Get over yourself, Damion
By Gordon Robinson
Damion Crawford has exposed himself as a child who has been thrust unprepared into the adult world.
It's a pity because he started off well, as do most inexperienced Member of Parliament (MP). He appeared well-intentioned and committed to political representation for his constituents. But, as he sinks deeper and deeper into the seductive arms of political power, tribalism and demagoguery have taken over. Almost daily, we get greater insight into Damion's philosophy.
For example, here's Damion on the humanities:
"Yuh suppose to can look pon a man an' say a PNP dat enuh, or yuh look pon a woman and sey a PNP dat. Some a unnu haffi have on orange fi wi know, cause unnu lifestyle come een like a dutty Labourite."
Media and the JLP latched onto the 'dutty Labourite' appellation that's been spewed forth from PNP political platforms since the 1950s. That's unquestionably bad, but not half as bad as the frightening meaning of the entire quote. Apparently, all humans are either 'PNP' or 'dutty Labourite'. There's no third category. It appears, from Damion's Freudian slip, the only important characteristic of a human being is whether or not that human is 'PNP' or 'dutty Labourite'.
"Yuh suppose to can look pon a man an' say a PNP dat ..." Not "a handsome man dat", or "looks like a decent man" or "looks like a businessman", or "a Christian". No, no, no. The fundamental core of man is that he must be judged by his cover, AND that cover must be a PNP or dutty Labourite.
Within 48 hours, the whiplash (it was much, much worse than a mere backlash) resulted in the following even more embarrassing utterance:
"I would like to apologise unreservedly for a most unfortunate comment that I made at a political meeting in East Kingston and Port Royal in reference to the Opposition.
"It's clear I got carried away and reverted to negative language that has been used in the past by both political parties. This ought not to be part of any vocabulary going forward by me or anyone else. I pledge to never allow this kind of utterance to escape my lips in the future as I try to make a positive difference in my country."
1. The reference was NOT to the 'Opposition'. It was to human beings, including some in his audience.
2. Why was it necessary to include "that has been used in the past by both political parties"? It adds NOTHING to the apology. It's a crude and childish attempt to suggest there's an excuse for the appalling faux pas.
3. He hasn't said he understands why he ought not to have used those words. He hasn't exhibited a grasp of the fact that labelling of any kind is unconscionable; that persons are entitled to be neither PNP nor JLP; that superficiality is not a leadership trait.
He pledges never to say it again, but he hasn't withdrawn or retracted what he said in the first place. Worse, his 'apology' is qualified. Damion could learn maturity lessons from Michael Peart, who had far more justification for his own emotional letdown, but who immediately corrected himself and subsequently gave fulsome apologies without qualification.
What's there in Damion's recent fulminations to convince independent observers that he's sincere? He wishes to subvert the The National Works Agency's (NWA) role to that of taking instructions from MPs. In his own words, "nobody voted for the NWA". Maybe so, but the people for whom they voted to do a particular job set up the NWA by statute to do its job. MPs have NOTHING to do with the repair of roads, save in a representative capacity.
As people's representative, an MP takes on the collective role of begging on behalf of the people, whether Damion likes it or not. 'MP' isn't a royal title. It's a job description of a particular type of servant who doesn't get to instruct statutory authorities how to do their legislated functions.
MPs represent. MPs pass laws for the good governance of Jamaica. That's it. That's all. The unconstitutional Constituency Development Fund has tricked some of the less-experienced MPs into believing their role has been expanded. No, Damion. Get off your high horse. You're nobody's king. You have no throne; no fiefdom; no authority to rule. You're our servant. Where we used to have to beg individually for light, water, good roads, etc., now we beg collectively through you. Get over yourself and get used to it.
Peace and love.
Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.