What is isn’t always right
SLAVERY SHOWS THAT sometimes what is, is not always what is right, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice Sir Dennis Byron pointed out last night.
It is also shows that societies evolve through radical social change, the jurist said.
“It must be recalled that at that time Christianity and the respected powers of society were upholding the very practices of slavery and racism which it condemns today, demonstrating what is, is not always what’s right,” he said.
Sir Dennis delivered the Eighth Annual Memorial Lecture in honour of former Methodist and National Hero Sarah Ann Gill last night on the topic Spirituality and Justice at the Frank Collymore Hall.
“Two lessons are relevant to the discussion tonight. The existence of a moral consciousness and the taking of personal responsibility are powerful motivating factors to correct the wrongs in society even when the institutions set up to uphold justice fail to do so,” he said.
In a diverse world the concept of justice and spirituality are essential regardless of race, colour or ethnicity.
Gill’s story, he said, was set during the years of colonialism and slavery, when women and non-Europeans were treated as inferior. The Methodist Church became a voice in the movement for the abolition of slavery and for that it came under violent attack by the colonial authorities and the white rulers, Sir Dennis noted.
“Sarah Ann Gill showed what could happen when spirituality and justice intercept,” he said.
Sir Dennis went on to recount how in the face of threats and prosecution, Gill defiantly opened her home for worship.
“She was charged with holding illegal meetings and harbouring guns and ammo in the home. Can you imagine the courage of the black woman in those days? Women had no political status and racial abuse was rampant but she refused to be silent in the face of injustice,” he said. (AC)