JAMAICA: 100 Jamaican individuals and organizations sign open letter to William and Kate

— regarding their visit to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II 70 year reign

.

I am sharing below the Advocates Network’s Open Letter to William and Kate, who bear the titles “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.” The letter is signed by 100 individuals (including myself) and organizations. The royal couple will arrive in Jamaica on Tuesday, March 22 and depart on Thursday, March 24, as part of their Caribbean tour.

Dear William and Kate: Why not just say you are sorry?            

March 20, 2022

Open Letter to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate

Dear William and Kate:

We note with great concern your visit to our country Jamaica, during a period when we are still in the throes of a global pandemic and bracing for the full impact of another global crisis associated with the Russian/Ukraine war. Many Jamaicans are unaware of your visit as they struggle to cope with the horrendous fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by pre-existing social and economic hardships inherited from our colonial past.

We also note that your visit is part of the celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary (Platinum Jubilee) of the Coronation of your grandmother and the 60th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, have perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind. Her ascension to the throne, in February 1952, took place 14 years after the 1938 labour uprisings against inhumane working/living conditions and treatment of workers; painful legacies of plantation slavery, which persist today. During her 70 years on the throne, your grandmother has done nothing to redress and atone for the suffering of our ancestors that took place during her reign and/or during the entire period of British trafficking of Africans, enslavement, indentureship and colonialization.

In fact, on September 30, 2015 former Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron addressed a joint sitting of both houses of the Jamaican Parliament, and told us to “move on from this painful legacy,” merely acknowledging the “horrors of slavery” and asserting British leadership in the abolition of slavery. Many of us were outraged and demanded an apology through several open letters by former PM PJ Patterson, Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, and University of Technology, Jamaica professionals, as well as newspaper articles, including one by Dr Henley Morgan.[1] We still await an apology for the offensive and insensitive statements. We have not forgotten! As Cameron correctly noted: “these wounds run very deep.”

We, therefore, will not participate in your Platinum Jubilee celebration!

We will, however, celebrate 60 years of freedom from British colonial domination. We are saddened that more progress has not been made given the burden of our colonial inheritance. We nonetheless celebrate the many achievements of great Jamaicans who rejected negative, colonial self-concepts and who self-confidently succeeded against tremendous odds. We will also remember and celebrate our freedom fighters, including our National Heroes, who bravely fought against British tyrannical rule and abominable human rights abuses. We welcome you to join this celebration.

You, who may one day lead the British Monarchy, are direct beneficiaries of the wealth accumulated by the Royal family over centuries, including that stemming from the trafficking and enslavement of Africans. You therefore have the unique opportunity to redefine the relationship between the British Monarchy and the people of Jamaica. If you choose to do so, we urge you to start with an apology and recognition of the need for atonement and reparations. There are many reasons why we see this is an important and necessary way forward for you both and the generations to come. We have attached a list of only sixty (60) reasons in commemoration of our 60 years of freedom from British colonialization.

We urge you to reflect carefully on these 60 reasons why you should apologize and begin a process of reparatory justice. It is unconscionable that enslavers have been compensated under the Slave Compensation Act (1837), with some payments converted into 3.5% government annuities which lasted until 2015, yet to date there has been no compensation paid to the descendants of enslaved Africans.

We are of the view that an apology for British crimes against humanity, including but not limited to, the exploitation of the indigenous people of Jamaica, the transatlantic trafficking of Africans, the enslavement of Africans, indentureship and colonialization, is necessary to begin a process of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and compensation.

We encourage you to act accordingly and just “sey yuh sorry!” Boldly lead a youthful generation in the hope that it is possible to create a future where: “the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned,” and where there is no “first class and second class citizens of any nation,” and where “the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes” and, finally, where “basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race.” These words were used by Emperor Haile Selassie I in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on 4 October 1963, and was made popular by Bob Marley in the song “War.” As a Rastafarian, Bob Marley embodied advocacy and is recognized globally for the principles of human rights, equality, reparations and repatriation. Use these words to create a new narrative and reality of PEACE for your generation and generations to come.

With Great Expectations!

