Mon | Jul 24, 2017

Leave Damion alone

Published:Tuesday | August 19, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Damion Crawford

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In the past, I have publicly upbraided Damion Crawford for his unfiltered Twitter prattle. I have chastised his penchant for seemingly unrestrained social-media engagement, given his platform as a political leader and public intellectual.

I have also taken issue with his youthful exuberance, casual carriage, and loose lips, as I felt they were a potentially dangerous combination for someone adjusting to the seat of power he now finds himself in.

However, none of that warrants the current round of crucifixion he is now facing from one particular cabal of social-media bullies masquerading as human-rights activists, secular humanists, and intellectual elite.

As a human-rights activist, secularist, and attorney-in-training, I cannot ignore the injustice being meted out to the young MP by those supposedly speaking in defence of freedom, those who are supposedly my contemporaries.

Nothing contained in Damion's speech at the function in Canada was culturally, contextually, or politically inappropriate. Damion is usually ebullient, charming, eloquent, and precise in his language when on the political platform. Sure, he has moments when it seems good sense abandons him, but if we are to be truly honest, we all occasionally have similar moments.

To take his plea for a return to simple traditional values such as kindness and civility as tools for national development and skew it into a personal attack on atheists and secularists is intellectually dishonest and self-serving. This round of hypersensitive outbursts and personal provocation might result in a sympathetic apology from another MP with no backbone, but it will certainly find no comfort with someone the likes of Damion Crawford.

Despite what some of my colleagues might think, Jamaica is a crass, coarse and uncivilised country. Like Damion, I long for the Jamaica I grew up in where common courtesies were common, and life was sacred. I am so desperate to return to the beautiful nation my parents introduced me to, that even if it takes the invocation of a fictional supernatural entity, I am willing to bow, curtsey, turn my roll, or sing a sankey to achieve it.

I urge my colleagues, fellow infidels, and rebels to stop lambasting the young politician. By continuing this and other unabated attacks, we are morphing into the bullies the Christian Right accuses us of being.

So long as Damion doesn't incite violence, deliberately disenfranchise any Jamaican citizen, or betray any of his responsibilities as a national leader, he has the constitutional and moral freedom to say whatever he wishes.

BRIAN-PAUL WELSH

brianpaul.welsh@gmail.com