In his Emancipation day message to the nation, Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley is calling on citizens to spend the day being thoughtful and reflective.
The Prime Minister states that we are currently writing new pages in our history, and need to ask ourselves some important questions:
Are we facilitating new prejudices and divisions in our society? Are we perpetuating a mindset of entitlement – claiming rights where instead we should accept personal responsibility?
Are we committed to working together in the best interest of our country, and can we look past the “me” and “my group”, to the bigger picture of nationhood?
Rowley notes in his address that although some among us still seek to create chasms within the population, we must all remember that struggle, oppression, discrimination and violence were endured in varying degrees by many of our ancestors.
He goes on to remind the nation that through sheer determination, the will to succeed, and the power of an unconquerable spirit; our ancestors surmounted beliefs which were intended to crush them.
They overcame prejudice and ingrained philosophical beliefs of one group’s inherent right to dominate and denigrate others, and they created opportunities for their own advancement.
He notes that Emancipation Day, along with other national days of recognition, are welcome avenues for personal celebrations, but says that those days also require something more of us.
They invite us to better understand ourselves and each other, to seek commonalities while accepting differences.
The Prime Minister ends his address stating that we need another narrative, one driven towards collective respect, appreciation and unity of purpose.