The Advocates Network:  #AdvocatesNetwork  #Jamaica60  #WeNaaEaseUp

  1. Prof Rosalea Hamilton, Advocates Network
  2. Nora Blake, JP, Convener, No 9-Day Wonder, Advocates Network
  3. Prof Opal Palmer Adisa, Adisa Consulting/Thursdays in Black, Advocates Network
  4. Patricia Phillips, Advocates Network
  5. P N. Grant, Advocates Network
  6. Oberlene Smith, Advocates Network
  7. Fr. Sean Major-Campbell, J.P. Anglican Priest & Advocate for Human Rights
  8. Judith Wedderburn, Gender and Development Advocate
  9. Diedre Hart-Chang, Human Rights Advocate
  10. Dr. Henley Morgan, Social Entrepreneur
  11. Prof Trevor Munroe, Civil Society Advocate
  12. Mike Henry, Reparations Advocate for Chattel Slavery, One of the 2 longest serving MP in Jamaica
  13. Jacqui Samuels-Brown, Attorney at Law
  14. Hugh Small, Attorney-at-law
  15. Bert Samuels, Attorney at Law
  16. Manley (Big Youth) Buchanan, Musician and Freedom Advocate
  17. Ernie Smith, Singer/Songwriter
  18. Professor Grethel Bradford, Human Rights Advocate & Trauma Professional
  19. Dr Anna Kasafi Perkins, Roman Catholic Theologian and Ethicist
  20. Rev Jayson Downer, President, MoGAVA (Men of God Against Violence and Abuse)
  21. Linnette Vassell, Gender & Social Justice Activist
  22. Jeanette Calder, Accountability Advocate
  23. Enith M. Williams, Founder/Executive Director, Reparations Finance Lab
  24. Emma Lewis, Writer and Blogger
  25. Dr. Maziki Thame, Senior Lecturer, UWI, Mona
  26. Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, Development Communications Specialist
  27. Rukie Wilson, Jamaica Diaspora Member in Washington, D.C.
  28. Clarence Reynolds, President, Rennalls International LLC
  29. Rachel Dolcine, MPA, CPM, CEO, Compass Consulting & Training Solutions
  30. Rosemarie Francis-Binder, Stand Up for Jamaica, Germany
  31. Clinton Hutton, Scholar
  32. Mekelia Green, Attorney-at-Law
  33. Shirley Duncan, Advocates Network
  34. Hugh Thompson, Retired Jamaican
  35. Pat Bernard, Attorney at Law
  36. Patrick Euston, Retired Jamaican
  37. Hyman Wright, aka “Jah Life,” “Backawall,” Music Producer, Entrepreneur
  38. Desmond Shakespeare (Shaks), Industrial Engineer
  39. Lorna Wilson-Morgan PhD, Security Advisor (Retired)
  40. George Golding, Entertainment Consultant
  41. Rev. Newton G.A. Dixon, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church
  42. Kenneth Delano Rowe, Pan-Africanist
  43. Imani Duncan-Price, Gender and Development Activist, Former Senator
  44. Mishka Parkins, Consultant, Human Rights Advocate
  45. Marvia Parkins, Educator, Human Rights Advocate
  46. Paul Irving, Educational Psychologist
  47. KaBu Ma’at Kheru, Talk Show Host
  48. Lois E. Grant (Nzingha) Communications Consultant
