Posts tagged caribbean
Posts tagged caribbean
Political cartoonist and JLP support ‘Clovis’ smears gays, PNP…
The People’s National Party (PNP) has claimed victory over the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in today’s parliamentary elections in Jamaica. The post-result political analyses are best left for others. For me, I find it encouraging that homophobic campaigning against the PNP in reaction to its stated position on equal rights for gays to serve in parliament, and a review to repeal the buggery law, clearly made no impact on the majority of voters today.
If it’s not political suicide in Jamaica, I can’t imagine it being so anywhere else in the Caribbean.
I’ve been informed that American “chef”, Christina Curry, has totally wiped the internet of her embarrassing cooking video which fucked up Barbados’ national dish - Cou Cou.
You’ll remember that I told her to jump off a bridge here, but only after droves of Bajans told her to do the same all over the internet.
Just in case you lost count:
BARBADOS - 1 : CLUELESS FOREIGNERS - 0
But first, a flashback…
KINGSTON, August 19, 2011:
No politician in this country will ever call for the repeal of the buggery laws because that would be tantamount to political suicide. Jamaican politicians are even willing to face international ridicule just to prove to the local populace that they are staunchly opposed to the gay lifestyle. “Not in my Cabinet!” Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared on the British talk show Hardtalk a few years ago. This was in response to being asked if he would tolerate gays in his Cabinet. He was chastised in the international press but many people here loved him for it.
- Leighton Levy, The Jamaica Star
KINGSTON, December 20, 2011:
At the last leadership debate in the lead-up to the Jamaican general elections, Portia Simpson-Miller, leader of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), said that she had no objection to appointing gays to her Cabinet. And she went further to say that, perhaps, Jamaica should review its buggery laws which effectively criminalise men who have sex with men. This is HUGE!
Perhaps Simpson-Miller may have gotten ahead of herself and didn’t intend to speak on the repeal of the buggery law, but that is just me wondering why she’d take such a huge political risk before actually being elected as Prime Minister in the virulently homophobic island, where hatred of gays seems, prima facie,to be a societal norm.
This bold, though risky, move by Portia Simpson-Miller should be applauded as a turning point in the national and regional political discourse on gay rights. And, if successful, the PNP/Government of Jamaica would - ironically - set precedent in the Caribbean for ending legislated discrimination against LGBTs.
Who’d have thunk it?
Update: The Jamaica Gleaner’s Christmas Day editorial examines the impact of vulgar anti-gay sentiments now being spewed by the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party in the wake of this debate. Apparently, they’ve been quite effective:
Labourite this AM in Christiana: “Vote labour, bun out sodomite, vote labour on December 29th”— Gordonswaby (@Gordonswaby) December 25, 2011
By Sir Ronald Sanders
(International consultant and former Caribbean diplomat)
General elections in St Lucia and Guyana on November 28 have raised serious questions about the financing of campaigns and the unfair use of state resources by governing political parties to gain an advantage over their opponents.
In St Lucia, it is alleged that a significant portion of the United Workers Party (UWP) campaign funds came from Taiwan. The UWP was the ruling party at the time of the elections and the then leader of the Opposition and leader of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Kenny Anthony, had engaged in a public row with the Taiwanese Ambassador over his blatant interference in the electoral politics of the island.
Bill Browning of the Bilerico Project writes:
Here’s the speech everyone is talking about today. It’s being heralded as a modern day “I Have a Dream” speech.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the United Nations in Geneva this morning and gave a speech about LGBT human rights in honor of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Her speech served as a solid statement following the Obama administration’s announcement this morning that it is instructing federal agencies and diplomats to protect and promote LGBT rights internationally.
This is an amazing speech which, unfortunately, may never be endorsed by any Caribbean leader in our lifetime.
I challenge you to watch this music video by Trinidadian soca star Shurwayne Winchester and to tell me that he and his creative team aren’t idiots.
Let’s be frank about it.
In the intro to this controversial flick, which I’ve only just seen, a locked container filled with women comes to Trinidad from Cuba, a thug pays off a dealer for the cargo, and the gang of newly-purchased humans go on to pole dance in bars for Winchester’s pleasure. It’s so stupid that you’d laugh, if only the depiction of human trafficking and dehumanised women wasn’t so stark.
Who does that? It also doesn’t help that Trinidad & Tobago was criticised in the latest UN Report on Trafficking in Persons for not fully complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
Winchester later issued a half-assed statement on the matter saying that he had no direct control of the scripting of the introductory scene, and has since cut it from the official video.
Adding insult to injury, the national flag of Trinidad & Tobago - Winchester’s own country - is upside down for the entire video.
