Mark Golding Advocates For Bob Marley To Be Granted National Hero Status

Mark Golding, Leader of the parliamentary Opposition, has recommenced the initiative backed by many Jamaicans to have the legend of Reggae,  Robert Nesta Marley, granted the Order of National Hero for the appreciation of his significant worldwide musical influence.

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During a combined sitting (held to celebrate Jamaica’s 60 years as an independent nation) with the Senate at Gordon House and the House of Representatives on Friday, August 5, Golding reasoned that it has been over 40 years since the music prodigy has passed and in that time his influence and positive musical image have continued to spread across the world at a steady pace, and he believes that, “it is high time that we recognize this by affording him the status of a national hero.”

Well-known attorney-at-law Frank Phipps also issued a call with similar purposes this week via a letter addressed to the Jamaica Observer stating he should be honoured as a national hero for “‘conferring enduring fame upon all the people of Jamaica.”‘

National Council for Reparation, Phipps remarked that just as he advocates for Marley to be recognized for immortalizing the unyielding spirit of the African Diaspora in Jamaica, cultural figurehead Louise Bennett Coverley (Miss Lou) should also be designated as a national hero for the eternalizing of African culture.

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Phipps vocalized that it would be reassuring to note “how many Jamaicans of all ages”, classes, and ethnic origins all over the country “would support a petition to honour these two Jamaicans of the majority race, out of many.”

Golding also cautioned the people against taking for granted their duties, rights, and democratic freedom on Thursday, August 4, 2022. He emphasized that structures and organizations should be perpetually reinforced so that there can be transparency, liability, and morality in all areas of sovereignty.

He warned that Jamaica’s road to “political independence” is still an ongoing process and that “Our head of State is not a Jamaican and has never lived here.” Continuing, he added that the vast population of our country “have no practical means of accessing justice” as our “court of appeal” is still under “colonial rule” in London, which is “thousands of miles away.”

Golden marveled that there are still some who believe that after 60 years of self-governance, Jamaica is still incapable of crossing the finishing line to independence politically. He said that “It is time to cast aside such negative self-doubt” and that these 60 years of independence mark the time for Jamaica to unite and “recommit” to “political independence” which can be done by discarding the final remnants of the “past colonial rule.”

Golding underlined some of Jamaica’s best areas of success which include music and sports (among others) and how the country’s “musical luminaries” (in both Dancehall and Reggae) have inspired justice and hope in nations seeking their independence but are confronted with oppression. The sitting he spoke at had an audience consisting of the diplomatic and consular corps, members of the judiciary, and a delegation from the Namibian Government.

He commented that “Jamaica made its mark by standing up for principle” even in the face of adversity and that we are a country respected for our “adherence to the principles of non-alignment”, non-intervention, autonomy, and the quest toward fairness among countries.

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