  49. Lorna E Green, Convenor, Women Business Owner Ltd.
  50. Andrew Neita, Engineer
  51. Copeland Fisher, Retired Jamaican
  52. Paul Burke, PNP NEC Life Member
  53. Glynis Hay, Educator
  54. Marcia Swaby, Retired Teacher
  55. Christopher Malcolm, Jamaican without allegiance to the Crown
  56. Claudette Cameron-Stewart, Jamaican Diaspora Organizer
  57. Mark Cameron, Co Convener, UIC
  58. Andre Simpson, CEO, Higher Thinka
  59. Gillian Fox-Crosskill, Human Resources Manager
  60. Joseph L Patterson, UIC Jamaica President
  61. Eroll Walters, Jamaican Diaspora
  62. Sharon Wolfe, Administrator
  63. Dr Calvin Solomon, Medical Doctor
  64. Acinette Nelson, Jamaica Diaspora
  65. Yola Grey Baker, Fashion Designer
  66. Anthony White, Jamaica Research Project
  67. Bevenisha Moodie-Osawaru, Management Consultant
  68. Dr Caroline Dyche (PhD), Lecturer, UWI Mona
  69. Roy Phillips, retired Civil Servant
  70. Sidonie Donald-DePass, retired Matron, Spanish Town Hospital
  71. Victor J.N. Cummings, Former Member of Parliament
  72. Elaine Wint, Corporate Trainer/Coach
  73. Saba Igbe, Writer, Student
  74. Jonathan P. H. Burke, St. Mary Farmer
  75. Osmond Tomlinson, Medical Doctor
  76. Jacqueline Francis, Medical Doctor
  77. Dr Paul Allwood, Jamaica Diaspora
  78. Kenyama Brown, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The State of the African Diaspora (SOAD)
  79. Tehuti Ra Hujae, member of the People’s Anti-Corruption Movement
  80. Topaz Cole, Natural by Nature’s Farm and Agro processing
  81. Glen Brown (GB), Human Rights Advocate
  82. Donna AM Mattis, Teacher, Human and Social Rights Activist, Blogger, Member of People’s Anti-Corruption Movement
  83. Richard Marsh, Marine Biologist
  84. Arlene McKenzie, Freelance Community Tourism Consultant
  85. Maxine Stowe, Director, Ethio Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council aka Rastafari Millenium Council
  86. Priest Wesley Kelly, Haile Selassie 1 Royal Ethiopian Judah Coptic Church
  87. Priest Bongo Leo, Stony Gut, Nyahbinghi Tabernacle
  88. Hugh Johnson, Rep, Bernard Lodge Farmers Group and Immediate Past President SBAJ
  89. Osunya Minott, Black Roots Records
  90. Carlton Livingston, Executor, Bunny Wailer Estate
  91. Angela Pinnock, Medical Professional
  92. Errol Kong, aka Ricky Storm Jah warrior
  93. Trudy Knockless, Business of Law Journalist, NY
  94. Camica Fuller, Jamaican mother
  95. Theo Chambers, Wellness Consultant and Humanitarian
  96. Sharon Parris-Chambers, Founding Director, Temple of Inner Peace and Humanitarian
  97. Donna Brown, Jamaica Diaspora
  98. Andrea Prendergast, Mother
  99. Dr Joan Shaw-Johnson, Jamaican Citizen
  100. Stand Up For Jamaica (non-profit organization)