Two weeks ago, Keisha Brathwaite - a mother of two children with another on the way - broke into an unoccupied Government housing unit in Barbarees Hill, St. Michael, claiming that she was desperate for a place to live after her abusive boyfriend beat her and evicted her from his home.
The woman immediately changed the locks on the illegally occupied unit, and reportedly informed the Royal Barbados Police Force and the National Housing Corporation about what she’d done. For weeks, Brathwaite remained in the unit and ignored eviction notices from authorities, until those same authorities granted her a house of her own in another location.
There was intense public outcry, largely from middle class Barbadians, against Government’s rewarding of Brathwaite’s illegal actions: Says one,
I could never dream of getting a house from NHC, neither do I qualify for a mortgage. You have two kids and you are a single mum…go and take up a house and change the locks then.
Where did she get the money from to change the locks? I wont comment on her personal situation because none of us really know but whether it be in Barbados or any where else in the world, this whole attitude of “this is my right” has gone too far. Nobody wants these kids out on the street, but it is very frustrating for people who are hardworking and yet still struggling to see people like her get handouts without lifting a finger.
And, yet another,
I am so sick and tired of the “I am entitled” attitude of some of us Bajans out there and this is a classic example of the government aiding and abetting these people in utter shit! Maybe we should have skipped school and then I would have a house, car and three children all on the tax payers money!
Others were however sympathetic to Brathwaite’s plight:
Yes she is wrong but we are not living in a world of absolutes. She never said she was entitled to a house. She has apologized repeatedly for what she did and actually informed on herself - to the police, the NHC and then the media. Goodness knows if the NHC would have acted if she had not gone to the media and confessed and it caused a furore.
Jobs are hard to find as we all know. You may have the education that will give you a job. Keisha clearly doesn’t.
That said, one of the universally established human rights is shelter.
I’m not sure how to feel about this myself. If there is anything that the recent #Occupy movements around the world have demonstrated it is that a lot of people feel disenfranchised and are angry - with good reason - about the broadening equality gap. Keisha Brathwaite is either a desperate woman who did the wrong thing in order to get basic shelter, or she’s an indigent freeloader on the state who does not deserve to benefit from others’ taxes. Which one is she?
The thorny, yet delicate issue of showing tolerance to politicians with homosexual or gay tendencies has become more topical in recent years, with claims of irregular conduct among members on both sides of the Jamaican political fence.
The fact that this question is even being asked says a lot. I can’t even be moved to comment any further, but you can read more at the Jamaica Observer.
By Sir Ronald Sanders
(International consultant and former Caribbean diplomat)
A statement by the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, that his government will not provide budgetary aid to governments that violate human rights including by discriminating against homosexuals and lesbians, has angered sections of Caribbean society.
The angry response may have arisen over a misunderstanding of Cameron’s remarks made in a BBC interview at the end of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia from 28 to 30 October. The remarks were not made at CHOGM itself.
While Cameron did say that his government would not provide general budget support to governments that do not uphold human rights including the rights of homosexuals, lesbians and vulnerable communities such as young girls, his remarks were not specifically about homosexuals and he did not say that that all aid would be withheld. In any event, no independent Caribbean country is a recipient of General Budget Aid from Britain, and, therefore, none would be affected. In this regard, the response to Cameron’s remarks would have benefitted from more careful study.
If you don’t watch anything else this weekend, I’d suggest watching the South African film Skin and the Bahamian film Children of God, which deal with race and sexuality respectively.
The former is the true story of Sandra Laing, a South African woman with black features born to a white couple in the time of apartheid. The latter Kareem Mortimer production, though wrongly classified as a romantic drama, does a good job in representing the nature and social impact of homophobia in the Caribbean and the centrality (and hypocrisy) of Christianity to the culture of homophobia.
I won’t review either, I’d much rather hear what you think.
PS. If you are unaware where to stream these online, I may be able to tell you off the record.
Quite coincidentally, I came across this video that’s currently making the rounds on urban blogs in the US, while reading the latest Caribbean report from the Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children.
Good parenting, or child abuse?
Update: The flogger, who turns out to be the child’s “mentor”, has been arrested for child abuse.
“A hundred and seventy-seven years after slavery was abolished in the British West Indies, Jamaica’s national training agency - HEART Trust - still has to deal with colour-prejudiced employers who are requesting that trainees be brown or light-skinned as a prerequisite for employment in their firms.”
Man, it was difficult to find tags to describe this post.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has declared a limited State of Emergency in hot spots across Trinidad.
The decision, she said, was made “after much deliberation with the National Security Council and members of the Cabinet” in response to the “spate of murders over the past few days.”
In making the ominous declaration, the Prime Minister added that “the limited state of emergency will allow (the Government) to achieve a number of things in relation to crime reduction, which would not be prudent for me to disclose in advance of the action taken.”