The Right Hand and the Left Hand

March 4, 2009

Let’s see:

The latest is that our esteemed PM still insists that “we” (must be the royal ‘we’, because he doesn’t speak for myself or many people that I know) are not going to yield to pressure” from “the most organized lobby in the world” to “liberalize”(what the hell does that mean anyway??) unjust laws which overly scrutinize and punish some men for engaging in consensual sexual practices with each other while allowing other men to fuck whichever women or girls and under whatever conditions they want. BG is still confusing and conflating legislation (ie. the structured framework within which the citizens act that designates “legal” and “illegal” behaviours) with morality (ie. notions of ideal codes of conduct that individuals use to define their actions). Maybe someone should tell him that not every behaviour that is designated as “legal” is necessarily “right”, and that law ought not to be used as a weapon against people you personally dislike. But, I digress…

Mi really starting to wanda a wha mek im fraid a homosexuality so? It does seem like BG is starting to develop some aptitude for nuance, in shying away from overt policing behaviour in private – or he’s leaving that to vigilante groups rather than the police – and bearing down on the side of punishing men who engage in sexual violence against other men. In this case, he wants to make special provisions to punish men who sexually assault other men or boys even further. I bet im nuh mek no special provision fi di “sexual grooming” or “sexual harassment” what deh gwa’an right inna fi’im backyard? Just mek sure seh your judge dem know seh demi fi treat rape against girls/women with the SAME seriousness as rape against men/boys, yuh ear mi, sah? If we need to take it to that level, then raping women should ALSO be a crime against the nation, dammit. Men are not more socially valuable than women, and we should not accept any legislation that enshrines this notion in any way.

At the same time, said BG has authorized much money to be spent on shoring up the bangbelly tourism industry, whose doyennes have identified the next big moneymaker market as – you guessed it – gay and lesbian tourism. No shit. So, either BG does not know that interest in this marketing strategy has been gathering steam for a couple years now in his own backyard independent of what he’s defending as “culture” (another post on that to come), or he simply does not understand that many in his government do not see any problem with taking the “pink dollar” from foreign hands, at the same time that he is saying that the battered, bloodied and dead bodies, which are inevitable as long as he chooses to defend this irresponsible double standard, are his business, not their’s. Frankly, it seems to me that the left hand is trying to force the right hand to soften its grip, and might well be succeeding, finger by finger. If BG continues with this ridiculous tirade and chanting against homosexual sex, he is going to be caught in a tight corner with his pants down, and it’s not going to be pleasant to watch. Somebody also needs to point out that he, like Ernie Smith, is riding this one for popular points, and he is starting to look just as foolish.

By the way, it’s well past time for you well-meaning heterosexuals to speak up and challenge this man. Here you have your Prime Minister using very strong language to suggest that HE is not going to listen to anybody – inside or outside – who disagrees with him on this issue. In fact, he has taken it on himself to decide what is “right” and “wrong” for Jamaicans. Imagine that! I didn’t know that’s what the PM was elected to do, maybe I should go back and do O-Level Civics to remind myself. Apparently, all a wi a gyingi fly whe’ im kyaa just swat whe’ when im ready. Again, a very telling response. Im is blasted out a order! If him can decide seh im n’ aa listen pon dis issue, yuh nuh tink seh a so im a go deal with wi pon every odda issue to? Now, with an attitude and example like this, why should the other legislators have any respect for citizens’ concerns, or feel that they are beholden to the citizens and not just to themselves and whateva fly up inna dem éad? He insists on framing this issue as being about “giving in” to the Enemy. Since when are gays and lesbians “the enemy”? Oh sorry, I forgot about the last 16 years. I just want to know if he really thinks that he is saying anything different from his buddy-ol’ pal Ernie? It’s clear to me that BG really doesn’t get that the best thing he can possibly do on this issue is to position himself as a reasonable man who is willing to listen and engage in a manner that his fellow citizens can learn from, whether or not he decides to change his mind. Somebody should really tell him. In all these ways, he is just like George Bush II. In fact, BG seems to be taking up where GB left off (a palindrome of sorts). Let’s just say BG is not my idea model for a good statesman or progressive national leader, and leave it at that for now.

