Op-ED: National Hero status for Michael Norman Manley!


Recent news articles have led me to further raise my voice to call on the Jamaican government to confer the honor of Jamaica’s National Hero on the late and former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Michael Norman Manley. These writers suggested some Jamaicans should become the nation’s next national heroes. National Heroes in Jamaica bear no humor with the experiences of those already honored. People died!! So, despite the brilliance of these people with their great talent, extreme skillfulness, the creativity in their arts, all the above-mentioned exceptional knacks are great attributes, but not enough to merit them as national heroes for Jamaica. These names that were suggested are great Jamaicans. I honestly have lived through blissful moments because of their performances. They all have done good work for their country, Jamaica, that have helped increase the interest of non-Jamaicans in Jamaica. Definitely! Their expertise have given most Jamaicans boasting rights and have led younger Jamaicans to aspire for greater things in their lives. These Jamaicans have propelled the tiny nation of Jamaica to become one of the most loved and respected places across the globe.

All of this is awesome! The conflicting side of this argument, however, is that being skillful, being a great performer and being talented and creative are not attributes that qualify one to become a national hero of Jamaica and be given this honor. We cannot go along with other countries who see their citizens as good performers and perhaps see other assets in these individuals and then make decisions about who our national heroes should be. A national hero in Jamaica is the highest honor for any citizen to be awarded within the nation. The national hero’s award is given only to Jamaican citizens with public services of the most noble, and distinguished actions toward the development of others, not for self.