The Advocates Network is an unincorporated, non-partisan alliance of individuals and organizations advocating for human rights and good governance to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people of Jamaica and to transform lives. Our core objective is to forge an effective, broad-based collaboration of individuals and civil society organizations to support human rights and good governance issues. For more information, email: Advocatesnet@gmail.com


[1] See Open Letter by PJ Patterson’s: https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20151008/full-text-pj-slams-david-cameron-are-we-not-worthy-he-asks ; Open Letter by Hilary Beckles: https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20150928/open-letter-prime-minister-david-cameron ; Open Letter by 12 UTech Professionals: https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/focus/20151018/open-letter-british-prime-minister-david-cameron ; and Henley Morgan’s call for Apology & Reparation for Garrison Victims: https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Apology-and-reparation-for-garrison-victims_19232508

Prince William and Kate. (AP File Photo
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • brandli62  On 03/25/2022 at 7:09 am

    This entire trip to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II 70 year reign has been an embarrassment from A to Z. I hope that Prince William draws the right conclusions. I had mentioned in the past that the monarchy is an anachronism in the 21st century. Why should William be one day the nominal head of state of Jamaica or Belize? He has never lived there; he does not understand the countries, their people and cultures; his only connection is his birthright to inherit the position from his father and his grandmother.

    I happened to watch the BBC footage of Kate & William’s trip to Belize. It felt like colonialism had never ended. Locals dancing with the royals. School children singing songs. Two white highly previliged people show up to shake hands and are there to represent the queen, the nominal head of state of Belize. I would have felt so embarrassed having to do this. The best thing they could have done is to tell the people of Belize that this all makes no sense anymore and that Belize should vote their best to become Head of State.

    • Dennis Albert  On 03/25/2022 at 11:54 am

      But when the Belizeans and Jamaicans migrate to the UK, the Brexit voter will tell them that they do not belong in the UK.

  • Winston  On 03/25/2022 at 9:38 am

    I am glad to hear that Jamaica is planning to get rid of the yoke that has harnessed them and other colonies for hundreds of years. William is not capable of becoming King. He lacks intelligence. He and his wife need to get REAL jobs and stop living off the taxpayers. Must be nice to travel with an entourage doing your bidding at every turn. Guess who pays for that???? What a sweet job these two useless people have.

  • Dennis Albert  On 03/25/2022 at 11:47 am

    Theresa May deported THOUSANDS of Windrush Caribbean nationals, so why expect a welcome to the epitome of White dominance? The British crown?

    Canada has the Queen of England as their Head of State, yet they are deporting hundreds of Black people at the same time Canadians welcome the White Ukrainians en masse:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/somali-canada-deportation-passports-1.6393520

    • Morning star  On 03/25/2022 at 12:02 pm

      Well I guess if you can get a free holiday and dump your children during school term on the old folks and hired help, wear some flash expensive clothes, skin your teeth and jig around with the locals why not ????

      • Maureen Wickham uk  On 03/26/2022 at 2:04 pm

        The royal family are the ones that bring tourism and money into the UK. Tourists go to London to see Buckingham palace and other places associated with royalty.

        The Jamaicans that got deported did not have their naturalization papers that you apply to become a citizen when you get here. These documents need to be paid for. Obviously these people either did not want to pay or were not that clever enough to apply.
        (Edited by Moderator)

      • Dennis Albert  On 03/26/2022 at 3:01 pm

        But the UK government can find money to house the Ukrainian & Polish nationalist who could have murdered dozens of migrants in their home country, while denying the rights of former slaves in their colonies? Sheer eyepass.

      • brandli62  On 03/26/2022 at 3:06 pm

        “Ukrainian & Polish nationalist who could have murdered dozens of migrants in their home country”

        Outrageous claim, Dennis. Please provide facts or stop posting fake news! This is unacceptable and despicable posting. In addition, Poles are considered refugees in this conflict.

      • Dennis Albert  On 03/26/2022 at 8:10 pm

        I don’t need to look at news of the Polish nationalist murdering Black and Brown people to post it here. Those Eastern European countries are known to harbour Neo-nazis and racist people. Even the Jewish Europeans had to flee Warsaw due to anti-Semitism.
        The non-bigoted Polish people have already left the country while the racists remained and now want to beg the EU for handouts.

  • JoE  On 03/26/2022 at 3:24 pm

    It was explained by a Royal “expert” that only the state can issue an apology from one government to another. It’s not the forte of the Royals. So William did the next best thing which was to express abhorrence about the slave trade. However, I don’t understand agreeing to a royal visit only to go through this airing of grievances. Why agree to the visit in the first place if you’ve got one foot out the door? Besides, being a republic is not magically going to make Jamaica prosperous. Those socio-economic factors that remain within the society’s very structure will determine far more what upliftment will happen. We live in an era of grievances for every facet of human life. I celebrate those Jamaicans who succeeded in J’ca and abroad despite challenges.

    • Maureen Wickham uk  On 03/26/2022 at 3:37 pm

      Why should William apologize for his disgusting ancestors ? If your relative did something bad would you apologize on their behalf ? I wouldn’t!

      • Dennis Albert  On 03/26/2022 at 8:10 pm

        Because he inherited their legacy and became rich to this day.

      • Maureen Wickham uk  On 03/27/2022 at 2:52 am

        William comes across as kind and thought ful despite the frosty reception. I think Dennis You are far too racist and you express all this on these kind of nasty hateful comments in these platform s because you are far too perfect . Honestly Guyana is full of inbred wife beating corrupt paediphiles. Plenty children are abandoned in Guyana .