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3 Responses to “The Right Hand and the Left Hand”


  1. […] scrutinize and punish some men for engaging in consensual sexual practices with each other”, Long Bench maintains that his position is an “irresponsible double standard.” Cancel this […]

  2. duttybwoy Says:

    I learned a new term today “pink dollar” meaning money from a gay person. Jamaica might have benefited from many pink dollars and we don’t even know it, but who cares. I am always fearful of any authority especially government who tries to regulate life style that does not directly impact other people. In the states the octomom is causing legislation to prevent DRs from inseminating women to give birth to multiple babies.

    The PM definitely hate gay people, In the video where Mr Ernie Smith was lashing out against gays he (PM) was sitting there as if the crazy utterances from Mr. Smith was normal. To be fair to the PM however he said that the same laws that would punish heterosexuals would apply to homosexuals in the new bill, he also later distanced himself from Smith’s comments.What is getting attention is his constantly singling out “people who have the gay”.

    He is making it too much of an issue while we have bigger “fish” to fry. I wonder why he is so passionate about this homosexual thing, I have not seen such consistency and passion about any other major issue. I didn’t know he said he is not listening to anyone else opinion-we have a dictatorship?- I wonder who is this well organized group pressuring him. I thought gays in Jamaica including JFLAG was for the most part discrete especially after Mr.Smith suggest they were an illegal organization promoting buggery which is illegal in Jamaica. From what I am hearing from the PM JFLAG is pressuring his government to make buggery legal and the answer is NO.

    I had the scarce opportunity recently yo listen to Mutty Perkins who was talking about the PM stance on the who homo debate and 90% of the callers agreed with the PM. I know that many well thinking Jamaicans disagree on the principle that “it is none of my business” but they are not brave enough to say it. I thought listening to the callers were enlightening because I got to see what people really thought. Most people quoted the bible Leviticus I think,some said homosexuality is learned or a medical problem, some said they should be put to death, when asked if he would volunteer to put them to death he said the “authorities” should do it. I find it interesting how people can remove themselves from the drastic actions they are promoting, the ignorance went as far as some saying AIDS is a homosexual disease. Some went into detail of describing a most disgusting act. All in all apart from a few scolding from columnists, editorials and letters to the editor, no one will challenge the PM,no other public figure in government because they would be standing against popular opinion which is a career killer. Not only that they might be labeled as a “fish”.

    We should remember that everyone is human, we should not discriminate against anyone for any reason, like “not in my cabinet” comment. Another generation of Jamaicans will look back at us and ask how ignorant and intolerant those people were.

    Homosexuals should be aware that what most people fear most about them is that their children will be exposed to homosexuality, god forbids a son or daughter is gay, or what I personally dislike be it gay or straight is flaunting ones sexuality in others face or forcing “open mindedness” on other people.

    The PM must know what he is doing, maybe he wants his legacy to be that he was a staunchly opposed to gays. Barack Obama said in his inaugural speech ” your country will not remember you by what you tear down , but by what you build up”.

    Lets deal with the most pressing issues or is this just another distraction.

    • Long Bench Says:

      DB – Thanks for responding!

      Like you, I have noticed that same consistency and passion that tells you he has strong feelings – animosity even – against gays and lesbians, that far surpass the ordinary prejudices that we see everyday. Compare these stances with his [still!] lackadaisical attitude about dealing with crime and corruption. Amazing, isn’t it? And his attitude, couched as it is in irrational fear, certainly gives license to all the folks who feel free to utter the most far-fetched ideas as TRUTH. While the Mutty Perkins’ style talk programme allows everyone to say what they want to say, it also treats the content of each opinion as equal, which they are most assuredly not. Some opinions are harmful, as your examples note!

      As you noted, the one thing that most of our political leaders lack, is courage. And that’s why leadership on this issue cannot come from them, it has to come for us who think and believe there is another way to approach this issue.

      I am glad the the editors at the Gleaner are being consistent on this point, and critiquing the PM, as they should do. Those who choose to remain silent are not doing themselves or anybody else any favours. In fact, they are part of the problem. But that makes it all the more important for the rest of us to keep talking and hammering away at this one. We are not going away anytime soon, and the PM needs to know that.

      Visit again!


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