Sunday, November 10, 2013

From the pen of Mandeville's Custos Sally Porteous on hate crimes

Thanks to Emily Crooks for this.

6 P.M.


Another matter that we have to be careful of is the question of minorities being targeted for hate crimes.

Just a few weeks ago, a 17 year old boy, a cross dresser was murdered in Montego Bay. He was killed by a group of people at a dance who found out that while he was dressed as a woman, he really was a man.

They seemed to think that because he was different from them that it would be perfectly all right for him to suffer the ultimate consequence. So they killed him.

After all, who would care? His very father had thrown him out of his house! So the people stabbed him and shot him and dumped his body in the bush! That, in their minds, got rid of a nasty problem.

Little was said about his murder. It was as if this boy’s life meant nothing! It took a few people like Mark Shields, Emily Crooks and Jamaicans for Justice to persistently keep the issue alive before any attention was given.

I am also told that this year, 2 men have been killed and 36 others have suffered violent attack because of their sexual preference. Why? What has caused us to be so violent to people who are different from us?

Jamaica is known internationally as the third “coolest country in the world” but we are also known as a country that has one of the highest murder rates in the world and the country which is the worst for our violent hatred of gay people.

Our international image is going south because of our behavior. This is impacting negatively on our International Human Rights ranking and our inability to land overseas investment. All at a time when this country is looking for every dollar that it can in investment. Are we not aware that investors look at these things before putting their money into a country like ours?

So let me say this, I have no problem with people who have a personal bias regarding homosexuality, we all have our biases, but I do have a problem with anyone publicly inciting hatred, violence or discrimination against any minority group and I frankly will not tolerate it amoung the Justices of the Peace. For you cannot be a Peace maker and a hater at the same time!

WE, we the people cannot allow ANYONE to be murdered because they are different!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it was not so long ago that millions of people were enslaved in this country, in what became one of the world’s greatest atrocities! Africans were brutalized and murdered on the sugar plantations because they were different! Yes, seen as less than human!

It was not so long ago that 8 million people of the Jewish faith were put to death in the gas chambers because they were different!

It was not so long ago that a man by the name of Nelson Mandela was imprisoned when he fought to end apartheid in South Africa! He stood strong for those who were different!

It was not so long ago that Martin Luther King was murdered because he fought for the Rights of black people in America!

It was not so long ago that women were considered to be so inferior that we couldn’t vote! (Look at us now!)

Personally I have a great regard for the President of the United States. As a black man, he has had to face some challenges that are so tough, but he carries on with courage and distinction.

President Obama has risen to great heights and continues to rise because he has become President of ALL of the people! He has shown the courage and the guts to stand up for minorities because he not only believes in the Rights of all people, he is showing by example, how all Americans should think and behave. That’s leadership!

I believe that we in Jamaica have such a shining example in him and if we try to learn from him, we will all live a much more respectful, peaceful and democratic life.

Leadership is not easy. It requires that you stand up and be counted. It requires that you speak up and be ready to take the criticism! It requires that you be not afraid to stand-alone!

WE, we in this room are leaders and we need to take back our country and be prepared to lead it!

Lead it one by one if necessary, for every time we keep quiet, every time we say nothing, every time we do nothing, we send a message that says, “it’s O.K.” It’s O.K. to do what you are doing. It’s O.K. to push that boy, beat that youth, terrorize those people, kill that gay person!

And before you know it, the message has been released and like germs in the air it spreads and an epidemic takes place in the minds of those who didn’t need much to topple them over the edge!

They allow terrible acts to be carried out because we, the leaders, failed to stop it! And before you know it, you have a nation full of violent people, all disregarding God’s holy law, “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”.

Dwayne Jones was doomed when his father flung him out of the house because he was different. Dwayne Jones was doomed when his father failed to stand up for him, his precious son!

As his father he should have sheltered him and protected him from the storm. Poor Dwayne Jones, his life was ending from the moment that he began to show that he was different.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this country aims to become a first world country by the year 2030. We have stated that we will become the place of choice to “work, raise families and do business.”

Most people believe that we achieve this by how much money we have in the Bank, or what the Gross Domestic Product is. It is not!

It is how we think and how we obey God’s laws!

I thank you all for coming. I hope that I have given you some food for thought and that you will try to put some time aside to assist in this great effort to make our Parish one that we can all be proud.

God Bless you and God Bless Jamaica.


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