurd” shouting by the police of “God save the Queen”.
He said, however, that he does not support a referendum on the issue.
“What I support is its abolition. You hold a referendum on something that you believe may have strong support. We don’t need that. We do not need any vote on this issue. It is abhorrent,” Samuels stated.
Holness, upon assuming office in 2016, included a proposal to make the island a republic in the 2016-2017 legislative agenda.
“Jamaicans have embraced the Queen and embraced our legacy in terms of the laws and the system of governance we have, but the deep, burning desire we have for full independence still exists,” he said then.
Samuels threw new bait to the Holness administration to follow conservative Barbados, often called ‘Little England’ because of its Anglophile pride, in setting a timeline for the abolishment of the monarchy.
The Rasta community of Jamaica has long held a disdain for the English monarchy. In fact, reggae artist Sizzla often refers to the queen as “Queen Elizabitch” in his songs.
On the other hand, a lot of Jamaican cheered and celebrated when Prince Harry married a biracial Meghan Markle exposing the deep rooted brainwashing that having many Jamaicans believing the British monarch is something great and worth to be a part of.