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Freedoms won, or lost?

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Tue, Aug 21, 2012

Editor: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” – Bob Marley.

Having recently celebrated Emancipation day and proudly dedicating August as Emancipation month,{{more}} we should be grateful to our ancestors for their hard work and back-breaking toil in achieving this act of solidarity. If it were not for their undying, courageous acts over two hundred years ago, we may still have been living in a society plagued with unorthodox, high-society aristocrats breathing down our necks and tails instituting and revoking rules that would have only made our lives worse.

In retrospect, however, can we say that there are remnants of this past civilization and that while human slavery is almost abolished, are we in bondage by the shackles of mental slavery? Are we still adhering to laws and norms that play a part in our lives, not only for our ‘benefit’ but for the well-being of those who run things? There are many rules that must be followed and respected to facilitate the efficient and stable running of a country, else there would be much confusion and turmoil. Turn your attention to a glance at the problems faced globally and how these affect us.

No matter how developed this world becomes, stereotyping individuals by social status, wealth and presence or lack of an education determines how far one gets. Unless we can sail the tides and rise up against dubious opposition to the victory or death like Samuel Sharpe, we are already leading ineffective lives.

The unbelievable issue is that if anything seriously wrong happens to any of those with even the slightest bit of power or those affiliated with them, rules become changed or twisted to suit the status quo. The ball is in their court, and the game played unfairly to maintain their ‘image’. When those of a higher or similar social standing analyze the situation, they too may find it appropriate to perform the same actions. On the other hand, those of a lower social standing, faced with a situation as described above, will face the consequences of their actions fairly and even harshly.

Despondently, they remind themselves of the idea that only those in power would be able to handle such a situation in all unfairness and get away. Their minds have become enslaved to this act of forfeit. The more outspoken individuals who know right from wrong would discuss the injustice of the situation and plea for equality among all. While a small percentage may be successful, political affiliation, social class and even ethnicity all determine the extent of this success.

It should therefore signal our attention to the heinous acts of murder committed every so often. According to Numbers 35:31: “And ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall certainly be put to death”. Simply put, this should not be played with. Repealing hanging on the grounds of mercy is not an excuse to rightfully punish a murderer guilty of such a sin.

It becomes quite clear that even though we may not see this as a serious issue, slavery is still present. It has remained in our society all these years and has furnished its home and made its will to be inherited by future generations. Consequently, our task is to be wise. Assess the events taking place around us, think before we speak and act, and do not be afraid

to question authority or shady affairs; but do so intelligently and constructively. Remember, although we have freedom of speech, a still tongue is better than speaking freely and foolishly.

Elizabeth Bullock

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