      • Dennis Albert  On 03/27/2022 at 9:05 am

        Your comment reminds me of that law in Poland which criminalises Jewish people of speaking about the Holocaust as it is alleged that it “promotes hate of the Polish nationalist pride”

  • Dennis Albert  On 03/27/2022 at 9:07 am

    Maureen, if you believe that the Jamaicans don’t have a right to protest, while posting racist generalisations of Guyanese, then I wonder what your motives are. A real Guyanese wouldn’t have Polish nationalist Neo-Nazi talking points.

    • Maureen Wickham uk  On 03/27/2022 at 9:49 am

      You promote hatred on here anyway . Not everyone is racist in this world !

      • Dennis Albert  On 03/27/2022 at 4:29 pm

        The British Crown and the Nazi regime in Auschwitz were sure racist.

  • Paulette  On 03/27/2022 at 10:59 am

    It is time for Jamaica to break away from the British Monarchy and awaits an apology.

  • JoE  On 03/27/2022 at 3:41 pm

    Maureen: Don’t waste time on Dennis Albert. He’s got a platform for easy insults and misstatements. In today’s world you need only air your own specific grievances to have, you assume, an unassailable stance to attack any naysayers disagreeing with you. There’s a market stall for each and every colour-coded and/or gender-coded situation. People forget how to be just human and maintain one’s own self-respect as well as giving others some breathing room for existence. No one is blind to the evils and injustices of the past. We should note that our ancestors gave us an inheritance of endurance and strength under oppression. They lived to be educated and paved the way for us all. We owe them the courage to be free of the burden of the past despite our knowledge of it, because they showed their full capacity as humans under the worst circumstances. We owe them lives of dignity, decency and full humanity. Dennis Albert..I won’t waste time rebutting anything further from you. Grind on as you like.

    • Dennis Albert  On 03/27/2022 at 4:35 pm

      The British Monarchy is a plague on the earth. They have blood on their hands for what they did during the slave trade.

      • Morning  On 03/27/2022 at 6:04 pm

        So it just the British monarchy that are slave owners .I thought it was white people in general that were slave owners in UK.

        My fathers father was a wife beater uneducated alcoholic who abused his wife and his children . My father learnt all this and enjoyed molesting young children but got away with it for many many years . He looked like a decent person at the Mandir and in front of guyanese people and no doubt at work but he was the most vile person that God sent to this earth to torture my mother and rape my sister .we were molested by him but had a lucky escape because he was having a great time perving over my sister after he use to beat my mother to make her leave the family own so he could impregnate innocent children in the middle of the night . So all of this was learnt from the great unwashed in Essequibo!!!

      • Dennis Albert  On 03/27/2022 at 7:57 pm

        The brick of text accusing your grandfather of child abuse is a criminal & civil matter for the courts.

        This does not excuse the British monarchy for their role in colonisation & slavery in Africa & the West Indies.

  • brandli62  On 03/28/2022 at 2:46 am

    @Morning: This is a horrible family story. I hope you were able to brake the cycle. I believe all the abusers are no longer alive and hence cannot be prosecuted.

    • Morning  On 03/28/2022 at 5:24 am

      We are free of him but there is something called child hood trauma and my memory came back after I became a parent .

      My mother had no family turn to but this invidual had siblings who thought the sunshine out of his rear. They are now dead but I am sad that I could not confront this demonic pig .my child is very very safe but my sibling could not even leave her own child with the grandparentbin case he dropped his pants .now adays these people don’t get away with this but in the 70 s there was no one to turn to.i keep my distance from his relatives because I want to tell them what a demonic pervert he was.

      • brandli62  On 03/28/2022 at 5:33 am

        This really a tragic story and you have my sympathy for you had to endure. Thank god with are living in the 21st century, where these crimes are no longer a taboo and the public does not tolerate them. It’s also nice to read that you managed to break the evil cycle and raise your child safe and as a caring parent. You deserve all the praise in the world!

      • wally n  On 03/28/2022 at 1:21 pm

        If you can bring that out, it is huge step forward,almost there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: