Whose National Symbols?

Marguerite Orane blogged about the recent uproar regarding the Jamaican athletes’ antics while the national anthem played during their medal ceremony in S. Korea.

Repost from FB:
I think too many of us don’t talk about our ambivalence regarding these issues, and how we arrived at the place that we find ourselves at right now. That absence of honest dialogue makes it seem as if there has always only been one way to think, act, respond, and that is to call other people names when they dont comply with the rules.
Its why I find nationalism and its variants e.g. the chauvinism that many Jamaicans exhibit, to be downright dangerous.  Its proponents don’t want to make room to think and be reflective, just in case they discover that theres a wrinkle or difference in perspective.

I used to stand at attention and all that, because that’s what I was expected to do. But when I started to think about what my own values are, how I came to them, and what I truly wish for all Jamaicans, there was literally a moment, just like you described, when I opened my mouth and the words could not come out. Instead, I cried. That was in 1994.  I don’t sing the national anthem or salute the flag because too much wrong and injustice is done in their name and by the very people who so proudly defend them.  It rings false to me.  Until I feel that all Jamaicans, not just some, are embraced and included in this Land, I won’t sing or salute.  And that is very saddening for me.


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