Bob Marley for Jamaica National Hero Part II
Over the years, many conversations have taken place about Bob Marley. These conversations surround the question, should Robert Nesta Marley receive Jamaica highest medal of honor. Have he earned the right to become a National Hero of Jamaica. Does he deserve the country’s highest Medal of Honor, “Order of National Hero?” There are many people who opposed the idea and they have their reasons. Then there are many people who support the idea that Bob deserves the right to receive the highest Medal of Honor and they have their reasons. This article is intended to highlight some of the talking points people are verbalizing to support their argument on why Bob Marley should be given the “Order of National Hero” status.
Bob Marley Conversation.
As discussed in the first conversation “Bob Marley – A Jamaican National Hero – Part I. Many countries have their National Hero but they were not always perfect. Many countries have national heroes with questionable past. Some made mistakes earlier in their life while other made mistakes along the way. However, these countries felt their National Heroes contribution to their country far outweighed their bad decisions as a younger man.
Unfortunately for Bob Marley he died at the young age of 36, so he did not have the chance to show Jamaica he was indeed deserving of National Hero status. His body failed him as he was climbing the ladder to greatness. Luckily for Bob, he was blessed. He was able to sow the seeds through his body of work in his music and the seeds harvest beyond anyone’s imagination. One can only imagine “What If”, what if Bob lived to a ripe age of say seventy-five, would we be having this conversation? We think probably not….
What if Bob Marley’s life were on trial for National Hero.
As we know, he died young. So what if Bob Marley’s life were on trial to become National Hero and his case went to court? The Prosecuting Attorney would present his argument to the juries that base on Circumstantial Evidence (connect it to a conclusion of facts – If it looks like a duck and walk like a duck, it’s probably a duck) the way Robert Nesta Marley life turned to be described as legendary, he should be given the title “Order of National Hero.” Sure he was an ordinary man. However, this ordinary man was able to do some extraordinary things. Bob died May 11, 1981 at the age of 36.
He was not born with a gold spoon in his mouth, he came from humble beginnings. Marley was born in the country so you could say his stars shined brighter on the country side. Nobody claimed he was born in a manger. Yet many see him as a prophet. Some say he was chosen, put on Earth to do the work of Jah (God). His success is undeniable, denial runs in the Nile of Egypt. His body of work in his music lives on causing his popularity to soar. You know of “The Star of David.” But there is no “Star of Bob” unless you are talking about the one on “Hollywood Walk of Fame” given to him twenty years after his death in 2001. That same year Marley was ranked No. 11 by Rolling Stone “100 Greatest Artist of All Time”, his song “One Love” was voted Song of the Millennium by BBC. He also received a “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.”
“Conspiracy theory”, overrule “Facts”
So his blessing and accomplishments continues to this day, 35 years after his death. Some people argue that it’s a conspiracy why Bob was not given the “Order of National Hero.” And even though we know “Conspiracy theory”, overrule “Facts” many believe hope lies in the student of today who will be the teacher of tomorrow. Everyone knows Bob Marley did not fight in any war, so he’s not a war hero. In fact he left the USA in his brief stay and moved back to Jamaica during the Vietnam War.
His revolt and rebellious fights was against social injustice. That fight was fought through his music. One of Bob Marley’s major commitments and contribution to his country was displayed when he performed in the free concert, “Smile Jamaica.” on December 5, 1976, arranged by then Prime Minister Michael Manley. Two days before the concert, gun men broke into Bob Marley’s home and shot him, his wife and manager. At that point, Bob Marley had a valid reason to cancel the concert. The people would have understood, but the show went on as planned. When he was questioned on why he performed, Bob replied, “The people who are trying to make this world worst aren’t taking off. How can I?”
The concert was very important to the country at that time and Bob Marley came through. During this time tension was high in Jamaica between the People’s National Party and Jamaica Labour Party. Innocent citizens were getting killed. Just like our seven National Heroes, the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley did not go into hiding. He put his life on the line for the people. He went on stage and performed. Like our National Heroes, he did not back down when confronted by violence. They risked their lives so others can have a better life and so did Bob.
Jamaica’s National hero
Leaders such as Paul Bogle, Samuel Sharpe and Nanny of the Maroons from Jamaica were killed fighting for freedom and social and economic equality. Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and others from the US fought the same fight ending with the same result. Bob Marley going on stage after being shot two days earlier reminded people of Jamaica’s National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante at one of his rally fighting to improve social and economic conditions for union workers. Sir Bustamante was told the government was planning his arrest.
While he was speaking on stage at the rally, he noticed there were people from the government mixed in the crowed. He then spoke these words, “but they not I, should be very careful. I am above them, for while they want to live forever, I am prepared to die today.” The Honorable Robert Nesta Marley went on stage preparing to die if it was the will of his maker, fighting to improve social and economic conditions for the people. Many people have spoken; it’s time to give Bob Marley his rightful place in history, Jamaica’s highest honor, the “Order of National Hero.”
One Love Peace Concert
Bob Marley continued his fight for truths and rights in Jamaica in 1978 when he performed in the concert dubbed, “One Love Peace Concert.” This concert was performed two years after being shot. While in England, once again, his country needed his help and Bob Marley got a personal visit asking him to Jamaica to perform. The request was for Bob Marley to come home and help to stop the gun violence killing between both political parties which overflowed into the streets. Bob Marley went to Jamaica and performed in the free concert dubbed, “One Love Peace Concert.” At the end of the concert, Bob Marley called Prime Minister Michael Manley and opposition leader Edward Seaga on stage to shake hands to show a sign of unity to the people. This move was significant in the political arena because it helped people to realize that the political violence was not helping the country.
So while there will always be arguments on both sides on why Bob Marley should or should not receive Jamaica’s highest Medal of Honor “Order of National Hero” status. There will be no argument from anyone today to wish Bob Marley Happy Birthday February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981.