Mon | Jan 17, 2022

Letter of the Day | PNP had nothing to apologise about

Published:Saturday | February 22, 2020 | 12:00 AM



I have listened to, and watched carefully, news reports relating to what senior People’s National Party (PNP) leaders, especially Mr. Mark Golding, are alleged to have said at the Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St. Catherine.


I have also read that Mr. Golding said in relation to Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament, Mr. Terrelonge that “when him see the straightness of the man who coming against him, (he) will be wobbling in his pants.”


The PNP subsequently expressed regret for these “utterances”. I, however, fail to see what there is to have apologized for. I see nothing in the words or the language that was derogatory, or rude, or offensive in any way to Mr. Terrelonge. The use of the expression “ben up ben up” did not help to clarify anything.


But, even supposing, for the purpose of argument, that the intention was to identify Mr. Terrelonge as having some particular sexual orientation, then I still see nothing to have apologized for. In fact, in some places in the western world that identity would be hailed as a compliment. So, why apologize?


Frankly, the greatest danger coming from this self imposed censorship and compliance with this kind of “political correctness” is the tendency to move towards loss of the freedom of expression to facilitate this political correctness.


It is the right of the PNP or the JLP for that matter to apologize where (for many of us) it is not justified nor called for. But, these parties had better not think of imposing such strictures on Jamaican people.


Currently, there is an “undeclared war” going on in a number of western societies (especially in Canada and the USA) in relation to this issue. Our leaders would be best advised against forcing us into a similar kind of war. It would be disastrous for us all.


Maurice C. Saunders