Yes, I did use strong language - MoBay’s mayor
While not disputing that he used expletives, Montego Bay Mayor Glendon Harris said his verbal tirade at the Montpelier Agricultural Show earlier this year, which was captured on video and subsequently mounted on YouTube, was directed at a man, not a woman.
"Yes, I used the words (expletives) ... and I have seen what was posted on YouTube," Harris told The Gleaner yesterday. "However, I was not speaking to any woman ... . My comments were aimed at a man ... . It is an individual who I know quite well ... . Every year when we plan our show, he comes here and give trouble."
In explaining the reason for his anger, Harris said he had spent the greater part of the day helping to prepare the venue for the popular annual show, utilising a carefully mapped out floor plan to ensure good order.
"I did not leave there (Montpelier) until after 1:00 o'clock in the night when we completed our preparations," said Harris. "When I went back there at 6:30 in the morning, there was this man with his things spread out all over the place, creating the very problem that we had worked so hard the previous day to prevent ... . I was upset about it and I told him so in plain Jamaican language (expletives)."
He added: "The lady might have been standing there, but I was not speaking to her ... . I was talking to the man ... . He has a history of trying to come to our event and create problems ... . It is a yearly thing with him."
While a group calling itself the St James Central Women's Movement is calling for Harris to step down as mayor, claiming he had become a player in a pattern of abusive behaviour towards women by People's National Party (PNP) officials, Harris said he did not see the need to apologise or to step down.
"As I have said before, I was talking to a man, a man who has been creating problems for us year after year," said Harris.
"... it is clear that he has not been getting the message, so this year, I spoke to him in straight Jamaican language (expletives), and I am not going to apologise to him ... . I just hope he gets the message."
Last month, A.J. Nicholson, the leader of government business in the Senate, earned the wrath of several women's groups after his 'flexi rape' comment, which he said was "a little joke".
He has since issued at least two public apologies.