Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Friday, May 23, 2008

License to Hate

I woke up with his words ringing in my ears.... "Not in My Cabinet."

My Prime Minister has just communicated to the world that he is a bigot, and that he hates gay people, and that he is prepared to deny someone who is gay a position they deserve simply because they are homosexual.

Let's see what this means. A gay man, a lesbian woman, a bisexual person.... they all would find the door closed regardless of their accomplishments.

Presumably, someone in his current Cabinet who is in the closet, and decides to tell the truth would be fired on the spot. I imagine that if one of his children were to do the same they'd suffer some severe fate. Anyone in government who is gay had better keep it under wraps as well, because their management has now received a reason to get rid of them, and an open license to hate.

With his words and example he is making it clear. It is fine in Jamaica for a manager to use sexual orientation as a reason to exclude people from jobs, careers and professions. Once they are found out, they can be fired.

It's obvious by the tone of his words that they are the kind of people who need to be excluded from the best that Jamaica has to offer, and if there is no reversal of his public attitude, they are bound to continue to suffer in our country.

The consequences are already being felt around the world, as Jamaica tells the world the lengths we are willing to go, in order to exclude gay people. Of course, the world just happens to be moving in the opposite direction, with full force. We, however, have the willingness and the fortitude to stick it out alone, apparently, and to be the only country in the world, if we have to be, that openly discriminates against gays at the highest level.

All this while wanting to remain a top tourist destination.

It looks to me as if we'll have to feel the tangible consequences of our collective bigotry before anything changes, because now, things are likely to become much,much worse for us.

I wonder if the Prime Minister knows how much he has damaged our country?

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4 Comments:

At 5/24/2008 11:13 AM, Blogger Living in Barbados said...

Francis, I take a different view, as seen on my blog, http://livinginbarbados.blogspot.com/2008/05/whats-mr-golding-really-saying.html. I am not a supporter of Mr. Golding's general view on gays, but the preface to his remarks are not trivial. He wanted people who could perform with independence and without influence. Many other political leaders have taken or take the same stance. I would have liked the interviewer to pose at least one supplementary question to him: "Are there others whom you would exclude from your Cabinet based on some particular characteristics?" Presumably those gays (or paedophiles, or wifebeaters, or those connected to organized crime, etc.) "in the closet" feel that if exposed or open they would be liable to several forms of pressure, either on their persons or on their function.

I dont think that Mr. Golding has added to negative views about Jamaica on this issue. The view in prevalent throughout the region, and tourist magnets such as The Bahamas are verbally as opposed as Jamaicans, though in terms of violent actions have not so far matched Jamaica. But in other ways they are on the same track. Read for example Archbishop Gomez's comments (http://www.anglicansunited.com/2008/02/archbishop_drexel_gomezscandal.html) that it would be "scandalous" if gay Anglican Bishop Canon V. Gene Robinson appeared at the upcoming Anglican Lambeth Conference in July with his partner, and refused him an official invitation.

 
At 5/25/2008 10:54 PM, Blogger carribeanqueen said...

I do not believe he meant the anti gay statement. You have to look at it from his shoes. He is the Prime Minister of JAMAICA not U.K he is appealing to his fellow jamaicans. He cannot afford to say I love gay people, with the incompetent PNP trailing, he needs all the votes he can get. Bruce Golding is not doing a bad job running the country. Who would you rather lead us Portia dancehall Simpson?. You need a reality check. You dont understand politics ... thats just what it is POLITICS.

 
At 5/26/2008 11:58 AM, Anonymous jamaican girl said...

The clear sign of an unsophisticated, ignorant society. As a straight woman I can't help but think how stupid it is to discriminate against persons who are homosexual.....and as everyone is asking...how will you know them??? That is what happens when a bunch of people are living in a plantocracy!

 
At 5/10/2009 3:30 PM, Anonymous Trinidad. Adventist. Gay?! said...

Again, this really is not what it seems. Maybe you want a Mandela out of Golding, but I think you misunderstand what it would have meant for him to say otherwise.

A Trini or Bajan would have been able to fudge the question; but Golding could never have.

The BBC was trying to score and it did.

 

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